Christopher Nolan has spoken about the “danger” of films only being available via streaming platforms, stressing that he believes in the ongoing importance of physical media.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Nolan expanded on recent comments he made while introducing a screening of his film Oppenheimer, when he urged fans to buy the Blu-ray version, “so no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.”
In the new interview, he clarified that he was joking in describing them as “evil”, but he did elaborate that the susceptibility of films disappearing from streaming platforms does concern him.
Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas attend a special screening of OPPENHEIMER on July 17, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)
“There is a danger these days that if things only exist in the streaming version, they do get taken down,” he said. “They come and go — as do broadcast versions of films, so my films will play on HBO or whatever, they’ll come and go.”
“But the home video version is the thing that can always be there, so people can always access it. And since the 1980s, as filmmakers, we’ve taken that for granted, and now we have to make sure that there’s a way that that can continue to happen, if not the physical media.”
“The danger I’m talking about with a filmmaker’s film just sort of disappearing from streaming one day and then maybe not coming back or not coming back for a long period of time, that’s not an intentional conspiracy,” he continued.
“That’s just a way that with the particular licensing agreements, the way things are evolving. So it’s something worth pointing out because it will need to be fixed, but I’m very confident that it will be.”
While introducing the film in Los Angeles on Monday (November 13), he said: “Obviously Oppenheimer has been quite a ride for us and now it is time for me to release a home version of the film. I’ve been working very hard on it for months. I’m known for my love of theatrical and put my whole life into that, but, the truth is, the way the film goes out at home is equally important.”
He described the Blu-ray version of Oppenheimer as “a version you can buy and own at home and put on a shelf so no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.”
While Oppenheimer is set to release on Blu-ray and other digital platforms on November 21, the film has yet to receive a date for streaming platforms.
Oppenheimer scored a glowing five-star review from NME upon its release in July. In the review, NME wrote that the film was “not just the definitive account of the man behind the atom bomb”, but a “monumental achievement in grown-up filmmaking”.
Nolan also recently revealed that he sneaked his mother, his wife and three of their children into the back of an IMAX theatre in New York on the opening night of the film.
“It was a remarkable experience to be there,” Nolan reflected. “Every seat was filled, and the focus on what was happening on screen was so strong. That level of engagement was something that I’d never really felt before. Real attention was being paid.”
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