Matt Damon has opened up about the challenges facing modern cinema, specifically the prevalence of superhero movies and streaming services.

Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker Matt Damon believes streaming and superheroes are ruining cinema. Almost 25 years have passed since Goodwill hunt made Damon an international star and during that period he remained a constant force among Hollywood’s top-rated actors. Able to portray a wide range of characters in various genres, Damon found considerable success as an action star, particularly in the Bourne franchise.

In recent years, however, it has become clear that the framework of Hollywood cinema has begun to change in ways never seen before. With the arrival of Iron Man In 2008, the superhero movie genre made its first real claim to box office supremacy, opening the floodgates for what would become a revolutionary wave of big-budget, special-effects-laden films for which audiences of all the world went crazy. The year before Iron Manarrival, lesser known DVD rental service Netflix had expanded its business model to one that was beginning to focus on subscription streaming content. By 2010, Netflix had a global presence and superhero movies were clearly gaining significant momentum. Throughout the next decade, both Netflix and the superhero genre continually exceeded expectations.

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But as these inevitable changes have taken hold and held firm over the years, not everyone feels that what they offer is completely beneficial to the cinema. After being consistently absent from superhero franchises since their inception, Matt Damon has stated that he feels the combination of streaming services and superhero movies is ruining the industry in some way. His recent comments came during an interview with The Sunday Times. Regretting that his children are more interested in their phones than they are in the movies, Damon said:

The way they look is different than we did. How can you watch a movie if you are texting? As someone who does these things, I can’t say that I love it. Movies as we know them are not going to be a thing in our children’s lives. And that makes me sad.

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Damon then spoke about how the nosedive in home video sales in the face of growing streaming options is leading studios to make movies with a more “international” appeal, thus giving rise to the superhero phenomenon:

He made the most profitable movie, one that could travel around the world. And if you want a movie to travel and play in a big way, you want the least amount of cultural confusion. So there’s the rise of the superhero movie, right? They are easy for everyone. You know who the good person is, who the bad person is. They fight three times and the good person wins twice.

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For anyone who has been paying attention to the current state of cinema in Hollywood, the point Damon is making is nothing new. A long list of acclaimed and popular filmmakers has been criticizing both the superhero genre and the dominance that subscription streaming services have on the movie release model for years. As filmmakers like Damon have found, fluctuating between smaller indie-style films and large-scale studio endeavors, the landscape for films that don’t fit well into any of the current dominant paradigms is becoming increasingly vicious.

It can certainly be argued that Matt DamonThe stance on the current state of movies comes from someone who just doesn’t want to acknowledge that times change. That’s an obvious view of what’s going on here, but ultimately it fails to encompass the bigger picture that while filmmaking is a business, putting your full attention on that business model comes at a price. In this particular case, that price has the ability to completely transform cinema, for better or for worse.

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Source: The Sunday Times

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