.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Films at home

The director Ken Russell has launched an intriquing new project, making his movies available over the internet via his own website. Although the sort of films that Mr. Russell may be making these days are not ones I would choose to watch, he does have a point that the future of films will be on the net.

Already, moves are afoot to release DVDs at the same time as the movies hit cinema screens. It is a small step to distribute those films via the internet direct to on-line home entertainment systems. This is, of course, happening in the music industry, where downloaded tracks are now being counted alongside conventional sales for chart purposes. The popular beat-combo, the Arctic Monkeys took this a step further by using the internet to build up a following, making their music available for download free of charge. As a result they have had two successive chart hits and a record-breaking new album. It is a natural progression for this success to be duplicated by film-makers.

The one note of caution in all this 'progress' is the way that it may reduce entertainment options for the poorest people in our society. A night out at the cinema is still a relatively cheap experience, but a recent survey showed that half of the Welsh population is still not on-line. The sort of equipment needed to download and store movies is expensive, as is a monthly subscription to broadband. No doubt prices will fall in time but the effect could well be to limit access to one of the most popular forms of entertainment. If that happened we would all be the poorer.

For now we must wait and see what develops. It is important that the availability of popular films over the internet must widen choice, not narrow it.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?