Steven Soderbergh on The Primary Difference Between Movies and Cinema (2013)

“Is there a difference between cinema and movies? Yeah. If I were on Team America, I’d say, ‘Fuck, yeah.’ The simplest way I can describe it is that a movie is something you see, and cinema is something that’s made. It has nothing to do with the capture medium, it doesn’t have anything to do with where the screen is – whether it’s in your bedroom or on your iPad – it doesn’t even really have to be a movie. It can be a commercial, it can be something on YouTube. Cinema is a specificity of vision. It’s an approach in which everything matters. It’s the polar opposite of generic or arbitrary. And the result is as unique as a signature or a fingerprint. It isn’t made by a committee, and it isn’t made by a company, and it isn’t made by the audience. It means that if this filmmaker didn’t do it, it either wouldn’t exist at all, or it wouldn’t exist in anything like this form. So that means you can take a perfectly solid, successful, acclaimed movie, and it may not qualify as cinema. It also means you can take a piece of cinema, and it may not qualify as a movie. And it may actually be an unwatchable piece of shit. But, as long as you have filmmakers out there who have that specific point of view, then cinema’s never going to disappear completely, because it’s not about money. It’s about good ideas
followed up by a well-developed aesthetic.”