Instant gratification, video on demand, a la carte consumption, post-theatrical cinema. What’s on the horizon for the future of movies? Well, according to director/writer Paul Schrader (“The Canyons”) and filmmaker/cinematographer Andrew Wonder (@andrewwonder) cinema is in turmoil. “Only today, it’s in a crisis of form, not content,” Schrader says in the short film he and Wonder directed called “Paul Schrader, Future of Cinema.”
The 90-second short was shot on the High Line in New York and debuted at the Venice Film Festival recently in front of the Bernardo Bertolucci doc, “Bertolucci on Bertolucci.” And you can watch it exclusively in its entirety below. It’s hard to argue with Wonder and Schrader’s posit. The consumption of cinema is changing. Is a room full of people in a dark room watching a projected image going the way of the dodo bird? To Schrader, it’s a very outdated 20th century concept and to be honest, even if he’s proven ultimately wrong, it’s pretty refreshing to hear a 67-year-old man doing the exact opposite of fighting change tooth and nail.
"The idea of cinematic entertaining is undergoing a systematic change," he says and he’s right. Delivery systems are in a state of flux. Movies and stories will always be around, but how radically their delivery system evolves… Well, we’ll just have to see how it plays out, but listening to his thoughts on the matter is fascinating. Schrader himself is embracing change. His latest movie, “The Canyons” starring Lindsay Lohan was crowdsourced into existence via Kickstarter, and delivered to audiences on VOD and theatrical simultaneously (a model that's come back to life, despite not quite working a few years ago during the Soderbergh/Mark Cuban/HDNet days—too soon; people just weren’t ready then). And whatever form cinema's conduit takes next, you’ll be sure Schrader will be there to give it a shot. Check out the short film below and let us know what you think of the filmmaker's thought. Make sure to check out our recent Paul Schrader Retrospective on all of the director’s movies while you're at it.