Sunday, February 10, 2013

Side by Side (2012)

Director: Christopher Kenneally. 99 min. Not Rated. Documentary.

Keanu Reeves interviews ... George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Danny Boyle, the Wachowskis, Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, Lars von Trier, Robert Rodriguez, Joel Schumacher, Richard Linklater, Dennis Muren, Walter Murch, Vilmos Zsigmond, Lena Dunham - to ask them for a side-by-side analysis of film's crossover from celluloid to digital, pioneered at the turn of the century by Lucas. The documentary describes the most sophisticated stages of the film-making process in lay terms, and amazingly, makes even you have an opinion whether film is better, or digital. My opinion? As a viewer, I still prefer celluloid.

Mo says:


  1. It's the whole digital versus analogue argument again. Vinyl vs. CD. I don't suppose it really matters what we prefer, technology marches on and great artists will still make great movies. I guess the inexpensive nature of digital means that a lot more low budget films will be produced and we are bound to get some real gems.

  2. I guess the discussion has been around since the birth of movies: when silents went to talkies (nicely demonstrated in "The Artist"), when black & white went to color, when movie screenings went to videotape, etc. All evolutionary periods were strongly opposed by grand masters for good reasons, but movies survived through them all and become more prevalent.

    But on the other hand, there's this experiment I've heard about, where they placed plants in a greenhouse and played "natural" classical music, and all the plants gradually turned toward the music source; while when they played "synthetic" music made by a synthesizer, nothing happened. The plants did not react.

    From the day we saw those "real"-looking digital dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park", to the day the entire set and characters were artificially created in "Avatar", I've always felt there's something discordant with human nature in digital. That's why I feel more comfortable with natural images produced on film. I never think digital can create a match for the lush pleasant beauty of "Lawrence of Arabia".

  3. To be honest I have never had an eye for detail and my sight was damaged in 2010 which has made this worse. I don't hear the warmth on vinyl vs. CD and film vs Digital? I just can't notice the difference. To my shame I have not yet seen Lawrence of Arabia but I intend to before I die ;>)

  4. Oooooooooh ... Lawrence of Arabia! Find 4 hours of quiet, sit down with a few other movie-lovers, and enjoy this cinematic bliss. The pure joy of movies.

  5. Sadly the only movie-lovers I know live 100 miles away but I will track it down I promise. It shouldn't be too hard to find on amazon ;>)