My Filmviews

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Side by Side (2012)

As you probably know I’m a big fan of documentaries and when I first heard about this one I couldn’t wait to check it out. The film looks at both shooting movies on film and on digital and tries to make it clear to the viewer what the pros and cons are of each format.

Presented by Keanu Reeves and with a big collection of interviews with various directors, including Martin Scorcese, Christopher Nolan, Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Lars von Trier, James Cameron and George Lucas and various cinematographers it’s a nice look into the ideas behind the way a movie has been shot. With everything slowly transferring to being shot digitally there are some who still want to stick to the old ways (Nolan for example) and others who fully embrace it (Lucas and Cameron).

The documentary doesn’t mean to convince you of either format being better. I did get the feeling that some cinematographer were afraid of losing their job because digital allows so much about the look and feel being altered. It’s clear that both “formats” have their distinct qualities and it’s nice to hear people talk about it passionately, but personally I really can’t see the difference. With everything being scanned and edited digitally anyway, I’m not sentimental if shooting on film would disappear. I wished this would be longer and go more in-depth or had a discussion between for example Cameron and Nolan, but this documentary is worth seeing if you love movies.

Score: 7

Category: Documentary, Movies
  • keith7198 says:

    This looks right up my alley. Some really impressive names to it. Also very interesting take about the effects on cinematographers. Going to half to give this a watch. Nice review.

    October 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, if you love movies it’s just nice to hear people talk passionately about them, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:31 am
  • Alex Withrow says:

    Loved this documentary, and, as you mention, it is nice that Reeves and co. didn’t try to force opinions and say which format is better. Either way, as a movie freak, I found this fascinating.

    October 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, it didn’t make you pick sides and was fascinating to watch.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:31 am
  • wordschat says:

    I’ve been looking for this since I first read about it in Entertainment Weekly. Haven’t found it yet. Did you view it from a U.S, on demand service?

    October 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Unfortunately it wasn’t available over here. I even contacted the marketing department to ask why it was US only. I just couldn’t wait for it and watched it online, but will probably pick it up once it is officially out in Europe…

      October 17, 2012 at 8:32 am
  • The Focused Filmographer says:

    someone mentioned on my review of this film that they wondered if Side by Side was filmed on digital or celluloid. I couldn’t help but laugh at that! :) Glad you liked the documentary. it was informative (even if less relevant) to say the least

    October 17, 2012 at 5:23 am
    • Nostra says:

      Well, they do show the cameras a couple of times so I think it was shot digitally ;)

      October 17, 2012 at 8:33 am
  • fernandorafael says:

    Nice review, Nostra. I need to check this one out.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:09 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Fernando, you really should.

      October 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

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