The fight for keeping celluloid projected in cinemas is up Aaron Aradillas’s craw. He quotes Paul Thomas Anderson at the closing of his article “Just trying to keep it alive a little bit longer…Not to phase anything out; there’s room for both things.” Aradillas then goes on to compliment Anderson saying he was spoken like a true lover of movies. What Aradillas does not seem to understand, or is choosing to ignore, is the fact that right now there is not room for both mediums in cinemas nation wide. There is only room for DCP.
Aradillas slanders the filmmakers and celluloid patrons as a members-only club, calling them a “fascist fan-boy culture.” Stating that you must live in a so-called “hip city” in order to see Interstellar in its two-day celluloid run before the wide release. Patrons may have to migrate to a cinema outside their area to see the picture projected on celluloid and to Aradillas this is unacceptable. But then he credits the “badge of honor” patrons proudly championed when migrating out of their areas to see 2001: A Space Odyssey in Cinerama in 1968.
But back to that “room for both mediums.” In order for there to be room for both mediums, Interstellar's two day celluloid run and Tarantino's Beverly Theatre are needed. Because right now, celluloid projection is almost the way of the dodo. Interstellar is no doubt a test. No studio would strike new prints to be sent out to 5% of cinemas with remaining film projectors in this country unless they wanted to see the results. And how can those results be measured when playing along side the DCP? The two days can show how people react to when celluloid is the only thing projected. How will the movie masses respond? We shall see.
Aradillas makes the argument that the switch to digital does not change movies. It does not effect what is on the screen. The stories are no different and that these celluloid fascists are just that - extremists, authoritarians, practitioners of intolerance (to quote the definition of fascism). To say nothing of the cheapening of the craft of film making or the blatant lessening of quality in projection, cinema-goers should accept DCP because the stories do not change, Mr. Aradillas?
Mr. Aradillas, I ask this: is it fascist for people to want to preserve the use of celluloid? Or is it fascist for an entire industry to dictate that there should only be DCP? Surely, when the studios made the “convert or die” threat to the cinemas, that wasn’t fascist. And when Dean Goodhill was turned down by the corporate cinema chains after his demonstration of the quality of MaxiVision, they stated “we are only interested in the minimum quality cinema-goers will accept,” I’m sure they expertly knew the DCP quality was less than that of MaxiVision or the pre-existing 35mm format all the theatres had at the time.
I write this rebuttal with full support of digital motion pictures. I myself am on the cusp of creating my own digital picture. Having said that, digital is its own medium, as is film. And they should be treated as such. If I am fortunate to make another motion picture after this one, I should have the right and freedom to choose the medium to which I want create with. No one dictates to an author to use a computer over a typewriter or legal pad. No one dictates to a painter on the brushes or canvases he or she uses. And no one certainly does not criticize a musician for using an acoustic guitar over an electric guitar.