When Netflix announced last month that it was ending its DVD subscription service after 25 years due to a shrinking subscriber base, many shrugged. Some even asked: “That still exists?”
But for the many loyal followers, the announcement was, if expected, a somber moment.
“Grieving,” wrote Charlie Denison, 39, on Twitter, where many other subscribers — yes, they’re using social media! – gathered in a collective wail. Some used the “GetThroughMyQueue” hashtag sharing tracks from the long list they’ve queued through the service’s app (yes, app!).
“The worst part for me is that I have 500 movies in my queue, and it’s been a long time,” says Denison, a Colorado newspaper editor and film blogger who loves Coen brothers films and has become Netflix’s official DVD reviewer (in exchange for swag and DVDs) during the pandemic. “My wife thinks I’m a big nerd,” he tells Yahoo Entertainment, “but a lot of these movies won’t be available anymore.” That’s the disappointing thing.”
“I’m pretty depressed and pretty sad, but I also thought it was inevitable,” Jay Boucher, a 52-year-old web designer from New Jersey, told Yahoo Entertainment. A self-proclaimed “movie buff,” he sticks with the DVD service because it has so many movies you won’t find anywhere else – he’s drawn to horror, indie, and classics like the 1933s baby face and the scary doll movie 2022 M3GAN – and is now working his way through it all war of stars franchise with his daughter, what else he could only do on Disney+ that he doesn’t have.
“I’ve noticed that more and more movies are being moved from the queue to the ‘Saved’ area, which means there’s no longer a DVD available,” he adds. “I have a feeling they’re going to break or get stolen… the writing was kind of on the wall.”
The end of the subscription service, which officially comes in September, has had various triggers Reddit threads plus some celebrity eulogies, including in the New York Times op ed area, where Pamela Paul wrote that the announcement hit her “with a tinge of fear and dismay,” as her dedication is “not about Lyddite defiance or dogged nostalgia,” but about making “better decisions” through “human curation versus the algorithm.”
Thomas Doherty repeated that in the hollywood reporter, And This is emphasized by many subscribers.
“These streaming services can remove shows from their servers whenever they want, but a CD is forever,” says Michael Natale, 32, a New York-based author and movie podcaster whose most recent addition is Robert Altman’s 1979 post-apocalypse quintet. “In some ways, the loss of DVD-Netflix is an even greater loss than the closure of Blockbuster… Because with the loss of that robust physical library, we’re losing one of the last remnants of accessible, rentable physical media.”
That explains Meaghan Walsh Gerard from Savannah, Georgia, who also blogs for Netflix and currently has over 200 films in the queue, is due to rightsholders “constantly buying back catalogues” who “have more and more control over what they put out on their various platforms”. The 42-year-old, who is a full-time communications director for a river conservation organization, fears the loss of physical media will affect “equitable access”.
Walsh Gerard, who earned her Masters in Film Studies after watching classic films (especially Hitchcock) growing up. rear window And Dizziness, and the 1954 musical white Christmas) has increased their DVD take-out quota to eight DVDs each to avoid their queue. At the top of the list right now is Ingmar Bergman’s 1956 film The Wizard, Part of an extensive library from The Criterion Collection, featuring classics on DVD with essays and other extras that Walsh Gerard frequently orders from Netflix. “I’m a nerd,” she says.
“It’s really the only place to instantly get those incredibly hard-to-find movies that you don’t necessarily buy but still want to see,” the actor said Jon Lindstrom, 65, tells Yahoo Entertainment. When Netflix made its announcement, it was a long time General Hospital The star posted a photo of himself seemingly screaming to Facebook with the caption, “Me after finding out Netflix is shutting down DVD service. ‘Why God? Why?!’ Sad news.”
“Right now I have a copy of it Zabriskie Point on my coffee table,” he says, referring to that 1970 drama directed by Michael Antonioni about a couple of ’60s free spirits getting intimate in the dusty terrain of Death Valley. “I’ve never seen it, nobody else has.” But Lindstrom has a “sideline” with audiobook narration and had just done so true west, Robert Greenfield’s new Sam Shepard biography, from which he learned Shepard had co-written Zabriskie Point Script. “I’ve heard it’s a beautiful mess, but I wanted to find out for myself,” he says, noting that among the other obscure titles in his queue is the 2004 documentary/indie hybrid cult hit heard what the hell do we know and the 2004 documentary In the realms of the unreal, about the artist, caretaker and novelist Henry Darger.
“The greater significance here is that you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. For this reason, the WGA (Writers Guild of America) went on strike last night“It’s the changing landscape of everything,” he says. “For me, it’s not just the end of how things are made… It means that a whole lot of creative work is really going to fade from the public consciousness, much like silent films did, much like the early foreign films do.” who found their way here. For example, I doubt that there are many film students today who have even seen it Battleship Potempkin‘, the 1925 Soviet silent film war drama considered one of the most important films in silent film history. “But you can get it on DVD.com.”
James David Patrickanother Netflix DVD blogger and freelance writer who also hosts this Cinema Shame Podcast and has 182 films in its queue (not to mention over 3,000 DVDs in its personal collection), also laments the loss of options. “Once we lose control and hand it back to the studios, we lose the control that we’ve had since VHS came out,” he told Yahoo Entertainment. On the hard-to-find movies he’ll be watching soon: Butterfield 8, the 1960 Daniel Mann drama starring Elizabeth Taylor and the 1954 British comedy Genevieve.
But Patrick adds, “The best ones were the ones that people didn’t rent, the super sleepers … that don’t get lost or broken.”
Other reasons to stick with the DVD service range from extra content to the satisfaction of queuing itself. “I’ve watched so many movies twice, the second time with director’s narration,” says Boucher, who appreciates bonus content. “The Godfather had a commentary with Francis Ford Coppola … and while some streaming services may have, like Criterion, most regular streamers have the film and that’s it.”
Eric Althoff, a 44-year-old freelance writer and editor from Virginia, appreciates the organizational quality. “Firstly, with my OCD, I really liked having the queue as a visual guide to what movies/shows I have left,” he says. “For whatever reason, the visual queue really, really worked and hit all of my happy spots — as did the list of what I had already seen.” And second, he tells Yahoo Entertainment, “It definitely has Drop a perhaps foolishly romantic aspect of still sending physical media through the mail. I get so much junk mail that it always gave me a little shock when I saw that little red envelope curl up in the mail saying “Dopamine.”
‘He’s one of the bastards,’ Denison repeats. “It’s nice when something comes in the mail that you look forward to, which isn’t really common anymore.”