Filmmakers Who Bashed Streaming Services But Have Worked With Them Anyway

Over the last few years, Martin Scorsese has probably had more articles written about his opinions on movies and cinema than the movies he has actually made. The most frequent target of his criticism are superhero movies, but he has also had plenty to say about streaming services and their effect on cinema as well. Not content simply giving interviews and answering other people’s questions on the topic, Scorsese isn’t afraid to write up entire op-eds to get his points across — and he did so in a piece he wrote for Harper’s magazine in 2021.

In an essay subtitled “Federico Fellini and the lost magic of cinema,” Scorsese takes aim at streaming services in their role in robbing cinema of its magic — that is, except for Mubi and The Criterion Channel, which he cites as the only two services that actually curate their libraries. Beyond that, he wrote, “The art of cinema is being systematically devalued, sidelined, demeaned, and reduced to its lowest common denominator, ‘content.’” Like Iñárritu, he also takes issue with the way streamers are algorithm-based, complaining, “Algorithms, by definition, are based on calculations that treat the viewer as a consumer and nothing else.” 

You already know what we’re going to say here, though — Scorsese didn’t seem to have an issue with the apparently poorly-curated Netflix putting out his 2019 epic “The Irishman,” or for Apple TV+ to be the place to watch his latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

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