Is film really better than digital? Or vice versa? Following the news that Steven Spielberg is allegedly to blame for the slow rollout of digital projectors into cinemas, I've been thinking about the questions all week. And I have no idea. But not because siding with Spielberg, just because he's Spielberg, is difficult when he suddenly announces a new digital 3-D project (Ghost and the Shell) he'll be producing. The reality is that I'm not technologically informed enough and, more importantly, my eyesight isn't good enough for me to really make the distinction anymore.
That isn't to say I can't tell if I'm watching film or digital. I definitely can. Especially when it's digital 3-D, or when it's an incorrectly projected HD copy of The Wackness, which looks very crisp but also very dark (for the purpose of this week's column, it's not important to point a finger at the cinema responsible). What I can't tell is which format is better. And I mean better in a sort of ideological mixed with functionality context. If just going by ideals, I have to keep pledging allegiance to film, but perhaps only as a traditionalist. Yet if going by functionality, I have to swear by digital, from DVD to DLP to 4K to whatever (again, I just can't keep up tech-wise), but perhaps only as a futurist.