In 1989 I attended a 50th anniversary revival of GONE WITH THE WIND
at a cinema here in Sydney.It was shown in the old 4x3 format, and
all through the movie I was thinking that it was too big and too
good a movie to be shown on this pathetic square shaped little screen.
I know that this is the format the film was photographed in back in
1939, but this is 1998 and the last generation of viewers to even
remember going to see movies in this format must be getting close
Some time after I saw the same restored print at another cinema
that projected it at 1.75:1,and the difference was like chalk and
cheese. There were no heads cut off(and the projectionist did not
have to adjust the rack throughout the picture) and altogether it
was a far more impressive presentation, that a BIG motion picture
like GONE WITH THE WIND deserves.
It absolutely amazes me that the Distributors have gone to all
the trouble to make specially squeezed TECHNICOLOR matrixes so
that it can end up on some postage-stamp size screen with the
old fashioned almost square shape . Thirty years ago they blew
it up to 70MM and admittedly the picture didn't look that good,
mainly because the original negatives had to go through three
generations of printing using the then available duplicating
stocks(First generation EASTMAN 5253 Intermediate stock).With
the magnificently sharp and fine grained stocks available today
(Eastman 5244 Intermediate and the new Fuji Intermediate)a 70MM
print off a Blow-Up Internegative would look superb.
Another complaint about the last 70MM version was that the
so called stereophonic sound wasn't proper stereo, which it wasn't.
This was because the separate dialogue,music and effects tracks
couldn't be located at the time but more than twenty years later
when the 1989 restoration was done they were located and I assume
are still available for a proper stereo remix.
Let's make GONE WITH THE WIND the BIG picture it deserves to be
and not let the standards of the past limit us to postage stamp
sized screens we have not grown accustomed to. GWTW and its audience
deserve much,much more.
the resulting 70MM print would look superb
Many people say that a film should be projected in the same aspect ratioit was filmed. However BEN HUR(1959) was filmed in MGM Camera 65 also known as Ultra Panavision 70 with an aspect ratio of 2.75 :1 and between 1969 until after the year 2000 the only available 70mm prints were 2.2:1 70mm spherical prints with 20% of
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