It’s official: 35mm film is the new vinyl

Quentin Tarantino: saviour of 35mm film (Image by Levon Biss)

Quentin Tarantino: saviour of 35mm film (Image by Levon Biss)

Question: How many people dumped their vinyl collections when CDs came along to shake up the music industry? And how many regretted it later when they realised that the quality of vinyl – with associated hiss and crackles – far outweighed the artificiality of CDs? 

The resurrection of vinyl and the sky-high prices of original LPs have taken many by surprise. So how long will it be before the film industry recognises that there is something intrinsically truthful about shooting in 35mm and screening the resultant movie on 35mm as in the past? Is film dead? Read more here.

Both Christopher Nolan (see article here) and Quentin Tarantino are advocates of 35mm, so much so that Tarantino, as owner of the Beverly Cinema, has just ordered a digital projector to be removed in order that all films screened there in future will be on 35mm.

As the keeper of a growing archive of 35mm films I say ‘Good for him’. Because the digital revolution has not been entirely positive in its sprawl and spread. And there is something about the depth of a film projected in 35mm on a cinema screen that the flatness of digital cannot match.

I’ll be presenting three classics – Jane Eyre, Rosencrantz & Guildernstern are Dead and Under Milk Wood – on 35mm at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield starting this month. Then it’s likely that some of the horror classics in the archive will be touring festivals around Halloween. Think of the dubious delights of Black Christmas, C.H.U.D. and Silver Bullet

But there will come a day in the not-too distant future when cineastes will yearn for the glory days of celluloid, by which time most of the extant prints will have been consigned to the skip. But not if Tarantino can stop it. And me. Believe me, 35mm will return. Just like vinyl.

Read the Tarantino piece here.

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