Mission Report from Widescreen Weekend 1998
Pictureville, Bradford, England
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Article and pictures by: Thomas Hauerslev|| |
|Temporary entrance to Pictureville Cinema|
The Wide Screen Weekend in Bradford, England went really well this year. The weekend is an important part of the larger Bradford Film Festival and is sought out by many people. Many subscribers to The 70mm Newsletter had the opportunity to say hello to each other and share memories and interests. Yours Truly interviewed festival organizer Mr. Bill Lawrence and projectionists Mr. Duncan McGregor and Mr. Tony Cutts.
|Further in 70mm reading:|
Widescreen Weekend 1998
Gallery: Bradford, Widescreen Weekend 1998
|Mr. Richard "Dick" Vaughan Head of projection. |
All film prints were received in time for the showings and Mr. Lawrence proudly opened the Wide Screen Weekend Friday afternoon by introducing David Lean's masterpiece "Ryan´s Daughter", using a rare, almost non-faded, 70mm print from Norway. In issue 54 in September, Mr. Tony Sloman will write more about "Ryan´s Daughter". One of the other highlights was certainly the presentation of "Oklahoma!" in Todd-AO on the Cinerama screen. I sat in the first row to experience The Greatest Show in Todd-AO at 30 frames per second. I enjoyed every minute of it. It was fun and, in my mind, I envisioned myself at the Rivoli in 1955. The film was well staged, directed, mixed, photographed, scored etc, etc, and was simply grand entertainment. In the audience was Mrs. Linda Atton, Mr. Fred Zinnemann´s private secretary for the past 25 years. Adding to the poignancy of the screening that evening the date of the evening (March 14, 1998) was exactly one year since Mr. Zinnemann passed away in Hollywood. All 302 seats were nearly sold out and, as an extra bonus, "The Miracle of Todd-AO" was shown before the film.
Contrary to popular belief, "Miracle" was not shown with "Oklahoma!" until May 25th 1956 (Daily Variety, April 25, 1956) and "Miracle" was not made by Michael Todd, it was produced by Louis de Rochemont Associates, photographed in the spring of 1956. And the official title has officially been "The Miracle of Todd-AO" since the first public performance.
|Mr. Paul Gerber, Mr. Hans-Kristian Bukholm, Mr. Morten Skallerud and Mr. Thomas Hauerslev.|
Sunday morning March 15th was devoted to a program called "Cineramacana and 70mm shorts", a wonderful mixture of 70mm short films, Cinerama items and rare odd reels. In the audience that morning were several 70mm short film makers, including Mr. Hans-Kristian Bukholm ("Svalbard - Arctic Season"), Mr. Morten Skallerud ("A Year Along The Abandoned Road") and Mr. Paul Gerber ("Norway" and "Symbiosis" a.k.a "Land Symbiosis") from the States. All three gentlemen introduced their films, which were then shown in 70mm on the flat screen. This was a rare opportunity to see these 70mm short films publicly. It was another favorite program among members of the audience and, later that day, "Svalbard - Arctic Season" was shown again, this time by public demand on the huge curved Cinerama screen.
|Victoria 8 70mm projector from Italy.|
During the week-end there was a pervasive "magnetic" atmosphere of 70mm film. The audience, impressed by the new and old films on today's projection technology, often visited the box/booth to ask the patient projectionists questions about performance and 70mm prints. The projectionist crew, Duncan, Jennifer, Juan and Tony, did a fantastic job working almost around the clock to satisfy the desires of the ever-demanding 70mm aficionados in the assemblage. They all got a rousing round of applause from the audience at the end of Sunday for a job well done.
Look forward to another wide screen festival at Bradford next year. It promises to have more films and surprises.
The Bradford Film Festival goes from strength to strength. In its 4th year, attendance reached nearly 9000 spectators - topping last year's count. Many people took advantage of the opportunity to see rare treats such as the sold-out performance of "Oklahoma!" in Todd-AO. Many guests flew in from all over the word, sometimes just for a day. Look forward to next year's Festival, during the first weeks of March, 1999.
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