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Calling All 35mm Film Lovers! OUT OF PRINT, A Documentary About The New Beverly Cinema, Needs Your Support!

 

Beaks here...

If you've read this site with any kind of regularity over the last five years, you know my feelings about the New Beverly Cinema. It's a sanctuary for movie lovers, a place that, in the span of a week, could easily screen a Peter Greenaway double feature, John Frankenheimer's SECONDS and William Beaudine's BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA - all on 35mm (and that's seriously happening this week).

Many of my fondest moviegoing memories in Los Angeles involve the New Beverly: it's where I flipped through Greg Nicotero's copy of the Necronomicon before Edgar Wright's double feature of EVIL DEAD 2 and RAISING ARIZONA; it's where I was fortunate enough to moderate a wild, free-flowing Q&A with Peter Weller after a screening of THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI: ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION; it's where I saw GRINDHOUSE on opening night with a gloriously raucous crowd (this remains one of the greatest moviegoing experiences of my life; I can still hear my departed friend Paul cackling with delight through the last twenty minutes of DEATH PROOF).

I am indebted to The New Beverly Cinema. Big time. And while I'll never come close to paying back that debt, I can at the very least call your attention to a Kickstarter campaign for what will surely be the definitive documentary on this very special theater.

It's called OUT OF PRINT, and it is Julia Marchese's dream project. If you've ever gone to the New Beverly, you've almost certainly encountered Julia (possibly at the box office or the concession stand); if you've never been, you might've signed her "Fight for 35mm" petition (and if you haven't done that yet, get on it). I've known Julia for about five years, and I can think of no one better suited to telling the history of this magical repertory theater. And let me assure you, there are many stories to be told: of the late Sherman Torgan's dedication to classic cinema (which established the theater as an informal film school for aspiring writers and directors), of its unlikely longevity in a city notorious for plowing over its past, and of colorful regulars like Lawrence Tierney (whose unpredictable behavior made attending the theater an occasional adventure).

There's a very entertaining and inspiring documentary to be made about The New Beverly, and Julia will have access to an impressive array of filmmakers and regular old moviegoers. She's already confirmed interviews with Edgar Wright, Kevin Smith, Patton Oswalt (Keeper of the Tierney Legend), Joe Dante, John Landis, Joe Carnahan, Rian Johnson, Stuart Gordon, Allison Anders, Mark Romanek, Tom Holland and Fred Dekker. Knowing how many great directors, writers and actors have passed through the New Bev's doors, I've a feeling that group will expand considerably as she moves forward.

But she can't move forward without a little help from the people for whom the film is intended. So I urge you to visit OUT OF PRINT's Kickstarter page and donate whatever you can spare. This film is well worth supporting. I believe in Julia's ability to make a terrific documentary. But enough of my yappin'! I'll let Julia make her case...

 

Readers Talkback
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  • The worst argument I've ever seen Quint put across (and, Lordy, there are many) is his stupid insistence upon "when film looked like films" and various other BS statements like that. Shut the hell up, everybody. Convert classic films to digital. Make everything digital. Scratches, pops, grain & reel changes do not make for the best dollar value, which is the most important thing. I want digital. I want clarity. I want old technology to go away.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    AMEN!!!

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    I'm with Nolan and Tarantino on this one. Keep film alive for the love of Crom! Just because we have a new shiny tool to play with in digital does not mean we have to throw out the rest of the toolbox that helped build modern cinema. It's just so fucking daft and insanely shortsighted. Corporate shenanigans will destroy the legacy of the 20th Century's greatest artform. And what a fucking shame that will be.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    No, digital does not look better..

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Go look into it a little bit before you say such silly bullshit. Just to be clear though, I am NOT against digital..I think the choice for one or the other should remain though. Especially for the actual filmmakers..and the uh..can we call them digimakers? Aesthetic choices do not need to be bound by the technology we use to achieve them. There's more than enough room for both IMHO.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST

    I LOVE the New Bev!!

    by captaincosmos

    I currently live just a few blocks away and have been in the neighborhood since '97 and have spent many (though, not as many as I'd like) wonderful evenings at the New Beverly. I've worn the 1st Annual Grindhouse Film Fetival t-shirt I picked up there till it's just about in tatters and despite my wife's demands, refuse to toss it out. Undiscovered film noir gems... 1970s Italian Giallo... Not too long ago some friends and I caught their screening of "The Warriors" and I was stoked to see a few people decked out in actual Turnbull AC's denim vests... Nice. Ya aint' gonna get that at your local multiplex. I shall support this! Thanks Beaks! Oh, and btw tall-boy626... Shut the fuck up.

  • Let's boil it down to the essentials - digital looks better. It's clearer. It's not grainy. Sitting through a movie you don't have to be thrown out of it by a reel change (Terrible reel change experiences I've had: once when I was watching LOTR: Fellowship & the reel change with Boromir final speech to Aaragon the colour saturation went completely sideways in mid-fucking-sentence when they changed reels. I saw a print of "Raiders" once & there's a reel change right at the big explosion of the plane and the fucking explosion was basically cut out. I saw a print of Hobo with a Shotgun and there was a reel change where the fucking sound was out of synch by 10 seconds! That's not gonna happen anymore because that theatre is now digital). Christ, I even hate the fucking hum of the projector. These are all things that distract you from the experience of watching the film. It should be immersive. That happens with digital. Stop thinking just because film is made it's the only way to go. Convert the everloving fuck out of old movies, totally agree and support that. But let film die. It's done. Move on, everybody. Let it go.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I'm going to the Peter Greenaway double bill tonight, actually

    by beamish13

    Digital will never replace celluloid or nitrate in terms of quality

  • Yeah, Christopher Nolan likes it. Big fucking deal. I like digital. I want it that way. I don't care what Christopher Nolan likes, I care what I like and, here's the most important thing, what I'm paying for with my own money. And I want digital. End of line.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Some choice quotes from Wally Pfister

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    =The battle that we have to fight as cinematographers is to not let anybody treat us like we are consumers by using marketing techniques to push technology that's not better than what we have. Good enough isn't good enough. 24P is nowhere near the resolution of 35mm film, and if you put it side by side with anamorphic it's off the charts. There's not even a comparison. I don't see why we should settle for that and I don't see why the public should settle for it. I don't understand why we would use an inferior product to capture our images, when we want to see all the nuances and into the darkest details. I want to push the envelope. I don't think we have the power to fight this battle alone. The technology vendors have enough power and money to influence our art form. We need to get the directors on our side, because they have the clout.= =Film has an enormous amount of exposure latitude and dynamic range, which gives us infinite creative ability in creating images. I can underexpose it by 3 stops and overexpose it by 5 stops within the same frame and see the entire spectrum on the screen. That's simply not possible in any digital format I've seen. Every digital camera is trying hard to emulate 35mm film, and there's a reason for that.= =My work will not be seen on screen the way I want it to if I'm forced to compromise my tools and my integrity. I can't short-change my director by taking a chance that the perfect shot is going to be ruined because we're using a format of lesser quality than film.=

  • May 2, 2012, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Herzog ain't having it either

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Q: What about shooting digitally? A: We used the RED camera for My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done. It's an immature camera created by computer people who do not have a sensibility or understanding for the value of high-precision mechanics, which has a 200-year history. It's terrible: Whenever you have to reboot the camera, it takes 4½ minutes or so. It drove me insane, because sometimes something is happening and you can't just push the button and record it. An assistant cameraman said this camera would be ideal if we were filming the National Library in Paris, which has been sitting there for centuries. But everything that moves faster than a library is a problem for the RED. Super 35 mm celluloid is still better.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    tallboy, I respectfully disagree.

    by Mono

    Film (when projected properly, by people who care about their craft) still looks better than digital. In every case? No. Of course not. If you compare poorly lit, poorly shot film with excellently shot digital, obviously the digital will win out, every time. But there is a tonal difference between the two mediums which is ever-present -- at least for now. When I watch digital projection, I see pixel blur, I see motion which *feels* fake. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it, but it *feels* like video. There is an inauthenticity to it. Something is missing in the middle distance, creating an illusion of visual depthlessness. I'd still rather see 35mm, because all of those things create a sort of uncanny nagging upon my perceptions, and most of the time, when I watch digital projection, I find myself aware of the flaws, and it prevents me from zoning into the experience of the movie. I am not a luddite, and I naturally expect this all to change over time. Eventually digital will surpass film, in terms of quality and tonality, but that day has not yet arrived. Ultimately there are advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages, I mentioned above. The advantages to digital are consistency of projection quality, and the ability to create really beautiful images of the nighttime in a way that film cannot. I don't include costs because, as a viewer, that's not what matters to me. What matters to me is the experience of the movie.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Wow, the film vs digital debate

    by Taragor

    Look, who cares....some people paint with oils, some with pastels, others do computer animation. Pay to see what you want, dont pay and support what you don't. It's that simple. I believe they all have a place in this world. I do see film as going away eventually, as it is more costly, and that, sadly, is what the bottom dollar is. Just look at Kodak going bankrupt. I live in LA but for some reason havent checked out New Bev. It is on my list. I'm trying to imprint my kids with old school cinema. My son (now a teen) and I would watch the old universal monster flicks so he would have an appreciation of where todays monster movies come from. So anyways, don't think it's worth yelling at one another over....just a preference. Sadly, many old things fade with time. Hugo made me reevaluate looking at old films, but I am sure I am in the minority of the majority of people in this world. Heck, we film geeks here on AICN are in the minority lol.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I donated $10.

    by Mono

  • May 2, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Even 16mn has a warmth and clarity that DCPs lack

    by beamish13

    It's really sad that many people may never experience a 70mm screening

  • May 2, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Those quotes from Herzog and Pfister are wonderful

    by beamish13

    Thanks for sharing them

  • May 2, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Hey, tallboy, how about this...

    by schadenfreudian

    Don't like physical film? Don't support the movie. There, problem solved.

  • May 2, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Here's Nolan from a recent interview with the DGA

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Note his mention of film still being cheaper to use. Sorry tall_boy6t6, but I'm going with the professionals on this one. Q: You and your cameraman, Wally Pfister, are—along with Steven Spielberg—among the last holdouts who shoot on film in an industry that’s moved to digital. What’s your attraction to the older medium? A: For the last 10 years, I've felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I've never understood why. It's cheaper to work on film, it's far better looking, it’s the technology that's been known and understood for a hundred years, and it's extremely reliable. I think, truthfully, it boils down to the economic interest of manufacturers and [a production] industry that makes more money through change rather than through maintaining the status quo. We save a lot of money shooting on film and projecting film and not doing digital intermediates. In fact, I've never done a digital intermediate. Photochemically, you can time film with a good timer in three or four passes, which takes about 12 to 14 hours as opposed to seven or eight weeks in a DI suite. That’s the way everyone was doing it 10 years ago, and I've just carried on making films in the way that works best and waiting until there’s a good reason to change. But I haven't seen that reason yet. Q: Have you ever thought about communicating your feelings to the industry and other directors? A: I’ve kept my mouth shut about this for a long time and it’s fine that everyone has a choice, but for me the choice is in real danger of disappearing. So right before Christmas I brought some filmmakers together and showed them the prologue for The Dark Knight Rises that we shot on IMAX film, then cut from the original negative and printed. I wanted to give them a chance to see the potential, because I think IMAX is the best film format that was ever invented. It’s the gold standard and what any other technology has to match up to, but none have, in my opinion. The message I wanted to put out there was that no one is taking anyone’s digital cameras away. But if we want film to continue as an option, and someone is working on a big studio movie with the resources and the power to insist [on] film, they should say so. I felt as if I didn’t say anything, and then we started to lose that option, it would be a shame. When I look at a digitally acquired and projected image, it looks inferior against an original negative anamorphic print or an IMAX one. http://www.dga.org/Craft/DGAQ/All-Articles/1202-Spring-2012/DGA-Interview-Christopher-Nolan.aspx

  • May 2, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Sorry, but Julia is a hypocrite.

    by Logan_1973

    There is a difference between PRESERVING old 35mm prints for historic purposes and preserving it for your own. She just wants to save her theatre. Noble effort and I respect that, but don't play the "we must save history" Card on us. Don't they realize that by running these old prints through the projectors they are risking even more damage/wear & tear than if they were stored properly? You can't preserve the prints and play them at the same time. Pick one.

  • May 2, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    How about a compromise: Let them shoot on film and then

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Project it digitally. Digital still looks like cheap shit when you're shooting interiors and daytime scenes, great for night stuff though. At least if it was originally shot on film it will look good, even as a digital print as long as the digital projection doesn't suck. Best projection in the world can't save most shot digital shit.

  • May 2, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST

    film

    by The Fuck

    If you look at Alien, specifically the low lit scene where they find the ship. Its like a feeling that film seems to capture much better, as I can not imagine how that would look good on digital. I base this on what Prometheus has shown so far, it just doesn't feel the same. Nostalgic reasons probably!

  • May 2, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST

    $100 Pledged & Correction to Buckethead

    by ArcherNX01

    Buckethead, it was *once* a pr0n theater, not originally... Originally, it was a vaudeville theater. Currently, it's my favorite revival house in Los Angeles & by a country mile! POssibly my favorite memory was children... actual children taken to a Chaplin triple feature with them laughing their frickin' heads off along with the adults. The monkey highwire scene in 'The Circus' alone made it worth the $7.

  • Stop. Fucking. Confusing them. Shooting on film is not going away. Nolan, QT, and Spielberg are not the only ones still doing it. But projecting that film the old fashion way? Good luck arguing that one.

  • But as far as the economies of scale is concerned in terms of what productions can afford, its also the most expensive option out of the lot and too far out of the reach of many modern productions that are not backed by studio financing. Make no mistakes, 35mm projection is pants. If for no other reason than the simple fact that the generational image degradation between the neg (or at least the inter positive) and the release print you watch in a multiplex is astounding. With the capture resolution of film, even reduced by a 4K DI, is ultimately reduced to a projected comparative resolution of 720 or less by the time you get the film in front of you at a cinema. Release prints of films are, for the most part, astonishing in how poor the image ends up being compared to what it looks like on the neg. Digital projection gets around this issue, plus other potential problems like grey blacks, color-matching and gate wobble. AND the charm of the New Beverly isn't about how "film is superior". It's about running classic celluloid films on their original format; it's a partial celebratory institute and running museum and its charm, power and fantastic services have nothing to do with the superiority of 35mm or digital.

  • May 2, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST

    I'll take film grain over the waxy skin that digital produces

    by alienindisguise

    strip away all the video noise and the image looks exceedingly fake and plastic.

  • May 2, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Well put nzpoe

    by Logan_1973

    The issue of what format is "better" to watch really has nothing to do with this. But I still can't get my head around Ms. Julia wanting to save film with her right hand while her left hand is ramming these old prints through projectors. You can't preserve and play at the same time.

  • May 2, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    QT

    by Therealumlaut

    Quentin Tarantino saved the theater a few years ago. This doc sounds like it's about movies as 35mm prints and the preservation of experiencing films in that format where they can be screened in smaller theaters. Full disclosure - I go there tons of times over the the last 15 years that I've lived in LA.

  • May 2, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST

    The problem is outside of some big cities...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Not a lot of people have great theaters. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Austin simply have the best. Other parts of the country mainly have people who don't give a shit about this because they don't have good theaters to go to. So you get teens yelping about how digital is better. Fine digital is clearer... Does not always mean it's a good thing. Most of these people if they went to a good theater and saw movies on film, I think they'd enjoy themselves. Personally I hope film doesn't just die off. I think most film makers like to use it while most average Americans just want the best of best when it comes to technology. A lot of the times CGI-fest digital movies look too clear and just super unrealistic. Darkness is a key factor in filmmaking. Totally going to support this... I love theaters like this. I'm not anti-AMC/Regal or anything but I have amazing experiences at theaters like these.

  • May 2, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    The Death Of The Projectionist

    by thelordofhell

    If you have a choice of showing a film digitally and paying a kid 9 bucks an hour to change discs, that's going to trump paying a projectionist 25 bucks an hour to show and maintain a film projector. It sucks, but that's the gist of it. Movie theaters are killing 35mm. Just like they killed 70mm and other far better looking formats.

  • May 2, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Um, I'll shoot on whatever I can get my hands on.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    I say a good movie is a good movie. If it looks good whether film or digital who cares.

  • May 2, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Ugh. Despise the New Beverly.

    by Hercules

    No legroom; I always have to sit in the front row. Thank Christ for the nearby stadium-style Cinemateque.

  • May 2, 2012, 5:25 p.m. CST

    thelordofhell

    by Logan_1973

    I worked as a (35mm) projectionist for ten years and I would love to know where theatres are playing $25 an hour.

  • May 2, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    theumpirestrokesbach, Pfister nailed it

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    thanks for that post/quote

  • May 2, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    self-appointed technical authorities...

    by j_difool

    i should resist being drawn into this discussion... it's just jarring how some of the people who sound the most committed to their technical facts also make the least amount of sense. not to pick on just one guy, but I have no idea what nzpoe is talking about when s/he says: "With the capture resolution of film, even reduced by a 4K DI, is ultimately reduced to a projected comparative resolution of 720 or less by the time you get the film in front of you at a cinema." A 4K DI results in a 4K DCP, unless client specifies otherwise, which would be brain-dead, and something I've never personally seen. If you are making an analogy between digital resolutions and generational loss in the film printing process, your metaphor is mixed and misleading, because generational loss is not the same as down-rezzing. As for shoot-on-film-project-on-digital being the recipe for world happiness, I still say it's a matter of taste. I regularly screen digitally color-corrected material side-by-side and back-to-back with identical content printed to film. To my eye, the stronger contrast on the print is preferable. Your comment that "grey blacks" are fixed by digital projection is again, unclear, and sounds counter to my own daily experience. there are many people who prefer digital projection, and the digital pipeline as a whole, to the photochemical one - and they have seen the same images I have, side-by-side. Which only proves that the whole thing is subjective. Just like the plasma vs. LCD debate I used to argue. (Although I will get just as passionate as anyone else that my own preference is "right," because I cannot tolerate "flat" "milky" images.) One thing that Nolan is totally right about is that the photochemical process is just as valid as the digital intermediate process, and is almost certainly faster, as he has noted. Part of the reason why is the same reason that cropped up when digital technology first began to appear in film post - in the editing room - with the introduction of the AVID. Suddenly, you have word-processor-like power over your cut/color. And this has a kind of democratizing effect on the process, which is the last thing you really want, as many people now get to play "backseat director" in the cutting and timing sessions - not just the screenings. Everything is now infinitely editable by matter of smallest degree so now we can all put our little thumbprints on the picture and feel valuable. Often this does not serve to better the film, but only "validates" the roles that powerful individuals play in the process. I think this is the implied message of Nolan's comments about speed of the workflow. Because lab timers cannot stop the film on a frame and make adjustments to the flowers in the background to please the suits. Thus, he gets into the lab, spends a week and walks out with the movie he wants. This veers away from the technical discussion slightly, but as with anything, there's more to it than just what's at the surface. Also - for anyone who's unclear on the matter... and this seems to be many people -- the decline in demand for release prints is driving a stake through the hearts of the labs and Kodak. Thus the debate IS extended to whether fiilmmakers will still be able to shoot on film. if the rapid adoption of digital acquisition, post and distribution drives the other model into the ground, it is no longer a creative option.

  • May 2, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST

    j_difool

    by NZPoe

    Totally agree with all your points, my criticism of 35mm projection was aimed at exhibitors and their treatment of the medium, not the drawbacks of the medium in of itself. Washed out blacks, poor colour, desaturated colour, frame wobble are enormous issues we faced here in New Zealand in our picture houses before digital projection became a standard. Perhaps its more a localised issue, but 35mm projection in my country as run by exhibitors (particularly chain plexus rather than mom-and-pop cinemas) was pretty horrendous. DCP has improved the experience vastly here. re. my resolution comparison, I know its a shoddy comparison, but having worked on a few feature films its the closest analogy I can come up with in terms of expressing generational loss between neg and a release print. Obviously someone who works with prints would have a better way to phrase it.

  • May 2, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Because of that Patton Oswalt link?

    by gotilk

    And the unexpected WELLING of emotion it brought out of me over the loss (both of the man and the potential of a lost possible past), damned right I'll donate. Damned right. Holy shit that man knows how to write.

  • May 2, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    One thing people never mention.

    by gotilk

    How does it feel to be one HUGE EMP terrorist attack on Los Angeles away from losing the history of film? That could eventually be a real concern. Not at the moment, but it is possible.

  • May 2, 2012, 6:31 p.m. CST

    gotik

    by NZPoe

    One old regular high explosive attack could destroy the history of film and for celluloid its not as easy to ensure the perfect duplicate copies are stored in different places all over the world. There is no perfect solution. One format is easier to replicate, shift and preserve, the other has the advantage of being physically present and accessible and resilient to manhandling.

  • May 2, 2012, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Thanks Difool

    by trevanian

    I think you got all the points right, which in my eyes was important enough to get me to register here after almost 15 years of lurking. I interview cinematographers pretty regularly, so I hear these issues coming up an awful lot, even from DPs who are often originating on digital. The 'play with it in DI' aspect is very troubling, and much akin to the 'iterate-iterate-iterate' that characterized certain producers and their demands for VFX houses in the digital era to give them infinite variations on the same shot, just because it is possible. In fact a lot of this film vs digital thing is similar to miniature/analog VFX vs. whole cloth CGI ... and I think the old school approach is still extremely valid for a lot of cases, rather than just defaulting to CGI for everything, because it doesn't really jive with the 'right too for the right job' that in the past characterized smart filmmakers and how they mixed & matched. I'm so film-oriented that not only would I have trouble shooting digital if the opportunity arose, but I'd even have trouble shooting anything that wasn't Kodachrome, because all I ever shot was reversal stock and the 'chrome was to my eye always better than reality, and in a way that etched a memory better than just being there!

  • May 2, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    nzpoe

    by gotilk

    Very true. But an EMP attack , if done right, involves one button push. Try that kind of simplicity with a LA fire. Not gonna happen. Too many people fighting it off. EMP is instantaneous. Period. And if gone mostly digital, film history would just be collateral damage, as infrastructure would be the real target. And do you really trust that these companies care enough to actually do back-up right? I hope that they do, but I don't KNOW that they WILL. I already know what you're telling me, but thank you anyway. My criticism is not that digital is the wrong answer, but that the risks have not been fully explored. These people have been trusted with our history in the past (and yes, it is ours) and dropped the ball while putting barriers in place for others to help preservation. While basement-dwelling geeks across the world will eventually die, their collections of rare films will be dumpstered because they are archiving illegally and the people around them have no idea how important their collections are. Believe me, I know a few of these guys, these collectors. Digital and otherwise. These people, as well as foreign TV archives and former employees with sticky fingers, are the reason things thought lost occasionally just *pop up* suddenly. Bottom line, I don't trust the studios and the companies that run them. Take that as you will.

  • May 2, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    I admire the woman's passion...

    by WeylandYutani

    But this does remind me of the CD vs vinyl debate from a couple of decades ago. The there are certainly pros and cons to both digital and analogue technologies, but in the end it seems that digital will win out due to some inherent advantages. Sadly I do wonder what will become of independent second run theatres. In some ways it seems that seeing old films that have been digitized from a resorted negative is a very attractive idea as I have seen many old films projected with absolutely horrible release prints. 2001 ASO comes to mind - I remember being very excited to see it only to be disappointed that the print had faded to such a degree so that Dave Boman's flight suite was pink instead if read. I can't help but think how a fresh digital copy would look. When a local theatre chain opted for all digital projection a few years back they did a week long retro film festival showing digital versions of many popular older films: Die Hard, ST II TROK, The Graduate, Goldfinger and many more... And they were vivid and pristine. I will be sorry to see many of these older theatres close because they can't afford to make the change over, but I think there still will be venues that will show older films, only they will look and sound better than they ever have.

  • May 2, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    Dream Theater in Monterey, Ca

    by bodian26

    was a wonderful arthouse theater. I miss that place and the people who worked there. Those who have been there, know. RIP Dream Theater (1975-2000)

  • May 2, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Exhaustive LA Weekly article about this whole dilemma

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-12/film-tv/35-mm-film-digital-Hollywood/

  • May 2, 2012, 7:11 p.m. CST

    weylandyutani

    by Logan_1973

    The art-house chain here in Philly started converting over to digital projection two years ago. The first thing they showed was the Oscar-nominated shorts and it was a huge draw. Since then they've been running older films like The Godfather, A Night To Remember, etc. I know the conversion is expensive but a lot of these places would be well served to embrace the new technology which opens up a lot of doors.

  • But on the other hand, it is my understanding that Warner Bros. is not only disallowing access to their print archive, but they are actually destroying them themselves. That's akin to some sort of cinematic genocide to this cinephile. Just a couple months ago I had the opportunity to watch THE SHINING on 35mm for the last time. It kinda bummed me out quite honestly. I would kill my own family with an ax to possess a print of that bad boy. But more seriously they should auction them to pack-rat collector nerds or something at least! Or better yet, auction them off to repertory houses all over the fucking place. It'll save the studios precious shelf space and maybe even keep some of these old art-houses alive at the same time..killing two birds and all that. Licensing could get a bit funky in those circumstances though. It's a pickle alright.

  • May 2, 2012, 7:29 p.m. CST

    weylandyutani

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    That blows that the print of 2001 ASO was so degraded. About five years or so ago I got to see the film in a relatively new at the time but EYEFUCKINGLY GLORIOUS 70mm print..and HO-LY SH-EEEE-IT. Digital can't come close to the pristine perfection of that particular exhibition. Though I admit that the mighty potent psychedelics I had ingested might have helped more than a little. ;)

  • May 2, 2012, 8:40 p.m. CST

    theumpirestrokesbach

    by WeylandYutani

    I can only imagine how good 2001 looked in 70mm. I envy you. However, while there is no question a well projected print will look and sound great, my impression is that overall there is less chance that something will go wrong with digital projection... That is not to say that it can't, just that there is no chance of the release print deteriorating or tearing ect. I used to work as a line producer for IMAX educational docs which is a kind if 70mm format, and while the 70mm technology will always look fantastic, I have to say that the newer IMAX digital cameras and digital projection is also very impressive to see. And remember, this is the worst digital will look, as cameras and projectors improve, the technology will look better over time, much the way film stocks improved with the advent Kodak's T grain technology etc.

  • My midnight showing of the last HARRY POTTER film was ruined by a nice green scratch through the entire film; which I'm quite sure happened when they were building. Since then I've been advocating digital which will never have those human-error or mechanical defects.

  • May 2, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST

    theumpirestrokesbach

    by gotilk

    Thanks for the LA Weekly article, very informative. Confirms my suspicious that although many are working hard for the love of cinema, if we leave ALL of it in the hands of the studios, corporations and a few foundations, our history will disappear. They simply do not have the resources. Thank goodness for private collectors and their crap copies of trash cinema.

  • May 2, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    I really wanted to see the Oscar shorts program.

    by gotilk

    SO sad I missed that.

  • May 2, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Watched a film called AGORA a few days ago.

    by gotilk

    And although recent, and on Blu Ray (beautifully, by the way), I cannot imagine the film surviving more than 50-75 years in the planned scenarios. And that is truly sad. It's an unselfish fear, as I will NOT be alive in that time, almost guaranteed. As a side note, it may also be an example of a dying breed. A film that spent MILLIONS on HUGE sets of ancient Alexandria, that work PERFECTLY and are an example of artistry not seen since the golden age of film. I bet some of you who watch it will actually be in disbelief and think that you're looking at CGI. You're not. It packs an emotional whollup though, so be prepared. I think Agora may be one of the last big budget films we'll see with actual huge sets built outdoors instead of partial sets and indoor sets. I'm still in shock that a film that huge never made it to more than 4 screens stateside. And it was in English. I hope they made money in Europe. Sorry for getting side-tracked.

  • May 2, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Here's something funny

    by dukeroberts

    I read on Movieline yesterday that an audience had gathered at a theater (I don't recall the location) to view The Avengers, but the movie had accidentally been deleted from the digital projector. Ha ha! All it took was one button to delete the movie. What is the film equivalent to that?

  • May 2, 2012, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Julia

    by dukeroberts

    She looks like a sno-cone.

  • May 2, 2012, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Yeah.

    by gotilk

    A SEXY Sno-Cone.

  • May 2, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    The Belcourt in Nashville

    by maxjohnson1971

    I went there Saturday to see a newly struck 35mm print of "The Last Picture Show" Previously, saw a new 35mm print of "Taxi Driver." "Raiders" is playing later this month. During the 12 hour horror marathon, ALL the movies were 35mm prints. From "Lady Terminator" to "Squirm" to "Abby." Some films deserve to be preserved in 35mm. Some just deserve to be seen in 35mm. There IS a difference. The Belcourt runs 35mm if it is available, but they can project digital as well. But any self-respecting film lover will tell you that 35mm has a "feeling" that digital doesn't have yet. Not knocking digital, but I loves me some 35mm. Especially during the really quiet scenes when you can hear the projector ticking away. That makes me all fuzzy inside.

  • May 2, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST

    The debates about shooting or projecting on film or digital aside...

    by WeylandYutani

    there is something that does concern me, and that is film archiving of digital content. Most archivists hate digital material because if the file corrupts or is in a format that is no longer standard it will not be playable and the data will be lost. Analogue material, like celluloid, fades away over long periods which gives preservationists time to copy or work to archive the material. Studios have done a lot of work to preserve their properties. I hope they continue to strike negatives of digital source material and safely lock it in the vault.

  • May 3, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Sharing the Good Times!

    by cahcat

    There's lots of stories to tell when it comes to the New Beverly! The movies they play, the people who watch them, and of course all the fun guests. It's just about sharing the movie going experiences with the masses.

  • May 3, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST

    weylandyutani

    by gotilk

    That's why I hope SOMEONE out there is working on an archival standard that will be supported in the future, without question. AND archival mediums for data that are more resistant to degradation. Like a diamond that stores data. I know, totally silly. But something like that. We need it, and not just for films and music. It is a serious problem going forward. I have tons of data that I keep backed up and I have to keep checking it, buying new drives, etc every couple of years to preserve it. It's becoming completely goofy how often I have to do this. I've already lost so much, some of it deeply personal and irreplaceable. And the cloud? What a JOKE (for now). Anyone back up to Megaupload? LOL!!! Gone. Even if everything you uploaded was yours to do what you wanted with. Lumped in with copyright infringers. Gone. That cannot happen again, ever. And I'll never trust *the cloud* with anything but rain until I have assurances from the government that they won't steal my personal data in order to catch someone who uploaded Trannyformers. What a joke. Hell, I'd even be okay with them checking my account for file signatures of known pirated works. As long as I could get that guarantee. Until then, the cloud can stuff itself.

  • May 3, 2012, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Hercules, you know how much the ...

    by scenic

    cinematheque screwed over the real theater underneath that new venue? The Grauman's Egyptian Theater was trashed with giddy abandon by the new order of hoped coolness that is the cinematheque. The real dishonor and shame of Hollywood cinemas (and any real aware film person will back this up) is the specific (and in the name of supposed street art) dismantling of Grauman's Egyptian Theater. And the ultimate needle to the heart is that the Cinematheque will grant the public a 'tour' of the 'historic' site that was the theater that they destroyed. A 1330 seat theater with a 65 foot screen was reduced to a 700 seat box with a screen the size of an AMC multiplex in the suburbs. (and the ceiling decorations left to lay fallow in darkness - bulbs too busy a motif for the new designer) For shame.

  • May 3, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Archiving Films

    by Logan_1973

    They're already using Cloud tech to preserve films.

  • May 3, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    logan_1973

    by WeylandYutani

    But is cloud back up robust enough for true media preservation? Gotlik makes some interesting points and brings up some interesting questions.

  • May 3, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Who would see a digital projection of an older film?

    by JustinSane

    Unless it's really obscure or something previously out of print, if I hear an older film will be digitally projected, I pass on it. Why would I want to see the Marx Brothers digitally projected? I have the DVDs at home. Would I want to see a film print of Horse Feathers? Hell yes!

  • May 3, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    justinsane

    by Logan_1973

    I would kill to see A New Hope in a digital 4k presentation.

  • May 3, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST

    As a film archivist at the world's biggest library in Washington DC

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    I find a lot of these comments amusing. Clearly we're not doing a good job of engaging the broader, non-archives community. When I read "Most archivists hate digital material" I have to chuckle because it's not true. And cloud storage for moving image material? I don't know of any institutions that are doing that in any formal way because the file sizes are enormous. Most big collecting repositories store their digitized masters on LTO or T-10000 tapes. We don't hate the digital. We DO acknowledge that motion picture film is still the archival moving image medium of choice because of its simple, easy to reverse-engineer technology, its eye-legibility and its longevity (a polyester print, stored properly can last for centuries).

  • May 3, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    When was the last time you were there, Herc?

    by BitterMan23

    They took out a few rows to allow for more legroom when they replaced all the seats a few years ago. It's just as easy to get in and out of a seat as it is at the Arclight or Egyptian. I'm 6"3 and I have no problem at all with the Bev's seats or legroom. You're way off base there.

  • May 3, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    @justinsane

    by Jay

    Digital projection doesn't mean they simply project a DVD or Blu-ray on the screen. The fact that you think screening a DVD at home will give you the same outcome shows how very misinformed some the anti-digital folks can be.

  • May 3, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    I know that, but...

    by JustinSane

    It's the warmness of the film, the pops on the soundtrack and the hum of the projector that make the filmgoing experience special.

  • May 3, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Plowing over it's past?

    by SK229

    I think you meant New York City, not L.A. Los Angeles, if anything, celebrates what little heritage it has as is evidenced by the fact that the New Bev is still standing and operating, but you also have the Aero and The Egyptian. I'm sure they've all had their moments where it looked like it might be the end, but if it were NYC, they'd be long gone by now, plowed over to make room for a Crate and Barrel, a Starbucks, and The Brady Bunch on Broadway. There is NOTHING like that in New York. New York has turned into the most generic outdoor mall one can imagine, except for maybe the restaurants, a few spots downtown, and Harlem, all of which are the worst kind of NY by way of the midwest hipster enclaves you can imagine. But I think L.A. still has spots with 1930's and 40's charm. You'd be hard pressed to find that in NY. Oh, and what few theaters that do play older movies in NY play the most pretentious shit imaginable. You'd be hard pressed to get a double bill of Alien/Aliens for $7(!?), as I did at The Egyptian a few years with two flawless prints.

  • May 3, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    A New Hope in a digital 4k presentation-Me too if it meant

    by Samuel Fulmer

    George would go back and make a 4k master for bluray, the current blurays of the original trilogy are based off of the 2k masters from the old dvd release, just tweaked here and there with the new additions and some different color correction, which is why they aren't that impressive.

  • May 3, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    fulmer...

    by Logan_1973

    I don't know what you're seeing (or not seeing) bro, but my OT in blu looks phenominal.

  • May 3, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    The SW OT on Blu

    by WeylandYutani

    I am pretty sure that the entire trilogy was remastered for bluray... Fixing many issues like using the full aspect ratio where edges of the print were cut off on the 2004 DVDs even on the letterboxed editions. Colour timing was refined and sound problems like the reversed rear channels were corrected in ANH.

  • And yes the digital 2k master used for the 2004 dvds was remastered for the blurays, but the actual film was not rescanned for 4k, which would've brought up the detail. Hell look at the Taxi Driver bluray. It's a 4k scan, it has the gritty look Taxi Driver should have (hello grain!!!), but there's no lost detail there. Let's face it, Lucas is lazy, and this THX nonsense means nothing now in 2012. When you saw THX back in the 1990's you saw quality. Now, not really. BTW, the aspect ratio fix was on Phantom Menace, which yeah looks better than the god awful dvd, but it's been degrained and DNR'd to such a level that it doesn't look as good as it should, especially considering it was the only prequel shot on film.

  • May 3, 2012, 5:05 p.m. CST

    samuel fulmer

    by WeylandYutani

    Thx for the clarification. I has assumed that they were a new 4K transfer... Guess not.

  • for chiming in. What is the typical outlook for the future with archivists? I mean, just from what you've done and observed, do you think there is a real interest and effort on the part of archivists and studios/filmmakers to preserve lesser known works, cult films, etc? What about shelved works? I agree that film is a very, very safe medium for preservation, but do you think perhaps archivists could find new ways to reach out to fans of specific works maybe, to crowd-fund preservation? If given the chance and .. well... the right, do you think the average film geek could even take part in restoration work? Crowd-sourced restoration? Sorry for so many questions, I just think it's cool that we have someone here who is actually doing the work. Thanks.