The WIDESCREEN WEEKEND October 2019
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Johan
C.M. Wolthuis, International 70mm Publishers The Netherlands
Wolthuis and Trevor Healy. Picture by Ulrich Rostek
This Widescreen weekend started as usual with the Opening Night Reception in
the café of the Media Museum. Followed by a 70mm screening of Steven
Spielbergs "Ready Player
The next day I started with interviewing some of the visitors of this famous
film event at a request of Thomas Hauerslev.
Paul Rayton (and his wife Peggy) from Los Angeles has already visited this
event around 15 times: He likes meeting people with an interest in 70mm and
of course he likes the interesting movies, rare screenings of classic old
70mm movies that you can't see elsewhere. And of course he likes 3-strip
Cinerama films, which are so extremely rare and exceptionally difficult to
present successfully. He said:
"It is always amazing that this complicated
system works so well! I like the curved screen, it is impressive for
Cinerama films. However, Todd-AO 70mm films are not really made for the
Cinerama screen, they are composed for a slightly curved screen! In fact, in
an ideal world, they would have 3 screens here in Pictureville: one flat,
one slightly curved and a large deep-curved screen for original 3-strip
He did like most of the movies, especially Gladiator and A
League of Their Own (presented in 35mm copies), which he had never seen
before. He rated the program this year with a 7. Paul worked many years
before his retirement as chief projectionist at the Egyptian Theater of the
American Cinematheque on Hollywood Boulevard.
Nigel Wolland, long time chief projectionist at the
Odeon Leicester Sq
in London, now retired, living in New Malden, South London has visited the
Widescreen Weekend for the 14th time. Being a retired projectionist, he
still likes to experience the Widescreen projection and of course original
Cinerama that you can only see here in Europe. Nigel said:
"You can only
watch here original Cinerama and 70mm on the same day. That is very
exceptional, as in London 70mm screenings are very seldom only screened at
the BFI South Bank, Odeon Leicester Square,
Prince Charles and Picturehouse
Central. A pity that some of the films in the Widescreen program clashed
with other films, so it was sometimes difficult which film we wanted to see.
And Todd-AO films are not made for the large curved screen! I enjoyed the
Doris Day film Pillow Talk, she was really a great movie star and I liked
the introduction by Professor Sir Christopher Frayling. The programming of
this year was in my opinion very good, films that you haven't seen for a
long, long time such as Ice Station Zebra and Ben-Hur".
Berry Quinton (friend of Nigel) from Worthing, West Sussex, UK has visited
Bradford already eight times. He likes seeing old friends and seeing 70mm
films on the curved screen because of the spectacular view. He himself has
been a projectionist and a print master. He liked especially
"Ben-Hur" and ICE
STATION ZEBRA on the large screen and Effie Gray, with Emma Thompson, in
35mm, on the flat screen. This year he liked the good combination of all the
Friday morning Pictureville Cinema showed their unique Cinerama
possibilities on the large curved screen with South Seas Adventure, the 5th
Cinerama travelogue from 1958. Only the first half in original 3-strip
Cinerama, which print the museum has obtained long ago from John Mitchell in
Australia and the second half, digitally remastered from David Strohmaier.
The first half was completely faded and the second digital part showed us
what we had missed in the original first part!
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What 7OMM is to Johan
Widescreen Weekend, Bradford, England
Wolthuis interviewing Jonny Bradshaw. Picture by Ulrich Rostek
A historic moment arrived Friday afternoon with the introduction by
Professor Sir Christopher Frayling of Pillow Talk, the famous Doris Day
movie from 1959. He told us a lot of interesting memories about his
interview with the famous star in 1989 for the BBC TV exactly thirty years
ago. Sir Christopher said:
"When Doris Day died at the age of 97 in May of
this year, it was front page news all over the world: her wholesome image
and on-screen personification of innocence had made her "the last of the
stars of the golden age" even though she hadn't appeared in a film for over
50 years. Our screening of Pillow Talk will be our tribute to a
much-misunderstood and much-loved superstar".
Of course the professor was
shocked by her sudden death.
One of the visitors coming all the way from Australia, Keith Stevens,
visited the Widescreen Weekend for the 2nd time! He said:
"Bradford is for
me the only place to see real films! I have worked 55 years as a
projectionist and I like films on the large curved screen but also on the
flat screen. The program of this year was excellent as I like especially
musicals. This year is in my opinion the best until now. It was a pity that
some of the films in the other cinema clashed with films in Pictureville
Ulrich Rostek was one of the visitors from Germany. He lives in Herne near
Düsseldorf. This year was his 9th visit since 2010. His interest in 70mm
started when he visited in February 2009 the one and only 70mm Retrospective
in Berlin during the
Berlinale Filmfestival. They screened a lot of new 70mm
prints. Ulrich saw WAR AND PEACE in two parts, (2 x 4 hours!) in
70mm in the old KINO International (former East German) and 70mm BARAKA and
listened to the producer Mark Magidson. Then he heard about a yearly Todd-AO
festival later that year in Karlsruhe. Of course he visited that and during
that first visit he met people who told him about another 70mm event in
Bradford. So the next year 2010 he went on the plane to visit the Widescreen
Weekend for the first time and since then every year, but nowadays he
travels with the Eurostar High Speed train via London. He was very curious
of seeing original Cinerama, which he had never seen before. He likes 70mm
because of the sharp images and the details. This year he liked the variety
in the program and especially MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS in original
Panavision 70 on the flat screen. He felt the “torture of choice” due to
the overlapping in this years program of some of the films in the different
cinemas which he would like to see all.
Another guest from afar was Anthony J. Gilbert from Victoria on the West
Coast of Canada, near Seattle. It was his first visit this year to Bradford.
He has a lifelong interest in Widescreen since he saw CinemaScope films. He
likes also the clarity of the 70mm on the big screens. Not curved, but on
the flat screen. He hopes to come again next year and hopes to see
Cinerama's SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD. He followed the program online and
thinks it is generally mixed and balanced.
Wolthuis and Keith Stevens from Australia. Picture by Ulrich Rostek
Anders M. Olsson, retired medical
engineer and former projectionist, from Lund in Sweden, visited Bradford for
the 18th time. Basically he wants to see original Cinerama and everything
else is a bonus for him. Widescreen Weekend is a great opportunity for him
to meet friends, old and new, from all over the world. He likes the curved
screen. This year his favourites were SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE and Murder on the
Orient Express. He thinks the best year was
2002 with the 50th Anniversary
of Cinerama with screenings of all available Cinerama prints! He also takes
a lot of photographs of the event.
Finally I asked some guests from the United Kingdom about their experiences:
Bruce Campbell and his wife, from Fulham, were for the 15th time in
Bradford. According to Bruce, Bradford is the only place in the UK to see
epic films. He likes the quality of real film and the curved screen. His
favourites of this year were SOUND OF MUSIC and ICE STATION ZEBRA. He
prefers older films and the only opportunity is to see them here!
Trevor Healy from Barnsley which is not far from Bradford holds the record
with his visit to the Widescreen Weekend during all the 22 years! He enjoys
the company of old friends over here and all the films you don't see
normally. He likes the big Cinerama films which fills your field of view.
His all-time favourite is of course HOW THE WEST WAS WON on the large curved
screen. He found the program of this year very good, especially Forrest Gump
with Tom Hanks and he liked the combination of 3-strip Cinerama's South Seas
Adventure as real film and digital. He liked this year's program more than
the other years and especially the many introductions.
Paul Sutton from Barry in South Wales was for the second time in Bradford.
He especially likes old Cinerama films on the curved screen in both years
and this year his favourites were ICE STATION ZEBRA and CARMEN JONES.
To conclude, Jonny Bradshaw from Manchester was the youngest visitor this
year and it was his third time! He likes this Weekend because of the great
films. He thinks the quality of real films better than digital. He likes the
flat screen and his favourites of this year were: Forrest Gump, Pulp
Fiction, Barabbas and West Side Story. He thought this year was better than
last year, more old films. His favourite movie is LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.
The programming of this year's Widescreen Weekend was very varied: musicals
like West Side Story and The Sound of Music resulted in a nearly full house
as was also the case with Ice Staton Zebra, Murder on the Orient Express and
Ben-Hur. On Sunday morning we all enjoyed the CINERAMACANA program with
different movies and finally a great 70mm story by Thomas Hauerslev from
Denmark and David Strohmaier from Los Angeles about the Todd-AO process and
the Todd-AO Distortion
Correcting Printing Process.
Bradford, is a cultural city with an impressive history. It is also the
World's first UNESCO City of Film as a recognition for the city's rich film
heritage and inspirational movie locations. But nowadays also for the famous
yearly WIDESCREEN WEEKENDS in the Pictureville Cinerama Cinema, part of the
National Science and Media Museum.
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