Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas…these are The Directors that you would expect to be behind the announcement that Kodak has struck a deal with “Hollywood” to “save film” (for now), however you would be wrong.  Instead the names of the directors that have stood their ground and “saved film” are none other than Nolan, Abrams, Apatow and Tarantino. (That’s Chris Nolan, J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow and Quentin Tarantino).  Chalk one up for “our” generation!  

So where is the Old Guard and why aren’t they defending real film?  Because they have phoned home, succumbed to their last temptation and gone over to the dark side to sleep with the cultural fishes (get it?).  In truth I’m not sure what the last movie that any of these Directors did on real film was.  Its actually an intriguing question and at some point maybe I’ll dive down that rabbit hole in detail, but just looking at Coppola’s latest directorial efforts (“Twixt” and “Tetro“, really?) I just don’t have the energy or perhaps heart for that right now.  As for Scorsese he drank the digital Kool Aid certainly with “Hugo“, and at least some digital with “Shutter Island“, and probably even before that…and he’s KNOWN for his film preservation commitment.   Then there’s George Lucas who actually died sometime in the early 90’s around the time his buddy Spielberg was making “Jurassic Park” (the real start of the digital slippery slope) but evidently sold his soul to the digital devil in order to live long enough to make three digital blasphemous fiascoes that pretty much ruined any hope, old or new, of recapturing the original Star Wars aura…

It didn’t surprise me to see Tarantino on the list of directors defending 35mm because he is certainly a bona fide cinefile (cellufile?), having a private collection of what I understand is a very impressive number and variety of 35mm and 16mm films, and even owning one of the only remaining 35mm venues in LA itself, The New Beverly Cinema (although they’ve started down the digital path as well in order to stay solvent).  Chris Nolan has been very vocal about his love of 35mm, and J.J. Abrams is making the “new” Star Wars installments on film (evidently a mix of 35mm and 70mm IMAX [although hopefully not LIEMAX]), and this is our only hope of making the last statement of my first paragraph false.  

But its Apatow that surprised me.  I look at him as a kind of easy laughs, not really serious kind of entertainer, not even a “real” director or even a Hollywood heavy, and while “Old School” was OK I pretty much gave up on him when he said that he said he’s “gonna get a penis in every movie I do from now on” just because they’re funny.  That’s bad, lazy comedy in my humble opinion and I’m sure some Freudian sign of penis envy of some sort…but yet now in some small way I have, due to his stance on real film, somehow gained a little respect for him…which of course immediately dissipates when I remember he’s also a main contributor to “Girls (which is digitally produced), which is itself nothing but bad, lazy TV which will not be remembered in 10 years, not unlike “The Red Shoe Diaries” (yeah, see my point?), which was shot on 35mm.

So now the world has seemed to have turned upside down, and on one end you have Apatow, a man known for his love of penis, staunchly defending 35mm and on the other end you have Scorsese, known for his film preservation, filming (on digital) Jonah Hill masturbating a (thankfully) fake penis in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (the main reason I have NOT and have NO plans on seeing that particular film).  You also have Georgie Lucas making some of the worst sci-fi fluff ever 100% digitally, then handing the reins over (AKA cashing out) to Disney and by proxy J.J. Abrams who thankfully still loves and respects and “gets” real film (and hopefully “gets” Star Wars better than Georgie did at the end). 

We now know that film will live a while longer, and hopefully some of these d(D)irectors will attempt/continue to make movies that are worth the effort, and for those that don’t hopefully they will still retain enough Hollywood clout to continue to help keep film available for others for a long time to come (but without so many penises please).

But wait!  Hold the presses!  It turns out that even as I was writing the first draft of this post last night news was surfacing that Scorsese has finally caught up with the new guys and is in fact actively backing Kodak’s decision...although a full WEEK after it was originally announced.  And you know, it really looks like he’s trying to save face here, and even maybe make it look like he was in on this all along, maybe even the one guy who actually got it done instead of the newbies…and in 10 years that will probably be the “official” history, because remember, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.