The 2012 Berlin International Film Festival just kicked off and one of the crown jewels has already been determined. Keanu Reeves‘ highly anticipated documentary Side By Side traces the evolution of filmmaking technology from 1895 to the present day, and covers every facet of the the art: from the cameras to the editing, from the post-production to the distribution, and from exhibition to archiving. It is a traditional talking-head documentary tackling head-on the subject of digital filmmaking vs. photochemical filmmaking. Reeves serves as both producer and interviewer of Side By Side, which no doubt is a major contributing factor for the fascinating lineup of interviewees: Steven Soderbergh, Christopher Nolan, Lana Wachowski, David Fincher, James Cameron, George Lucas, Joel Schumacher, Lena Dunham, Robert Rodriguez, Martin Scorsese, Lars von Trier, David Lynch, Richard Linklater and Danny Boyle. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks. One of those fortunate enough to attend Wednesday’s screening was Jessica Chiang of The Playlist and the following is an excerpt from her glowing review:
“The gloomiest factoid the film brings to light for celluloid purists is simply this: all the major manufacturers have ceased production and development of traditional feature film cameras. The existing ones will still be usable for maybe a decade, but with no new ones being made, that really does seem to be the final word. And yet the movie itself is anything but pessimistic, leaving us with plenty of hope for a future where the motion picture will continue to evolve as a storytelling vehicle, and if we have to wade through more crap to get to the gems, the gems will still be there for the finding. For the film-literate, film-passionate viewer, ‘Side By Side’ is simply a delightful experience, because to hear people we admire talk knowledgeably about the medium we care about has the effect of putting us back in touch with our own passion for it, whatever the format.”
You can read the entire review by visiting The Playlist, and watch the trailer below. A few short hours following the film’s premiere, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Tribeca Films had acquired North American rights to Side By Side. It will be officially released this summer with plans to air on TV in early 2013 and in college film-school classrooms. You can follow Side By Side on Faacebook, Twitter, or by visiting the film’s website at SideBySideTheMovie.com.
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