Movies on Movies: No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos

'No Subtitles Necessary' explores the history and friendship of two of Hollywood's greatest cinematographers, Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond. Little did I know that these two Hungarian greats were film students together in Budapest and filmed the quashing of the Hungarian uprising by the Soviets. They smuggled their film out of Hungary, made their way to America and started working in the film industry on low budget horror pictures. Both cinematographers went on to become two of the most innovative and accomplished photographers of their generation. An unexpected gem marred only by the constant inclusion of Sharon Stone. A little bewildering but a great viewing nonetheless.

Movies on Movies: Side by Side

'Side by Side' is a documentary that examines the seismic shift in the acquisition format from film to digital. This film isn't geared toward a general interest audience and is much more of an exploration of the technical side of making films.

Film is dead. The writing is on the wall that film is not going to be the most popular acquisition format of the future (or even the 'now'). Of course film isn't dead and won't be for a long time but it will be a specialty format used for certain effects and by specific filmmakers. Over one hundred years film basically evolved slowly. Stocks got faster and grain got smaller and color film was introduced but overall the change was gradual. In the decade since the release of Star Wars Episode II, shot on the HDCAM format, digital technology has grown exponentially. It's come to the point that digital formats are exceeding the abilities of film. Just as there are advocates for the analog format of vinyl records film will also have it's advocates. Still, it's a moot point now as digital acquisition is clearly the winner and every year the stakes keep going higher and higher.

A decent film that will probably seem silly in a decade from now.

Side by Side Official Trailer (2012) from Company Films on Vimeo.

Movies on Movies - Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood

'Moguls and Movie Stars' is a  7 part series produced by Turner Classic Movies. The series explores the rise of the moguls from the original peep shows and nickelodeons to their eventual decline and extinction. It's a wonderful reminder of a time where the heads of studios were as passionate about films as they were about profits.

Movies on Movies - The Story of Film: An Odyssey.

Beyond all of the extras that are given on DVD and Blu-ray releases there are many excellent films about films and the filmmaking process. Many of the films I will list may be hard to find so I will start with some great films available on Netflix and DVD/Blu-ray.

First up is Mark Cousin's whirlwind examination of the history of film in his excellent fifteen part series 'The Story of Film'. Not only is this series rich with detail Cousins makes all sorts of wonderful connections between world cinema and Western cinema. It's a great series for those of us who grew up with a Hollywood-centric view of the history of the movies.

A great starting place for any lover of movies and movie history.