Here’s a fun video called “Facts About Projection,” made several years ago by a 35mm film projectionist in London. He wrote, “This is a short film about my job as a Projectionist. I am quite proud of this film, mostly because I’m so proud of my job–it seems like a fulfillment of my childhood romantic notions of what I wanted to be when I grew up.”
Not that long ago, 35mm film could be played in almost any movie theater in the world. Since 2008, the 35mm film projectors have largely been replaced with digital projectors, and the 35mm format is rapidly becoming obsolete. The basic operation of digital cinema projectors is straightforward and can be performed by a theater’s managerial staff.
In the future, traditional projectionists will only be found in theaters that continue to show print films from archival collections, and so, sadly, they are a dying breed.
In 1984, a company called The Criterion Collection was created with the aim of selling important classic and contemporary films that have been cleaned and restored and augmented with bonus features. Their first releases were Citizen Kane and King Kong. Their Citizen Kane was created from a master positive provided by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. King Kong was the debut of their scene-specific audio-commentary feature, so beloved by hard-core film buffs.
With its eighth release, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Criterion originated the letterbox format, which added black bars to the top and bottom of the 4:3 standard television set in order to preserve the original aspect ratio of the film.
As well as cleaning and restoring all films released on their label, Criterion works closely with filmmakers and scholars to ensure that each film is presented as its maker would want it seen.
From the 1990s onwards, the Criterion Collection has focused on releasing world cinema, cinema classics, and critically successful obscure movies, seeking out films that are “exemplary films of their kind.”
So if you are a film buff, you might want to check out the extensive selection (172 titles) of Criterion Collection movies that we offer here at the Library. Simply go to the SCPL catalog, and search on the term “Criterion Collection.” You might also wanted to check out the Criterion Collection Facebook page, which offers an entertaining and ever-changing assortment of film clips and interviews with notables in the film world.
Here’s an interesting opportunity for local moviegoers: the Arcada is a hosting venue for The Manhattan Short Film Festival on Sunday, Sept. 25 (5pm) and Wednesday, Sept. 28 (7pm).
According to their website, the Film Festival “received 598 Entries from 48 Countries” from which they selected 10 short films representing every continent. These films will be screened and voted
upon by theatre goers in this 2-hour film festival. All films are rated PG.
Two news stories related to movies caught my notice in recent days and I thought I’d pass them along:
First is the announcement that Roger Ebert is bringing a new weekly 30-minute movie review program to television called “Ebert Presents At the Movies.” It will air on PBS stations starting later this month and will feature two co-hosts plus many other respected contributors, including Ebert himself. You can find out more from Roger Ebert’s Journal. I’m looking forward to the return of the “thumbs up, thumbs down” movie review, not to mention the new website that will be created to go with the program.