Filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who’s Chair of the Film Foundation, released a statement regarding Kodak’s decision to continue producing film stock. Although most filmmakers have moved to the digital format, many directors such as Scorsese, Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins), Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) and Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master) have voiced their support of shooting their movies on film.
“Film offers a richer visual palette than HD,” said Scorsese. Check out the full statement below:
“We have many names for what we do – cinema, movies, motion pictures. And…film. We’re called directors, but more often we’re called filmmakers. Filmmakers. I’m not suggesting that we ignore the obvious: HD isn’t coming, it’s here. The advantages are numerous: the cameras are lighter, it’s much easier to shoot at night, we have many more means at our disposal for altering and perfecting our images. And, the cameras are more affordable: films really can be made now for very little money. Even those of us still shooting on film finish in HD, and our movies are projected in HD. So, we could easily agree that the future is here, that film is cumbersome and imperfect and difficult to transport and prone to wear and decay, and that it’s time to forget the past and say goodbye – really, that could be easily done. Too easily.
It seems like we’re always being reminded that film is, after all, a business. But film is also an art form, and young people who are driven to make films should have access to the tools and materials that were the building blocks of that art form. Would anyone dream of telling young artists to throw away their paints and canvases because iPads are so much easier to carry? Of course not. In the history of motion pictures, only a minuscule percentage of the works comprising our art form was not shot on film. Everything we do in HD is an effort to recreate the look of film. Film, even now, offers a richer visual palette than HD. And, we have to remember that film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies. We have no assurance that digital informaton will last, but we know that film will, if properly stored and cared for.
Our industry – our filmmakers – rallied behind Kodak because we knew that we couldn’t afford to lose them, the way we’ve lost so many other film stocks. This news is a positive step towards preserving film, the art form we love.”
Roger Ebert‘s film reviews were more than just a collection of words strung together for mass consumption. As the documentary Life Itself attests, Ebert put his heart and soul into his work and the people he loved, and his passion for writing and film continued even throughout his declining health. Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) was given full access to Ebert and his wife Chaz, and their decision to be as candid as possible gives Life Itself a very honest look at a loving relationship that perseveres through much hardship.
“I was really struck by (Roger’s) relationship with Chaz,” said James in his director’s statement. “They’ve always appeared to have a great marriage, but witnessing it up close, I really came to understand that she had been many things to Roger: his great love, the person who helped him find true happiness and contentment, and his rock through the many medical challenges of recent years.”
During my interview with Chaz Ebert and Steve James, I asked Ebert how she developed her unfailing inner strength. For Chaz, much of those qualities came from growing up in a loving household. “When I have to give a short answer, I just say from love,” said Ebert. “Because I loved him so much. But it is more complicated than that. I grew up in a family where I was so supremely loved and I felt so secure in that love that – I have a tremendous capacity for love.”
To hear Chaz Ebert talk about her love for her faith and family, click on the media bar below (Steve James also chimes in with a humorous comment at the end of the clip):
Life Itself hits theaters, On Demand, and iTunes on July 4th. Interviewees on the documentary include filmmakers Martin Scorsese (who also executive produced the project), Ramin Bahrani (At Any Price), Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line), and Werner Herzog (Fitzcaraldo). Critics Richard Corliss, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and A.O. Scott are also interviewed.