Side by Side Reviews
A very laid back Keanu Reeves ably demonstrates the key fundamental of an important documentary film : access ! He moves effortlessly among some of the greatest creative minds of the International film-making stratosphere, exploring the technical evolution of the movie-making axis. Fascinating !
Side by Side is a documentary about film - specifically explores the history and implementation of digital and photochemical film creation.
Side By Side is a documentary focusing on the evolution of film and it shows all different film directors, cinematographers and writers and they share their own thoughts on the film and if it's getting better or worse. There's loads of big name directors in this documentary that tell you all about the art of film and the different type of camera work they used and how it made they film much better.
What really got my interested in this documentary is well, it's about movies and I love movies so I thought I would check it out to see what it's like and I picked a good one here, because in this documentary you get to see how there make the movies and how movies should be made according to these film makers. The whole thing is pretty much a opinion base and they give some interesting and quite unique answers that makes you look at some movies in a different way.
I was interested from start to finish. I was never bored while watching it and I never know that Keanu Reeves was a good interviewer, I mean he's such a cool guy and at times when he met these director's he had that happy child face on him, full of joy and was interest on what they were going to say.
Now for problems: During the documentary James Cameron talked about 3D and CGI and he pretty much talk about how it was part of a art form and how it worked in he's film, but after he said all that the documentary cut to 2 or 3 directors who said that it's the worse thing to happen to movies, and how it becomes the highlight of the movie and not the story or character's, I found it a bit funny how Jame Cameron really went on for what seems to be like a speech about 3D and CG and how it's a groundbreaking master class, and then it get's shit on by other directors and it's really funny. I think I would call that bad timing.
I wouldn't really call this re-watchable. It's a one watch kind of documentary that I probably won't see again any time soon.
If you haven't seen Side By Side then I say check it out. It's got some interesting facts and hearing the directors talk about what's wrong with movies today and how they did it better is spot on enjoyable.
Kenneally bizarrely employs The One Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) to interview a veritable who's-who of movie legends from directors to cinematographers to editors to VFX luminaries; some with their feet planted firmly in the new digital arena, including the predictable faces of technology prodders like 3D-philiac and psychotic Titanic enthusiast James Cameron, and Star Wars chipmunk George Lucas; others slightly more sceptical, such as cerebral blockbuster machine Christopher Nolan and his regular cinematographic chum Walter Pfister alongside legendary 'The Deer Hunter' lenser Vilmos Zsigmond. Sitting back with amused detachment, seeing both sides of the argument, is the almost Yoda-like presence of Martin Scorcese, whilst Steven Spielberg is conspicuous by his absence.
Filmed over an extensive period of time judging from the interchangeable facial and cranial hairstyles our interviewer and guide seems to exhibit, Keanu Reeves proves to be an erudite and insightful interviewer, managing to extract cogent and level headed arguments on the pros and cons of both the digital and celluloid formats from the likes of Danny Boyle, David Lynch, David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Walter Murch, Lars Von Trier, The Wachowski Siblings, Robert Rodriguez, Vittorio Storaro and many others involved in the art and industry of film making. Along the way we get some interesting tidbits on how movies like '28 Days Later' and 'Slumdog Millionaire' probably wouldn't have been possible without the digital format, and how directors utilising finite celluloid can only shoot for ten minutes at a time. Some lament the loss of an art form that, despite its technical and practical drawbacks, focused film makers on bringing their A-game to produce stunning works of art. Yet others are excited by the unprecedented freedom and experiences that the new digital age could provide both audiences and film makers alike.
But what comes across most is that, regardless of the technology used, it is the sheer dedication, passion and enthusiasm of the human element that goes into the art of movie-making that is the key to its continuing success and evolution. 'Side By Side' is an accessible, sober and non-judgemental attempt to tackle one of the most prescient debates currently preoccupying our beloved medium today. One of its most successful and charming aspects is how Christopher Kenneally manages to get the viewer to ruminate and interact on the subject, frequently prodding his digital finger at you with an encouraging, "So, what do you think?". Highly recommended to anyone with the slightest interest in the history of cinema, its evolution and how your favourite slice of two hours' worth of entertainment manages to lug its way from an idea in some cinematic story-teller's crowded brain-box to the illustrious echelons of the silver screen.