It should be mentioned Roger Deakins likes film very much. He is more interested in digital at the moment, because it is the future.
Processing and lab work infrastructure is still pretty reliable today, despite the problems that Roger Deakins describe. I am in the industry and I would know.
I thought "Hail, Ceaser!" looked great. The image had a texture, and colors and skintones were richer than previous films that Deakins had shot digitally.
"...The Panavision Ultra 70 camera is massive. It would not surprise me if it's close to 200 lbs when loaded."
The total weight of the Panavision Ultra 70 with film loads is around 90 lbs.
Source: Bob Richardson, the DP of the film.
"Once it is converted to ones and zeros, it is digital. Just like virginity, once you have sex you are no longer a virgin. There is no almost a virgin."
What you have to understand as if you watch a film projection that hasn't gone through a digital intermediate, what is you are seeing has not been converted to zero's and one's in any of part of the process, and therefore it is not a digital film.
This is not to say that there aren't digital versions of the film -- such as a DCP -- but even if you're editing on an Avid, the original negative (which is film) is being cut and conformed to that timecode (all manually by hand) and optically printed onto a print stock (assuming you're not going through a digital intermediate). This is the way many movies were made in 90's. Today, you can still watch a 70mm presentation of "The Hateful Eight" and "The Master", and none of what you are seeing has at any point go through a digital conversation. Hence, it is not digital.
To this extent, I will agree you that Star Wars is a digital film in that it went through a Digital Intermediate and has hundreds of digital effects shot, whereas a film presentation of "The Hateful Eight" or "The Master" have not gone through any digital process, and hence they are not digital films in the context of a film presentation.
"Yet it is still an option, most of the film stocks are gone, most of the film developing companies are gone, most of the manufacturers of film are gone"
There has never been a time in the history of films with more film stocks available from a single manufacture (with the exception of reversal film, which was discontinued in 2012). There was a time when only one film stock was available at a single time. Today, you have four film stocks available in four different speeds in four different gauges (8, 16, 35, 65), all available at the same time, plus B&W negative/reversal stocks, and two print stocks.
It's true that Fuji discontinued their motion picture stocks, but Kodak is still going and there is still a film stock for every speed and for every film gauge. When you say that "most of the film stocks are gone", you don't know what you're talking about, do you?
" but over the last 20 yrs digital has gained popularity and today dominates overwhelmingly, but no knock out punch yet."
No one is denying that. No one is denying the decline of film, and taking over of digital.
Your claim that "There are no films that are 100% film anymore" is not entirely true.
Films such as "The Master" and "The Hateful Eight" are more or less all film.
The negative is digitized for the editing and to produce a DCP version of the film, but the projected film doesn't go through a digital process.
While you edit on an Avid, the internegative is cut and conformed to the digital edit. There is no digital grading, its all printer lights. The only thing digital is the sound and maybe the titles.
"Interstellar" and "The Hateful Eight" are both films made in Hollywood and are "100% film" in the sense that they haven't been through a D.I
Only 13% of "The Revenant" was shot on the Arri 65. The rest of the film was shot using the Alexa M on "open gate" mode.
I thought the "The Hateful Eight" projected on 70 looked absolutely spectacular.
You can easily move a Panaflex 65mm camera on a Technocrane. However it's not well suited for the kind of handheld work you saw in "The Revenant".