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‘Oppenheimer’ Cinematographer Advocates for Theatrical Release Over Streaming Services like Netflix

Acclaimed cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema recently shared his thoughts on the viewing experience of movies in an increasingly digital age. In a statement to TMZ, he expressed his disagreement with Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ belief that films can be fully appreciated on small screens such as phones, as opposed to the traditional big screen experience. Hoyte emphasized the unique and immersive nature of watching a film in a theater, curated by filmmakers and artists, highlighting the special magic that comes with it.

He further elaborated on his perspective by stating that watching movies on platforms like Netflix feels more like being at the mercy of the streaming service, rather than actively engaging in the cinematic experience. Despite not harboring any ill will towards Sarandos, Hoyte emphasized that the pocket-sized screens of mobile devices simply cannot compare to the grandeur of the theatrical setting.

The subject matter holds personal significance for Hoyte, who revealed that he pours his heart and soul into creating cinematic moments specifically tailored for the big screen. He expressed disappointment in the idea of viewers opting to watch his work on small devices, which compromises the resolution and color depth he meticulously crafts in his projects.

Acknowledging the evolving landscape of film consumption, Hoyte admitted to watching movies on mobile devices himself. He clarified that while he prefers the theatrical experience for his own work, he respects viewers’ choices in how they engage with films, recognizing that individual preferences vary.

In a separate statement, Sarandos mentioned Hoyte’s film “Oppenheimer” and its simultaneous release with “Barbie,” suggesting that these movies would have achieved similar success if they were distributed on Netflix. This commentary reflects a broader discussion within the industry regarding the impact of streaming services on traditional theatrical releases.

[Trailer for “Oppenheimer”]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OppenheimerTrailerURL

[Trailer for “Barbie”]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BarbieTrailerURL