'La La Land,' 'Hidden Figures' Among Season's Movies That Went the Film Route

'Silence,' 'Fences' also relied on celluloid.
Courtesy of Dale Robinette/Lionsgate

The filmmakers behind some notable Oscar contenders, including a few that opened or expanded during the holidays, chose to shoot on film.

Cinematographer Linus Sandgren selected film for his colorful rendering of Los Angeles in Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land; Charlotte Bruus Christensen used film for Denzel Washington’s Broadway play adaptation Fences; and Mandy Walker also chose 35mm for Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures, which stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as NASA mathematicians who made important contributions to launching John Glenn into space. Also taking the film route was Martin Scorsese’s 17th-century Japan-set period drama Silence, shot by director of photography Rodrigo Prieto, who previously earned an Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain.

In recent years, Hollywood has seen dramatic consolidation of the motion picture film business with the rise in the use of digital cinematography cameras. But Kodak — the last major maker of motion picture film — has been working to ensure that film remains a creative option for filmmakers.

The company confirmed that additional movies shot with 35mm this year include Nocturnal Animals and The Accountant, both lensed by two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (Atonement); Loving, from cinematographer Adam Stone; and Gold, by Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood).

Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, which follows First Lady Jackie Kennedy, was photographed with 16mm film by J.P. Passi.

Kodak also confirmed the use of 35mm on Knight of Cups, lensed by three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki (The Revenant); Hail, Caesar, shot by 13-time Academy Award nominee Roger Deakins (No Country for Old Men); and Jason Bourne, lensed by Oscar nominee Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker). Tentpoles Suicide Squad, shot by cinematographer Roman Vasyanov, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, from director of photography Larry Fong, also relied on film.

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