I must begin with the beginning of a review penned by Jordan Mintzer of the Hollywood Reporter: "It's the end of film as we know it, but that doesn't mean it's the end of cinema, at least according to the all-star list of directors and technicians interviewed in Chris Kenneally's illuminating documentary Side by Side." This statement sidesteps a sad fact: The extensive technological transformation of an art form, cinema, has not resulted in something completely new, something unprecedented, something never dreamed of. We end with what we had at the start of the process: cinema.

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For example, the transformation in sampling production resulted in a whole new form of music, hiphop, that posed a challenge to older forms of music (rock, R&B, jazz). True, hiphop has been absorbed by the mainstream, but for a long time it was outside of that order, thoroughly democratic, and inventing really new values. The technological transformation of cinema, however, has presented no real changes or challenges to Hollywood.

Side by Side, a documentary produced by its presenter, Keanu Reeves, offers a basic history of the rise of digital movie production and the gradual disappearance of film in filmmaking via interviews with George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Joel Schumacher, Lana and Andy Wachowski, Danny Boyle, and Lars von Trier. These men (and a woman) do not make revolutionary films. Yes, David Lynch might have a surprise or two left up his sleeve, and Lars von Trier will always insist that he is a rebel—but as a whole, these directors are inside of the Hollywood system. As a consequence, the documentary is not about the end of anything, but a new way of making the same old thing. But, honestly, what does it matter if you shoot Batman with a film camera or a digital one? It's still Batman. Grand Illusion, Aug 31–Sept 6. recommended