Streaming could be ushering in a renaissance of structurally diverse movies.
By Scott Wood, Staff Writer and Artist
Of all the scenarios in which Justice League: The Snyder Cut could be released, a mass-closing of movie theaters across the country has to be the most ideal. At a time when the pool of fresh movies has run dry, this unique, four-hour behemoth entered stage right to keep us entertained.
This is a unique time in film history. Never before has a four-hour movie garnered such mainstream success (unless you count the director’s cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I don’t). Whether or not you believe the film is good, you have to admit that it is at least successful. But its success isn’t a fluke, or not entirely.
The rise of streaming in the late 2010s, accelerated by the Covid pandemic, has created fertile grounds for films of all shapes and sizes. This first came into the limelight with The Irishman, a three-and-a-half hour mobster movie, which garnered similar mainstream success.
This isn’t the first structural anomaly to break onto the streaming scene. The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, a 30-minute one-off Netflix original short film, was released in 2019. This would not be seen as important; however, it is presented on the same pedestal as their feature films, where pressing play is equivalent to sitting in a massive theater.
Streaming could be ushering in a renaissance of structurally diverse movies, being unconstrained by any technological limitations, such as the size of a film reel or VHS. With the lengthened attention spans of bingers (binge-ites?), The Snyder Cut could just be the tip of the iceberg.