Daily Briefing. "The Great Digital Changeover"

The DailyDr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove is one of 13 digitally restored classics
to be digitally projected at Film Forum starting Friday

As David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson wrap their series, "Pandora's digital box," Film Forum launches another on Friday, This Is DCP. Leah Churner in a preview for the Voice: "Formalized in 2005 by a collective of the six major studios in Hollywood, the Digital Cinema Package, or DCP, has replaced 35mm as the standard format for theatrical exhibition. It's a set of high-definition video files delivered on a hard drive encrypted with copyright protection, and it plugs into a system of proprietary servers, software, and projectors. Today, two-thirds of American theaters have converted to DCP."

Churner's overview is a fine snapshot of what Bordwell calls "the Great Digital Changeover," and Churner cites his observation that, in her words, "one of the odder circumstances of the digital age is that as restoration gets easier, conservation gets harder." To really dig into the complexities of what's being lost and what's being gained, though, you'll want to turn to Bordwell himself, of course: "Digital projection promises to carry the essence of cinema to us: the movie freed from its material confines…. Throughout this series, I've tried to bring historical analysis to bear on the nature of the change. I've also tried not to prejudge what I found, and I've presented things as neutrally as I could. But I find it hard to deny that the digital changeover has hurt many things I care about." That said, "I haven't any tidy conclusions to offer. Some criticisms of digital projection seem to me mistaken, just as some praise of it seems to me hype or wishful thinking. In surrendering argument to scattered observations, this final entry in our series is just a series of notes on my thinking right now."

More reading. "Some lessons I learned from Yilmaz Güney," from Ben Sachs in the Chicago Reader.

In the works. Terence Davies, already set to direct an adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's classic novel Sunset Song, has signed on to another adaptation, this one of Richard McCann's novel Mother of Sorrows. Kevin Jagernauth has more.

Also at the Playlist, Simon Dang reports that Léa Seydoux has joined Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue Is a Hot Color, "an adaptation of Julie Maroh's relationship-drama graphic novel Blue which will see her star opposite fellow up-and-comer Adèle Exarchopoulos for the story of a teenage girl who unexpectedly falls in love with another woman and faces her parents' and friends' judgment."

"Having taken a deep dive into the world of hardened gamblers for the HBO drama Luck, the director Michael Mann is reteaming with that cable channel to create a documentary series about the lives of combat photographers," reports Dave Itzkoff for the New York Times. Witness "will focus on young photojournalists in conflict zones in Mexico, Libya, Uganda and Brazil."

Zombieland screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have adapted the graphic novel Cowboy Ninja Viking and Marc Forster will direct once he wraps World War Z with Brad Pitt, reports Deadline's Mike Fleming.

Back to New York. "The French screenwriting titan Jean Aurenche co-wrote Coup de torchon [1981] with director Bertrand Tavernier when Aurenche was nearly 80, but the writing roils with the vinegar and crassness of shit-stirring youth," writes Justin Stewart in the L. This "ingenious adaptation of Jim Thompson's pulp novel Pop. 1280" screens tonight at BAMcinématek as part of the series A Hell of A Writer: Jim Thompson.

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  • Michael

    The Godfrey Cheshire essay David Bordwell references and says has been lost in the shuffle over at the NY Press website is viewable here: http://bit.ly/wyjcbo

    Thanks as always for the links.

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