Today, the Widescreen Weekend which is held at The National Media Museum in Bradford, England opens its doors for the Four day festival, celebrating the grandeur of the 70mm era. But that is not all. The Pictureville cinema which is attached to the museum and venue of the festival is host to England’s only deeply curved Cinerama screen, meaning that yet again, the magnificent failure which was 3-panel Cinerama can be seen by a whole new generation, though most would simply not be interested.
As many of you may be aware, Cinerama is an interest of mine and thanks to independent U.S. distributor Flicker Alley, I have collected ALL five of the Cinerama travelogue from 1952 – 1958 and the Windjammer (1958), a film which was adopted by Cinerama after being produced in a rival format, Cinemiricle.
But with all te merits of the Smilebox format not withstanding, nothing beats watching these films as they were intended, on the curved cinema screen and thanks to festivals like this, we still can. I do believe though, that the showing are now digital in most cases, and whilst this irons out a myriad of issues, such as the concealing the joins between the three projected panels, personally, I would more interested in watching these was they would have been projected back in the 1950’s, warts ‘n’ all.
But with the as yet unreleased Bet Of Cinerama and the magnificent 2001: A Space Odyssey on offer, this should be a weekend of note for any film buffs interested in the big screen as it was in it’s early heyday. Remember that Cinerama’s 1952 debut with This Is Cinerama directly lead to 20th Centruty Fox’s Cinemascope, the direct descendent of the 2.39:1 widescreen format which all now and love today.
Here is the confirmed running order:
15th ~ 18th October 2015
- 11:00 – A INTRODUCTION TO CINERAMA & WIDESCREEN CINEMA (PICTUREVILLE)
- 18:00 – WIDESCREEN WEEKEND RECEPTION (TBA)
- 19:00 – OPENING NIGHT FILM: OKLAHOMA! (PICTUREVILLE)
- 09:45 – INTERSTELLAR: VISUAL EFFECTS OF 70mm MOVIE MAKING +INTERSTELLAR (2014) (PICTUREVILLE)
- 14:45 – BKSTS WIDESCREEN STUDENT FILM OF THE YEAR (PICTUREVILLE)
- 17:00 – HOLIDAY IN SPAIN (aka SCENT OF MYSTERY) (PICTUREVILLE)
- 19:45 – FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (PICTUREVILLE)
- 09:50 – AT BRIDGE TOO FAR (PICTUREVILLE)
- 14:30 – SCREEN TALK: LESLIE CARON + GIGI (PICTUREVILLE)
- 19:30 – HOW THE WEST WAS WON (1962) (PICTUREVILLE)
- 09:30 – THE BEST OF CINERAMA (PICTUREVILLE)
- 12:50 – WIDESCREEN AESTHETICS AND NEW WAVE CINEMA (PICTUREVILLE)
- 14:15 – CINERAMACANA & TODD-AO (PICTUREVILLE)
- 17:45 – KEYNOTE SPEECH: DOUGLAS TRUMBULL – THE STATE OF CINEMA (PICTUREVILLE)
- 20:00 – 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) (PICTUREVILLE)
- 20:00 – THE MAKING OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN WITH BRIAN HANNAN + THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (CUBBY BROCCOLI)
See you there!