Time is of the essence
Traveling by definition is both coming closer
and moving away. […] I wonder if the meaning of travel
is not ultimately in returning, having taken one’s distance
to see better, or simply to be able to see.
Wim Wenders, The Act of Seeing
Today, there is no simple or predictable answer to the usual question—which surfaces each time the festival comes around— regarding the future of cinema. The film industry, lacerated from within by contrasting subjects who are, for the most part, clinging to corporatist defensive positions, seems unable to provide an answer. Nor is a solution offered by critics, who no longer waver between stances that are apocalyptic or integrated, as we used to say, but between disappointed skepticism and die-hard optimism regarding the future of an art form that is undergoing breakneck transformation. Neither do filmmakers seem particularly interested in finding an answer; they seem to be primarily occupied with tapping into the vast economic resources—so vast that the memory of the golden age of cinema pales in comparison—in order to make as many movies as they can. Often to the detriment of quality, which should not be affected by haste, and resulting in shorter shooting and production schedules, and a lack of screenplay development, which requires much greater care for an adequate and satisfactory outcome. But time is of the essence, platforms press for more new content, and even those few countries still lacking a film tradition are racing to equip themselves with organisms and structures geared to foster its development. The short-sighted debate over so-called ‘windows’ and the predominance of algorithms have little real effect, while the majority of movies that aspire toward distribution in cinemas are suspended in a limbo that is often destined to last forever.