French 70mm enthusiasts in Paris and northern France were lucky during 1998. In July, the L´Arlequin cinema in Paris played
"Spartacus" for 3 weeks. The L´Arlequin cinema had been the first French cinema to be equipped with
70mm DTS for the
presentation of "Vertigo" in 1997.
The Max Linder Panorama cinema ran "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Baraka" in 70mm back to back
for two weeks. I saw "Lawrence of Arabia" and in the time between the films, I spoke to the chief projectionist Mr. Christian CHAUVET.
He was disappointed. He had asked some people passing the cinema to go and see
"Lawrence of Arabia", but their response was "Why go and
see "Lawrence of Arabia", we have seen it on TV". A discouraging situation for 70mm in Paris.
In October at the Noveau Siècle (New Century Congress hall) in Lille, the largest city of Northern France, a pink 70mm print
of "Ryan´s Daughter" was shown. The German/French subtitled print (Made for the Switzerland market in 1984) was introduced
by none other than the composer Mr. Maurice JARRE himself. "Lawrence of Arabia" was shown a week later. Between performances,
Mr. JARRE conducted two sold out concerts of his music.
In March 1999 the 1978 Cannes Film Festival prize winner "Days of Heaven" was shown in 70mm for two weeks at the Grand Action
cinema in Paris.
A tribute to Steven Spielberg was recently held at the Kinepolis Chateau du Cinema in Lille. Two of his films were shown in
70mm; "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of
Doom". I like both films, but the best 70mm
blow up I have seen is still "E.T. - The Extra Terrestial".
Further in 70mm reading: