January 4, 2016 4:09 pm

Canadian director Xavier Dolan writes angry letter to Netflix

Xavier Dolan attends the premiere of "Macbeth" during the Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2015.

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Xavier Dolan, the Canadian director of Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize-winning Mommy and other regaled films, has written a letter to Netflix U.K. after they altered the aspect-ratio of Mommy on its streaming service.

Mommy, which was also nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or award at Cannes, was shot in a 1:1 aspect ratio, whereas most modern films are shot in 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 aspect ratios. It seems that Netflix U.K. temporarily widens the ratio to 1.85:1.

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Dolan sent the following letter to Netflix:

He stipulates that the streaming service either leave the film as is, or remove it entirely. This is the first such example of a director taking issue with Netflix or any other streaming entity.

MORE: Canada’s Xavier Dolan named to Cannes Film Festival jury

Dolan spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the 1:1 aspect ratio.

“People have been trying to intellectualize the heck out of this,” he said. “I just wanted to shoot portrait aspect ratio that would allow me to be very close to characters, avoid distractions to the left and right of the frame and have the audience look the characters right in the eye.”

“I know a lot of people are saying, ‘Oh, 1:1, how pretentious,” he continued. “But for me, it seems a more humble and private format, a little more fitting to these lives we’re diving into. Cinemascope [2.35:1] would have been extremely pretentious and incompatible for Mommy. To try to get in that apartment and film these people in that aspect ratio would have been unseemly.”

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