“…that everything’s gonna change now. That movie theatres are gonna become art houses and that the films that you and I make will only be seen on streaming. I don’t think that’s gonna happen.
“For 4000 years, nothing has replaced the experience of being part of an audience. That experience, being in the same place when the lights go down, everybody laughing at the same time, gasping at the same time, [sharing] silence at the same time…” — The Trial of the Chicago 7 director-writer Aaron Sorkin in a 12.9 Variety chat with Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins.
As much as I personally believe and trust in Sorkin’s view, I strongly suspect that this age-old belief in the unique and unreplacable theatrical experience may be largely sentimental. Left to their own devices, people can be incredibly lazy and sloth-like. Not just during the last ten months, but eternally. I’m obviously talking about the under-40s.
In a 12.10 chat with N.Y. Times chatcaster Kara Swisher, Warner Media CEO Jason Kilar has insisted that at least for the time being, the just-announced plan to stream all Warner Bros films on HBO Max is not locked in beyond 2021. And if you believe that one…
Honest viewpoint: Kilar is a smart guy. He’s certainly riding the back of the tiger, and he laughs from the heart. But he also laughs (and this bothers me) like a fraternity guy.
Back to Sorkin: If you had asked me yesterday when theatre began I would’ve said around 2500 years ago, with the birth of Athenian tragedy, or sometime during the 6th century B.C. This is when theatre became a “thing,” certainly in terms of specific creative visions.