Sunday, January 15, 2006

big screen qotd

AUDIENCE QUESTION: The enduring beauty of CASABLANCA has forever changed my view of film. Have you compared the richness of the work on the big screen with that on the video recorder? It is stunning to see Bogart & Bergman full screen....
JULIUS EPSTEIN: I see very few pictures on the small screen...the full appreciation for a film has to take place on the big screen

"Howard Koch, Julius Epstein, Frank Miller Interview" May, 1995


also seen on the big screen

Comments: big screen qotd

It's a nice idea and I don't disagree with it, but it does presuppose that 1) the film is available to be seen on the big screen in the first place and 2) the available print is of adequate quality to be appreciated. Frankly I'll take my nice, clean, sharp-looking and legibly-subtitled DVD of Ugetsu monogatari over the worn out, hard to read, apparently 16mm print of the film I saw on the big screen at Cinematheque last year.
Posted by James Russell at January 15, 2006 10:13 PM

I can see your point re sharpness of DVD - funny this isn't so sharp but it's BIG.
And even within the grab bag of hired flicks, it's easy to see which *needs* the big screen, and Casablanca was one of them. Like that audience member I was quite stunned. Hadn't seen the film for years but gets better. One of my top 10.14159265 now, fwiw.
Chaplin and Keaton have been great too.
Posted by boynton at January 15, 2006 10:39 PM

Oh yeah, obviously some films absolutely require a cinema-sized screen for full effect, not to mention an audience. I love Keaton, but he goes down even better in a cinema with other people. And I think I shall always be glad I first saw "Bridge on the River Kwai" at the cinema rather than on TV.

Going purely on my own experience, I generally find I prefer films *without* large clumps of people around me. I suspect part of this comes from when I was studying film at university and was surrounded by people whose automatic response to films was to laugh at them at the least appropriate points, but part of it probably also stems from the fact that the biggest majority of the films I see (and have seen) are on the small screen by myself at home. I don't really do films as a social event (except for Mu-Meson Archives).

I must say that, having invested in a widescreen TV for Xmas, I can completely understand what they say about people not going to the cinema any more if they've got a perfectly good home theatre set-up. I don't even have that big a set (76cm), and I don't have surround sound, but I know totally what they mean. If I didn't have Celluloid Dreams to force me to keep in touch with new films at the cinema, I could probably quite comfortably live off DVD rentals.

As for "Casablanca", I should probably be embarrassed to admit I never saw it until last year. It was probably the biggest gap in my classic Hollywood knowledge. Luckily it was worth the wait.
Posted by James Russell at January 16, 2006 12:12 AM

I almost never (2 or 3 times a year) watch a film at home. I don't enjoy it. Cinema is the place for watching films.

I don't think there are many films coming out at all that can be appreciated the same on a small screen.

I suppose if you've spent thousands of $$ on a 'home theatre' then it's different.
Posted by wbb at January 16, 2006 04:16 PM

Would concur about the audience factor.
Some films definitely need it.
Have to say though - sometimes the concentration factor intensifies in this privileged mode of viewing.
Luckily we forked out zero - the projector is borrowed, the magnificent isolation is temporary.

Think I will avoid watching films on Tv now though.
Posted by boynton at January 16, 2006 04:44 PM

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