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Author Topic: How do we make Canadian and non-Hollywood films more accessible?
Fitz
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posted 19 March 2006 06:42 PM      Profile for Fitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's a pet peeve of mine that seeing a Canadian film is so akin to successfully finding a hen's tooth, I'm curious if anybody on Rabble has ideas of making this less of a challenge, especially outside of Toronto and Vancouver
From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 19 March 2006 10:47 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Extend Can-con regulations to include the theatre chains. Seriously! It worked to help build up a home-grown music industry, didn't it?
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fitz
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posted 19 March 2006 10:50 PM      Profile for Fitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And Cineplex Galaxy's owned by Onex now
From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 20 March 2006 12:02 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Can con music rules have been a disaster for Canadian music and freedom of musical taste in Canada. Extending them to cinemas would be terrible.

Canadian content rules prevent Canadians from listening to the huge variety of music out there. Instead of protecting Canadian culture, it has created a cultural backwater. All you have to do in Vancouver is listen to the rubbish on the radio. The programming is rotated so little (because there isn't enough Canadian content to rotate) that BTO and Bryan Adams are on far too much. Randy Bachman and Lover Boy are the main beneficiaries from those royalties. Exposing Canadian listeners and musicians to the wide variety of intl music increases quality and diversity. If you want a contrast to the cultural straitjacket the CRTC mandarins have condemned us to go on the net and listent to KCRW.com, public radio in Santa Monica. It'll open your eyes to what's really out there and stop our arrogant govt mandarins from dictating taste.

If you force Can Con rules on theatres the owners won't have enough business to run theatres. Someone has to pay the cinemaplex workers and running empty theatres is not a sustainable business model.

What's the solution? Perhaps the govt should support Canadian movies with advertising and marketing subsidies. This is far less disruptive than intervening directly in the market.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Wee Mousie
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posted 20 March 2006 01:07 AM      Profile for Wee Mousie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As long as movies must be released through US distributing chains, first-rate Canadian films will follow behind third-rate American films, and Canadian talent will have to travel to the US in order to compete in the American film culture to reach a world audience . . . the same as artists from every other nation.

Still, I don’t recommend government involvement, because the film industry (especially film distribution) is changing too rapidly for any sluggish governmental reaction to keep up. By the time a regulation could be enacted, it might just as easily have become a hindrance.

Anyone who watched this year’s Academy Awards with a thought toward history could recognize the sound of mastodons sinking in the tar pits.

It did not help that all the nominations were for independent productions, but that has happened before.

More telling about the future of movie distribution was the repetitive Greek chorus chanting how films viewed in a real theatre somehow possessed more entertainment than ones that were viewed in a home theatre.

It made me quite nostalgic for those old “The Movies Are Better Than Ever!” slogans one heard frequently during the early 1950's, when the big production studios were dying.


From: Mouse Hole | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 20 March 2006 02:59 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cinemas are under pressure and facing extinction. DVD releases are grossing more than the theatrical box office and the release window between cinema and DVDs has tightened to the point where cinema owners are very scared. Ten years ago no one considered bypassing cinemas and opening on DVDs, cable or downloads. Now that is becoming reality and only Hollywood's old people cling to that outmoded belief. Walmart is a bigger movie distributor than the cinema chains. And DVD distribution executives can see legit downloads usurping their market as soon as coding and computing power catches up.

So what's the whining about Canadian content about? Pretty soon consumers can watch any TV programme or movie from anywhere in the world anytime they want and there's no way the social engineers in the CRTC can stop them. So it's time to stop hiding behind outmoded cultural protection policies and find more innovative ways to promote Canadian content.

Of course, we also have to wander into the hypocrisy of your arguement. How can we invite Hollywood studios to shoot films in Canada- spend all their money here, while restricting their screenings in Canada?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 20 March 2006 03:14 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
Cinemas are under pressure and facing extinction. DVD releases are grossing more than the theatrical box office and the release window between cinema and DVDs has tightened to the point where cinema owners are very scared. Ten years ago no one considered bypassing cinemas and opening on DVDs, cable or downloads.

I think the part about cinemas facing extinction is a bit of an exaggeration, but the general context of this statement is true. My own opinion (which may or may not reflect a wider attitude that is causing pressure on cinemas) is that most commercially available movies are running on the same recycled ideas and few have special effects that need a theatre to be appreciated and that most movies (not to mention the concessions) are overpriced, so I figure wait until the movie comes out on DVD (bring back VHS! ) and even as a new release I can see it several times, and get more bang for my viewing buck that way.

How about small/independent movie theatres? Does anyone have any stats on how well those do?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 20 March 2006 03:35 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Unfortunately, Aristotle, my opinion is reflected people who run DVD distribution and tech sites I surf. Think of it this way. The arguement for cinemas was justified on Dolby THX and all the surround sound experience. Today, if you go to COSTCO or Walmart you can readily find home theatre systems selling for under $500. The cinema pundits didn't anticipate a swift response by consumer electronic designers and factories in China.

So at that price, it pays to stay home and replicate the cinema in your living room. Compare that against the price of a cinema ticket, popcorn and parking plus inconvenience. There are numerous websites for tracking grosses from films to DVDs to cable. I'd be scared if I was a theatre owner- major or independent.

I'm all for Canadian films and talent. Just spend the taxpayer dollars on promotion and marketing rather than intervening in a market that is moving faster than anyone can control. Or create a govt subsidized site for downloading Canadian films. Widen and ease the distribution for Canadian films so everyone can get to them.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 20 March 2006 03:52 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The cinema, particularly smaller ones, is an intimate experience. The darkness and being engrossed in the movie is worth (well, at least when you get a freebie) getting off your lazy, phillistine butt and going to feel one of the few modern things that can bring people together while inspiring debate.
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 20 March 2006 04:29 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I dunno papal bull, the intimacy of my own living room allows me and my girlfriend to be a helluva lot more intimate than any cinemaplex. Unless you are Pee Wee Herman, but that's another story- he should have bought a VCR.

Maybe you should get off your butt and learn how to wire up a simple home theatre system. And experience what you have been missing about the modern day cinemaplexes: no parking, obnoxious patrons, endless cell phone activations, overpriced popcorn. Need I continue?

The cinemas see the numbers and the writing on the wall. The younger, aged 14 and up demographic is staying away from cinemas in droves. Cinema grosses are down year on year. An explicable shift is most definitely occuring. I predict cinemas will die with a whimper when this demographic won't even notice that a major studio release bypassed the cinema and went straight to video.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 20 March 2006 04:52 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I have a 5.1 surround system in my dorm room that's fully wired so that I can listen to my Criterion DVDs in glorious, glorious sound and play my Tom Waits with crystal quality ( ). (thank god for used technology and pawn shops!)

I still prefer going to the cinema. The cineplex being the gutless bastard that has killed itself. It is too big and has managed to turn the intimacy of seeing a horror film with your girlfriend into an eerie experience because there are 10 rows of nothing all around you except for groups of teenage boys giggling and the lone person sitting there intently switching their gaze upon the screen and you. The smaller cinema is you and one other person (normally) draped in darkness with an illuminated screen in front of you. You're in a deluge of images from the minds of many people. You can curl up with that other person should it be that sort of person and feel closer to them than you normally could.

Perhaps I'm a romantic on these sorts of things (which is a little odd for a nostalgic 19 (awwwww ye!) year old) but I could never see the whole thing any other way.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 20 March 2006 05:44 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Then, Papal Bull, at your age you ought to know better than I do that prime movie goers (people your age) have so many other alternatives to going to a cinema. Like playing video games which studies have shown have eaten into cinema sales. But, it has improved DVD sales since it's easy to save HALO2 and throw on a DVD.

Yes, I don't disagree with you that there are certain genres that are best seen with a cinema audience. Slasher and horror films are one genre. You can't duplicate the terror of being scared with a crowd. And when others scream, you scream. You can't duplicate that at home unless you get your little sister to dress like that chick from The Ring and crawl towards your friends.

Unfortunately, the cinema's business model is under lots of pressure. There's nothing but bad news for cinemas in the future. I don't think they will totally disappear as there's always some application for them in a party atmosphere. But, the numbers will dwindle.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 20 March 2006 12:11 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
Then, Papal Bull, at your age you ought to know better than I do that prime movie goers (people your age) have so many other alternatives to going to a cinema. Like playing video games which studies have shown have eaten into cinema sales. But, it has improved DVD sales since it's easy to save HALO2 and throw on a DVD.

Which studies would those be? Do you have a source for that claim?


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bittersweet
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posted 20 March 2006 12:32 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Aristotleded24, the irrelevant video game sales/cinema ticket sales comparison is referenced here, in an Economist magazine article.

There won't be simultaneous DVD/cinema releases. None of the big players (studios, distributors, cinemas, most of the artists) want it, as it harms profits all round, for the whole industry. There are several good business reasons for the delay. As for the product, cinemas deliver a far better experience than home theatre, which will only continue with the introduction of digital systems. The quality of the cimema experience is is why the majority of artists making movies want the timed delay. As was mentioned during the Oscar telecast, directors don't look at the final cut and think "That'll look great on DVD." Unless it's straight to video or MOW's, movies are made for cinema release, and that's not going to change.

It's important to realize that the business is cyclical: declining ticket sales in 2005 is a short-term phenomenon. The best way to improve ticket sales is to make good movies, and exhibitors more than anyone are well aware of that. Now, in terms of Canadian movies - and I'm talking English Canadian movies in the main - we don't have a rigorous enough approach to script development. Projects go into production too early - approved by bureaucrats - and the results are predictable - and not just in relation to domestic sales. Take a walk around the floor of the major film markets (Berlin, etc.) and you won't see sales agents crowding the Telefilm booth like they do when it comes to other countries who have far less resources. We aren't creating movies that significant numbers of people want to see, either here or internationally, and until we take a rigorous approach to script development, again particularly in English Canada, this situation will persist. We will continue to refine CanCon rules and other superficial fixits, and there will be no significant improvement in distribution because the quality will not be there.

[ 20 March 2006: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 20 March 2006 02:16 PM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
bittersweet utterly fails to ignore real, secular changes occurring with moviegoers. Your below 35 year old male is spending as much if not more time and money on video games than watching movies in the cinema. People have a limited amount of time for recreation and the cinema is losing out no matter how you look at it. Cinema owners are suffering and can't find alternate uses for cinemas. Cinema owners cannot afford new digital technologies. You should know they are balking at the costs in light of the current situation. The cinema won't completely disappear in the future, but there will be far fewer of them.

bittersweet fails to recognize how the new generation of viewers is ripping, downloading and burning DVDs, watching them at home and not subscribing to the belief of the superior cinema viewing experience. Ask any kid today and they'll tell you how they rarely buy any legit movies, music. They are willing to accept the home theatre experience. Today's artists may not edit films for the home theatre experience, but that's rapidly changing. Your Spielbergs and Lucas' are yesterday's filmmakers. The DVD market is so big many films are made with that in mind. You're dreaming if you don't see that and if you believe those hopelessly romantic remarks at the Oscars (another dinosaur of Hollywood).

bittersweet, you're making dangerous remarks on this site by critisizing govt bureaucrats' film decisions. Many on this site want more govt intervention all over the economy and society. The reason why English Canadian films can't establish popularity is that English Canadian culture is really not very different from American culture. So without the differences that exist between American and let's say, Asian or Latin American cultures what's so interesting to watch in Canadian film? We can intellectualize all we want, but you have lifted the lid on the truth. It also explains why so many Canadians are so successful in the US- we blend in so easily because we aren't so different.

Cinema releases will ultimately be reduced to public relation exercises rather than the profit driver for a film. Technology is giving people the choice to watch films when and where they want. How can that help cinemas?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 20 March 2006 04:47 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
bittersweet utterly fails to ignore real, secular changes occurring with moviegoers.
Gosh, what a time-saving opening line! Nonsensical on at least two counts, it brutally self-destructs all possible credibility straight away. I don't have to exert even the slight effort it would take to think up a kinder, gentler, yet no more devastating argument. Bravo, man!

[ 20 March 2006: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 20 March 2006 04:53 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Secular? Anyway, Québec films are pulling in very large audiences.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 20 March 2006 05:15 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Generally speaking, I love Quebec films. And they don't even have to be secular (they usually sneak in at least a hint of Catholicism's influence).
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wee Mousie
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posted 20 March 2006 06:11 PM      Profile for Wee Mousie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Perhaps I am just unlucky, but whenever I have sprung for a seat or two in the local movie palace, it has usually been behind a group of children (mentally, if not chronologically) making loud, inappropriate responses to the action on the screen, while directly behind me some film reviewer shares the plot of the film with a companion mere minutes before the event occurs on the film, one spoiler after another spoiler after another spoiler.

The only time when fellow theatergoers have not rendered the experience horrible, is when the sound from the soundtrack is at so high a level that it rattles my skull louder than a human voice can register.

So, you will pardon me if I fail to accept the argument that a movie in a theatre is better than the same one viewed in a decent-sized home theatre.


From: Mouse Hole | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 20 March 2006 06:51 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Riiiight. For the entire span of your movie-going life, "whenever" you've bought tickets to see a show at the local theatre you've had the experience ruined by loud patrons or else the volume itself was too loud. What're they showing there, 24/7 Rocky Horror? (Pst: interaction is part of the gig, dude.)
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wee Mousie
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posted 20 March 2006 08:59 PM      Profile for Wee Mousie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bittersweet:
Riiiight. For the entire span of your movie-going life, "whenever" you've bought tickets to see a show at the local theatre you've had the experience ruined by loud patrons or else the volume itself was too loud. What're they showing there, 24/7 Rocky Horror? (Pst: interaction is part of the gig, dude.)

No.

There was a time when audiences, for the most part, seemed to be happy to shut up and watch the movie. Of late, with very few exceptions (and only a little exaggeration for humour’s sake) my experience has been much like I outlined.

Perhaps if it were possible for me to clear week nights for the movies, instead of attending weekend showings, the problem would be less pervasive.


In passing, your response reminds me quite forcibly of those patrons that I encounter. Invariably, they are the sort of individual who addresses a perfect stranger as “dude.”

(Pst! Interaction is part of the legitimate theatre’s gig. Interaction between movie patrons is called a disturbance.)


From: Mouse Hole | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 20 March 2006 09:21 PM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
bittersweet, by "secular" I am using a term to describe a change in market direction that is not cyclical. I think some of you mistook that for a religious connotation. Not so. One can't deny that young and adult moviegoers have alternatives to going to the cinema. And I don't mean just playing videogames, but watching a movie at home. Plus, bittersweet, I thought my remarks after that were substantive.

Sure, independent theatres will exist, albeit in lower numbers. Indeed, we've recently lost the Ridge in Vancouver, but there will be cinemas, like university cinemas that will play art films of all kinds.

Yes, I agree the major studios go through a cyclical downphase until they recapture viewer attraction. But, this time it's different. The recent Oscars showed there are two movie worlds: the big blockbuster and the independents. All big studios are owned by publicly listed conglomerates who must meet quarterly earnings expectations. This contradicts the finicky business of movies. But, studio execs must live with that regime and the only way to make meaningful earnings is to invest in $200 mio blockbusters, "tentpole" franchise films like Lord of the Rings. However, you also need medium and smaller films costing $50 mio and that is now being deprived. Ironically, Spielberg's Munich cost more than all the other nominees in its category. Audience taste is diverging with studios' priorities.

In fact, improving technologies such as video on demand will help smaller films like Quebec films by giving them alternative distribution outside the studios or an expensive cinema release. I think bittersweet is argueing to save yesterday's system that will look diminished and irrelevant next to a parallel system.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 20 March 2006 11:25 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pst, Wee Mousie, interaction is part of Rocky Horror's gig. Trust me, it's legitimate!

$1000 Wedding, you've read Peter Bart, I know, I know. Anyway...you said gaming has eaten into movie ticket sales without backing it up. I provided a counter argument with a reference anyway. You say cinema owners can't afford digital systems...again no back up. Etcetera. That's substantial? But I dig your command of the word "secular." I got to learn something new, and your sentence is only half absurd now. Works for me.


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
simonvallee
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posted 20 March 2006 11:45 PM      Profile for simonvallee   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry but I don't swallow the bullshit that home theater or video games will kill the cinema. Nothing equals the cinematic experience, no home theater is ever going to simulate the experience of being in a big dark room where the only thing to watch and listen to is a movie that occupies your entire field of vision.

The only problem nowadays with the cinematic industry is that it makes bad movies. Seriously, this summer I was always checking for interesting movies and I only went to the cinema about two times.

An 1000$ wedding, drop talks about the market all the time, it's frankly annoying and useless. It's not because you take expressions from the "Economist" that your argument makes any more sense, far from it.


From: Boucherville, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
simonvallee
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posted 20 March 2006 11:53 PM      Profile for simonvallee   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, and government rules on national content aren't bad per se, in France it allowed the French cultural industry to prosper while in other countries it was dying because of the money and influence of the American multinational entertainment industry. Normally, to use your economic terms, as there is a void to fill with local content, there will be a demand for it that the local scene will be pushed to fulfill. For instance, IIRC, CHOI in the Québec City area used to disrespect those rules because they played music in which local content was very rare, so when the CRTC sanctionned them for it, because they had to fill the quota, they started helping the local scene that bloomed thanks to it. At least, I seem to remember hearing about it.

If there is no such rules, there is a risk that already mature scenes in foreign countries will dominate the local scene to the detriment of local artists since if people want to have access to the products of these scenes. Since the foreign scenes will answer more quickly to the desire to have those products, the local scene will stunt and then it will be a "cultural backwater". The rules on local content allow local artists with smaller amounts of money and influence to access the mainstream distribution networks.


From: Boucherville, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 21 March 2006 12:23 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's how us yokels in Saskatoon watch Canadian films:

http://www.broadwaytheatre.ca/

Quitcherbitchin and go support your local independent cinemas.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 21 March 2006 12:36 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You are so lucky to have the Broadway, Al Q. I wish we had such a theatre -- we do have a small venue in the public library, the RPL Film Theatre, but the house is much smaller and it only runs Thursday through Sunday. They do their best, though, with limited funding.

The youth market in movies isn't failing, from what I've read. It's the older crowd that's staying home from the movies. I still haven't come across a home theatre set-up that adequately mimics a cinema, either.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 21 March 2006 01:03 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, the Broadway was a rat trap for years, after the community organization bought out the former porn cinema.

After years and years of renovations and volunteer input, though, it's now pretty nice.

Find a run-down bijou and fix 'er up, folks.

I don't suppose the Met or the Broadway (across Broad Street) in the Queen City are still standing. I used to go to one or another of those two every Saturday afternoon as a kid.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 21 March 2006 01:26 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Such hostility over an objective discussion. If you want to see a detailed discussion by experts on the cost of upgrading to digital cinemas go to slashdot.org and do a search on digital cinema equipment. There was a recent discussion by tech people on the site with lots of facts and arguments. My anecdotal observations are shared with a good friend who heads up video distribution with a major Hollywood studio. Believe me, they love cinemaplexes more than you do, but the struggle is on and the writing is not quite on the wall but looking scary.

Yes, home theatres can't perfectly replicate a cinema with all its sound proofing and engineering. But, current systems seem to replicate it close enough to keep people at home rather than the cinema.

You mean you can quote from sources you like, but I can't?

Sorry if the use of the word market irritates you. However, you live in a world of markets. Most of all the market of free and contradictory ideas which seem to scare some of you.

Foreign content rules can work but only to a limited extent. They are only a crutch. Ultimately, art must compete in the free market of taste. I just think it's gone too far in Canada; the required levels are far too high and choke off great music and TV from Canadians. Like I said in an earlier posting, just listen to radio in Vancouver and you'll find the same songs played over and over. Then type in KCRW.com on your computer and hear music free of CRTC engineering. What a difference. Despite all the content protection almost all Canadians watch US entertainment. And we are left with listening to Randy Bachman over and over again all day.

Technology will soon make the CRTC and the struggle for Canadian content irrelevant. You'll soon be able to download your programming from the net through your computer or game console with high quality sound, reliable connections and high def and watch anything. The CRTC can't stop that. And with high def screen prices falling you are definitely one step closer to perfect home cinema. So why fight through traffic and scrounge for parking in Vancouver?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 21 March 2006 02:13 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know you; you're the kid at the Blockbuster, right?
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 21 March 2006 02:52 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually the kid at Blockbuster does deal with the video distributors. But, then he's facing extinction, too.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 21 March 2006 08:01 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
Yes, home theatres can't perfectly replicate a cinema with all its sound proofing and engineering. But, current systems seem to replicate it close enough to keep people at home rather than the cinema.

And we're weeks/months away from the introduction of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, which offer the same resolution as digital cinema (albeit with more compression).

I enjoy going to movies, and being a non-parent living downtown I don't face baby-sitting or parking costs, but it's still $24 for two people versus a few dollars on DVD or free on bit torrent.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11486

posted 21 March 2006 08:32 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
.... and there you are. Therein lies the difference between those who clearly understand the implications and reality of technology and those who are diehard romantic Luddites.

Without getting into bit torrent and other tech talk, the common sense question is who wants to find a baby sitter, fight traffic, bear crowds and errant cell phones when you can watch a high quality DVD at home every night? For all the romance you guys wax, how many times a month can you attend and support your local indie cinema? Not many. Not more than you would prefer firing up your DVD player. And there lies the free market of consumer choice, which trumps good, but misguided intentions every time.

Over time, the cinema release will become a promotional expense rather than a profit centre for studios.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6718

posted 21 March 2006 11:59 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another issue, frankly, is advanced age (by which I mean anything over 40, 25 if you have kids).

I have (legal) access to free, new release Hi Definition movies about the same time they hit DVD. And they're recordable, so I can watch them when I want.

But watching a movie (as opposed to watching a TV show) means moving away from the computer and paying attention. And that, friends, means falling asleep within 15 minutes of the start time. I remember as a teenager going to the occasional movie in theatre with my parents and one or both of them falling asleep. Now I do it.

12 bucks is not just a lot of money for a movie, it's absolutely outrageous for a sleeping pill.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2474

posted 21 March 2006 12:43 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's a glut of mediocre or worse movies, primarily. Certainly there's competition from other sources, and at a time of crummy theatrical releases. But the situation also reflects the limits of how much you can expect from/rely on, blockbusters. The trend started in the 70's, and it's now reached maximum potential, and so of course people begin to shout about the sky falling. But actually the phenomenon is natural, and a new cycle will begin.

The stats reflect overall attendance, yet there's no trouble getting people to pay for babysitters and parking and tickets and popcorn to see theatrical releases they want to see, especially family ones, a category that accounts for 85% of the most watched films, according to Box Office, the exhibitors' trade mag. And older/more sophisticated audiences still show up for movies like Capote, etcetera.

I have no trouble with the role of cinemas evolving - because their role doesn't change for me, the viewer, at all. It only changes for the marketers. Look at wildly different small pictures like Capote, or 40 Year Old Virgin: their success owes a lot to massive word of mouth, which is due to their theatrical release. So bring on new technology; it'll improve both theatrical and home viewing, but it won't eliminate cinemas. I have a sophisticated home theatre, but wouldn't think of restricting my movie watching to it. As for the cost of digital systems (or whatever else), the majority of the tab will probably be picked up by the studios, because theatrical releases are that valuable to them. As I said, the big players want to maintain the delayed DVD release because it's just plain good business.

It's ironic, how people will acknowledge the extraordinary qualities of the cinema when they speak of its ability to create interest and momentum around a movie - the draw it has on audiences, not just due to its superior technical format, but crucially also due to its communal nature - and yet in the same breath speak as if it's on the verge of becoming irrelevant. The sky is high and yet it's falling. No, actually it's cyclical: some days you have a low ceiling, others you can see as far as the moon in broad daylight.

Edited to add: the vital issue should not be "Canadian content" in the restricted sense of movies' key creative personnel being Canadian, or movies involving Canadiana. The crucial issue, especially with English Canadian films, should be quality of content. Government subsidies for marketing and advertising are useless because they're cart-before-horse, the same as new technology for easy downloading. Significant numbers of people will still not go see or even download English Canadian films unless they're of better quality. As I wrote above, the best way to improve our own box office is to take a far more rigorous approach to script development, which in turn means writer development. Too many scripts are funded for production way before they're ready, and when these films tank, their writers and producers blame lousy distribution instead of learning how to finesse a story. Then, and lo and behold, they're back to the well again to make another lacklustre movie. These pictures would tank even with a distribution superhighway and unlimited marketing budgets. But there's no reason why that has to be. The concepts are often okay, but good ideas are a dime a dozen. There's often good potential, but writers and their production companies just aren't being made to finesse these projects. Our feature industry has been considered "fledgling" for too long now, so that it's like a 20-something who won't leave home. In general, if English Canada wants to be more than a service industry for Mom & Dad Hollywood - who are experiencing the same root problem with their box office - it had better start looking harder at the stories it's telling. You know, build it and the people will come.

[ 21 March 2006: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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Babbler # 4795

posted 21 March 2006 02:00 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bittersweet:

It's a glut of mediocre or worse movies, primarily.


What d'ya MEAN?! Why there's still a TON of old teevee series and old comic books that they haven't adapted for the big screen! They're just over-bloody-FLOWING with creativity and originality! Ya Phillistine!

From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2474

posted 21 March 2006 02:49 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, I happen to know - and this is just between us - that "Goodnight and Good Luck" was based on a TV show. And it was good. So things are looking up. Neener!

[ 21 March 2006: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
simonvallee
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Babbler # 5141

posted 21 March 2006 08:58 PM      Profile for simonvallee   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, of course, 1000$ wedding is God who knows everything and we are but hapless peasants... Do you even read what you write? If we could get energy out of your ego, we'd solve every energetic demand in the world and still have to let off the excess into space lest it heats the world's temperature too much.

There are facts in what you say, but there is also a lot of interpretation that are subjective, something you don't seem to realize. Anyone who claims to predict accurately the future with no doubt allowed is either a fool or a bullshitter.

As to markets, they're only the ideological box created by economists to try to modelize human behavior. Not a perfect tool by a long shot, it's much better to try and explain through human individual behaviors how people act than to use such faulty models as if they were the absolute ultimate truth.


From: Boucherville, Québec | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged

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