Don't mess with Alfonso Cuarón.
The director fiercely defended his new movie Roma and the decision to stream it on Netflix after being questioned by a journalist at the 2019 Golden Globes. The reporter claimed independent distributors believed the film's success marked the "death of independent cinema" and the idea that award show contenders no longer needed a theatrical release.
"My question to you is, how many theaters did you think that a Mexican film in black and white, in Spanish and Mixteco, that is a drama without stars—how big did you think it would be in a conventional theatrical release?" the two-time Oscars winner asked. "I'm having a great bigger theatrical release than that. But way, way, way bigger, still playing. It was not a cosmetic release. To this day, the movie opened more than a month ago, and is still playing. That is rare for a foreign film.
Cuarón then described the notion as "unfair."
"Why don't you take the list of foreign films this year and compare the theatrical release of those films and for how long they've been playing?" he said. "See how many are playing in 70 [millimeter.] See the territories in which these films are playing. I don't think so."
He then suggested the battle between the two types of releases should be over.
"I just hope the discussion between Netflix and platforms in general and theatrical should be over," he continued. "I think those guys, platforms and theatrical, should go together and just realize that whatever they are doing this discussion is hurting cinema. They both, together, they can elevate cinema—and, more important—they can create a diversity in cinema."
He also argued that "the theatrical experience has become very gentrified to one specific kind of product." In addition, he said filmmakers were "doing films with different platforms because those platforms are not afraid of doing these films."
"And, like Roma, I just hope that many others have the theatrical release and greater theatrical releases that I have," he said.
Watch the video to hear his argument.
Roma took home two Golden Globes on Sunday. Not only did Cuarón take home the prize for Best Director but the movie also won Best Motion Picture in the Foreign Language category.