Reporting from New York–Finally!

Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. I’ve been having Internet-connection problems (not to mention laptop hardware problems), and I decided that enjoying my New York vacation was more important than dealing with connectivity issues.

Of course, the very idea of this vacation brings up a question: Why visit NYC in the summer, when the weather could melt Tom Cruise’s face. Because this is the time of year we could come. Funny thing: This is my fourth or fifth trip to this city, and they’ve all been in the summer.

Anyway, on Friday I took my son (who lives here) to Lincoln Center for a screening of Dersu Uzala. That is one terrific theater. The 35-foot screen is no record breaker, but if felt big, especially from the front row, where we sat. The seats are very comfortable and the sound system, from what I read, is excellent, although I couldn’t judge it from this presentation.

Even the best theater can’t help a lousy print, and that’s what they showed. Considering that it was part of a series celebrating the film’s American distributor, Kino Films,this is probably the best print available. That’s a shame. The colors appear to have shifted heavily towards yellow. That’s usually not a sign of a faded print, but something worse: a faded negative (or, hopefully, internegative). The print bore the signs of Roger Corman’s original 1976 American release–and not only with Corman’s credit. Much of the Russian dialog wasn’t subtitled, and what there was probably wasn’t well translated.

It’s still a good movie, although it doesn’t strike me as masterpiece I thought it was 30 years ago. But I couldn’t be sure how much of that is me, and how much of that was the print.

I’m hoping to get to MOMA or the Film Forum before I return home on Wednesday.