Saturday, September 1, 2018

Seattle Cinerama’s Sound & Vision, Summer Rewind and 70mm Film Festivals: Aug 17 - Sept 20

Stepping up to fill the void left in the wake of Cinerama's now extinct Science Fiction Film Festival, Paul Allen's state of the art theater with its Cinerama-Scope screen, Dolby Atmos sound and laser projection system, will host a trio of festivals over the course of August and September. A standard for the cinema, one of the only remaining Cinerama screens in North America, the third of the festival series will be presented on 70mm. Notably, the format showcase will feature the most recent de-restoration work on Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, in a new print cut from an exacting analog reconstruction. Seattle Cinerama's three mini festivals begin with a second run series, Summer Rewind, consisting of a week of blockbusters and genre films that premiered over the course of this past year. In stoke of brilliant curatorial work, the second of the series will feature conceptual double bills of works significant for their synergy of image and music. Taking it's theme literally and conceptually, Sound & Vision draws from both heightened audiovisual works of sensorial fiction like Ridley Scott's dystopic neonoir franchise, as it does from Jonathan Demme and Nicolas Roeg's placement of musical stars at the film's locus. The thrill of classic soundtracks meeting with genre films can be seen in Tim Burton's work with Prince, and Steven Spielberg's earliest megahits with John Williams. Contemporary audiovisual spectacles represented in the series by the dreamworlds of David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti, and the galactic exploration of Christopher Nolan, Hans Zimmer, Denis Villeneuve and Jóhann Jóhannsson. Blade Runner / Blade Runner 2049 • Logan / Mad Max: Fury Road • Wall-E / Interstellar • Blue Velvet / Mulholland Drive • Batman / Purple Rain • Pina 3D / Samsara • Total Recall / Terminator 2 • There Will Be Blood / No Country For Old Men • Close Encounters Of The Third Kind 4K / Jaws 4K • The Matrix 4K / The Fifth Element 4K • Gravity 3D / Arrival • Stop Making Sense / The Man Who Fell To Earth •

The third of the series being a format specific 70mm Film Festival showcasing the benefits inherent in the resolution, scale and luminosity of the 70mm celluloid format and three-strip films. Any effort to present these works is limited globally to the handful of theaters with the hardware to properly screen them, and a sparsity of films shot, cut or released on the format. Crowning the 70mm series is the newest in a line of Stanley Kubrick restorations, a project heralded by the celluloid champion and director of contemporary action and science fiction films, Christopher Nolan. The project initiated decades before through a meeting with Ned Price, the vice president of restoration at Warner Brothers during the 1999 project of Price and his team creating a preservation interpositive from the 20 reels of the original negative. Price offered to Nolan to see the copies made of the original prints, and intrigued by what he saw, Nolan approached the studio about continuing the work to the end of recreating the 1968 celluloid theatrical release. As detailed in Variety's "Going the Analog Route to Preserve Celluloid Beauty of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey'", the team at the FotoKem laboratory in Burbank then delivered the fruits to Nolan and Price of a six month process of cleaning the negative, checking and repairing splices, and removing previous imperfect work. Then they made an answer print, color-timed it by closely adhering to the original timing notes and documentation, and finally made an interpositive and an internegative for striking 70mm prints.

The team also approached the audio content with a similarly strict adherence, restoring the original six track soundtrack and adjusting levels to their original particulars, this was then exactingly transferred to the new prints. “The film is mixed in a very extreme way,” says Nolan, “There are incredible sonic peaks that are beyond anything anyone would do today.” More insight into the complexities of this process offered in New York Times' interview with the director, "Christopher Nolan’s Version of Vinyl: Unrestoring ‘2001’". As Stanley Kubrick’s monolithic adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's novel has been born (yet again) for the big screen, The Guardian assembled a set of directors, special effects moguls and those who worked on the film to discuss it's legacy, "50 Years of 2001: A Space Odyssey – How Kubrick's Sci-Fi Changed the Very Form of Cinema". Consider the film's far-reaching exploration of human possibilities and the precariousness of life in a seemingly infinite and indifferent universe, all realized through its singular and groundbreaking production, "2001: A Space Odyssey is Still the ‘Ultimate Trip’". From the sparsity of films available on the 70mm format, Cinerama has assembled a broad genre inclusive array of everything from documentaries to cinema classics by Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, and Alfred Hitchcock, to pop culture, action and special effects hits in their two week series.  Tron • 2001: A Space Odyssey • Back to the Future Part II  • Vertigo • The Sound of Music • Lawrence of Arabia • Baraka • Phantom Thread • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial • Howard the Duck • Top Gun • Ghostbusters • Dunkirk • Days of Thunder • Wonder Woman • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World •