'Harry Potter' director Mike Newell criticises Steven Spielberg's take on Netflix's 'TV movies' (exclusive)

Hanna Flint

Steven Spielberg recently said that Netflix films should be classified as ‘TV movies’ but Mike Newell doesn’t agree.

The veteran British director, known for Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Donnie Brasco, thinks that it shouldn’t matter what size of screen someone watches a movie on as it’s the art that matters.

Newell himself began his career at Granada television, as he explains in the video above, and said it’s because of that background that has tailored his opinion on filmmaking.

“The whole business of selecting stuff, which is what the screen does, it’s almost how much does the size of the screen matter?” the director told Yahoo Movies. “I’m never sure whether I take anyone seriously who have to make their films in 70mm, I don’t care!

Lily James stars as Juliet Ashton in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Scoeity

“I wish they would invent a sort of bigger, better form of 3D…but apart from that I don’t really care about size, it’s fine.”

Newell will obviously hope that you see his new film, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, in cinemas when it’s released this Friday. He returned to feature filmmaking after six years to make this period dramedy set just after World War II and the Nazi Occupation of Guernsey.

So what was it about the script, based on the novel of the same name, that inspired the director to make it?

Michiel Huisman stars opposite Lily James in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I thought the characters were tremendous,” he explained. “And the story was told absolutely through what you were forced to think about them, by the narrative, which is, of course, fabulous storytelling.”

Lily James takes the lead as Juliet, a writer who has become independently wealthy off the back of her wartime novel series. Now hoping to find her next inspiration in post-WWII Britain, a correspondence leads Juliet to Guernsey and a book club who have their own mysterious story to tell.

She’s brought to the island by Dawsey Adams, played by Game of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman, and as she learns more about his and the society’s torrid past she falls more in love with them and the island.

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