I love Netflix, I really do.
Annihilation & Apostle were two of my favourite films released in 2018, and thanks to Netflix I was able to watch them on the day of release, without even leaving my room. But as much as I enjoyed these movies, I was left with a twinge of sadness that I wouldn’t be able to buy them in my local HMV anytime soon (fortunately Annihilation now has a physical release date).
The rise of streaming services has brought about the very public fall in sales of physical media, this applies to music as well as film of course. Being someone who loves movies and has the beginnings of an almost respectable collection of films, this brings me great sadness. The fact that as a society we would not only dismiss the value of buying the film, but that we would lose sight of the risks in letting it wither and die altogether.
Warnings have come in the form of Filmstruck, a beloved movie database for cinephiles everywhere that has had to close its digital doors. No-one that signed up for this great service is able to see the movies they treasured so much on this platform, because while streaming is terrific, it is not permanent. Look at the uproar every time Netflix threatens to remove Friends or some other popular title, and yet those so up in arms could have owned the series they fear won’t be on their TV screens for much longer.
I use streaming services as much as anyone, I enjoy the convenience, the accessibility and the choice it brings. I am rooting for the success of mediums like Netflix & Spotify as I see their worth, but while I do, I remain faithful to the disc.
The rack of blu ray’s that stands tall in my room is a collage of all the stories that made me feel something, the movies that made me want to watch more movies, the movies that made me want to make movies! I appreciate the physical media not just because it is a compendium of films that I hold dear, but because it also carries the weight of my story, and I’d very much like to keep telling my story, please.