There is nothing inherently wrong with digital screening, on big and small screen, I agree with that Edwin, and purist celluloid lovers alone won't do anything about this inevitable transformation of the industry. I don't think cinema loses its soul by embracing the digital industrialisation either. Nobody regrets the vinyl now that music is ubiquitous on CDs and MP3s. Conversely, we'll forget celluloid was the original medium, just like we're no longer shocked that the movies have sound and colours.
Even I, purist of the film strip projection on a big screen, know that the essence of cinema isn't there. The affection for this typical film aesthetic is only fetishism.
I wish digital would become the dominant format for the mainstream industry and celluloid would stay the privilege of hardcore cinephiles...
What annoys me most is the way this transition will operate. With the uniformity of the digital filmmaking and exhibition, it will make celluloid a luxury, and only the wealthy studios will be able to afford it. Big budget mainstream movies have already adopted the whole digital apparatus and aesthetic seamlessly. Their filmmakers and audience don't care much for this nostalgic touch particular to chemical colours and celluloid grain. Old arthouses, which can't afford the upgrade to the brand new digital projector, will stick around long after all the multiplexes will have switched. But if artfilms struggle today to get made on 35mm and screened on a number of film prints (which is already more costly than the digital process), it will become even more expensive and less accessible to small budget auteurs when most labs will abandon the marginalized chemical process.
The major progress brought in by the digital era is of course the widespread of DVDs. Finally movies become as handy for the common man as pocket books. Films used to be the exclusive property of corporations and institutions, either studios or private theatres, because they only existed in reels which require an expensive equipment to project. So a film was visible only when an exhibitor or eventually a television decided to show it. Now the movie lovers can buy a copy for multiple viewing at their discretion. This is big enough a step forward for the accessibility and the popularisation of film culture to overlook the fetishism for celluloid grains.
And the advantage official DVD distributors will keep over the pirate market, is that they can certify the integrity of the film version. With a pirate copy we'll never know if some scenes or frames haven't been removed, modified, censored, replaced by others, mashed-up...So demanding customers will always come back to reliable sources, and film critics should emphasize this quality control, just like they scrutinize authentic director's cuts and dubious foreign cuts circulating in the world.