Widescreen Weekend 2004
My Story - A Diary (sort of)
The 70mm Newsletter
and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev
from row 7 in the plane
I left Copenhagen March 18 on a sunny and very bright Thursday morning. As
usual I took the bus line 250 directly to the airport.
I had already checked in via the net, so I was anxious to find out if my
seat really was waiting for me. I didn't even have a paper ticket. All my travel
details, tickets etc was stored on my Eurobonus card. Once past the security
I had to get something to eat. I found a good chicken steak with some
vegetables. I was starving since I hadn't eaten since breakfast some 5 hours
earlier. Looking forward to Bradford, I drank a very large Carlsberg beer.
The airport is a funny place with so many people walking from terminal to
terminal. I saw some Danish politicians that morning.
Oddly, I often get the feeling of "not wanting to go" in the hours up to my
departures. Not specifically about going to Bradford, but generally
I seem to miss my children and wife even before I leave. Well, overwhelmed
by excitement and the prospect of some great days in Bradford, I left
It was a nice flight from Copenhagen to Manchester. I enjoy flying, but
always have sweating hands before we land. It must be unconscious
excitement, because I like the sensation of speed during take off and
landing. As expected, weather in England was cloudy and with showers. Trains
for Bradford are conveniently reached from Manchester airport. A return to
Bradford is less than 17 pounds with a change in Huddersfield. Compared to
Danish rolling stock, some British trains look like museum pieces. It always
surprises me how dirty the hillsides next to the train track are. It seem
to me people are just getting rid of their trash there. It looks awful.
Rain and wind
Originally I had planned to arrive sometime around 17:30, but due to bad
connections I had to wait more than 30 minutes for the next train in Huddersfield.
My original idea was to see "Apollo 13" in IMAX at 18:00, but I
had to let it go, since I arrived during heavy rain at 18:10. On my way to the
Midland hotel, I nearly drowned in the rain. After checking in I called
home, relaxed a bit and then went to the Pictureville to see Bill &
I met Duncan, Tony and Rodger the moment I stepped in. I had brought the
usual amount of liquid refreshments and we exchanged some movie memorabilia.
There was some confusion with the tickets but the staff soon sorted them
out. Paul Rayton had asked me to pick up his tickets which I did. He wasn't
supposed to arrive until very late on Saturday.
best curry served in Bradford
Well, since I missed "Apollo 13" I might as well see "The
Longest Day" in 70mm. After that film, around midnight, I went with Tony
and Duncan, Michael Nydegger, Francois Carrin and a few more for a curry in
the nearby "Omar Khans" restaurant. I returned to my hotel nearly 1 am and went straight
to bed. For me it was actually 2 am since I´m living in Denmark, which is
1 hour ahead of Britain.
30 Little Horton Lane, Bradford
Owner Omar Khan won the "Hot Stuff Chef of the Year" in 1994 and completely rebuilt and remodelled this tremendous restaurant alongside the very convenient car park. The decor is very stylish in a regency style with confortable chairs and Italian tiled toilets. The food is up to a similar standard and it is certainly one of Bradford's top restaurants. 'Best in Britain Award 1995-6'.
Friday - Meeting People
6:30 the next morning I woke up and had a quick "shit, shower and
shave" (sorry couldn't resist writing this - sounds so funny to me).
While wondering who else stayed at the Midland, I had continental breakfast in the restaurant.
I took some notes (which you are now reading),
as well as doing some notes for an article for Victor Nicelli at Cinemeccanica. It was
a very windy morning with rain.
Did the usual DVD shopping at W.H.Smith, HMV
and Virgin. This year I had my eyes on some "Monty Python",
"Not the 9 O'clock News" and "The Singing
Detective". I also bought the new "Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang" DVD which is already quite popular with my children.
Back to the hotel with the DVDs and then straight to the Pictureville to see
Roger and John
I barely managed to buy two postcards to send home for my
wife and children. For Charlotte a romantic black &
white card and for my children a "Pirates of the Caribbean"
card. I posted them at the mail box right outside NMPFT
Friday morning and they arrived back home on Monday morning.
In the Pictureville foyer I hung some home-made Sensurround
"warning" posters to create more anticipation for
Sunday screening as well as a few adverts for the
"Audience on Stage" pictures. Actually, I asked
Joan Butler to do it for me.
My first film Friday afternoon was "The Lion in
Winter" in 70mm which I have never seen. It was a
good solid performance - a bit over-theatrical perhaps - and
faded to brown. It occurred to me that, like I always
imagine the old days to be in black and white, because the
film were in black and white, the whole large format movie
heritage from the 1960s is now gone either pink, red or
brown. At least where old prints are concerned.
After "Lion" I met with fellow Academy
members Howard Rust, John Belton and Keith Swadkins to sign the certificate
for Tony Sloman who would become the next esteemed member. Only person missing this
year was Willem Bouwmeester. Several weeks in advance
my fellow academy colleagues and I had discussed who
would be a worthy next member of the Academy. On top of our short-list this
year was Tony.
Festival Hotel Rates:
ESE Festival badge
both include full English breakfast
Tel: + 44 1274 735735
both include full English breakfast
Tel: + 44 1274 728706
Single (Fri-Sun): £50
Single (Mon-Thurs): £72
Double (Fri-Sun): £60
Double (Mon-Thurs): £82
All include full English breakfast
Tel: +44 1274 734734
Express by Holiday Inn
Room rate (Fri/Sat/Sun): £45 incl continental breakfast
Room rate (Mon-Thurs incl): £59 incl continental breakfast
+44 870 787 2064
Sheldon Hall, Mark Lyndon and Jack Cardiff
I spent a couple of hours sipping red wine in the foyer with Mark Lyndon, Ramon Lamarca, Sheldon
Hall, Bill Lawrence and Jack Cardiff and his wife. Jack told us stories from his life as a cinematographer, which includes classics like
“The African Queen”, and “Scent of Mystery”/“Holiday in Spain” filmed in Smell-O-Vision.
He also directed "Scent". The smells for the film didn't work
at all, he recalled. They all just smelled of perfume. Jack also photographed the first Showscan film,
“New Magic”. He has documented his memories in the book
"Magic Hour". Jack kindly signed autographs for
all of us.
I had 3 glasses of red wine - which in the end turned out to
be too much, as I fell asleep from time to time during "Lord
Jim". Tony Sloman btw. slept through most of "Lord
Jim", he told me. After the film I felt fine and went
out for a curry with Bill Lawrence and Tony Sloman.
Back to bed at 1:30 am.
Cameraman Jack Cardiff photographed some of the most sumptuous color movies of all time. He won an Oscar for his work on Black Narcissus, shot The Red Shoes and The African Queen, and worked steadily as cinematographer and director through the 1980s. In this winning
autobiography, Cardiff tells wonderful stories about his collaboration with Michael Powell, Alfred Hitchcock
and the gruelling experience of shooting jungle locations for The African
Saturday - Getting Momentum
70mm Twins - separated at birth - reunited in Bradford. Paul Rayton (left)
and Thomas Hauerslev
First up in the breakfast restaurant. Soon joined by Jack Cardiff and wife
and Susan and Dion Hanson. Today I must purchase some gifts for my children
and some batteries for my digital camera. Was also thinking of getting a
copy of the "Smack the Pony" DVD from HMV, but it turned out to be
unavailable. Saturday was extremely windy with gales with wind speed up to 70
mph (116 km/h). In fact a window blew out of an office upstairs from the
Pictureville cinema foyer. Nobody was hurt. The wind was also interfering
with ventilation and the projection as a xenon lamp went out for a few
seconds during "Cinerama´s Russian Adventure".
Before "War and Peace" Herbert Lom (January 9, 1917) and
Jack Cardiff were sitting in the foyer exchanging memories and signed
autographs, including one for my collection.
Instead of seeing the 35mm version of "War and Peace" I saw
some clips of "Apollo 13" in IMAX DMR and was pleased with
the picture quality. Nothing like 65mm obviously, however, but quite good and
much better than I expected it to be on the big IMAX screen. I happened to
be in the projection room during the change over which was completely
seamless. I didn't notice any changeover marks on screen. I forgot to ask if
they are necessary or if the change over is automatic.
On my way home after "It´s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Wold" I
met Paul Rayton on Bradford´s town hall sq. Like me, he was also wearing his leather DTS jacket. We
went back to the hotel to have a chat, snack and a beer in the hotel bar.
Paul Rayton next to the Tannoy speakers
built to play Sensurround
with Paul, exchanging newspaper adverts and articles. Before we left for the
theatre, I went to Paul's room to collect some DVDs which he kindly had bought for
me. On my way out I met Herbert Lom in the hotel corridor. We said good morning
and I expressed my thanks for his autograph the previous day and of course his
work in cinema. I grew up in the 1970s watching his "Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus"
in the Pink Panther series. Just marvellous. It's an odd feeling to me a
celebrity face to face in the hotel foyer. He was heading for his breakfast
and I for the Pictureville.
Paul and I witnessed the final Sensurround test and it was impressive.
Somehow I remembered the rumble to be different. Maybe not as loud as in
Bradford, and considerably lower in frequency (more punch). Since I hadn't
seen, or rather heard Sensurround since 1980, however, I was probably
fooling myself. In 1980 I saw the film in 3 Falke Bio in Copenhagen, which
was a 1000 seater cinema and the acoustics were different since the room was
3-4 times larger (at least). Never mind the "noise" was
Sensurround system is adjusted until an overall SPL of 95DB (A scale) is achieved at the center of the theatre, with no more than 110DB (C scale) 4 feet in front of any horn. These levels are deemed safe for human consumption continuously for periods up to 8 hours.
Darren from York and his crew set up the speakers and measured a
sound pressure level exceeding 117 dB - which is probably too loud. They
their own Sensurround noise generator based on a 15 second noise sample which
is repeated over and over again. The speakers are 4 cabinets, each containing
two 18" Tannoy woofers and an amplifier. All 4 cabinets (not horns) are located on
stage. The cabinets are far smaller than the original monstrous Sensurround
Sunday mornings I always enjoy (besides being an early riser) because it´s
Cineramacana time. Cineramacana is the opportunity to see some odd reels of
films and rare short subjects. The nature of this morning is, that you never
know what is going to turn up from the audience. Duncan and I had semi-planned
the program off and on during Friday and Saturday, and now was the premiere. As
usual we had too much material for the 2½ hour show without intermission.
As "Hamlet" was on at 13:00 and lasted 4:02 hours without
intermission, we had to be precise. It all turned out fine, only 10 minutes
behind schedule and finishing 10 minutes before "Hamlet".
The show includes the "Audience on Stage" picture" and the
newest Widescreen Weekend Academy
Skallerud's IMAX train film "Where the Trains Used to Go".
I was very excited to see "Hamlet" again. I saw it with my
brother in 1997 and found it "too heavy" and I didn't understand
much of it (neither do some native British, I have been told) - even on a second viewing
in 35mm only with Danish subtitles.
Anyway, this time around it was pure enjoyment. Kenneth Branagh is to be
congratulated to make this drama in 65mm. It looked fantastic and the 4
hours simply rushed by. The music was great.
Doyle's music for "Hamlet"
Before seeing "Earthquake"
I managed to see Morten Skallerud´s IMAX train film "Where the
Trains Used to Go", a spectacular follow-up to his award winning
70mm short film "A Year Along The Abandoned Road" which was
shown in 1998 and again this year at the Widescreen Weekend.
"Earthquake" was spectacular, especially thanks to
Sensurround and the showmanship presented by the York crew, wearing hard hats
of course. I had much fun experiencing their use of smoke and strobe lights
during the "quakes".
After the movie, Tony & Jonathan, Paul and I went back to the hotel bar
to have night sandwiches. We realized the kitchen had closed, but much
thanks to the staff still present, they managed to make us some great
snacks. Many thanks for that.
I only slept 4½ hours and was beginning to wear out. I would be going
home after seeing "55 Days at Peking". Before checking
out, I packed by bag
which somehow seemed to be much larger and heavier compared to when I'd arrived.
That's odd, isn't it? I mean, only 6 laserdisc, some 10 DVDs and a couple of
35mm film rolls and a roll of 70mm does not take up that much space - does
it? Luckily I have an expandable bag.
Had breakfast with Paul again
which was, as always, pleasant (unofficially, he's a grouchy old man :-). I was looking forward to seeing "55 Days at
as I had only seen it on TV, 20 years ago. Another film to delete from my
"most-wanted-70mm-wish-list". The print came from Francois Carrin (France) who
bought it from a collector. Naturally the film was shown on the curve and I
was happy to see a decent turnout of nearly 40 people for that performance.
The print was in French only, and I feared that would discourage many away. Happily it didn't.
After the film we all said the usual good byes and "see you next year", and I
left for the Bradford Interchange station with Francois and a few others.
Francois rushed off to his train and I sat in the sun waiting for my train.
I met Andrew King and we had a brief chat. I changed train in Huddersfield
once more. That train was seriously delayed, so I had to change train once
more in Manchester.
After checking in at the airport I reorganized my bag again as it was extremely
heavy. I waited a couple of hours before scheduled take off and three hours later I was
at home reading e-mail and unpacking. The family had already gone to bed.
Another wonderful weekend with great company and fantastic films.
Can't wait until 2005 and the 50th anniversary of Todd-AO. I've volunteered
to do a lecture about the "Early days of Todd-AO" - so I better
start working on that.
My 2004 Films
"The Longest Day"
"Lion In Winter"
"Cinerama's Russian Adventure"
"It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
"55 Days at Peking"
+ Cineramacana &
"Where the Trains Used to Go"
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