Are Amazon and Netflix Preventing the Next Tarantino?

Weighing the risks and rewards of the new kings of independent film
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2017 6:59 PM CDT
Are Netflix and Amazon helping indie filmmakers by removing the risk of creating art at the expense of potential career growth?   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

(Newser) – The Hollywood studio system being what it currently is—hope everyone's excited for the eighth Fast and Furious installment this Friday—it's unlikely Reservoir Dogs would have been able to secure theatrical distribution in 2017. But that wouldn't be its only option in the modern world. Quentin Tarantino could have sold his debut film to Netflix or Amazon, who would have compensated him—and then some—for the money he spent making the film and released it for their subscribers' home-viewing pleasure within weeks. But would Reservoir Dogs have become an era-defining film that launched Tarantino's career if it was only being watched in living rooms prior to the "...and chill" portion of the evening?

That's the question facing today's filmmakers in a far-reaching piece on the Ringer. Thanks to Netflix and Amazon, "independent cinema is moving out of the art house and into every house." Some filmmakers have embraced this. Joe Swanberg, whose Win It All premiered on Netflix last week, says it gives him the freedom to make the movie he wants while putting it in front of people who would never have seen it otherwise. Other directors hate the idea that their films won't get that classic theatrical release. And it remains to be seen whether Netflix and Amazon are giving filmmakers creative freedom only to lock the results away from a wider audience, potentially stunting the filmmakers' careers. Read the full, fascinating piece here. (Read more movies stories.)

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