Hollywood's Future

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It was a big night for "Dream Girls," "Queen's" Helen Mirren, and "Borat" at the Golden Globes last night. A big night for the glam, the imperious and the bawdy.

But the future of Hollywood's product, says New Yorker film critic David Denby, is increasingly not big, but small. Movies shown in that tiniest of venues — the iPod screen — and indie films zipped digitally in and out of cinemas faster than you can say "Little Miss Sunshine."

Venue and delivery technology matter, says Denby. He watched the latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" on iPod and saw tiny Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom dueling like "two angry mosquitoes." He watches digital and misses the moody wash of physical film.

This hour On Point: a conversation with David Denby, on the future of the movies.

Quotes from the Show:

"Obviously the home theater thing has been going on for a long time but the sales of flat panel screens have soared as prices have come down, and as going to the theater, which for most Americans means the multiplex out in some suburban area, is often unpleasant for anyone over 30 at any rate." David Denby

"Theater business was back up in 200, that is it was about the same as 2004 after the slippage in 2005, but the long-term trends don't look for the theater business. It's a very complicated situation. The theaters are trying to save themselves by, as quickly as they can, changing to digital projection." David Denby

"There's a reduction of inhibition by being in a crowd because, even though you don't know anyone, you're sensing everyone breathing in unison around you, or laughing or resisting possibly what's on the screen, and somehow that will freeze some mechanism that allows whatever's inside of you to reach out there and to collaborate with what's on the screen. They're two media — what's on the screen and then there's you the receiving medium — and the emotions swell when you're in a group in a way that they don't quite when you're at home." David Denby


David Denby, New Yorker magazine film critic. His article in last week's issue was titled "Big Pictures: Hollywood Looks For a Future"


Scott Bowles, film critic, USA Today

Shari Redstone, president, National Amusements, which operates 1,500 movie screens in the U.S., U.K., Latin America and Russia.

This program aired on January 16, 2007.


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