The latest from a visionary Oscar-winning director will mostly be seen on TVs, laptops, and smart phones. Thanks, Netflix.
Roma is the film from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón; he won the Academy Award for Best Director for his previous film Gravity. This brief official description sounds more like the poetic, philosophical musings of Terrence Malick:
- Time and Space constrain us, but they also define who we are, creating inexplicable bonds with the others that flow with us at the same time and through the same places.
Set in his native country and shot in black-and-white on an epic 65 MM scale, Cuarón’s passion project deserves to be seen as widely as possible in movie theaters. It’s a big screen experience in the most artistic sense of the expression.
But don’t let the “in select theaters” tag at the end fool you.
Outside of a minuscule reach that will meet the Academy’s qualifying standards, most people (in the Unites States, at least) will only ever get to see it at home, in the way it was not intended. Yes, this film exists because Netflix ponied the money up for it so Cuarón knew what he was signing up for, but the virtual blackout of the theatrical experience can’t be anything but a compromise for someone like Cuarón.
Count yourself lucky if you’re in New York, LA, or attending one of the fall’s elite international film festivals. I wish I was among you.
After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Roma will open later this year on a date yet to be announced.