DIGITALISATION: Cinema Futures is both a poetic farewell to a disappearing medium and a complex analysis of the mixed aspects of digital revolution.
Astra Zoldnere
Zoldnere is a Latvian film director, curator and publicist. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: August 17, 2018
Country: Austria | India | Norway | USA


Austrian director Michael Palm talks to various film experts including cinema superstars Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and Apichatpong Weerasethakul trying to grasp what technological change means for the art of film and our society.

Profitable digitalisation

Film industry should be looked at in the context of today’s technological boom. Everything gets smaller, more effective and less personal. Thousands of people working in analogue film manufacturing and processing have lost their jobs. The same is predicted to happen not only to drivers, cashiers, and farmers but also to doctors, accountants, lawyers, journalists, teachers, and hundreds of other professionals.

The driving force behind digital revolution is profit. Film is expensive not only to shoot on but also to distribute in the multiplex cinema environment. In the first week of film release multiplexes need around 3000 – 4000 copies. Later most of these film strips can be thrown in a garbage can.

Now Kodak is the last dinosaur left to produce analogue film. The company can afford to do it because there are still some old superstars like Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan who appreciate the physical presence of film material. Even though Kodak has promised to keep going, nobody knows how long it will stay financially profitable for the company to manufacture film. And even Spielberg and Nolan need to digitize their movies after shooting, as most cinemas are unable to screen analogue films. There are no film projectors produced any longer and the ones still running will not last forever.

Picturing fake reality

Recently, I was asked to take a photo of a middle-aged woman. She gave me very detailed instructions about the angle of which to photograph her from so her wrinkles and double chin would be less visible. The woman is an epitome to our society, which hates getting old.

The woman was still thinking in analogue ways to cheat reality. Now we live in an age where most public images are digitally …


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