When It Comes To Film, No Compromise For Two Local Programmers
By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 2, 2013 5:00PM
Billy Wilder's classic comedy screens tonight at the Portage Theater
In Part 1 of a look at the state of film, Westphal writes, "Film historians will likely look back on 2012 as the year that spelled the death knell for film as a mass medium." Between Kodak's bankruptcy and Fuji's announcement that it will cease production of most of its film stocks, Westphal paints a pretty grim portrait. In his view, directors like Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson are bravely tilting at windmills inexorably whirling into a digital future. So, can cinema be saved? "Not until we acknowledge the character of what we’re dealing with," he writes. "The tension between personal expression, corporate profit, artisanal craft, industrial economy-of-scale, technological innovation, built-in obsolescence, and physical frailty and decay is what makes film worth talking about in the first place." Part 2 hasn't been posted yet, but we're looking forward to reading the conclusion of his argument.
Meanwhile, in a nifty sketch from the Chicago Reader's 2012 People Issue, Rebecca Hall recounts her own personal journey to film exhibition. Because she was not allowed to watch TV as a kid, she did not see a lot of movies growing up. Then she moved to Chicago, where DOC Films at University of Chicago pulled back the curtain (as it has for so many of us). After sketching out the genesis of NWCFS, she summarizes their uncompromising perspective on exhibition: "Our priorities are weighted in such a way that if it was born on celluloid and we can't get celluloid, we won't show it." Then she sheepishly admits, "God, I don't know how to say any of this without sounding like an asshole."
If you're anxious to see some honest-to-God celluloid in action, get down to the Portage Theater this evening, where Some Like It Hot screens at 7:30. Tickets are $5.