The film “Super 8” is a hit, but what does the title mean?

The No. 1 film at the box office this week is J.J. Abram’s “Super 8,” an homage to the work of Steven Spielberg. Millions of people have seen this film, but it’s doubtful they know what the title means.

Released by Eastman Kodak in 1965, Super 8 became one of the preferred film formats of the motion picture industry during the 1960s and 70s – alongside 35 mm film. The name is an abbreviation for Super 8 millimeter film. The use of the word “super” denotes the film stock’s improvement over the earlier “regular 8” format and the number 8 is a reference to the width (in millimeters) of the film reel. Many independent filmmakers continue to use 8 mm to mimic the look of old home movies and capture the film’s gritty quality.

The fact that a movie using digital and image technologies that have led to the obsolescence of Super 8 film could be seen as ironic. But is this truly an example of irony? We dig in to that thorny topic, here.

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