There are numerous reasons to lament the way cinema is heading — inflated ticket prices, needless 3D, the death of film projection, all leading to all sorts of problems that affect the quality of Hollywood’s output.
But let’s put that aside for now and focus on the positive changes. One of the great advantages of the advent of streaming video is that it makes small, little-seen movies as readily available as blockbusters. There are many films I would likely never have gotten around to if doing so weren’t so simple as clicking a button — The Arbor and Poetry are prime examples. These are the movies that benefit from being available when you’re “in the mood” for a rambling Korean film about an old woman taking poetry classes, or a pseudo-documentary about a foul-mouthed playwright. (Which, admittedly, is not always.) It’s less of an investment to begin a film with the option of turning it off and selecting another if it doesn’t captivate you. (Though I dislike this practice as a rule; many great films aren’t so obviously great within the first five minutes.)
SplitSider.com recently posted a round-table discussion about the “comedy exodus” in New York City. It seems many top comedians have reached a consensus: when it comes to being creative and finding work, Los Angeles is better than New York. And they’ve headed west because of it. (You can read that roundtable discussion here.)
Remember the last time this happened? It was the Gold Rush, only now there is no pesky Oregon Trail on which you can contract scarlet fever and die before you ever get to La La Land. It’s just a hop, skip, and a Virgin America jet ride away.
The reason this interests me, of course, is because of my own epic journey there and back again.