Lawrence of Arabia and the Third Coming of 70mm

I've seen two new blockbusters this summer, and both were projected from 70mm film. Fifty years ago, that wouldn't have been surprising. Thirty years ago, that would have been normal. Ten years ago, it was unthinkable. Today, it's back, five years after theatres were supposed to stop projecting physical film of any size. From Edison's … Continue reading Lawrence of Arabia and the Third Coming of 70mm

Big, roadshow musical movies coming to the Bay Area

A particular kind of movie musical will soon get a lot of exposure in the Bay Area--the large-format roadshow musicals of the 1950s and '60s. These were almost always close adaptations of popular Broadway stage musicals. They were often shot and projected in large, high-definition, film formats such as Todd-AO or Super Panavision 70. And … Continue reading Big, roadshow musical movies coming to the Bay Area

Cinema’s past and cinema’s future: Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Yesterday was a very strange day for me at the San Francisco International Film Festival. I didn’t see a single, complete film. But it was still worthwhile. Mel Novikoff Award: Lenny Borger The Novikoff Award goes to someone who who "has enhanced the film-going public’s appreciation of world cinema." Sometimes it goes to someone famous, … Continue reading Cinema’s past and cinema’s future: Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Physical Film Coming Back with Interstellar

I love digital projection. After a long period of skepticism, I embraced the new technology enthusiastically years ago. To my eyes, a well-transferred DCP looks better than any projected film format except Imax. And yet, I'm excited about Christopher Nolan's Interstellar coming out on real, to-goodness film. This is despite the fact that I have … Continue reading Physical Film Coming Back with Interstellar

DCP, Grover Crisp, & Bonjour Tristesse at the PFA

Thursday night I attended the second event in the Pacific Film Archive series, The Resolution Starts Now: 4K Restorations from Sony Pictures. This was more than just a movie screening. It was a talk by Sony's head archivist--and one of the current heroes of film restoration--Grover Crisp. Then came the movie: Otto Preminger’s Bonjour Tristesse. … Continue reading DCP, Grover Crisp, & Bonjour Tristesse at the PFA