In an effort to seem like a fun pal rather than a faceless corporation who charges your credit card every month, Netflix occasionally interacts with followers on social media. This past weekend, "Netflix Film" asked users to share their "movie blindspot." Whoever was operating the Twitter account admitted that they'd never seen Pier Paolo Pasolini's controversial Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
Enthused by what appeared to be an open discussion on cinema, users weighed in with some of the classic movies they have yet to see and Netflix was ... not helpful. Like, not helpful at all.
One person confided that they'd never seen a film by the great Japanese master Akira Kurosawa. Netflix responded by recommending they immediately check out The King, a 2019 Netflix movie that stars Timothee Chalamet and no Japanese people whatsoever. Why? Because Kurosawa was "often inspired by Shakespeare".
What becomes painfully clear in this thread is how staggeringly thin Netflix's library of classic films is. Someone mentions a classic movie they want to watch and Netflix suggests they watch a garbage original movie that is available on their service, offering a painfully superficial connection between the two. Someone asked about The Lord of the Rings trilogy so Netflix recommended Bird Box, a movie whose only lasting impact was creating one of the dumbest challenge memes of last year.
Can you imagine if Blockbuster Video had operated like this? "Sorry, we don't have The Godfather, but if it's complicated family dynamics you're after, here's a copy of The Klumps." In prompting this discussion, Netflix has inadvertently pointed out its own suckiness. As we've mentioned before, Netflix's selection pales in comparison to the average video store, many of which still exist. So if you care about film, why not go rent some physical media? If you, say, want to watch James Cameron's Aliens, we're guessing the staff won't send you home with some crappy movie directed by McG.
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