Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
The Making Of The West Wing
Subscribe To Empire Today
Save money and get 12 issues for only £25
Go Think Big
Helping young people achieve their career dreams
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Keanu Reeves
James Cameron
George Lucas
Christopher Nolan.
Directors
Christopher Kenneally.
Screenwriters
Running Time
99 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Fury
3 Star Empire Rating
Way He Looks, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Serena
2 Star Empire Rating
Nas: Time Is Illmatic
4 Star Empire Rating
Jimi: All Is By My Side
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Side By Side
Keanu tackles the future of celluloid


submit to reddit


Plot
Keanu Reeves hosts this documentary about the science, art and impact of digital cinema, exploring the decline (and perhaps demise) of photochemical film, and the pros and cons of its digital successor, with an array of directors, cinematographers and other filmmakers.


Review
Side By Side
For just over a hundred years, from the 1880s to the mid-1990s, the photochemical process generally referred to as ‘film’ had been used almost exclusively to capture, develop, project and store moving images, regardless of whether they were monochrome or colour, 2D or 3D, had sound or were silent. Celluloid’s monopoly was first challenged when video cameras became readily available, leading to the Dogme 95 films (or, more accurately, videos) and the festival success of such features as Chuck & Buck, Tadpole and Personal Velocity. It was not until the last years of the 20th century, however, that digital technology began to present not only a challenge to the dominance of traditional film, but a threat to its existence. It is at this tipping point that this informed and informative documentary sets out to explore the pros and cons, and asks if ‘digital’ really is a suitable successor to film.

One glance at Kenneally’s interview list will convince you that he takes his remit seriously: along with big-name directors (Boyle, Cameron, Fincher, Lucas, Lynch, Nolan, Scorsese, Soderbergh, von Trier and the Wachowskis), Keneally and Keanu Reeves, his on-screen avatar, sit down with cinematographers, technicians and executives from both sides of the debate. It’s refreshing that each is allowed to make its own case, especially given that, in these opinionated times, ‘documentary’ is often a synonym for ‘polemic’. And although there are compelling arguments on both sides, Side By Side refuses to hedge its bets. While the title suggests that the film will make a qualitative comparison, it actually refers to the current state of mostly peaceful co-existence between the two formats, a détente that cannot continue indefinitely. After all, as celluloid advocate Christopher Nolan puts it, “A transition starts with people offering a new choice, but it finishes with taking the old choice away.”


Verdict
Wherever you stand on the celluloid-versus-digital debate, Kenneally’s documentary, hosted by an endearingly affable Reeves, is well-researched, informative and absorbing, arguably marred only by the omnipresent underscore. Oh, and for the record: it was shot digitally.


Reviewed by David Hughes

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Side By Side
Empire Star Rating

RE: Side By Side

Am very excited for this, whatever you think of Reeves as an actor, the guy is clearly very smart and seems to have the best interest of cinema at heart. ... More

Posted by ElephantBoy at 17:56, 16 February 2013 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Empire Podcast #133: Robert Duvall, Anna Faris And James Marsden Interviews
Plus the team discuss the latest news on the upcoming DC and Marvel movies

Documentaries: What Happened Next
We track down and interview the stars of great non-fiction films

Movie Poster Mashups: Sean Bean Edition
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be appalled at the punning...

Your Introductory Guide To That DC Movie Slate
Suicide Squad? Cyborg? Aquaman? We explain who’s who in the DC Universe

Video Interviews: Megan Fox And Will Arnett Talk Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Plus the director and producers on the tone of their new turtle flick

Captain America 3, Iron Man And Civil War: Where Next For The Marvel Cinematic Universe?
What to make of today's Marvel news

Interactive Gallery: Explore Iconic Movie Spacesuits
Explore the fabric of space-time

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)