2001: A Space Odyssey
The Wild Bunch
The Hateful Eight
Let’s Spend the Night Together
Long before cell phones and the internet ruined everything, movie theaters reigned supreme. Here are some wonderful examples of marquee construction by photographer Timothy S. Allen.
“There is something going on emotively that we have not quantified as of yet. We will. When you’re seeing analog and you’re an analog being, there is an emotional connectivity, and there are emotive responses that you just don’t get when you’re looking at pixels.”
A smorgasbord of Warren Oates’ sweaty face filling the screen at Lincoln Center this summer with 35mm prints of RACE WITH THE DEVIL, THE HIRED HAND, BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA, 92 IN THE SHADE, and many more!
Then there’s the texture of the image itself. Rather than the neat grids of pixels you get with digital, the colours on a film strip come from layers of microscopic silver halide crystals, the positions of which differ from frame to frame. That’s why a static digital shot of an unchanging scene looks frozen, while on film, you’re always keenly aware that time is passing.
“Digital might be more predictable, but the problem is you can no longer see the best version of the film,” Nolan told the group. “In other words, cinemas are taking the McDonald’s approach: yeah, it’s all a bit worse, but at least it’s consistent.”
“There is no question it’s light years better looking than the DCP. The digital files are flat, dull by comparison. But what we’re doing here is allowing audiences to see what we’ve lost as a society. It’s a glimpse into how things were, and all the effort is worth it when you talk to someone who truly experienced something different than what they’ve become used to. The excitement is palpable!”
That’s where Chapin Cutler comes in. He’s the head of Boston Light and Sound, the company in charge of gathering old equipment like reels and lenses and retrofitting theaters so they can show this movie. It can be complicated.
“In one case, we had to chop open a door that had been cemented shut and put the equipment up on the second floor by bringing in a forklift,” Cutler says.
This 12-minute film created by Joseph O. Holmes features clips from 50 different films that take place in a projection booth, from Buster Keaton’s “Sherlock, Jr.” all the way up to Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds.”
The short debuted at the Redstone Theater at The Museum of the Moving Image on October 4, 2013, as part of the opening reception for Holmes’s “The Booth: The Final Days of Film Projection,” an exhibition of photographs. 39 images from his still-photo project “The Booth” can be viewed on his portfolio site: josephholmes.io/Portfolio/The-Booth-(2012)
Thanks to filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, Hollywood “doesn’t have to worry about film going away anymore.”
Film as a physical format is long from dead.
That’s according to Kodak’s CEO Jeff Clarke, who expects their film business to be profitable in 2016 after restructures and three quarters of breaking even in 2015. Earlier this year, Kodak and the major film studios, along with film advocates like Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese, reached an agreement to ensure the survival of the format, and it’s clear that it’s working.
New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, Detroit, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa, Minneapolis, Denver, Miami, Cleveland, Orlando, Sacramento, St. Louis, Portland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Baltimore, San Diego, Nashville, Kansas City, San Antonio, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Austin, New Orleans, Providence, Knoxville, Santa Barbara, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver.
<< For Mr. Sasaki, the possibilities are gratifying. “What Quentin Tarantino did is amazing,” he said. “He built up this infrastructure which is going to open up the floodgates for potential use.” >>
Weds, Nov. 8, at 7:15 pm, director Peter Flynn offers the world premiere of his new documentary DYING OF THE LIGHT at Doc NYC. Director Peter Flynn in attendance.
As theaters worldwide struggle to afford to maintain the superior, and more human, technology, Flynn’s film surveys the rarefied skill of film projectionists in their words, aiming to capture a generational shift with a mixture of nostalgia and introspection.
A scene from Peter Flynn’s DYING OF THE LIGHT
A 2013 article in the New York Times on the famous National Film School of Lodz, Poland, where students learn filmmaking on 35-millimeter and 16-millimeter film. Former students include Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda, and Krzysztof Kieslowski.
“For some reason it’s become acceptable to just provide an empty room with a TV in it on which you can watch a film. You’re not putting on a show, that experience for the audience isn’t valued and that has to change.”
When audiences pay to see the limited roadshow engagement of Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” this holiday season, it won’t just be the projection of Ultra Panavision 70mm photography that distinguishes it from multiplex versions released two weeks later. It will be a slightly different — and longer — film overall.
“The roadshow version has an overture and an intermission, and it will be three hours, two minutes,” Tarantino told Variety. “The multiplex version is about six minutes shorter, not counting the intermission time, which is about 12 minutes.”
“One of the terrible things happening with independent distribution in the States is there is a level of Blu-Ray distribution that is going on,” Nolan said. “Theatre owners should be saying no to that. Exhibition shouldn’t work in such a way that you present the worse possible version of the film until someone in the audience complains. Exhibitors need to put their best foot forward and have standards. No cinema should be showing a consumer grade format to an audience. At least, they shouldn’t be doing it without saying to the public this is best we can get.”
Martin Scorsese presented the film HEAVEN CAN WAIT and addressed the audience on the importance of film preservation.
Christopher Nolan, spearhead for many things dark, has taken on the task of presenting the Brothers Quay, the famed stop-motion animators, in his new 35mm short film, QUAY. Having its world premiere at Manhattan’s Film Forum on Weds August 19th, before embarking on a North American tour, Nolan’s film is accompanied by three Brothers Quay shorts, all on 35mm, in a program entitled THE QUAY BROTHERS IN 35MM.
The three films include IN ABSENTIA (2000), composed with broken pencils and lead shavings, the explorations of a porcenlain doll in a dreamer’s world in THE COMB (1991); and the Bruno Schulz–based STREET OF CROCODILES (1986). Nolan’s short film QUAY (2015) shows the twins at work in their London studio.
Long a champion of film as the medium to both record and project, Nolan’s continues his forward thrust in presenting films as they were meant to be seen in this wonderful tribute to the art and form of motion pictures.
Other locations for the tour include:
Film Forum New York City NY August 19-25, 2015
Alamo Drafthouse Richardson Richardson TX September 3 -7, 2015
Cinefamily Los Angeles CA September 4-10, 2015
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Houston TX September 12-13, 2015
Alamo Drafthouse Ritz Austin TX September 17, 2015
Cleveland Cinematheque Cleveland OH September 24 – 27, 2015
Brattle Theatre Cambridge MA September 25 – October 1, 2015
Detroit Institute of Art Detroit MI October 9 – 11, 2015
SIFF Film Center Seattle WA October 9 – 15, 2015
The Music Box Theatre Chicago IL October 16 – 22, 2015
TIFF Bell Lightbox Toronto October 27, 2015
From Friday, December 5th through Wednesday, December 10th, the first six films in the franchise will be presented at the PFS Roxy Theater in downtown Philadelphia.
Individual tickets for each screening are $10.00. An all-access pass for all six films with reserved seating is $50.00. There is also a $35.00 general admission pass that will allow the buyer into four films of their choosing.