By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

“Digital movie delivery is a deceit,” says Facets Multimedia

Membership in Facets Multi-Media’s DVD rental service has soared by nearly 40% in the past year. Membership affords free rentals from Facets’ library of over 65,000 titles, including art house, classic, foreign, documentary and silent films on DVD, and – for those with the technology to support it – VHS.

“At this moment, the digital delivery of movies is a deceit,” said Milos Stehlik director of Facets. “It’s like 1,000 channels of television, with nothing to watch. For anyone who loves movies, DVD is today still the best option.”

Facets continues to focus on expanding its video library with many import releases and independently produced films on DVD.  These are all available to rent by mail – a service Facets pioneered with VHS in 1983. “The DVD is a fragile and temporal medium, and DVDs go out of print very quickly. Many of the films in the Facets DVD library are rare and now out-of-print,” said Stehlik. Facets also keeps – and continues to collect – films in VHS which never made the transition from VHS to DVD.

“For us, the overriding principle is to make all the great films available and accessible to our members,” said Stehlik. “Our commitment is to preserve the art of film. For now, the DVD format is still the best platform. This may change in the future, but the future isn’t here yet.”

While Facets is committed to collecting and lending films in DVD and VHS formats for as long as the disks or tapes hold out, they are also hard at work on a new and innovative means of online movie delivery. Even then, Facets would continue to preserve those films which are not available for online streaming or download in DVD or VHS – “as long as there are players to play them back.”

The Facets DVD collection includes not only releases from mainstream studios, but from thousands of independent DVD publishers and Facets’ own DVD publishing label. The Facets collection is astonishing and unique for its breadth and depth, with films from the birth of the silent film era to the work of cutting-edge film directors fresh from some of the world’s great film festivals.

Memberships at Facets (which include free shipping of DVDs, no late fees, online rental queue, and recommendations by a knowledgeable staff of film experts) start at $8.99 and range to $23.99 per month. The Chicago-based non-profit organization was founded by Stehlik in 1975.

For further information about Facets movie rental plans and online catalog, visit www.facetsmovies.com or call 1-800-532-2387.

Facets Video | 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. | Chicago, IL 60614 | Facets Multi-Media, founded in 1975, is a non-profit, 501(C)3 organization, and a leading national media arts organization.

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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato