The Accidental Turitz: Film Festivals and Their New Deal with Streaming Services – Under the Line


Opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival 2016 (Photo: GabboT)

Busy as I have been the last few months, planning a wedding and then, as mentioned in this space the last time we spoke, going on a honeymoon, I have always made an effort to keep myself up to date. what’s going on in the world, especially in the Hollywood division. I sort of have to do that, because it falls within a columnist’s job description to know what he writes about.

In the midst of all the madness that’s going on around us – the avoid IATSE to hit, the tragedy on the set of New Mexico of Rust, and many more – I noticed something interesting that I thought was worth discussing. Despite the cannes film festivalWith the persistent refusal to process films from one streaming service, just about every other major festival on the planet has no such qualms. On the contrary, just about every other big festival on the planet is embracing streaming services, perhaps seeing the future of the industry and how to be on the safe side of the game. Netflix, Amazons, Hulus, and HBO Max will be good for their bottom line.

Because, as previously stated in this space, this is where we are headed. I still believe there will always be some form of theatrical experience – and quite clearly there are millions of us eager to return to theaters to see movies after being barred from doing so for a year and a half – but if the pandemic has shown us something about consuming entertainment is that we are increasingly comfortable doing it from the comfort of our own homes.

A scene from The Irishman

A scene from Irish (Netflix)

Or something like that. I don’t know, because I don’t subscribe to that kind of nonsense. A movie is a movie no matter where it appears, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise isn’t just a snob, they’re pretty full of it, too.

So a win-win for everyone involved. No wonder this is becoming a regular thing.

I doubt? Just look at the scenery over the past two years. In 2019, for example, Netflix put Irish, Marriage story, and The Two Popes in festivals before they go into service and a limited theatrical release – although I have seen Irish to IFC Center in the West Village – and each got at least one Oscar nomination. Netflix now also owns the Parisian theater in midtown Manhattan, where it exclusively shows its films before they are broadcast. Amazon picked up The sound of metal after its Toronto premiere in 2019, although it didn’t release the film for a year – which also won a few statues last spring.

Last year was no different, with the eventual Best Picture winner Nomadic country show up at a slew of festivals – including Venice, Toronto, Telluride and New York – before it opens on February 19, streaming on Hulu, where I’ve seen it, with theaters still closed where I ‘lived and all. Likewise, the two Judas and the Black Messiah and Pieces of a woman – the first an HBO Max movie, the last Netflix – both were first shown at festivals. Pieces of a woman was also in Venice and Toronto, while Judas did Sundance.

This year, clearly, is no different. The genius is out of the bottle and as the streaming services attract more and more high-profile and award-winning talent on board their projects, film festivals are scheduling these films for said talent to show up at their events, thereby selling more tickets and gain more prestige. Again, win-win.

I doubt? Joel coen‘s Macbeth’s tragedy was the opening night premiere of last month New York Film Festival, and the centerpiece of the festival was Jane campion‘s Dog power, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten dunst. The first is a Apple movie, the latter Netflix, which means that on January 14, 2022 you will be able to watch Macbeth at home, and two months before, on November 17, you can do the same with Dog power.

Dog power

Benedict Cumberbatch in The power of the dog (Netflix)

It should also be noted that Be able to go dog has also performed in Venice, Telluride and Toronto, and Netflix has shown Rébecca Roomdirectorial debut Who passed in New York after picking it up at Sundance earlier in the year. You can watch this from your couch starting November 10, and from December 31 you can do the same with Maggie Gyllenhaal’s first outing as a director, The lost girl. It’s also a Netflix movie, and it too premiered in Venice, then starred in Telluride and New York.

You see the trend, right? Interestingly, Cannes made an exception for its showing ban with Amazon A hero, but that’s probably because it’s from the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who has directed two films that won the Oscar for Best International Feature at the Oscars. So, you know, more snobbery. Either way, a film that is sure to be a favorite in this category this year, and one that Cannes has been eagerly showing off, will be available for you to watch on your couch on January 7th. It should be noted, however, that some American audiences have already had the opportunity, particularly those at Telluride and the Hamptons International, Chicago International, Philadelphia International, and Montclair Film Festivals.

There is more, of course, like Lin Manuel Miranda‘s … Check mark BOOM, which will debut at AFI party next month, and Will smith‘s king richard, which has already made the buzz in Telluride, will also be there. Other films, like the one from Amazon The tender bar of the director George clooney and featuring Ben affleck; Being the Ricardos of Aaron Sorkin, featuring Javier bardem and Nicole kidman; and Netflix Do not seek, from Adam mckay with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer lawrence, which will skip the festival circuit altogether. So are many regular studio Oscar nominees who normally put their films in theaters first.

What, come to think of it, is how this sort of thing has happened every year for decades. Some potential award films would show up at festivals and create word of mouth and some momentum, others would simply show up in theaters on a given Thursday night or Friday morning. We’re going to see them anyway, and while Cannes can certainly figure out how it’s going to be in the years to come, everyone seems to have figured out that this is how things are now, and they are quite up for it. ‘agreement for the journey.


Neil turitzNeil Turitz is a journalist, essayist, author and filmmaker who has worked and written about Hollywood for almost 25 years, although he never lived there. These days, he divides his time between New York and the Berkshires. He’s not on Twitter, but you can find him on Instagram @ 6wordreviews.

You can read a new installation of The accidental Turitz every Wednesday, and all previous columns can be found here.



Comments are closed.