70mm filmfestival in Krnov/Czech Republic 8 – 10 April 2011
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|Written by: Jean-Luc Peart, France||Date: 24.05.2011|
|About “Krrr!” there is already some information by Hans Hänßler here. In addition to that, it’s true that “Days of Heaven” was very pink and was often off focus due to distortion of the film support. About the sound, I guess it was mostly due to incorrect balance between channels of the cinema sound system.|
About “Vzlyot”, very rare Russian film by Saava Kulish. That was a very fine print, had probably been rarely screened, had no scratches and kept it’s color due to the different Russian color process (Sovcolor?). Sound was also perfect. I cant say much about the plot as it was shown in original Russian language with Czech subtitles that didn’t helped me very much! It appeared to be about a Russian astronomer named “Tsiolkovski” whose theories made possible the launching of Rockets in the years that followed (The film ends with scenes of the Russian Rocket complex at the time the film was shot). The film include very “experimental” shots, with odd “fish-eye” scenes, and is definitely more an “art” film than a wide public production, it’s shot entirely on location with mostly outdoor cinematography that is extremely enjoyable, in addition to that the film is very talkative and has practically non stop dialogues! I have serious doubts in the sources that say that the film was blown up from 35mm, compared to blow-ups of the period the picture is very pristine, I am practically sure that these sources are incorrect and that it was actually shot on 70mm film (probably Sovscope 70...)
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KRRR! 6th 70mm Film Fest Krnov
|Krnov was indeed the place to be this year for this rare event, especially for people with some knowledge of the Russian language!|
“The Sound of Music” was shown in a restored print with DTS sound, this print came from L.A. for the event. In my opinion the picture quality is much less pristine than the old vintage pink prints I’ve seen previously. But of course colours were back, I was not 100% satisfied with colour timing though. Hans may be right in saying that it was printed a bit too dark also.
Most of the attendees stayed for the cold buffet served after the film. You could get a few pints of Czech beer for a very reasonable price in addition to that... It was a very friendly atmosphere and you could get to know each other a little bit and talk about the films of the day among other things.
On the Saturday morning, "55 Days at Peking" was shown in a vintage (pink) print with hardly any scratches in a French dubbed version. The same exact same print that was shown in Bradford last year. Film was shot in Super Technirama in Madrid. Rumours said that Charlton Heston that was fed up to see Nicholas Ray drunk on set most of the time requested that the production sent another director to replace him (Guy Green?), as to Ava Gardner, she appeared to be suffering from the same symptoms and her shot had to be made early in the day before she was too much drunk! She was apparently spending her nights in the Madrid bars... Despite all this, the film has definitely a Nick Ray atmosphere, and is very enjoyable even now days.
|"Raiders of the Lost Ark" was shown in a vintage print with colours almost completely gone with practically only pink left. I don't remember well enough the previous prints I’ve seen in the past but it’s definitely not the best blow-up I’ve seen, with a great lack of sharpness and detail, 35mm prints probably look better! But at least the 6 tracks magnetic were of some comfort.|
A real of “This is Cinerama” transferred to 70mm was shown. It had definitely not the quality of a true Cinerama screening, with too much contrast and great loss of sharpness and less dynamic in the sound compared to the Bradford print in it’s original format, but most Czech people had not seen the film and therefore were quite happy to see this reel I guess.
"Playtime" (1967) was shown in it’s 2002 restored version with DTS sound, I helped the festival in getting this one from France. Picture quality is very sharp and colour timing looks really fine with it’s odd approximately 1.75:1 original aspect ratio, slightly reduced to 1.85:1 to fit today standards. you can read Jean-René Falliot’s notes about the restoration on “in70mm.com”. It was decided to play the original French DTS discs as the so called international version mix seemed less satisfying. The new mix was also done in two versions, one conformed to the original 6 tracks mix: (Left, mid Left, Center, mid Right, Right, Surround). A new one for theatres equipped in accordance to Dolby requirements in 5.1: (Left, Center, Right, Left Surround, Right Surround & Sub). It was decided to show the one conformed to the original 6 tracks mix. The film itself is very enjoyable with “Mr Hulot” character played by Jacques Tati himself. I had forgotten how much Blake Edwards was inspired by this film when he directed “The Party” the next year, which includes some gags that are practically identical.
|"Dune" was shown in a vintage prints that didn't look any worse than the others I’ve seen. The print was from the UK, it is very possibly the same one that was shown in Bradford. Before the show a 35mm B&W newsreel was shown about the first link from the United States to Prague.|
"Alien3" was shown in the best possible demonstration of how a blow up from 35mm should look like! Picture quality was extremely pristine and had possibly more sharpness and detail than the “The Sound of Music” restoration! In addition to that geeks could spot the special effects scenes shot in 70mm that are crystal clear (especially the planet shots at the beginning & end of the film). Magnetic sound was brilliant too, print has no scratches and is really in perfect shape. This print came from UK too and was possibly screened previously in Bradford. A vintage 70mm reel of "Cleopatra" was also shown.
On the Sunday morning was shown “Old Shatterhand” an odd European western, in a French version shot in Superpanorama 70 with an MCS70 camera (Modern Cinema Systems) using 65mm negative. Print was pristine but heavily scratched all the way unfortunately, and was also quite pink. As Hans mentioned, Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Sound of Music" & "Alien3", were shown a second time on the Sunday.
Kino Mir 70 was upgraded to D-Cinema just after the festival, including 3D, and sound system was totally renewed at the same time and the screen was also changed. Photos here. Next year festival will be shown on a brand new system with the best possible quality.
I have a small correction to Jean-Luc's recent article.
The "DUNE" print came from Universal's vaults in Hollywood. It had not been inspected since 1992 and was in pristine condition (both colour and sound). There is a print in the UK, but Universal did not allow it to be pulled for the KRRR event as its condition was unknown.
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