The Internet grants access to a wider cinema experience on a range of multimedia platforms (Jullier, and Leveratto) through more or less legal streaming services, from Netflix to pirate websites accessible on a variety of differently sized screens (Hudson, and Zimmermann). This is possible because of the increasing convergence of different media industries collaborating in a capitalist effort to provide different platforms to skip between in search of entertainment (Jenkins).
Thanks to the medium’s interactivity, consumers – or viewers – are developing to become producers themselves, putting cinematic authorship “at risk”.
A practical example of dispersion of authorship due to media convergence is Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight”. Due to the new platforms on which spectators are able to experience film, they can exert more control over it. Therefore, the 12-minutes narrative gap – enforced by an interval in the cinema – is lost in the moment in which the spectator can choose to skip ahead and continue with the film (Dix), erasing the auteur’s stylistic choice altogether. Or, as suggested by Tarantino himself, the lack of commitment to a film watched on a streaming platform might even induce you to stop watching altogether. It’s not about access, rather about time and will to consume the media we have access to (Jullier, and Leveratto).
However, a more active example of participatory culture in film is that of collaborative remixing – from media piracy – a form of authorship rejection which allows viewers to manipulate cinematic material in order to draw attention to political issues (Hudson, and Zimmermann) or just to produce new forms of entertainment.
In conclusion, while media convergence in relation to cinema authorship might initially pass off as negative, it is also necessary to consider its positive aspects. First of all, on an economical perspective, the internet and cell-phones are now fundamental contributions to the “cinema machine”, helping to incentive the consumption of films, but they are also essential to the empowerment of viewers, as they give everyone the opportunity with a smartphone in their pocket to become a film-maker (Odin). Also, the new medias are contributing to the development of a new form of cinephilia, less focused on the auteur, but rather on the process of media production, consumption and personal reinterpretation (Hudson, and Zimmermann).
- Dix, Andrew. Beginning Film Studies. Manchester Univ. Press [U.A.], 2010, pp. 131-153.
- “THE ORIGINAL Scary ‘Mary Poppins’ Recut Trailer”. Youtube, 2006, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=2T5_0AGdFic. Accessed 16 Apr 2018.
- Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old And New Media Collide.. New York University Press, 2006, pp. 1-25.
- Jullier, Laurent, and Jean-Marc Leveratto. “Cinephilia In The Digital Age”. Audiences, Ian Christie, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2012, pp. 142-154, Accessed 16 Apr 2018.
- Odin, Roger. “Spectator, Film and the Mobile Phone”. Audiences, Ian Christie, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2012, pp. 155-169, Accessed 16 Apr 2018.
- “Quentin Tarantino Talks Netflix And Why He Doesn’t Like It”. Youtube, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-nw2gdHLHU. Accessed 16 Apr 2018.