|When True Grit cinematographer Roger Deakins, nominated nine times for Oscars, tells The Hollywood Reporter that he’s going to use the Alexa digital camera on his next movie, you know that for film, the writing really is really on the wall – in blood, like in one of those 1970s slasher movies. Deakins says of the Alexa “What’s not to like? I think it has more range than film. It’s the color rendition that strikes me.” Yet like Michael in Halloween, film refuses to die. And here’s 4 reasons why.
1. Batman. Wally Pfister who won the cinematographer Oscar for Inception is shooting Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises on film because of the detail on IMAX screens. Bruce Wayne has a soft spot for lost causes and would never let film disappear, and Kevlar batsuits just look so much better on film.
2. Art and Gentrification. Film is being reinvented as the art medium. Philip Lorca Di Corcia and Julian Schnabel have both had Polaroid shows in recent years. It’s the gentrification thing, first artists move in, then impoverished students, and then the rest of us catch on.
3. Black Market Film. Is there a trade in carefully preserved archival material? One photographer told us he had bought up all the Polaroid he could and kept it under carefully refrigerated conditions. At some point for artist and manufacturer it will make commercial sense to start producing large-format Polaroid film. In the meantime, I know a guy with a fridge in his basement…
4. Aliens’ Home Movies. The JJ Abrams/Steven Spielberg movie Super 8, about kids shooting with super 8 will be this summer’s smash. Though the plot remains secret, we can say it’s not actually shot in Super 8. And it seems some extra-terrestrials may have been seen on set. Abrams recently told The Wall Street Journal, “when making movies or TV as an adult is at its best it feels like it used to feel making Super 8 movies.” Digital can be harsh on aliens’ wrinkly bits so our cosmic visitors will make sure Earth has supplies of film for those special vacation movies.