Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Digital Age descends on your local

Following my little excursion to attempt to see The Italian a Melbourne cinephile has filed a 'you aint seen nothin' riposte'. He writes

Three out of the last four visits to Palace cinemas revealed digital projection of varying levels of unacceptability. COPYING BEETHOVEN, ORCHESTRA STALLS and AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (just why Sydney-siders crossed the street let alone the harbour to see this is another minor miracle for the industry). All digital at Westgarth and Como. Unannounced in the press. A friend sent me an email picture of the little hard drive sent out to one cinema. Plug it into some PC and download the images. Apparently they project as images albeit jerkily.I don't mind digital projection of very high quality. Certainly some digitally produced films turn into great film print experiences. STILL LIFE seen projected digitally looked great. But these other efforts are like watching DVDs on a large home cinema screen. Well, not that large at times. Drained colour, no depth of image, subtitles so huge because they are in proportion to the size of a TV image.Maybe in Sydney you get the one and only film print of some of these great attractions.

I would not know the ins and outs of digital projection but this is something that it is going to agitate us a lot into the future. The projectionists maynot mrely be missing but completely disappeared in the Argentinian fashion, never to be seen again and only their mothers and cinephiles to carry on a lonley vigil.


Paul Martin said...

Yes, it's very disappointing to pay your money to find you could have stayed at home. I hate the quality of projection of DVDs. The Nova usually advertises it, albeit subtly.

I went to the George yesterday for the St. Kilda Film Festival. I don't usually go to this, but have seen some of the international programs before so saw the Interfilm Berlin session. Of the five short films (mind you, one was 52 min), three were virtually unwatchable because they were so colour drained. I'm not sure whether this was because they were shot on digital, screened from DVD, or both.

Film Alert said...

Thanks again Paul
As a matter of interest the Sydney Film Festival had excellent digital prjection in the smaller of the Greater Union George Street cinemas for a most interesting, indeed entertaining, doco called Crossing the Line about an American soldier who defected to North Korea in 1962 and became, among other things a movie star whose villainous characters were always named Arthur Cockstud. More about it on the blog soon. Hopefully my enthusiasm will start the word of mouth that will fill the theatre for its second screening on Saturday 23 June