Pundits and industryites focused this debate on streaming vs. cinemas. But artists see things that most people overlook, so Martin Scorsese in the March issue of Harper’s asked, “What is cinema?,” which is not the same question at all.
He writes, “The art of cinema is being systematically devalued, sidelined, demeaned, and reduced to its lowest common denominator, ‘content.’ ”
He uses Federico Fellini as a starting point to discuss movies as art. In the digital age, we have come to see movies (and TV fare) as content, in the way that we see famous people as a brand.
Harper’s senior editor Chris Carroll proposed the article to honor Fellini’s centenary, noticing that his work is less well-known than it once was.