I hate clutter.
Recently I’ve been clearing my bookshelves to make room for more. And in separating out the ones I wanted to keep versus the ones I was hoping to sell at The Last Bookstore (http://lastbookstorela.com/), there was a very distinct pattern:
I kept my fiction – novels, plays and short story collections. And art books.
The non-fiction, “how to” books in particular were heading to The Last Bookstore for sale.
I’ve read books on my Kindle app, but they’re almost all exclusively “how to” or very topical books on film, writing, physical fitness, meditation and so forth.
But I prefer physical books, and the ones that endure for me tend to be fiction or autobiographies of people I admire.
And The Last Bookstore (and most likely other used bookstores) seem to reflect that preference – they really really like to buy novels. Fiction in physical book form retains its value. Business books are almost worthless, as are test prep books (so I have about 20 pounds of real estate test prep books that become recyclable).
So I started thinking about how this relates to film. Right now, we have so many ways to watch a film, much like we don’t have to always “read” a book – we can stream it onto a tablet, have it read to us in an audiobook format, and so forth.
Even for a filmmaker like myself, I admittedly don’t go out to see films as much as I used to. Most of what I watch is from home. But, like novels, I will make an effort to see films that I really want to see on the big screen. The last one I saw was DON’T THINK TWICE (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4972062/), which was one of my favorite films of the year.
There’s still something special about sitting in a cavernous, dark theater, no distractions, no checking your phone – that allows you to immerse yourself fully in the world of the story. When I go to film festivals, I can find myself watching 3 or even 4 films back-to-back, while still being engrossed – something I can barely do when sitting at home watching even one film.
And I think that the act of “going to the movies” in a theater is going to stay in some shape or form. Just like physical books or vinyl records, not everyone is going to experience it that way, and perhaps most of the time it won’t be. But it’ll be savored by those who really want to see it in that environment.
The question is, what kind of films will be the ones that people want to see in a theater? Will it always be a franchise film? Or a small indie film? Or both?