Cinerama As Perceived By Abel Gance
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Abel
Gance. Text provided by Widescreen Academy member
Francois Carrin, and
The original famous letter from Abel Gance, written for
French souvenir program of "Windjammer", in February 1962. Remember that the French
title was "La Grande Rencontre" ("The Great Encounter").
Caption by François Carrin|
Click on the image to see enlargement.
In the morning of July 7th 1924, while working at the edits of my first
"Napoleon Bonarparte", I wrote the exciting scripts of the two storms:
the one for the Convention and the one for the Army of Italy and I suddenly
felt uncomfortable, like imprisoned by the narrow frame of the movie screen.
My pen stopped and out of the blue an idea came into my mind. Why not make
the frames of the screen explode? And then I wrote what we can still read
today in my script.
"At the very moment, when the Army of Italy is ready to leave, 2 curtains
open suddenly at the right and the left of the center screen and reveal 2
additional screens with a sense of continuity. And, like the 3 valves of a
lock open simultaneously, the flow will engulf the spectator, this flow
being the most powerful in Human power ever seen in History.
This was 37 years ago
Luckily, a remarkable man sharp and visionary, was at the premiere of my
movie at the Paris Opera: Nicolas Reisini. He understood this new technology
would one day or the other revolutionize the movie industry. But at this
point on time there was nothing he could have done to help me. And this is
only after many years of battles he managed to be on top of CINERAMA INC. He
decided to bring me back its birth certificate in order to make me the
father of this invention which has been stolen from me in its concept.
What do I think now about Cinerama?
I think there is far more distance between conventional Cinema and Cinerama
than you have between a propeller plane and a jet and we are witnessing this
latest which will supersede the previous one with a non reversible effect.
I will try to play a useful tool in this evolution with the
Without a doubt, by bringing new ideas, we will achieve to fulfil my
dream..... Novalis said: "A picture is a prayer, such Spirit has been
called, such Spirit appears!"
So I call the Spirit towards CINERAMA
|More in 70mm reading:|
Cinerama Vu Par Abel Gance
Interview - Part 1
Projecting “Napoleon” – une
pièce de resistance
"Windjammer" in Cinemiracle
in70mm.com's Cinerama page
Empire - Cinerama - Paris
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