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The 70mm Film Experience


I got a chance to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic The Master projected in 70mm at the Odeon West End and since I haven’t seen a proper celluloid projection in some years I decided to give nostalgia a go.

As anyone who is a real cinephile I was constantly in the cinema during the 90’ and noughties and also catching retro favorites in the BFI but lately it has been harder to catch these flicks on the big screen now that nearly everything is digital. Also I rarely go to the cinema due to my parenting circumstances and the poor pedigree of cinematic drek currently littering the multiplex.

Also I edited one short film on a Steenbeck, actually cutting the film and it was truly amazing. New digital editors will never experience such a thing except in a museum.

Back to the film, money paid and sitting in my seat, I got excited when the Weinstein logo came on but was shocked at how blurry and slightly out of focus film is. It was weird to forget what it felt like compared to digital projection. There was even a track line on the film, which made me all nostalgic about battered prints of yesteryear and those amazing cigarette burns that signify a print change! Awesome! It was not the super exciting experience I was expecting but nonetheless a fantastic film and a novelty to watch it in a pre digital format was still there.

The worst part is that I was more blown away by the clean look of Skyfall even though the two films are polar opposites but film verses digital and digital is here to stay for my eyeball tastes seeing as you have Alexa and Red cameras. Film for me now is pretty much the BFI old film screenings which I intend to go back to you because there is nothing like the big screen and celluloid and battered prints.

Film is dead! Long live film!


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