Side by Side director Chris Kenneally and I sat down yesterday at West Hollywood’s Le Pain Quotidien and kicked it around. The doc, easily one of the year ‘s best and arguably the most important in a historic, summing-up sense, opens today at Laemmle’s Noho and then on VOD on 8.22.

Side by Side director Chris Kenneally, whom I forgot to take a photo of during yesterday’s lunch.

Here‘s the mp3.

I first saw Side by Side last April, but I didn’t post my review unti 7.28. An exploration of how film has gradually given way to digital, it’s the visual-tech story of our moviegoing lives since the late-Clinton era until now. Anyone who wants to dig into the evolution of where we were and how we got to today has to wade into this thing.

Producer-interviewer Keanu Reeves and Kenneally got just about every major filmmaker around to talk to them (Chris Nolan, David Fincher, George Lucas, Steven Soderbergh, James Cameron, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Richard Linklater, Danny Boyle, etc.), but they didn’t get one of the biggest film hold-outs, Paul Thomas Anderson. This is a guy who’s devoutly into 70mm, and you know by the time his next film comes out he’s almost certainly going to have to shoot digital. I would have liked to have heard his thoughts.

They should have also spoken to Michael Mann, who was pretty much the first major director to go digital when he shot Collateral in ’04, and then Miami Vice in ’06 and Public Enemies in ’09. They did persuade Collateral dp Dion Beebe to sit down for the doc, so that’s something.