Need to See It: Side by Side (2012)

This past summer I was able to go to three different screenings with my parents at the local movie club. Each week was a viewing of a different movie that was yet to be released, and in addition to the screening there was always a special guest to speak about the movie. Most of the times it is a critic or local cinephile, but once Paul Williams himself was there. (Proceed to Google to have 70s flashbacks). Well, one week we were told that the movie was a digital film, not on 35mm, but rather on a disk that just needed a person to press play. The crowd is older at the club, and I could not help but chuckle along when even the new fangled digital technology had technical issues.

You know that guy that’s up in the projection room above the theater, well, he’s not there just to watch the movie at every screening. He has a lot of responsibility to make sure the film in fed correctly, and not damaged. Originally that film was hand cut when edited, and someone had to develop that film properly. The light had to be perfect while filming, as well as exposures and apertures, even the make-up needed to work with the shot.

Although I have taken film photographs before, I have become more dedicated to digital because it is cheaper and easier for me to work with. And it seems like the film industry feels the same way.

As a media, and often film, student, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable with the entire industry making this shift. This is why I cannot wait to watch this film, hosted by Keanu Reeves, one that questions the industry directly on the new technological developments. The film features directors ranging from Danny Boyle to David Fincher, even Lena Dunham. Each person interviewed has a different take on an industry they deeply care for; some that view digital as the future, the only necessary direction for movies to go, while others can only shake their heads, sickened by what the studios are pushing for.

The film is currently on iTunes (the irony is not lost on me), so watch it while you can. For more information visit the film’s website, here.


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