I have a love for physical film that’s likely rooted in how my childhood best friend, as well as his father, was a photographer. It was always interesting watching them work but I really got a taste for it when, in high school, both of us were on the yearbook staff and I spent a good amount of time hanging out in the darkroom of the office watching him develop pictures. It’s a lot more than just splashing a piece of film in some chemicals and he showed me the art that informs the science. That all has gone by the wayside as photography has transitioned to digital.
The new Netflix original film Kodachrome uses the sunset of the physical photo age as its setting and premise. Ed Harris plays Ben, a famous photographer who discovers a few rolls of film that have been hidden away. Unsure of what’s on them he and his home health assistant Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) set out to travel to the last shop in the country that develops Kodachrome film. To help, they enlist the aid of Ben’s estranged son Matt (Jason Sudeikis), still nursing resentment toward his absentee father who he hasn’t spoken to in a decade. With Ben’s health failing, it’s one last chance for the two to connect.