Steven Spielberg, one of the pioneers of New Hollywood, believes that television is “greater today” than ever. But Netflix’s TV movies do not deserve Oscars, he told ITV News in an interview.
”TV movies” and nothing more
Steven Spielberg is not just one of the most financially successful film directors of all time. He also helped reform Hollywood. A new wave of companies, led by Netflix, is now challenging status quo.
Amazon and Netflix have had several movies nominated for an Oscar. While Amazon conforms to the classic theatrical window model, Netflix releases its movies globally at the same time.
In order to get any movie nominated for an Oscar, it must complete a qualifying run at the cinema. It is the second rule of play. Netflix has met the qualification criterion by giving some of its movies a very limited run in theatres. What Spielberg is essentially arguing is that Netflix is gaming the Academy Awards system.
- “I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination,” Steven Spielberg said in an interview with ITV News.
He believes that Netflix’s movies should be characterized as TV movies and nothing more.
- “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”
His remarks to some degree echo those of Christopher Nolan who called Netflix’s release model “bizarre and mindless”. Nolan later apologized to Netflix.
”A clear danger to filmgoers”
Spielberg stresses that television today is greater than it has ever been in almost every facet. However, while some have brushed off the threat of Netflix as nothing more than an alternative distribution channel, he believes that it actually “poses a clear present danger to filmgoers”.
- ”The television is greater today than it has ever been in the history of television. There is better writing, better directing, better performances, better stories are being told. Television is really thriving with quality and art but it poses a clear present danger to filmgoers,” said Spielberg.
Netflix has had movies like Okja, The Meyerowitz Stories and Mudbound nominated for awards at various awards shows. The company’s latest high-profile movie release was Annihilation, which was produced by Paramount. The movie has been released in US theaters where it has grossed more than $30 million but has gone straight to Netflix in the rest of the world.
You can watch ITV News’ full interview with Steven Spielberg below.