Welcome to the first Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second Editorial of 2013. There’s a lot to look forward to in the months ahead. As outlined more thoroughly in our preview of 2013 last week we have new films from as esoteric a group of filmmakers such as James Gray, Jean-Luc Godard, Terrence Malick and Pedro Almodóvar on the horizon. 

And while the immediate forecast may be clear, I’ve found myself asking what it is that we can expect from the wider philosophical and culture of Cinema 2013. Over the past couple of years we’ve seen the gradual extension of the film and digital debate. From the base mainstream of The Artist and Hugo in 2011, which presented the argument to a wider audience practically inadvertently, while the more more provocative  likes of Miguel Gomes’ Tabu, John Hillcoat’s Lawless and Leos Carax’s Holy Motors forced audiences to interact with the great transitions currently taking place in front of, behind and inside of the camera. As I mentioned in the site’s review of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit 2012 saw audiences treated to the widest array of varying formats in living memory, with everything from 16mm through to HFR projected on to cinema screens across the world thanks to filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson. While it’s unlikely that 2013 will see such an assortment of form, it is possible that we will see audience discernment factor in more, with keener viewers demanding that certain films be screened in certain ways. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master was the subject of this very phenomena, thanks to the roadshow-like exhibition of the film in 70mm, while the trend looks set to continue with Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, demand for which there is for screenings in 35mm, the outspoken director’s preferred method of exhibition.

The debate developed further in print too, via such key texts as J. Hoberman’s ‘Film After Film’ and the Cineaste digital symposium, which played out extensively in the Fall 2012 issue of the esteemed American film journal, while over the holidays I managed to catch up with Side By Side, a documentary produced by Keanu Reeves that features input from just about every corner of the American cinema (notably laking only the presence of Michael Mann, the patron saint of digital filmmaking as far as I’m concerned). The importance of the discussion has never been greater. And that’s because it quite simply *needs* to be debated, with any militancies left at the door from parties on either side of the fence. Film cannot be abandoned but with each successive year the likelihood of that happening obviously grows greater. Here’s hoping 2013 is the year in which a more definitive solution in favour of both mediums co-existing comes to the fore. 

As regular readers are no doubt well aware, the digital debate is one that interests me greatly. The whole thing actually runs concurrently with the life of Hope Lies too, with the developments made in the late 2000s coming roughly at the same time as I started writing on film. It’s been the key thesis of my life’s work, in that respect, and has, to put it simply, always been there. I’m fully aware that almost suggests a reliance on the debate itself for my own survival!

And with that in mind, those of thee that follow us on Twitter will be aware of a couple of our own developments for 2013. I’ve been hinting at something for the past few days, and while it isn’t ready to be revealed in its entirety just yet, click here for a further clue. It’s yet another example of the evolution of the digital, and harks back to an earlier Editorial. It’s a very exciting project, and one that I expect will define 2013 for the site in many ways. 

Happy New Year, 

Adam Batty – Editor-In-Chief

Further Reading

For Your Consideration: If Indiewire’s Critics Poll Picked The Oscars – An interesting curio, hypothesising on the fate of the awards season were film critics to rule the day. 

An Interview With James Gray – Courtesy Of The Playlist

Also

Raised in Fear: The Shining as R-Rated Christmas Ghost Story – One of my favourite pieces of the festive period, from Press Play.

My entry for last weeks IndieWire Critics Survey On The Most Anticipated Movie Of 2013.

And while we’re at it, here’s the one for the week before, which focusses on the work of Quentin Tarantino.