November 7, 2017
Director Mike Leigh Says Quentin Tarantino's Fight To Save Film Is 'Bollocks'

Director Mike Leigh, (Secrets & Lies, All or Nothing, Mr. Turner) was recently asked about Quentin Tarantino's ongoing quest to save 35mm film. Tarantino has been on a quest to publicly decry digital filmmaking at the expense of movies shot on actual film.

Tarantino went off on digital filmmaking, calling the result "TV in public," and "the death of cinema as I know it."

Mike Leigh reacted to that statement.

"That's bollocks, in a word. It's a ludicrous statement, because apart from anything else, it's a backward-looking statement that is irresponsible. I remember a time in the late '70s when people said, 'Cinema is over.' There are young filmmakers doing all sorts of fantastic things and part of the reason that's possible is the democratization of the medium because of a new technology, so [Tarantino's fight] is twaddle."
Leigh went on to say that the protests of the likes of Quentin Tarantino and others are useless.
"We are old-fashioned celluloid men and we've been making films for a very long time and in a Luddite way. But apart from anything else, it becomes a non-negotiable matter because the laboratories are closing down. And the fact is, this is technology that is brilliant. People have put a lot of time and energy into developing it and we've simply said let's embrace it and go for it and be positive."
Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh's latest film, was shot digitally.
"...had we shot it on film we still would have done CGI and digital things in post-production. It's very hard to know whether it would have looked different. So if it looks like film, that's great, but it is what it is and it looks great. We just took an intelligent decision (to shoot digitally), in collaboration with our brilliant producers, and it became inevitable."
Quentin Tarantino has gone so far in the defense of film that he recently acquired his own theater in Los Angeles that only shows movies shot on and presented in film. And Tarantino's not alone in his condemnation of the digital revolution. Other directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Christopher Nolan agree with The Hateful Eight director that film shouldn't be cast aside for pixels. Nolan went so far as to open his latest film, Interstellar, a few days early only in theaters that presented it in film format.

What do you think? Do you care about the digital revolution in film? Or, like Mike Leigh, do you think Tarantino's quest to keep film in theaters is "bollocks?"

[Images via the Telegraph and Biederman Blog]