Regarding posts #4 and #5 - that's the point.
You have to specify WHICH film. TMax 3200, Tri-X, Ektar 100, Kodachrome 25, monochrome microfilm. There is a big difference in resolution among film types, not "a" resolution for "film" in any useful generic sense.
The idea of film resolution has been around a long, long time before "digital" was ever heard of. The popular photo magazines reviewed film "resolution" 'way back in the 1960's (and probably long before). Measured the same way as lens resolution and any other kind of photographic resolution (lines or line pairs per mm, later subsumed into the concept of MTF - contrast at various resolutions).
However, it wasn't terribly important until people started trying to use smaller and smaller pieces of film (enter Leica), and then enlarging them. 10 lppm was far more than was needed to match human vision - if you were shooting 8x10 film and making contact prints. But it looked rather weak once it was shot on a 1" strip of film and enlarged 8-10 (or more) times - suddenly it became 1 lppm.
Digital imaging (even prior to digital capture) DID re-energize awareness of film resolution, once 40-50x enlargements became commonplace (a 2700-4000 ppi scan blown up to 100% pixels on a 72 ppi monitor).
Pico, I beg to disagree: "resolution" most certainly can be a meaningful metric in aesthetics. Otherwise, one is at a loss to completely describe the differences between:
Chuck Close: File:Chuck Close 1.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Georges Seurat: File:Seurat-La Parade detail.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Vincent Van Gogh: File:Van Gogh Self-Portrait with Straw Hat 1887-Metropolitan.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Larry Clark: http://art.newcity.c.../1995_51_69.jpg
David Bailey: http://25.media.tumb...fye6o1_1280.jpg
If you meant that "higher resolution" does not automatically mean "higher aesthetic value" - there, we may agree.