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
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
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
Gone Girl
4 Star Empire Rating
Honeymoon
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
Ida
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
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
Empire's Interstellar Newsstand Cover Has Arrived
Plus a full preview of what you'll find inside our brand new issue

The Future Of Film: British Film Will Thrive (If Tax Breaks Allow)
Or how Harry Potter saved the British film industry, and could again

The Making Of The Lost Pilot: An Oral History
The cast and crew look back at the epic season opener…

Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
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)