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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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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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