Bigscreen vs smallscreen

Screenshot from Netflix film 'Okja'
Screenshot from Netflix film ‘Okja’

Netflix at Cannes

By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist


There was a lot of controversy in this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Some of the films that were in the Official Selection this year are being released or shown on Netflix, though they will not be shown in most movie theatres in North America. This is caused by the advance in technology, with a lot of people watching films on Netflix instead of at the movie theatre. This led to a debate during the film festival of whether a movie should be shown on the big screen before it is available in Netflix. Also, a lot of people talked about whether one of the Netflix films should get the coveted Palme d’Or award.

Netflix has caused a splash in the past few years ever since they first offered original content. When they showed controversial mature shows—including House of Cards and 13 Reasons Why—many people thought that Netflix would replace television. Two of the films that were in the official selection at Cannes will be offered, as well as Okja and Noah Baumbach’s next film New and Selected. In comparison, Todd Haynes’ next film Wonderstruck will be available on streaming exclusively through Amazon Prime Video. because the film is released by Amazon Studios, though it will be released in the movie theaters first.

Okja is a film made by the same person that made The Host, Bong Joon Ho, that talks about a girl discovering a monster in a forest. New and Selected is a family drama featuring Adam Sandler, possibly part of Sandler’s own Netflix contract. A lot of people had different opinions about the topic of Netflix originals at Cannes. The president of the jury, Pedro Almodovar, said that he thinks that a film should always be screened in a theatre. Jury member Will Smith sees films in both the movie theater and on Netflix, and his children, Jaden and Willow, uses Netflix to discover films. The people that were involved in Okja did not say much about the topic with Joon Ho, though film star Tilda Swinton told Variety “We came here to show the film at the Cannes Film Festival. We get the wonderful opportunity and privilege to screen our film on that screen.”

In my opinion, a film should be seen in a movie theater because you get to experience a big event and you can discuss the film during the intermission or after it’s over. Also, you get to laugh at something on the screen and have other reactions with the rest of the audience, which improves the experience.

In the end, The Square got the Palme d’Or this year, and now we have to wait to see if these two films are great. Okja will be available on June 28.