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See It In 70mm!
70mm Festival @ The Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York, USA December 21-january 1

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Scott Fundas, Film Society of Lincoln CenterDate: 19.11.2012
New York, NY (November 19, 2012) - The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that it will present 15 films in their original 70mm glory, featuring a mix of beloved classics and rarely screened gems, all at the Walter Reade Theater – one of the last remaining cinemas in the country equipped to screen 70mm prints.

When Paul Thomas Anderson elected to shoot "The Master" in the large-frame 70mm film format, the process hadn’t been used for a major Hollywood movie in nearly two decades. However, 70mm used to be the gold standard for musicals, westerns, historical epics and assorted all-star extravaganzas, filling the screen with a high-resolution image unrivaled even by today’s state-of-the-art digital technologies.

“When Norma Desmond uttered her immortal line, ‘I am big, it’s the pictures that got small,’ she seemed to be articulating the unspoken fears of an entire movie industry beginning to feel television’s competition for a slice of the leisure-time pie,” says FSLC Associate Programmer Scott Foundas. “But throughout the 1950s and ‘60s, Hollywood—and other national cinemas—fought back by trying to make bigger pictures than anyone had ever seen before, experimenting with many widescreen and large-format film processes that promised to give audiences a grander moving-image experience then they could ever have in their living rooms. Of these, the most glorious to my mind is 70mm and it has been a longtime dream project of mine to present a dedicated 70mm festival on the grand Walter Reade screen.”

The ancestor of IMAX, 70mm refers to a high-resolution film stock twice the width of ordinary 35mm film. 65mm of the 70mm area is allocated for picture recording and the remaining 5mm for the high-fidelity, six-track magnetic soundtrack (replaced, on newer 70mm prints, by digital sound encoding). While experiments with large-format motion-picture stocks date back to the late 19th century, Hollywood first became interested in the late 1920s, when Fox Film Corporation (the forerunner of 20th Century Fox) introduced a short-lived 70mm film process known as “Grandeur,” used most notably by Raoul Walsh for his 1930 western "The Big Trail". (A 35mm version of the film was shot simultaneously.) But the Great Depression and strong resistance from theater owners still in the process of upgrading to sound doomed Grandeur from the start, and it would be another 25 years decades before 70mm returned with a vengeance.

Beginning with "Oklahoma!" in 1955, a variety of new 70mm processes began to proliferate, including producer Mike Todd’s signature Todd-AO format (which employed a frame rate of 30 frames per second instead of the standard 24) and Ultra Panavision (which used a combination of 70mm stock and anamorphic lenses to create an extra wide 2.76:1 aspect ratio, seen in our series in "Khartoum" and "It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"). In addition to those screening in this series, other films originally shot in 70mm include "Around the World in 80 Days", "Ben-Hur", "Cleopatra", "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Patton".

Championed by such filmmakers as Paul Thomas Anderson, Brad Bird, Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese, the technology lives on in the form of IMAX (which uses 70mm film stock run horizontally through a specially designed camera) and in occasional films shot in traditional 70mm, including this year’s "The Master" and "Samsara".

Tickets to the General Public will go on sale on Thursday, November 29. Visit filmlinc.com for additional information and to purchase tickets. Tickets are $13 for General Public, $9 Student/Senior and $8 for Film Society members. Also available is a two-film special offer of $20 for General Public and $15 for Student/Senior/Members. All screenings will take place at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam).

SEE IT IN 70MM! was programmed by Film Society Associate Programmer Scott Foundas. The Film Society of Lincoln Center would like to thank the following for helping make this series possible: Academy Film Archive/May Haduong, American Cinematheque/Gwen Deglise, Bill Lawrence, DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst, Deutsche Kinemathek/Connie Betz and Susanne Ruppelt, Hollywood Classics/Peggy Flynn, Janus Films/Sarah Finklea, Oscilloscope Pictures, Park Circus/Chris Chouinard, Robert Harris, Sony Pictures Repertory/Christopher Lane, Swedish Film Institute/Jon Wengström, 20th Century Fox/Caitlin Robertson, Walt Disney Pictures/Mary Tallungan, Warner Bros./Marilee Womack
More in 70mm reading:

A Nostalgic View of 70mm in New York City - 1950-1970

The Rivoli Theatre

You are in the Show with Todd-AO

How Todd-AO Began

70mm Retro - Festivals and Screenings

Internet link:

Film Society Lincoln Center

Festival Page

For Media specific inquiries, please contact:
John Wildman
David Ninh

Film Society of Lincoln Center
165 W. 65th Street
4th FL
New York, NY 10023

Films, Descriptions & Schedule

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) 141m
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Countries: USA/UK
Mankind evolves from ape to astronaut to celestial being, while doing battle with artificial intelligence and trying to crack the mystery of some large black monoliths, in Stanley Kurbick and Arthur C. Clarke’s oft-imitated, never equaled sci-fi head trip. Praised and derided in nearly equal measure by critics at the time; now regularly cited as one of the greatest films ever made. Nominated for four 1969 Oscars (though not Best Picture) and a winner for Kubrick’s landmark visual effects—the only official Academy recognition he received in his career.
Friday, December 21, 6:30pm
Monday, December 24, 2:00pm

20th Anniversary screenings!
BARAKA (1992) 96m
Director: Ron Fricke
Country: USA
After cutting his teeth as a cameraman on director Godfrey Regio’s Koyaanisquatsi, Ron Fricke (Samsara) made his own feature directing debut with this breathtaking, wordless, one-of-a-kind travelogue film shot in 25 countries on six continents over the course of two years using a custom-designed 70mm camera. The result is a film unlike any other—a soaring, spiritual journey journey across disparate cultures and civilizations, juxtaposing ancient ritual against modern technology in a dazzling attempt to grasp the full, mysterious breadth of human experience. Featuring the music of Dead Can Dance.
Saturday, December 22, 8:30pm
Friday, December 28, 9:15pm

Archival 70mm print!
Director: John Ford
Country: USA
John Ford’s epic was meant as a final statement of solidarity with American Indians, by turns sympathetic and villainous figures in his earlier movies. Although the studio imposed a questionable cast of non–native American stars in key roles (including Sal Mineo, Ricardo Montalban, and Gilbert Roland) and forced Ford to use some ugly studio interiors, this is a deeply felt valedictory work from one of America’s greatest artists. Widmark is the cavalry captain charged with the sorry task of forcing the fleeing Cheyenne nation back to their barren reservation territory, selected for them by a duplicitous American government. With Carroll Baker as a Quaker teacher sympathetic to the Cheyennes, the beautiful Dolores del Rio as a Spanish woman, and James Stewart and Arthur Kennedy in cameo roles as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Print courtesy of Swedish Film Archive. In English with Swedish subtitles.
Sunday, December 30, 4:30pm
Tuesday, January 1, 6:30pm

GOYA: OR THE HARD WAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT (Goya - oder Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis) (1971) 136m
Director: Konrad Wolf
Countries: East Germany/USSR/Bulgaria/Yugoslavia
Screening supported by the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst
Unjustly overlooked today, director Konrad Wolf was a major figure of post-War East German cinema, and this provocative, brilliantly stylized bio-pic of the controversial Spanish painter is arguably his masterpiece. An epic coproduction of DEFA—the state-run, East German film studio—and the USSR’s famed Lenfilm studio, Wolf’s film (adapted from the historical novel by Lion Feuchtwanger) traces Goya’s evolution from bon vivant court painter for King Carl IV to an enlightened free-thinker whose socially and politically pointed work (including his satirical Caprichos etchings) earns the ire of the Inquisition. The great Lithuanian film star Donastas Banionis (Solaris) gives a towering performance as Goya, surrounded by meticulous period and artistic recreations (Goya’s paintings were reproduced for the film by actual master artists). The result is an altogether remarkable, fiercely anti-authoritarian film somehow made under the watchful eyes of not one but two Communist regimes! Screening supported by the DEFA Film Library at UMass Amherst
Sunday, December 30, 8:00pm
Tuesday, January 1, 3:00pm

HAMLET (1996) 242m
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Countries: UK/USA
Having established himself, with the Oscar-winning Henry V and Much Ado ABout Nothing, as the screen’s most consummate interpreter of the Bard after Laurence Olivier and Orson Welles, writer-director-actor Kenneth Branagh next decided to try for the heretofore unthinkable: a film version of Shakespeare’s longest—and arguably greatest—play, using the complete unabridged text as the source. The result is a glorious feast of a movie, updating the play’s setting to the 19th century and eschewing the dark, film noir look of previous Hamlet films in favor of bold, vibrant colors and visual pageantry. Branagh is superb as the troubled Danish prince, while the all-star supporting cast includes Julie Christie as Gertrude, Kate Winslet as Ophelia, Derek Jacobi as King Claudius, Robin Williams as Osric, and many more. Magnificently photographed in 70mm by the great Alex Thomson (Excalibur, Year of the Dragon), Hamlet was the last feature film shot entirely in that format until The Master in 2012. Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design and Score.
Thursday, December 27, 6:30pm

Restored 70mm print!
Director: Stanley Kramer
Country: USA
Made during the short-lived vogue for “epic” comedies featuring a who’s-who of special guest stars (see Around the World in 80 Days and Pepe), Stanley Kramer’s guiltily pleasurable madcap romp begins with a car accident in the Mojave Desert, in which the victim (Jimmy Durante) uses his dying breath to inform five passing motorists (played by legendary comics Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett and Milton Berle) of $350,000 in buried treasure that can be found under a “big W” in Santa Rosita State Park. Thus, the race is on, with grizzled police captain Spencer Tracy and an ever-increasing cavalcade of fortune hunters in hot pursuit. Featuring dozens of cameos by the likes of Jack Benny, Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis and even The Three Stooges, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World further enhanced its epic-ness by shooting in the ultra-wide Ultra Panavision 70 format, also known as single-camera Cinerama, yielding a 2.76:1 aspect ratio.
Saturday, December 22, 2:00pm
Friday, December 28, 5:15pm

Restored 70mm print!
KHARTOUM (1966) 134m
Director: Basil Dearden
Country: UK
Greenlit in the wake of Lawrence of Arabia, this “other” desert battle epic, directed by veteran British craftsman Basil Dearden and starring Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier is none too shabby itself. Nothing if not timely given the subject of foreign intervention in Africa and the Middle East, Khartoum recounts the historical campaign of British Major-General Charles Gordon (Heston), dispatched in 1883 to the titular Sudanese city to restore order following the slaughter of 10,000 British-led Egyptian forces by the self-proclaimed Muslim prophet Muhammad Ahmad (Olivier). Spectacular battle scenes ensue in this thrilling epic that more than delivers on its advertised promise: “Where The Nile Divides, The Great Cinerama Adventure Begins!”
Sunday, December 23, 4:45pm

Restored 70mm print!
LORD JIM (1965) 154m
Director: Richard Brooks
Countries: UK/USA, 70mm; 154m
Fresh from the back-to-back triumphs of Lawrence of Arabia and Becket, Peter O’Toole teamed with director Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood) for this impressive, handsomely mounted but rarely screened adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel about a disgraced merchant seaman’s quest for redemption. Stripped of his sailing papers following an act of cowardice, a former first officer (O’ Toole) slips into the dissolute life of a South Seas drifter, until the day he comes to the aid of a cargo ship in distress and impresses the owner as someone who could be helpful in a native uprising against a warlord known as “The General” (Eil Wallach). Jim soon becomes a hero to the natives, but when a mercenary pirate (James Mason) appears hellbent on stealing the natives’ valuable treasure, a new battle looms.
Wednesday, December 26, 6:30pm
Friday, December 28, 2:00pm

Restored 70mm print!
My Fair Lady (1964) 170m
Director: George Cukor
Country: USA
Winner of eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director and Actor, George Cukor’s magnificent film version of Lerner and Lowe’s Broadway triumph may have made at the end of Hollywood’s golden age of musicals, but it certainly doesn’t lack luster. Controversially cast non-singer Audrey Hepburn gives a now-beloved performance as the Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle who becomes the pet project of highfalutin elocution professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison). The glorious song score—one of the best ever composed for Broadway— includes “The Rain in Spain,” “On the Street Where You Live” and the immortal “I Could Have Danced All Night.” Painstakingly restored in 1994 by film restoration wizards Robert Harris and James Katz (the team responsible for similar restorations of Spartacus, Lawrence of Arabia and Vertigo), we are pleased to present this rare 70mm screening of My Fair Lady from Mr. Harris’ own personal restored 70mm print. Print courtesy of Academy Film Archive.
Saturday, December 29, 5:45pm

Restored 70mm print!
Playtime (1967) 126m
Director: Jacques Tati
Countries: France/Italy
After the success of Mon Oncle in 1958, Jacques Tati had become fed up with his signature Monsieur Hulot character. Slowly, he inched his way toward a new kind of cinema—a supremely democratic film starring "everybody," in which the wonders of modern life would relinquish their functionality and become a ravishingly beautiful backdrop to pure human delirium. Tati's journey to Playtime was a long one, 10 years in all. The massive set known as Tativille was built in Saint-Meurice, at the southeast corner of Paris: 100 construction workers made two buildings out of 11,700 square feet of glass, 38,700 square feet of plastic, 31,500 square feet of timber, and 486,000 square feet of concrete. Tativille had its own power plant and approach road, and building number one had its own working escalator. At the end of the road, there was ignominy and bankruptcy. But Jacques Tati was secure in the knowledge that, with Playtime, he had made a masterpiece.
Saturday, December 22, 6:00pm
Thursday, December 27, 3:00pm

Archival 70mm print!
Ryan’s Daughter (1970) 195m
Director: David Lean
Country: UK
That undisputed master of the epic form, David Lean followed his 1965 Doctor Zhivago with another stab at sweeping tragic romance, loosely adapted by frequent Lean screenwriter Robert Bolt from Madame Bovary. In an Oscar-nominated performance, Sarah Miles (the then Mrs. Bolt) as a young lass in a coastal Irish town circa WWI, trapped in a loveless marriage (to schoolteacher Robert Mitchum, who reportedly grew his own marijuana on the set) and drawn into an affair with a shellshocked Major (Christopher Jones) from the occupying British army. Ravishingly photographed by the great Freddie Young (who won an Oscar for his work), Ryan’s Daughter proved a popular hit but a critical failure, and Lean wouldn’t direct again until A Passage to India 14 years later. Print courtesy of Swedish Film Archive. In English with Swedish subtitles.
Saturday, December 29, 1:45pm
Monday, December 31, 3:00pm

Restored 70mm print!
The Sound of Music (1965) 174m
Director: Robert Wise
County: USA
Simply one of the most beloved movies—musical or otherwise—of all time, director Robert Wise’s smashingly effective film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway hit offers a heavily fictionalized account of the real-life von Trapp family, a musically gifted Austrian brood whose lives are irrevocably altered when a young postulant from the local abbey comes to serve as governess to the seven von Trapp children. Immediately finding herself at odds with the widower patriarch Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) and his penchant for military-style discipline, the willful Maria (Julie Andrews) soon fills the air with do-rei-me cheer, before the Nazis annex Austria and everyone runs for the hills. (Climb every mountain, indeed!) Nominated for 10 Academy Awards and winner of five (including Best Picture, Director and Editing), if you’ve never seen The Sound of Music in 70mm, then you’ve never really seen it at all.
Sunday, December 23, 7:45pm
Tuesday, December 25, 3:00pm

Restored 70mm print!
Star! (1968) 176m
Director: Robert Wise
Country: USA
After the success of The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews and director Robert Wise reteamed for this even more lavish bio-pic of legendary actress Gertrude Lawrence, tracing Lawrence’s life from her early days as a chorus girl in a West End revue through her Broadway triumph in 1941’s Lady in the Dark. In between, there are ill-fated romances, an enduring friendship with childhood chum Noël Coward (Daniel Massey in a delicious, Oscar-nominated performance) and many spectacular, Michael Kidd-choreographed production numbers that rank among Andrews’ greatest moments on film. Sadly, many of them were cut from the film during its initial, unsuccessful “roadhsow” engagements in 1968, where it had the misfortune of opening just one month after the similar-themed Funny Girl. Wise removed his “film by” credit from the studio’s drastically trimmed two-hour version, retitled Those Were the Happy Days (which proved to be no more popular with audiences), but the untouched 70mm negative allowed for a full restoration of the original cut—which, if not quite a murdered masterpiece, is nevertheless a drastically underrated last hurrah for the glories of the old-fashioned Hollywood musical.
Sunday, December 23, 1:00pm

30th Anniversary screenings!
Tron (1982) 96m
Director: Steven Lisberger
Country: USA
In the same year as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner—and two before James Cameron prophecized a rise of the machines in The Terminator—writer-director Steven Lisberger delivered his own visionary piece of techno-futurism with this arcade-era classic about a software engineer doing battle with a rival’s malicious spyware...from inside the office mainframe. Jeff Bridges stars as Kevin Flynn, the programmer savant who, upon losing his job with nefarious computer giant ENCOM, makes a valiant late-night attempt to hack into the system, only to find himself a literal ghost in the machine, fighting for his life in a monochromatic olympiad where “identity discs” and “light cycles” are the primitive CGI weapons of choice. We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore! A landmark in the combining of live-action and animation, cited by John Lasseter as a formative influence on the founding of Pixar, Tron remains as prescient as ever in its richly imagined blurring of the line between man and cyber avatar.
Saturday, December 29, 9:15pm
Sunday, December 30, 2:00pm

West Side Story (1961) 152m
Director: Robert Wise
Country: USA
Robert Wise’s cinematic landmark brings Shakespeare to Manhattan’s West Side, as Maria (Wood) and Tony (Richard Beymer) fall in love despite the racially driven gang warfare that threatens the peace in their neighborhood. Shot on the city blocks that would soon after become Lincoln Center and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, West Side Story won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, the most for any musical. It remains an almost unrivaled big-screen experience, especially in glorious 70mm!
Tuesday, December 25, 7:00pm
Wednesday, December 26, 3:00PM

Public Screening Schedule for SEE IT IN 70MM!. December 21 - January 1

Screening Venue:

The Film Society of Lincoln Center – Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th street, between Broadway & Amsterdam (upper level)

Friday, December 21st
6:30PM 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (141min)

Saturday, December 22nd
6:00 PM PLAYTIME (126min)
8:30 PM BARAKA (96 min)

Sunday, December 23rd
1:00 PM STAR! (176min)
4:45 PM KHARTOUM (134min)
7:45 PM THE SOUND OF MUSIC (174min)

Monday, December 24th
2:00 PM 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (141min)

Tuesday, December 25th
3:00 PM THE SOUND OF MUSIC (174min)
7:00 PM WEST SIDE STORY (151min)

Wednesday, December 26th
3:00 PM WEST SIDE STORY (151min)
6:30 PM LORD JIM ( 154 min)

Thursday, December 27th
3:00 PM PLAYTIME ( 126min)
6:30 PM HAMLET (242min)

Friday, December 28th
2:00 PM LORD JIM (154min)
9:15 PM BARAKA (96min)

Saturday, December 29th
1:45 PM RYAN’S DAUGHTER (195min)
5:45 PM MY FAIR LADY (170min)
9:15 PM TRON (96min)

Sunday, December 30th
2:00 PM TRON (96min)
4:30 PM CHEYENNE AUTUMN (154min)

Monday, December 31st
3:00 PM RYAN’S DAUGHTER (195min)

Tuesday, January 1st
6:30 PM CHEYENNE AUTUMN (154min)
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Updated 21-01-24