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Not Showing: Side by Side

Published February 27, 2013 in Not showing - 1 Comment
As look into the poster, you might be is this a joke? Or how did it happen that almost all the best movie directors will be in one documentary?

It’s already here.

Well, yeah it won’t show here unless it is shown in film fests or SM has extra cash to waste at intellectual documentaries like this.

Side by side tackles about the evolving means of cinema. I thought looking at the title itself, sounds like hmmmmm history of movies, or perhaps movie evolution from writing or directing because the commentaries came from directors, or simply about movies.

Indeed it tackled about movies but it’s about a specific element in film that is immersely discussed. Evolution of film itself, how you will make a film without the film itself? The film that we use before in household cameras, VHS, Betamax or even the first camcorder, or the old times, the stock film.

It compares with the new kind of film recording today which is Digital, and explains how this new kind of process helps film industry or really will film be out for this process.

There were cons in this film, as usual. But not that big or really affects my interest in this documentary.

One is Steven Spielberg, one of the best movie directors around, made such great movies, was not there, surprisingly. I don’t know why but I’m surprised. Also, I hoped that the pace of the documentary was like a story. Although I’m fine with the interview pace thing in this one, but for me, it will be better that it has a plot or in a story pace since Keannu I heard is also making his directorial debut.

Yes, the film was hosted by Keannu Reeves and yeah he was able to interview almost all the great movie directors, editors, photographers and technical crew you can think of.

After that around 90 mins of interest watching the film, there were 3 points that strike me most for the comparison of photochemical film and digital. Great thing that photochemical film was explained into a simplest and graphic manner.

First it was talked about is quality. As much it is very hard to shoot on film, with it’s painstaking process and a lot of effort needs to work for it, well film has limitations, although all great flicks from the past were done in this tedious way. Even movie editors still like the old school process but they had no choice but to move forward with digital.

Digital as they said, is a lot easier to work with, especially these present times, less effort to be made but the problem lies at the first phase of digital film making which I do agree. I doesn’t have that deep detail which film has before. That was changed after a decade passed but still film makers can do film or this way. As I viewed it, it’s a tie battle between film and digital.

Second they discussed was technology. Film has already reached it’s potential when Star Wars or Sci Fi came to place. I can’t imagine that Star Wars will be filmed in a draconian way without the help of VFX or sorts. hehe No way! So, George Lucas and others thought of making or have the assistance of computer to make movies.

Film indeed not a priority especially when those films that needed more than technique to show great effects or visuals. Digital came in and magically not only improve film making but also inspire others to jump in and make films. I was suprised that films that I love like Sin City, impossible to be shot on film because of the demand of the source’s vision. Yeah, I mean Sin City is beautiful and perfect in that noir style, they will have a problem if that can be done in film.

Digital also continuing to evolve like with the rise of state of the art cameras like what David Cameron used in Avatar, then David Fincher, Peter Jackson, with that Red Camera which is revolutionary even it’s heating up. hehe So, very interesting part especially on how it helps in other aspects in film making such as editing, photography and direction. Definitely more effective, it can be fast paced, no more breaks unlike film but actors sometimes hate it because it may not stop. hehe

This part goes to digital.

Last point is which really lights me up was archiving. It is true, simply that even in digital, it’s cost effective to ship these films, show in public or sometimes in the net but what if, a HDD broke down and you do have a copy but it’s not working. Simple logic but it’s quite a threat. Meaning, you will need to have a copy of the film you have in digital for every 5 or 10 years tops because HDD crashes in a time you don’t expect. I experienced that or even computer enthuisiast. CD’s or DVD’s will get moist or have mold even it’s kept in a container or case. One of my saved movies in a DVD already acting up so I need to have another copy. hehe So, yeah it’s very hard for digital to keep it in the future unless they invent something indestructible HDD or digital storage. hehe

In films, I’m surprised that a scene there, a century old flick still runs as it was played before. Although having a film library or archiving center cost more but well, as long they have the tools, and right equipment, environment and people, films are always new. There will be scratches or other effects but it keeps running and digital can always help to restore. I’ll go for Film this one. hehe

I love the directors, crew, editors, and other men and women who were interviewed by Keannu.. They were passionate of giving insights about their takes of making a film in film strip or digital. Their experiences of each medium and how they love making films in whatever way. George Lucas really pushing for digital as James Cameron agrees, or my recent fave David Lynch also going for digital as present in Inland Empire.

Others were embraced as well, like David Fincher, Robert Rodriguez, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderburgh and others.. Editors, and photographers as well.. Lars Von Trier! hehe Who is like the pioneer with his group of using DV in film making.

For me, if you’re in film school and want to know deeper about film making, I definitely encourage you to see this. For me as a movie fan, I love this documentary, a glimpse on how the movie works from past, until present..

Or maybe future. =)

  • […] to the documentary Side by side, its here, it discussed which is good for the future of cinema. Film or digital film? This film discusses […]

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