CINERAMA @ 60
DIRECTOR: David Strohmaier
Included within theHow The West Was Won Blu-ray, Cinerama Adventure is a sentimental and detailed exploration of the short-lived phenomena that was Cinerama. Filled to the brim with stories, anecdotes and the odd tall tale, this takes a look at the people behind the process, Cinerama’s place with film history as well as its less likely use as a political weapon almost during the cold war.
Cinerama in its purest of 3 panel or 3 strip projection only lasted about 10 years, from its film, This Is Cinerama in 1952 to 1962’s How The West Was Won. It would continue in the form of one strip, extra wide formats, used for films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Battle Of The Bulge etc…
This documentary was the first to use and in turn developed the Smilebox format, the curved screen simulator alter used with How The West Was Won to present it as closely to it original presentation as possible. I love this format and want to see it as an option of many more films that were shown in this format.
It’s often sentimental, but never smaltzy. Clear, detailed and compelling, like all documentaries, for those who have an interest in the subject, but even if you’re not into the Cinerama process, this is still an interesting story of a decade of cinema technology that whilst it failed to ignite the industry as intended, it still led to the large format cinema of Imax, and kept the ideas and drive to move forward alive, for formats such as 3D and even CinemaScope, though that obviously beat its rival hands down.
Well worth a watch for fans of film, but like I said, as with all documentaries, it’s a matter of taste.
N.B. This review was originally posted on 13th September 2011, but has been reposted in honour of Cinerama’s 30th Birthday, today.