With 35mm Film Dead, Will Classic Movies Ever Look the Same Again?

In the online Atlantic, Daniel Eagan details just how close film is to its inevitable and lamentable death.

In June, director Martin Scorsese tried to show his 1993 film The Age of Innocence at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese’s editor for the past 40 years and a three-time Oscar winner, called Grover Crisp, the senior VP of asset management at Sony, for a 35mm print. But Sony not only didn’t have a print, it couldn’t even make one.

“He told me that they can’t print it anymore because Technicolor in Los Angeles no longer prints film,” Schoonmaker recalled. “Which means a film we made 20 years ago can no longer be printed, unless we move it to another lab—one of the few labs still making prints.”

Welcome to the digital world, movie version. With major studios like 20th Century Fox switching to digital prints by year’s end, businesses that used to make and support celluloid—labs, shippers, and suppliers—are shutting down or shifting gears. Fuji is ending its production of film stock, while Kodak, in the throes of bankruptcy, is cutting back on its film products.

The article continues here.

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