Film In an attempt to make the most of the various by-post and streaming services I'm subscribed to, I've instituted a process or a rule, so that in between physical rentals from Lovefilm, in order I'm watching something from Lovefilm Instant, then the BBC iPlayer, then Netflix then something I actually own with the proviso that it has to be something which is only available or exclusive to one of those services first. There are some extra processes or rules within that. It has to be the oldest film available on the iPlayer that I haven't seen, for example, and I'm working through Netflix's own exclusive content first (or at least I will be once I've finished the BBC''s House of Cards). Oh and if its expiring first it gets watched first. All of which removes most of the over-excessive and debilitating element of choice that leads me to silly watching challenges (#oscarwatch) whilst also still being also being a silly watching challenge.
Of course, it's the over abundance of available content which has led me to this. Perhaps I would have been happier in the 70s, when you had to be in front of television while something was being broadcast or in a cinema but when what was available still had excessive variety. But as The Guardian's From The Archive today reveals, in 1976, in an attempt to help the ailing British film industry, the Writer's Guild suggested that instead of the five year wait before cinema films appeared on television which was in place then, it should be extended to fifteen years. As The Guardian itself calculates that would have meant 22 of the 47 movies shown by the BBC over the 1975 holiday season wouldn't have been available for broadcast, "including Women In Love, Carry On Up The Khyber, and Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid." Oh and that the cost to broadcast the film should be increased to half the amount it would have cost the channel to make the thing themselves.
Five years seems excessive with hindsight and indeed I was surprised to see films from 2011 receiving their terrestrial premiere over Christmas (though the windows are becoming even shorter when it comes to content part financed by the television channels themselves). But imagine if the fifteen year rule had been put in place. Assuming we're dealing with whole years, that would mean The Matrix, The Phantom Menace and Magnolia would only just be available to broadcasters and the big Christmas Disney movie on BBC One this year would probably have been A Bugs Life or Mulan. Thank goodness home video came along and made the whole thing seem ridiculous even if it didn't really save the British film industry as such which eventually simply turned itself into branch of Hollywood, producing material which is pretty much the same thing but with a different accent, much of which, to be fair, I'll probably end up watching on Netflix or Lovefilm.