Movies are the easiest art form to catch up on. If I decide I want to read one of the many classics I’ve neglected (Moby Dick, Remembrance of Things Past, etc.), it’s a pretty major commitment. Even at the rate I read, we’re talking about a couple of weeks. On the other hand, if you want to see what the fuss is about this Ozu guy that all the cinemaphiles always yammer on about, you’re about ninety minutes away from knowledge.
Well, you are now. Thanks to Netflix. We all like to wring our hands about how technology has de-humanized us, but that’s only because some of the miracles it has brought now seem utterly mundane. If you had told any film student up to 1990 about Netflix – how you could basically have the entire history of cinema delivered to your door (often letterboxed, digitally re-mastered, and with commentary) for about $15 a month, their head would have exploded. Yet this is how we live now. We’ve come to expect it. We’re even annoyed that we have to wait a few days for those non-streamable titles to appear at our door.