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Report from 10th International 70mm festival in KRNOV

The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Johan C.M. Wolthuis. International 70mm Publishers. Arnhem, The NetherlandsDate: 31.08.2015
Left to right: Katerina Lindovska, Director festival, Adela Kokesova, Festival Coördinator, Jan-Hein Bal, Pavel Spicka, Projectionist, Tomas Keclik, Projectionist, Petra Pokorna, Projectionist and Pavel Tomesek, Cinema Director

Jan-Hein Bal of the EYE film Museum in Amsterdam and Johan Wolthuis of International 70mm Publishers in Arnhem, visited the 10th International 70mm Festival in April in Krnov.

It was really worth the flight from Amsterdam to Prague and then a two hour train ride in a luxury train to Olomouc and another two hour train ride in a kind of mountain train to the historic city of Krnov. As we arrived two days before the start of the festival, we had enough time to visit the historic buildings in town and around. The picturesque town of Krnov (pronunciation: kurnof, Latin: Carnovia) is a little town in the north east of the Czech Republic, near the Polish border on the Opava river. The town was founded in 1221 and has many tourist attractions to offer, among them a lot of Baroque Churches and Abbeys from the 18th century. Already in 1873 there was a railway opened between the cities Opava, Krnov and Olomouc. In 1938 it was taken over by the Germans as part of the Sudetenland, just before the Second World War. And in 1945 it returned as the independent Czechoslovakian Republic.

The monumental building of the Kino Mir 70 (= Peace Cinema 70) was built in 1903. It is one of the few cinemas in the Czech Republic, which can still show 70mm prints, on a slightly curved screen of 105 m˛ in a stadium seated auditorium with 350 seats. This cinema auditorium was completely refurbished in 2007 in a soft green color and luxury seats also in soft green. But one of the most surprising features is the exposition of many film projectors, cameras and lenses in the lobby of the cinema. The owner, Pavel Tomesek, started many years ago with collecting film projectors.
More in 70mm reading:


KRRR! 10th 70mm Film Fest Krnov 2015

10th 70mm Festival in Krnov

Gallery: 10th 70mm Seminar

Krrr! Means not only Krnov, but also a sound of roaring film projector

Internet link:

Exposition of projectors in the lobby

In the meantime his collection consists of :
• 10 Meopton 35mm projectors :different types from 1961 on, all made in Czechoslovakia.
• 3 Meopton 35/70mm projectors from 1967/1968, also made in Czechoslovakia.
• One Philips DP 75 Kinoton 35/70mm projector (with a Xenolux 2500 light house made in Hungary!)
• One Favorit 35/70mm (Zeiss Ikon) projector also with Xenolux 6500 light house, made in Hungary.
• An Ernemann II 35mm projector from 1925!! One Bauer 35mm made in Germany.
• One Meopton II 16mm cinema projector, with optical and magnetic sound and a lot of 16mm table projectors .
Several slide projectors and hand held 16mm cameras and a show window with all kinds of projector lenses!
This year the program of the “KRRR! 70mm Film Fest” was again very international and of course all 70mm, however, it was a pity, six of a total of eight 70mm prints were blow-ups and most of them were faded. On the opening night they started with a screening of "Le Grand Bleu", the French/Italian/US coproduction from 1988, by French director Luc Besson, shot in 35mm anamorphic. The second night gave a unique print of "Sokolovo", a Russian and Czechoslovakian co production from 1974, directed by Otakar Vavra and filmed in 35mm anamorphic. The story of the film is partly based on the memoires of general Ludvik Svoboda who became in 1968 president of the Czechoslovakian Republic until 1975. Next day we saw a 70mm restoration from 1996, of Alfred Hitchcock's famous thriller "Vertigo", originally filmed with VistaVision 35mm cameras in 1958. Next on the program was "Le Mans", a USA production from 1971 shot in 35mm anamorphic and according to Leonard Maltin's Movie guide: “An exciting study of Grand Prix auto racing with exceptionally fine camera work on the track”! Francois Carrin, Cinerama and 70mm fan from France was presented with a genuine CINERAMA birthday cake because of his 70th birthday, in front of the screen. And between all the screenings there was also time for a fascinating lecture about Todd-AO by mr 70mm, Thomas Hauerslev from Denmark.

From the EYE film museum in Amsterdam came the faded 70mm print of "El Cid", with famous actors Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. A 1961 USA production, mostly filmed in Spain with Technirama cameras (35mm horizontal cameras with anamorphic lenses) and printed on 70mm. The musical climax of this festival was undoubtedly the 1973 USA film production of the famous Broadway rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar". A good print, this 70mm blow-up, hardly faded, with famous music reproduced from the six magnetic sound tracks. Saturday evening gave a screening of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", shot in 35mm anamorphic and showed with an excellent 70mm blow-up with impressive colors. The last day of the festival started on Sunday morning with the famous USA western "The Wild Bunch", directed by Sam Peckinpah in 1969. This movie, filmed with Panavision 35mm anamorphic cameras and blown-up on 70mm, was a real classic and an attractive finishing event of this festival program! The rest of the Sunday program was filled with repeated screenings of 70mm prints of "Le Grand Bleu", "Terminator 2" and "Jesus Christ Superstar".
Thomas Hauerslev, Orla Nielsen, Adela Kokesova, Paul and Peggy Rayton from Los Angeles between the BKSTS posters in the lobby

What makes KRRR! different from other 70mm festivals ? The unique features of Kino Mir : the food in the lobby of the cinema where we were surrounded by multiple 16mm, 35mm and 70mm projectors, the big fireworks on Saturday evening on the Opava river next to the KINO MIR, the presence of the Minister of Culture, etc. Finally Kino Mir produced their own interactive film - with interviews, and live "Police" in the cinema arresting mr Pavel Tomasek. All things that makes the KRRR! festival very unique We were also very surprised seeing that most of the screenings had a full house. After our inquiry why there were so many young visitors, we were told that this was the result of a promotion campaign for this festival by two universities in the cities of Prague and Brno.

The name of the festival - KRRR! - which is a part of the festival logo has several meanings: KRRR! can be seen as the sound of the projector, or as the first part of the city name - Krnov. The Kino Mir 70 theatre was again the meeting point for film enthusiasts from not only the Czech Republic but also visitors from many European countries, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and the United States. The event is organized in collaboration with the town Krnov, supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
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Updated 06-05-22