15 items from 2012
I don't typically see many documentaries every year, but since becoming a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Bfca) it has become far easier (and necessary) to see more of them over the last two years. One, I have to nominate and vote on the category for the Critics' Choice Awards and two, I get more screeners each year than I used to. This year I've watched 14 documentaries and have yet only seen seven of the 15 documentaries up for Best Documentary at the 2013 Oscars. Of those seven, only one makes my top five of 2012. Outside of the five I list below, virtually all of the documentaries I watched this year were quite great, but seeing how I only saw 14, it didn't make sense to do a top ten. So if you're looking for some additional docs to watch other than my top five, also consider Bad 25 (which would »
- Brad Brevet
Ashby was born fully formed as a film-maker with this debut, a wise and exact meditation on race relations in New York at the end of the 1960s
Sometimes I imagine a scene of a time capsule opening years after its burial, and a noxious stink arises from the urn because its socio-temporal contents have lost all their context, and thus all their meaning. "Ew," says the crowd assembled, "why ever did we bury that?" Not so Hal Ashby's The Landlord, long unavailable despite being, to my mind at least, one of the most assured directorial debuts in Hollywood history, and also perhaps my favourite of all his work. I saw it as a teenager in the 70s, before it vanished out of circulation for decades. This particular time capsule is all madeleines and bitter almonds, its contents apparently not having aged a day in 42 years.
Ashby, one of »
- John Patterson
Keanu Reeves has said that his new documentary Side by Side was incredibly difficult to produce. Side by Side takes an in-depth look at digital technology's effect on the film industry over the last several decades. Speaking to Reuters, producer Reeves admitted it was tough to land the film's interviews with Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and David Lynch. "It wasn't easy and it took almost a year to film everyone," he explained. "We began at the 2010 Camera Image festival in Poland and got a bunch of [cinematographers] there, including all these greats I'd worked with, such as Vittorio Storaro, Michael Chapman and Michael Ballhaus. That was our start, and then word-of-mouth spread, and I began contacting some of the directors I'd worked with over the past 25 years. (more) »
- By Justin Harp
Produced by Keanu Reeves and directed by Chris Kenneally, Side By Side is a riveting, entertaining new documentary about the current - and increasingly widespread - shift in filmmaking technology. As directors and cinematographers (in many cases) abandon traditional celluloid filmmaking in favor of rapidly developing digital tools, what, if anything, are we losing in the process? Are fears that movies will devolve in quality well founded? Or are these worries much ado about nothing? Is it a moot point anyway, given the foregone conclusions of the digital revolution? These are the sorts of fascinating, divisive questions Side By Side explores via in-depth interviews with professionals involved in all stages of the filmmaking process. From pioneering directors like James Cameron and Martin Scorsese to artistic innovators like Christopher Nolan and Lena Dunham, from cinematographers like Wally Pfister and Michael Chapman to visual effects standouts like Dennis Muren and Adam Valdez (and so, »
Film vs. digital doc obscures message with overt Hollywood deference
From the opening Oscar broadcast-style montage of iconic movie clips (apparently it is only Hollywood, and not international cinema, that was able to “inspire us, thrill us, and capture our imagination”), Chris Kenneally’s documentary Side by Side, which weighs the pros and cons of traditional photochemical filmmaking against fast-encroaching digital image capture and projection, indulges Hollywood pretense to the point that a potentially revealing snapshot of a great art form in transition becomes overwhelmed by industry self-congratulation. The movie is made by insiders, for insiders; it pretends to be addressed to the general populace (narrator Keanu Reeves “educates” the viewer, PSA-style, as to what the “job” of the cinematographer is) only as a ploy to indulge the big name participants’ ego-stroking fantasy that everyday American toilers could care a lick about their “workflow” problems.
Interviewer/narrator Reeves is enthusiastic »
- Ryan Brown
The DVD/Blu-ray release of this weekend's new documentary Side by Side seems as if it has the potential to be outstanding considering the wealth of impressive outtakes that have already made their way online. Tonight another one-minute clip has found its way to the Internet as it too was cut from the final film, this one featuring David Fincher talking about how he has to prepare for a film compared to how actors have to prepare. The example he uses is clearly from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as he discusses how to prepare an actor for a scene in a thriller he is currently shooting, and it's little nuggets like this that make up the documentary, though clearly some didn't specifically apply to the largely "digital vs. film" theme of the doc and had to end on the cutting room floor. Hopefully they find their way onto the home video release. »
- Brad Brevet
If celluloid goes away are films still... films? This is just one of the many questions that ran through my mind before, after and while watching the spectacular documentary Side by Side. Here, producer and interviewer Keanu Reeves sits down with the cream of the crop when it comes to today's directors along with several cinematographers, colorists, editors and more to discuss the rise in digital filmmaking, the perceived bygone era of shooting on film, 3D, color-timing, visual effects, editing and more as the industry moves from shooting movies on film to capturing them 5,000 pixels at a time.
Participants include directors such as James Cameron, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, George Lucas, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Lars Von Trier and the Wachowskis along with cinematographers including Dion Beebe, Wally Pfister, Michael Chapman and Anthony Dod Mantle and editors including Walter Murch and Craig Wood and this is »
- Brad Brevet
A must-see for any cinephile this year is Christopher Kenneally‘s documentary on digital vs. film, Side by Side. Led by Keanu Reeves, in our review we called it extraordinary, in that its not only required viewing for those interested in film, but also wonderfully entertaining. The documentary sees Reeves interview top Hollywood pioneers including James Cameron, George Lucas, Danny Boyle, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and as per usual in the genre, there was lots of left-over footage.
In a daily video series, Tribeca Films is releasing some extra clips from the films which featuring conversations that didn’t make the cut. There’s David Lynch discussing digital theatrical delivery, the Wachowskis on actors performances and editing, Martin Scorsese on celluloid, Wally Pfister on story, Steven Soderbergh on doing things different and much more. It’s great to hear the opinions of these tastemakers in Hollywood, including both sides of the coin. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
The debate rages on! There's an ongoing discussion about film vs. digital, the switch, holdouts like Chris Nolan, and supporters like Scorsese. Will film die out, or will it remain around forever, used sparingly by those like Nolan when they want? One documentary tackling this exact subject is Side by Side, directed by Keanu Reeves, a film that is literally documenting the "Debate Over the Digital Revolution in Filmmaking." Leading up to its release, Tribeca Film has been doing some brilliant marketing by releasing short "Side Swipes" videos of unused interview segments from the film, and we've amassed five of them on this topic. These five videos come highlighted by Movies.com, and focus on film vs. digital in intriguing discussions with talented, smart filmmakers like: Lana and Andy Wachowski, cinematographers Wally Pfister and Michael Chapman (of Raging Bull, The Fugitive), Steven Soderbergh and Martin Scorsese. The Wachowski segment is »
- Alex Billington
If you love hearing filmmakers talk about their craft, you'll definitely want to check out the new documentary Side by Side, which features producer/narrator/interviewer Keanu Reeves talking to an incredible cast of directors, producers, cinematographers and actors contributing to the debate on digital vs. celluloid. Actually, aside from The Dark Knight Rises helmer Christopher Nolan and Dp Wally Pfister, the participating experts -- which also include Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, James Cameron, George Lucas, Greta Gerwig, Lena Dunham, David Fincher, David Lynch, Danny Boyle, Joel Schumacher, Robert Rodriguez, Lars Von Trier, the Wachowskis, Vittorio Storano, Michael Chapman and Vilmos Zsigmond -- mostly defend or at least seem okay with the evolution...
- Christopher Campbell
One of the most heated debates raging on in the filmmaking world is that of film vs. digital, or more specifically the threat of film becoming history in the shadow of an increasingly digital world. Keanu Reeves took it upon himself to explore this issue in a documentary called Side by Side, and he rounded up some of the most influential filmmakers working today like James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Steven Soderbergh, and many more to discuss the topic at length. Side by Side hits VOD on August 22nd and will be available in select theaters starting August 17th, and today a few “outtake” videos from the film have been released. It's ridiculously fascinating stuff, and after the jump you’ll find Andy and Lana Wachowki, Wally Pfister, Michael Chapman, Martin Scorsese and Steven Soderbergh talking about everything from creating performances in the »
- Adam Chitwood
Arriving in theaters in Los Angeles on August 17, On Demand on August 22 and elsewhere throughout the month and into September and October comes the new documentary Side by Side from director Chris Kenneally as he journeys through the past and the future of filmmaking with interviews with several prolific filmmakers with Keanu Reeves serving as the film's guide. The major focus is on digital film taking over from the decades old standard and exploring the impact it has made. The interviews include the likes of James Cameron, David Fincher, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Steven Soderbergh and many more and today several outtakes from those interviews have been released online including brief bits with Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas), Martin Scorsese and his Taxi Driver cinematographer Michael Chapman, Wally Pfister (cinematographer on The Dark Knight Rises and Inception) and Steven Soderbergh. Already in just »
- Brad Brevet
The French gave us the word “demimonde” – literally, half the world. But what it has come to mean in English, or so says Webster, is “a distinct circle or world that is often an isolated part of a larger world.”
Storytellers have always held a fascination with the dark side of human nature; that part of the psyche which is normally restrained and leashed, taught to be obedient, held in check – as Conrad wrote in Heart of Darkness – by the reproving looks of our neighbors. After all, what was Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but a probing of that other, id-driven half and the entrancing appeal of doing what one wants instead of what one should.
Film is no different than literature, and from its beginning the movies have produced a rich vein of stories about society’s fringe dwellers, those who operate by necessity, »
- Bill Mesce
That's it. It's a wrap. The Tribeca Film Festival is over for another 12 months. And while it was an improvement from years past, despite a promising line-up the festival proved to be somewhat disappointing: most of the best regarded films ("2 Days In New York," "Take This Waltz," Searching For Sugar Man" being three prime examples) had premiered elsewhere, while the more high-profile, star-laden of their world or North American exclusives landed with a thud.
However, even while the festival still grapples with its own identity, there were some real gems in the line-up: there are a few films that justify whatever else we had to sit through in the course of the last few weeks. And let's not forget the festival did secure "The Avengers" and "The Five-Year Engagement," two films we loved (though try and ask any civillian who got into either and you'll hear a lot of crickets). Below, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
It's not a tumor! In case you missed it this weekend because you were out living life, it was April Fool's Day on Sunday. And in a sea of mostly lame April Fool's Day jokes from the movie world (this /Film writer sums it up well), we tip our caps to The Criterion Collection. Their gag this year? A fake announcement that Ivan Reitman's 1990 comedy "Kindergarten Cop" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger would soon be joining their prestigious DVD collection on July 24th of this year.
Their sly prank included an entire DVD web page dedicated to the release, including details of the extras ranging from “Fingers to Finger-Painting," an interview with cinematographer Michael Chapman (lol), a hilarious fake DVD cover, a beautiful "hand-painted poster from Ghana," and a picture of legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa visiting the set of the movie posing with Ahnuld. It's pretty amusing. Oh and there was »
- Edward Davis
15 items from 2012
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