Filmmaker Pedro Almodovar says he has no “hostility” towards any streaming service but he backs the popular opinion that films are best suited for theatres.
In a wide-ranging interview with Variety for his upcoming film Pain and Glory, Almodovar said watching a film in a hall full of strangers is a magical experience.
“I have no hostility toward Netflix or any other platform. But a film that may be up for an award really must be seen and shown on a screen in a cinema.
“Otherwise, it would be almost a contradiction in terms, because films are conceived to be shown on a screen to people who are strangers, who don’t know each other, in the dark. That’s the magic of it all,” Almodovar said.
The 69-year-old director said he watched Alfonso Cuaron’s multiple Oscar-winning film Roma — both at home and in a theatre — and he still prefers the theatrical experience.
“I saw ‘Roma’ both on my own TV screen and on the big screen. When you see it on a TV screen, it makes it so much less interesting as a film.
“What I’m trying to defend is that pleasure, that ecstasy, that euphoria you feel when you see ‘Roma’ on a big screen. All of that is stolen from us if we just end up seeing the film on a TV screen,” Almodovar said.
The filmmaker, however, does not rule out a collaboration with Netflix in future.
But he said it would not be a “Netflix original solely and exclusively for Netflix” as he would miss the “cinema as the venue for my film to be shown”.
“I could see myself in the future making a series — not a series that would be mono-thematic, but perhaps a series made up of different episodes of short stories, almost like short films.
“It would be a way of getting out of that straitjacket of a film that has to be an hour and a half in length, or an episode that has to be a half-hour only,” Almodovar said.