Last weekend I saw the movie “Kubo and the Two Strings” in a spectacular home theater (not mine). In short, it’s rich.

Claymation, visual effects, and excruciatingly detailed set design make the telling of this story a technical achievement as well as a creative one.

But I’m not trying to do a movie review here. The fact is, watching this movie in the home theater (and noticing all of these easy-to-miss technical details) got me thinking…

Is our propensity to gravitate towards smaller devices shuffling the values of film?

Photo: California Film Institue

Because a sizable chunk of that film’s beauty would have been lost on an iPhone.

More specifically, will the continual increase in content targeting smaller devices trigger a corresponding decline in aesthetic detail?

Secondly, there’s the accessibility factor. Content is deliverable to tablet and phone just as easily as it is streamed to a television or pulled up on a desktop. So whenever we’re watching a movie, YouTube video, or even checking out a photo – it’s become a worthwhile question is this framed appropriately?

Just a thought there.

2 thoughts

  1. I’ve thought the same thing! When Avatar came out I saw it in theaters, and the big screen and dark room and loud speakers drew me in so much, I remember at one point feeling like I wanted to jump up and yell while they were running through the forest! After that, I had a few opportunities to see the movie again in a home on a little TV, but I avoided it. I thought it would ruin the movie for me, because I enjoyed the experience so much in the theater.

    I think, as a culture, we’re shifting away from seeing movies as an experience, like, “I’m going to go and see this movie,” to just another form of entertainment we consume everyday, just like a daily crossword or a GameBoy you keep in your backpack for bus rides.

    Not that I ever did that. Definitely not in college.

    1. Hahaha!

      Yeah it’s like IMAX and 3D movie-going are the new ‘event’, and general movie-going are ‘just something you do if you’re into that’. Me? I’d prefer VidAngel or Netflix – I’m a big fan of the pause button, free ice cream (depending on availability), and popcorn on-demand 🙂

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