A.O. Scott had a nice piece in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine on The Screening of America. In spite of all the technological advances, he believes the cinema is far from finished:
What will happen, in the age of iPod, DVR, VOD, YouTube and BitTorrent, to the experience of moviegoing, to say nothing of the art of cinema? The answer does not seem to be that people will stop going to the movies. Nothing has stopped us before — certainly not the rise of television in the late 1940s or the spread of home video in the early ’80s. While both of those developments appeared to threaten the uniqueness of film, they also extended the power and pervasiveness of the movies, which never surrendered their position as the highest common denominator of the popular culture, the standard of visual storytelling to which all the others aspired. An unusually successful television show could be praised as “cinematic,” while the sign that a movie had failed was that it went straight to video.
The cinema may be safe but cinema as an art form is undergoing a transformation or maybe even death as we surround ourselves with a “ubiquity of screens — and also of cameras.” Read more on his thoughts on how technology is changing how we watch here.