Thursday, December 18, 2014

Long Live Film

Personally, I don't give the proverbial rat's ass what anyone shoots. I've never (really) been tempted to shoot digital simply because there were no digital cameras that appealed to me... until now. And since I can't afford what I want, I'm damn lucky that I do like shooting film- the look, the more deliberate process,  the satisfyingly more tactile feel from start to finish... Well, you can skip the darkroom part actually- romantic as hell (granted), but way too much pain and frustration on my part to get things just right (esp w/35mm). Despite its own trials and tribulations, scanning and digital post provide (in most cases) a very viable, hybrid option in the majority of instances.

Anyway, didn't know what to expect with this documentary, but since I am an avid film fan, was hoping for a fun ride... and let's just say it didn't start off well when the first guy up was sporting some silly ass hat thing that screamed pretentious (wannabe) hipster. You'd think by now that the last thing you'd want to portray film camera enthusiasts as is some subcult of pretentious  twenty year olds. And yet that's exactly how this documentary commences as we're presented with about a dozen twenty to thirty yr olds, all pretty much repeating the same thing in their own words, that film: looks different, slows one down and makes you concentrate more. True that, but...

Dang guys- if you want us to get excited about the medium, then ya gotta make the effort! Show us how film looks and feels different, show us the variations and results of different format analog cameras, show us just how tactile and sensuous they are compared to their amorphous, carbon composite, digital brethren. Let's see the the glistening chrome and hear the wondrous pop of a classic Hasselblad, make us feel the refined elegance of a Leica shutter and advance lever, the precision workmanship of a Rolleiflex;  make us revel in the tactile pleasure of wood, metal and leather, the joy of loading film. And how can you have a documentary dedicated to film and not even tease us with the magic and romance of the mystery called a darkroom? What the? Sure all this stuff is briefly alluded to, but... Show Us Goddamn It! You're supposed to be visual story tellers! You're certainly not gonna win any converts by endlessly repeating a three minute mantra. And it certainly wouldn't have hurt to include one or two actual masters of said medium, you know... old farts who have actually lived it their whole lives and have made the shit sing in ways these newbies are just starting to figure out.

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