Christopher Nolan Is The Hero That 35mm Film Deserves

04.12.12 5 years ago 19 Comments

Who’s ready for a big, heaping pile of hyperbole? Strap on your galoshes because it’s about to get thick in here.

There is a war raging in Hollywood…

OH NO! Is it between Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg? Have we come to a crossroads of the impending civil war of comedy sparked by the men who have most contributed to its demise? Perhaps this is a war between moviegoers and studios, as we stand strong against their neverending barrage of remakes and reboots. Tell us, Los Angeles Weekly – what war do you speak of?

… a war between formats.

BORING! Oh sorry, there’s more.

In one corner, standing with [Christopher] Nolan, are defenders of 35 mm film. Elegant in its economy, for more than 100 years film has been the dominant medium with which movies are shot, edited and viewed.

In the other corner are backers of digital technology — a cheaper, faster, democratizing medium, a boon to both creator and distributor.

Basically, Chris Nolan gathered the industry’s best directors a few months ago under the guise that he was debuting 6 minutes of exclusive footage from The Dark Knight Rises. What he actually brought them together for was to raise awareness of the coming death of the 35mm format because it costs 10 times as much as digital to distribute. Industry experts predict that by 2015, celluloid will be as rare as a virgin NFL quarterback.

This year, for the first time in history, celluloid ceases to be the world’s prevailing movie-projector technology. By the end of 2012, according to IHS Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Service, the majority of theaters will be showing movies digitally. By 2013, film will slip to niche status, shown in only a third of theaters. By 2015, used in a paltry 17 percent of global cinemas, venerable old 35 mm film will be mostly gone.

Satire aside, the entire read is interesting and informative, as it details the demise of the vintage theater and especially art houses. Basically, in order to save a few million dollars and spare a little embarrassment for when their John Carters flop, execs are ready to bend the little guys over and iron fist them into oblivion. An over-the-top and horrifying image, sure, but at least it’s crystal clear.

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