Side by Side Reviews

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½ August 23, 2012
A bunch of workers sit around and talk about their tools.

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 !
June 14, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised by this independent film that sheds light on the transition of film making from analog to digital. Using interviews with famous directors, Keanu Reeves probes in a charming way to explore their use of technology and we get to decide which is better. Only time will tell, but as most media advances film making follows.
½ July 7, 2015
I did not watch all of it, but it gives a basic survey of the "Film vs. digital" debate and the history of digital movie makings explosion, over the past several decades.
June 4, 2015
"Cinema is like going to church for some people".

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.
June 4, 2015
Perfect! Love this documentary especially when you see these brilliant filmmakers on thier opinion about the future of the film industry. Reeves is doing a very great job elaborating the difference about the impact of digital film making from the standard camera film. Well made, well interviewed, and thinking all these filmmakers are very interested on Reeve's questions.
May 21, 2015
On the surface probably not a documentary for the masses as it is a exploration into digital filmmaking narrated by Keanu Reeves, given the opportunity though it is a fascinating thesis on cinematography and the art of film featuring some of the giants of the industry which should entertain people with even the smallest interest in the topic.
½ April 21, 2015
More of an academic exercise than one that is easily accessible to the general public. Sadly the average cinema goer isn't going to care or know the difference between celluloid and digital cinema. A fascinating study of the pros and cons of the continuing battle both camps. Both sides of the argument are presented equally and the documentary does well not to come down on either side.
March 22, 2015
An interesting (especially for filmmakers) and enlightening look on the differences between digital and chemical filmmaking, allowing stances to be made on each one.
March 17, 2015
Inspirational, informative, and the perfect documentary for anyone interested in film and film-making, like myself.
March 13, 2015
Nice overview of the changes in the industry with a lot of talking heads. Probably only of interest to people really into the medium.
October 31, 2012
A great look at the differences between film and digital, and their impact on the industry.
½ February 11, 2015
Learned so much about the history of cinema, the industry, and how digital cinema is starting to take over the creative process. A great documentary!
December 28, 2014
Saw this on pbs and I liked it. It shows the advancement not in the film but in the recoders and cameras that made them viewable
November 3, 2014
For the lover of film, this is an incredibly interesting documentary! However, I don't see the average movie watcher much enjoying this. Well done, to the point and very informative!
October 24, 2014
Although I prefer the look of film to digital, this documentary does an excellent job of presenting the reasons why one might want to use digital.
September 7, 2014
One of the best documentaries about filmmaking, which addresses the technical and creative issues facing contemporary and future cinema. Every filmmaker and aspiring filmmaker should see this film. It should be shown in film degree programs. The interviews with top directors, cinematographers, and up-and-coming indie filmmakers all contribute to the film's message.
August 31, 2013
One of the most famous match cuts in cinematic history is the scene in '2001: A Space Odyssey', where a knuckle-dragging ape man on pre-historic Earth, upon discovering the practical applications of animal bones as tools and weapons via a friendly alien monolith, hurls one high into the air to be transformed by the subtle art of film editing into a similarly shaped spaceship floating in the starry heavens a few million years later. In that one scene, Stanley Kubrick managed to encapsulate all that needed to be said about the evolution of man and technology in the simplest and most poetically eloquent way, as well as demonstrate the sheer power of cinema as a legitimate art form. It is one of the many scenes film maker Christopher Kenneally uses in his fascinating documentary 'Side By Side' to illustrate the advancement of movie technology from celluloid to digital, as he ruminates on the cultural, artistic and socio-economic implications inherent in this seemingly inevitable evolution in film.

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.
½ February 5, 2013
Very interesting to see different perspectives on digital vs. not-digital. Surprisingly balanced; not nearly as many as 'VINYL IZ JUST BETTUR!'-esque idiotpeople involved as I'd imagined.
August 13, 2014
A great documentary for movie nerds, it thoroughly covers aesthetic and technical issues involved in making movies with film versus digital.
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