The debate about film release windows – how long movies stay in cinemas before they hit home entertainment formats, digital downloads or streaming services – continues to evolve. Indie distributor Neon has an ambitious plan for Memoria, the new film from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, which stars Tilda Swinton: it'll stay in cinemas... forever.
Currently planned to debut in Stateside cinemas on 26 December, the film will stay on the big screen there for its entire life. And, to add to the idea of exclusivity, it'll play on only one screen each week, moving from city to city. It's a bold plan, even if it makes you wonder about the financial viability.
And, in keeping with the director's previous work, the film is not your standard narrative, but instead features Swinton as a Scottish ex-pat in Bogota, Colombia, who goes on a sensory quest after hearing a unique sound that unlocks memories.
Memoria is the perfect film for this moment," says Swinton. "Big cinema or bust... Throughout the universe, in perpetuity..."
For Memoria, cinema experience is crucial or maybe the only way," adds Weerasethakul. "Let’s embrace the darkness and dream, one at a time."
That, of course, only applies to the US, as streaming service MUBI acquired it for other territories. Over here, the film will screen at the BFI London Film Festival, but there's no news on when or if it might have the same release plan going forward, or whether it'll end up streaming here too.