The Netflix adventure is over for the Italian Paolo Sorrentino who no longer wishes to collaborate with the streaming platform and defended cinema in cinemas in Cannes during a debate organized for the 75th anniversary of the Festival.
A Netflix film, “I don’t think it’s something I will do again”, said the Oscar-winning director of “La Grande Belleza”, alongside other big names in the 7th art (Guillermo del Toro, Costa-Gavras , Cristian Mungiu…), who came to discuss “the future of cinema”.
His film “The Hand of God”, which competed at the Venice Film Festival in September 2021 and looks back on a personal drama – the accidental death of his parents, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning – was broadcast online on Netflix. It was not released in theaters in France.
“I practiced several supports, I made films for the cinema, for television but in the end, what I prefer is to make films as I did at the beginning. It is only on a big screen that we find all the power of a story”, underlined the Neapolitan, also director of the series “The Young Pope” with Jude Law.
“Television is not the right place to do big, beautiful things.” He also felt that “people are going to be tired of seeing films at home and they will return to theaters”.
Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, who collaborates with Netflix on several projects, assured “to be at peace with the format changes”, believing that the important thing was “to tell stories”. “Are we debating screen size or idea size?” he quipped.
For the general delegate of the Festival Thierry Frémaux, “the battle that we will all lead is also that films produced by the platforms can go to cinemas”. The rules of the festival exclude from the competition platform films that are not released in French cinemas.
While the great authors no longer hesitate to go on the platforms (Scorsese or Jane Campion at Netflix, soon Ridley Scott at Apple…), and the habits of the spectators evolve, he has several times expressed the wish that this rule changes but the French exhibitors, on the Festival’s board of directors, oppose it.