Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

To film, or not to film? That is Keanu's question

  • Print

I've seen Keanu Reeves play Hamlet on the stage of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, so you would think the guy couldn't surprise me anymore.

But Reeves does just that, essentially playing the role of interviewer in this film geek doc examining the question of film vs. digital.

I've watched Reeves field a lot of bone-headed questions from reporters in my time at film festivals and film junkets, but the 48-year-old actor makes a decent reporter himself as he talks to some legendary directors, brilliant cinematographers and seasoned editors.

As it happens, Reeves has relationships with many of these people, such as Lana and Andy Wachowski, who directed him in the Matrix trilogy. A comfortable rapport makes for a rewarding inquiry into the current status of the film-vs.digital video debate, which still rages though, technically, digital media is clearly coming out ahead.

Director Chris Kenneally lays out the differences between the two formats in clear and concise fashion, and brings forth a series of expert witnesses to debate the merits of either format.

In terms of big guns, George Lucas and James Cameron take the side of the digital form, as it is more amenable to the abundance of visual effects layered into Star Wars I-III and Avatar. But it is director Danny Boyle who emerges as the most convincing from the digital camp, discussing how the lightweight portability of digital allowed him to catch those stunning Omega Man-like shots of Cillian Murphy wandering through a deserted London in 28 Days Later. In 2008, 28 Days cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle legitimized the use of digital cameras in landmark fashion by winning the Oscar for his deft work on Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire.

Taking the side of film, directors Chris Nolan and David Fincher offer convincing defences of the film medium, despite the fact that film technology has essentially peaked (no new film cameras are currently being made). It still looks better than current ultra-high definition video, and a look at film-shot works such as Dark Knight Rising and Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo make a compelling case.

But the last word must go to Robert Rodriguez who says that if digital has not yet reached the quality of film, it's only a matter of time.

As for this documentary? It was shot digitally. It might not have been possible if shot on film, which may be the most compelling, albeit unspoken argument of all.

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Side By Side

Directed by Chris Kenneally

Cinematheque

PG

99 minutes

3 1/2 stars out of five

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 1, 2012 G4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Theresa Oswald Leadership Bid

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.
  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How will you be spending the holiday season? (select all that apply)

View Results

Ads by Google