Side by Side (2012) has an embarrassment of riches for anyone interested in discussing the future of motion pictures with the most successful and revered group of filmmakers in the world.
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Unfortunately, this documentary's theatrical release will be sporadic at best as it rolls out in select cities throughout the United States over the next several weeks, but today is our lucky day since it is now available on Amazon Video on Demand, which you can find by following our link: Side by Side. And if you choose to view it this way, you will be able to rent it for three days. You will apparently not be able to buy it outright until after its current theatrical run is over. But aside from the immediacy and convenience of watching it now on Demand, your rental of it by following our referral links to Side by Side on Amazon have the added benefit of supporting this blog.
Keanu Reeves's connections and star power helped draw in the best assembly of directors and cinematographers in the world for this timely documentary about the pros and cons of the film industry's digital revolution, and what it means for the art form and the business of motion pictures going into the future. If I had any complaints, it would be the omission of "film advocates" Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson, who are notably opposed to a complete digitalization of cinema. But for all we know, they were unavailable to participate in this documentary, which seems likely given the fact both directors were probably busy with Django Unchained (2012) and The Master (2012), respectively.
To give you an idea of the gems contained in a the documentary, here is a snippet of Reeves's interview with David Lynch that did not make the cut. Given the interesting nature of this and other deleted clips available on their website, you can tell that what they chose to leave in must be gold. Side by Side is a solid documentary that provides an opportunity to participate with many of the best filmmakers in the world in one of the most important dialogues of our age about the history and future of motion pictures.
If I were to level a complaint against this documentary, it is the omission of Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson from the proceedings. Tarantino and Anderson are both ardent 35mm and 70mm film enthusiasts, who are generally considered the best filmmakers of their generation. These two clips feature interview snippets with them discussing their opposition to lower quality digital presentations.