The great Steven Spielberg is terribly, terribly wrong and misguided here.
I’m a huge fan of Spielberg, but the statement he made to ITV News has to be one of the most elitist ones I’ve heard from a successful filmmaker:
“Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money, or to compete at Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically,” he continued. “And more of them are going to let the SVOD [Streaming Video On-Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight, one-week theatrical window to qualify for awards But, in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie.”
The Academy seems to be struggling with a mundane conflict here. Let me break it down for them:
A movie – 1 to 4 hours to flesh out plot and characters sequentially and seamlessly.
A show – 4+ hours serialized episodically where plot and characters grow and change incrementally per episode.
Categorizing things is a way to understand them. It’s a human thing, with human flaws. No art should be bound by the limits of categorization.
It’s ludicrous to define it based on when and where it is seen. It’s even more ludicrous that we debate which trophy it should earn.
Hell, the majority of Academy members receive DVD screeners in their mailboxes to watch on their shitty home systems anyway.
In a perfect world, there’d be a progressive approach and Television Movies should have been considered movies from the getgo.
Behind the Candelabra was as much a film as any of the Oscar nominees that year, and shouldn’t have been compared categorically to Limited Series’ or Mini-Series’ on television.
The fact that we categorize based on when and where art is seen/heard is almost as absurd as the idea of award disposition itself. The discussion has also become as tired as the governing bodies determining these categories.