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2015 tcm festival: real 35mm films, or just modern digitized screenings?


andre#4
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Will any screenings be 35mm film, and if so, which ones?  I will spend the $1,000s of dollars to attend if films are shown, but not for digitisations of films.  I have that for free at home.

 

I can't find the info anywhere.  I know graumans Chinese can't screen film at all cause they "upgraded", and also that montalbans may have a single 35mm projector, which isn't enough to screen reel to reel which most classic prints are.  rental agencies don't like them spliced for platter systems.

 

so, does anyone know if any films will be on film this year?  last year 1/2 the movies were on film and the other half rendered as square pixels.  but a year is forever in terms of the death of film.  it seems to be going very fast now.

 

thanks for any info, especially specific info.  never been to a film festival, and want to see a couple films while it is still possible.  if it is ....

 

last year they had film prints shown at the multiplex cinema.  I'd love to see a film on a large screen, but I guess the big venues trashed their nice film projectors.  these digitisations are 2k or 4k horizontal  resolution, but 35mm film is over 8k horizontal which is 4 times the resolution.  more importantly it renders colors, light and shadows better and does not try to draw pictures with squares.  even if you have a lot of squares, you can never draw a circle, and lots of objects on screen are round.  but what bothers me about digital is the jerkiness of the motion..

 

I joined the forum just to ask this question.

thanks

Andre

 

.......

I feel very alone with this digital problem. my eyes are too sensitive I guess.

 

 

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I certainly can understand your preference for film, many people feel that way, but the fact of the matter is that the studios are no longer making film prints. With rare exception, everything is now released on digital hard drives. Not only the studios, but the major archives, that have preserved and restored our film heritage are only making their holdings available for screening in a digital format now.

 

Much as I hate to say it, the vast majority of today's movie audiences prefer digital over film. They grew up with digital and see film as "old fashion". When the studios were still releasing film, many multiplexes would show both film and digital versions and as the digital process improved, the demand for film showings quickly faded.

 

Even film societies and historic theaters that still show film are having to add digital because as existing film prints wear out the studios are not replacing them.

 

You don't say how recently you saw a digital screening. If it's been some time, you might want to give it another chance, there have been major improvements in digital projection in recent years.

 

 

 

 

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Andre,

 

There is usually a mix of film and digital at the TCM Film Festival. In the future, we can expect it to be more digital. New restorations are usually digital. Sometimes vintage prints are shown. Raw Deal, for instance, was a 35mm from the Library of Congress, if I remember correctly. The Bad and the Beautiful was a vintage 35mm from the MGM archives.

 

The program for the festival and the information on the website about the slate of films to be shown usually indicates whether the showing will be film or digital. However, this information is not usually available until shortly before the festival.

 

The quality of the "prints" shown at the festival, whether digital or film, is of great importance to TCM, and they make every effort to provide the best possible version.

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thanks for the info guys.  Funny the red ad shows how bad their capture is in that situation, and brag that they can artificially make it look better.  Why have actors or props or locations at all if the goal is to artificially emulate everything.  I'll bet red can invent software to eliminate the entire filmmaking process, and maybe the viewing too, with a human brain dongle and iPhone app.  In fact, why even live in the human world at all?  I'll bet they could make software to live our whole life for us, we could all just lie down in locked coffins with digital screens and computers, and feeding tubes.  We are nearly there anyway, as most people walking around a city are staring at their cellphone screens, looking at digital photos of people, when there are actual real people right in front of them.  Being born with plastic spoons doesn't make their parent's silver spoons inferior, even if they pawned them to get an iPhone 6.

 

 

I understand the benefits of digital.  I have seen the latest, and that is why I don't like it.  I am afraid that my senses are just too acute, and nobody else notices these things.  Maybe it is just my personal problem.  At 159, maybe my iq makes my senses too discerning.  I quite wish I was stupid and happy..

 

Back to digital... if they could just stop the motion from jerking and cycling abruptly, and pixellating, I wouldn't have a problem with it.  The fact that it will get better later doesn't help for classics digitized now with the inferior method.  they should order new prints now, and save them for digitisation later.  filming in digital is ok now especially for new films which are mostly about kids and iPhones.  More importantly, they are digitized for editing anyway.    but it doesn't make sense to make it impossible for anyone besides Scorsese to see a real film from the past, on a film projector, from a fully analog source.  I'll take faded color and dirt etc. if I can get rid of pixellation, and jerky computer cycled motion (as seen in the DiCaprio Titanic film when boat sails from left to right across screen), and hopelessly bad pans. Maybe filmmaking is not considered a real art form, so much as it is a means of extracting revenue from, and exerting influence over the public. If digitisation of artwork was really appropriate,  the Louvre and the Metropolitan museum et al. would destroy or store away the Rembrandt paintings, and hang up LCD screens, or better yet, raze the buildings and just run an iPhone app.  Much cheaper and easier than running a physical plant, right?  surely a 4k resolution digital image, and some "Rembrandt emulation" software would be superior, right?  I'll bet it could look brighter, sharper, and way more cool and appealing to the throw away generation.  Newer and cheaper, and easier must be better right?  What happened to "if a thing is valuable, it is worth some time and money to get it"?  And vise versa.

 

Finally, with respect to films... Even if we knew the technology would be better than film later, and all problems would be solved, how can we expect the powers that be to use the good technology, when they can increase revenue by cutting costs and lowering quality?  I can't think of a single example of any company which doesn't cheapen their product and reduce quality to save money.  In fact, that is the very reason we have lost film.  Money.  Thanks for reading , sorry about length.

 

The following is unrelated to film:

 

A large portion of recent plane crashes are determined to have been preventable, had the pilots had enough training in how to fly the planes manually.  These computers are not the all get out.  As the planes are plunging to their deaths, the pilots are messing with computers, trying to see what went wrong, when that is irrelevant!  Time now to actually do your job as a human being.  Put your hands on the wheel (like Howard Hughes) and look out the window, and at your gauges.  The computer won't save you now.  your computer replacement has failed.!  so they all die, while the pilots are trying to reboot Windows 7.  it is comical really.  everything doesn't need to be replaced by a "superior", "fault proof" computer..  This is pervasive in society.  The city took my mother's house because their computer credited her tax payment to the house next door.  (most likely clerical error). But now, the computer won't let them reverse it on account of software, and no laws exist to allow my mother to reaquire her house.  Orwellian, right?  True story.  Too bad she paid cash for the house.  A bank would have enough juice to fix this through the good old boy system.

 

Ok movie fans, I shant bother you any more.  If you're still with me, thanks, and please pray for me..

cheers.

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as far as films being unavailable to rent or screen, I'll bet that as long as Marti Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino are alive and lucid, tcm could politely ask to borrow some if they paid for Marti's (or Quentin's) projectionist to run it, and gave them free passes.  And/or offer to help them with their libraries of prints, or with licensing fees for any screenings they might want to have.  Seems to me, if anyone could scratch their backs it is Ted Turner.

 

I doubt Scorsese et al will scrap their film libraries in order to "upgrade" to digital, virtual, cloud, iPhone, whatever comes along that claims to be superior.  They keep and continue to buy and have made new prints of films, because they know something that the rest of us don't.  it's always easy to say that something brand new is superior, as it has no track record.  

 

In the 1970's, many NYC pipe organs were upgraded from leather to vinyl.  well, 5 years later they went back to leather when these organs became virtually unplayable.  Cost $100s of thousands THEN.  I.e. $millions today equivalent.  Leather had lasted 30-60years.  vinyl predicted to last forever based on testing for 1 year.  (brilliant, right?).  Sometimes I can't believe how stupid these people are.  Anyhow the vinyl disintigrated 5 years after the "upgrade", and that very leather remains today, in great shape.  Leather has a track record of 50,000 years of human history.  No need to rip it out and replace it.  But they did.  and spent a fortune.

 

That's another thing about film.  It won't disappear like digital data can.  Digital data really isn't a film.  short of printing every. "0" and "1" on paper, with real ink, it can't be archived, or even stored reliably without a possible disappearance.  Even the worst faded broken print is better than nothing.  Not to mention the new electromagnetic radiation weapons, which would wipe out all data, but analog will remain.  another reason to keep film.  Or at least let someone record it onto analog video tape or 16 mm or something.  Those EM weapons are neat.  Imagine every car, truck, ambulance stopped dead, but a model T Ford works fine.  Or pre 1970 car would work too..

 

I wonder if Robert Redford cares about this.  He has that Sundance film thing.  Also, in the rest of the world, film is still the main method of display, so they can still make new prints.  Seems to me that we should get new prints now, while we can, and quite cheaply oversees no less..

 

Either way, the thing that becomes important is for me and people like me to screen as many films as possible whilst we still can.  I was in NYC in August 2001,  and decided to put off my trip to the world trade center until next time.  I learned that lesson, as those particular buildings were razed shortly thereafter.  I just wish I hadn't waited till the last minute to screen films.  I guess I didn't learn my lesson after all.  I hadn't imagined that they'd eliminate Hollywood films.

 

what will go next? water? air?  (in that vane, view the movie "Gasland" on your digital media player of choice.  water is almost done in the USA).

 

the following is unrelated to film:

 

As you all see I'm frustrated.  I predicted the rise of China, the loss of US factories and jobs, the economic disaster, the real estate bubble, the loss of savings in US families, etc. all 10 years in advance, and nobody believed me.  That was frustrating because that was my expertise.  With this film thing I've been caught by surprise and that's even more frustrating..  Oh, to be stupid would be so lovely.

 

Cheers all

I'll try not to bother you again.

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thanks for the info guys.  Funny the red ad shows how bad their capture is in that situation, and brag that they can artificially make it look better.  Why have actors or props or locations at all if the goal is to artificially emulate everything.  I'll bet red can invent software to eliminate the entire filmmaking process, and maybe the viewing too, with a human brain dongle and iPhone app.  In fact, why even live in the human world at all?  I'll bet they could make software to live our whole life for us, we could all just lie down in locked coffins with digital screens and computers, and feeding tubes.  We are nearly there anyway, as most people walking around a city are staring at their cellphone screens, looking at digital photos of people, when there are actual real people right in front of them.  Being born with plastic spoons doesn't make their parent's silver spoons inferior, even if they pawned them to get an iPhone 6.

 

 

I understand the benefits of digital.  I have seen the latest, and that is why I don't like it.  I am afraid that my senses are just too acute, and nobody else notices these things.  Maybe it is just my personal problem.  At 159, maybe my iq makes my senses too discerning.  I quite wish I was stupid and happy..

 

Back to digital... if they could just stop the motion from jerking and cycling abruptly, and pixellating, I wouldn't have a problem with it.  The fact that it will get better later doesn't help for classics digitized now with the inferior method.  they should order new prints now, and save them for digitisation later.  filming in digital is ok now especially for new films which are mostly about kids and iPhones.  More importantly, they are digitized for editing anyway.    but it doesn't make sense to make it impossible for anyone besides Scorsese to see a real film from the past, on a film projector, from a fully analog source.  I'll take faded color and dirt etc. if I can get rid of pixellation, and jerky computer cycled motion (as seen in the DiCaprio Titanic film when boat sails from left to right across screen), and hopelessly bad pans. Maybe filmmaking is not considered a real art form, so much as it is a means of extracting revenue from, and exerting influence over the public. If digitisation of artwork was really appropriate,  the Louvre and the Metropolitan museum et al. would destroy or store away the Rembrandt paintings, and hang up LCD screens, or better yet, raze the buildings and just run an iPhone app.  Much cheaper and easier than running a physical plant, right?  surely a 4k resolution digital image, and some "Rembrandt emulation" software would be superior, right?  I'll bet it could look brighter, sharper, and way more cool and appealing to the throw away generation.  Newer and cheaper, and easier must be better right?  What happened to "if a thing is valuable, it is worth some time and money to get it"?  And vise versa.

 

Finally, with respect to films... Even if we knew the technology would be better than film later, and all problems would be solved, how can we expect the powers that be to use the good technology, when they can increase revenue by cutting costs and lowering quality?  I can't think of a single example of any company which doesn't cheapen their product and reduce quality to save money.  In fact, that is the very reason we have lost film.  Money.  Thanks for reading , sorry about length.

 

The following is unrelated to film:

 

A large portion of recent plane crashes are determined to have been preventable, had the pilots had enough training in how to fly the planes manually.  These computers are not the all get out.  As the planes are plunging to their deaths, the pilots are messing with computers, trying to see what went wrong, when that is irrelevant!  Time now to actually do your job as a human being.  Put your hands on the wheel (like Howard Hughes) and look out the window, and at your gauges.  The computer won't save you now.  your computer replacement has failed.!  so they all die, while the pilots are trying to reboot Windows 7.  it is comical really.  everything doesn't need to be replaced by a "superior", "fault proof" computer..  This is pervasive in society.  The city took my mother's house because their computer credited her tax payment to the house next door.  (most likely clerical error). But now, the computer won't let them reverse it on account of software, and no laws exist to allow my mother to reaquire her house.  Orwellian, right?  True story.  Too bad she paid cash for the house.  A bank would have enough juice to fix this through the good old boy system.

 

Ok movie fans, I shant bother you any more.  If you're still with me, thanks, and please pray for me..

cheers.

luddite  ;)

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thanks for the info guys.  Funny the red ad shows how bad their capture is in that situation, and brag that they can artificially make it look better.  Why have actors or props or locations at all if the goal is to artificially emulate everything.  I'll bet red can invent software to eliminate the entire filmmaking process, and maybe the viewing too, with a human brain dongle and iPhone app.  In fact, why even live in the human world at all?  I'll bet they could make software to live our whole life for us, we could all just lie down in locked coffins with digital screens and computers, and feeding tubes.  We are nearly there anyway, as most people walking around a city are staring at their cellphone screens, looking at digital photos of people, when there are actual real people right in front of them.  Being born with plastic spoons doesn't make their parent's silver spoons inferior, even if they pawned them to get an iPhone 6.

 

...

 

You should check out  Jennifer Jason Leigh in: eXistenZ (1999) . Living in a virtual world..

:) 

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I think a luddite is against the advancement of technology...  I quite enjoy modern technology.

 

So far, digital isn't an advancement, but a transformation to a technically inferior substitute, albeit with ancillary advantages, such as immediate viewing, instant transfer, and low cost.

 

If the movies looked good to me I'd have no problem with it whatsoever, and would actually buy pro camera and display equipment for my own screening room.

My problem is, the picture jerks and moves unevenly, and it takes me out of the world of the film story, and back to wondering why they can't do today what they could do in 1929.  Seems insane to me.  one aspect of it is that it isn't consistent.  one scene looks good, then they try to pan or depict motion, and it fouls up.

 

with film, if it is bad, you can still stay in the world of the film story, cause you get used to the blurriness, or dirtiness, or faded color in the first few minutes.  I have even raved about the color of films to people, and found out that the film I raved about was black and white!.  this happened when a week had gone by and I was going from memory.  I once raved about Brando's blonde hair and his "technicolor" beauty, in the film The Young Lions.  I had forgotten it was black and white, probably within the first minutes of the film.

 

I am also a fan of pipe organs, and had one at my prior home.  These days the digital recreations of them are so good, that I got one. With proper audio, it is 90% as good of sound for 5% cost.  So, I'd do same with movies if they could improve it.  

 

My whole point is that they shouldn't trash what we have.  They trashed the NYC Paramount, the Pennsylvania Station, etc.  Fifty years on, most agree those were bad moves.

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I think a luddite is against the advancement of technology...  I quite enjoy modern technology.

 

So far, digital isn't an advancement, but a transformation to a technically inferior substitute, albeit with ancillary advantages, such as immediate viewing, instant transfer, and low cost.

 

If the movies looked good to me I'd have no problem with it whatsoever, and would actually buy pro camera and display equipment for my own screening room.

My problem is, the picture jerks and moves unevenly, and it takes me out of the world of the film story, and back to wondering why they can't do today what they could do in 1929.  Seems insane to me.  one aspect of it is that it isn't consistent.  one scene looks good, then they try to pan or depict motion, and it fouls up.

 

with film, if it is bad, you can still stay in the world of the film story, cause you get used to the blurriness, or dirtiness, or faded color in the first few minutes.  I have even raved about the color of films to people, and found out that the film I raved about was black and white!.  this happened when a week had gone by and I was going from memory.  I once raved about Brando's blonde hair and his "technicolor" beauty, in the film The Young Lions.  I had forgotten it was black and white, probably within the first minutes of the film.

 

I am also a fan of pipe organs, and had one at my prior home.  These days the digital recreations of them are so good, that I got one. With proper audio, it is 90% as good of sound for 5% cost.  So, I'd do same with movies if they could improve it.  

 

My whole point is that they shouldn't trash what we have.  They trashed the NYC Paramount, the Pennsylvania Station, etc.  Fifty years on, most agree those were bad moves.

 

Agree with the main idea, and even some of the subpoints.  I am not so much opposed to cheaper replication though, as I am opposed to cheaper productions.  Too many CGI hachet jobs out there.  As for digital projection, they are just carrying that business model up to the highest levels, because they can.  I would much rather see a classic movie on a newer Cinema 4K digital projection system than a Michael Bay movie on celluloid.  But I will take a classic movie on celluloid too.

 

As far as storage mediums go, emp attacks may be able to zap digital storage, but films deteriorate over time.  As far as preservation goes, maybe all digital media should be stored in lead-lined containment vessels.   Then as far as digital deterioration goes, replication and redundancy are always a pretty cheap way to avoid that.  I would have to say that replication has only gotten better, not worse.  But production is a different story.

 

The horizontal resolution of the common HD TV is 1920 pixels wide, or "2K" in cinema terms (same size also expressed as 1080i or 1080p in consumer products).  Today's digital theaters are now mostly projecting in "Cinema 4K", or at twice the width and approx. four times the resolution as HDTVs.  The difference between Cinema 4K and the newest consumer UHD (Ultra Hi Def) 4K tv sets that have recently come out is aspect ratio.  Cinema 4K aspect ratio is 1.85:1, whereas consumer 4K "UHD" tv aspect ratio is 16:9 (or in cinema terms is about 1.66:1).  So the cinema version of 4K is a little bit wider.  Today's editing rooms are now up to Cinema 8K, twice the width or four times the resolution of today's Cinema 4K theaters.  And there are now a handful of Cinema 8K theaters out there.

 

To try and compare that to film, HDTV/1080i/"2K" is roughly similar to the capabilities of 16mm film, 4K/UHD is roughly similar to what professional-grade 35mm film can handle, although 35mm still can still have some meat left on its bones at the end of the day.  And 8K is more along the lines of 70mm.  But that last sentence is a gross overgeneralization.

 

Having said all that, this newest technology was adopted for one reason, to make money.  That is no different than the philosophy back in the Golden Era.  Whether or not they are good stewards and make good use of this newer technology (prime use of technology versus hasty or uninformed business decisions) is quite another thing, and that is the point of another topic.  I am reminded of a picture in one of my film books, showing an unnamed studio worker, chopping up big piles of cannisters of old films with an axe to dispose of them, back during the Golden Era.

 

 

Soja_29_intentional-destruction_Slide-4-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Photographic film image quality -

 

I was under the impression that the larger the plate, the finer the silver particles, the smaller the hole i.e. larger f-stop number, the longer the exposure, and the higher the resolution of the optics along with enough i.e. "proper" lighting where all desirable elements/technics necessary in creating the finest still images - then motion entered the picture and quality became blurred.  :(

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In fact, why even live in the human world at all?  I'll bet they could make software to live our whole life for us, we could all just lie down in locked coffins with digital screens and computers, and feeding tubes.

 

Sounds like a great movie premise!

 

My problem is, the picture jerks and moves unevenly, and it takes me out of the world of the film story

 

It may be just you.

I "see" computer monitors and florescent tubes pulsate and know a few other people annoyed with this anomaly. While generally all of us find 3-D movies "dark" and some of us have a hard time with it, I know some whose eyesight just doesn't work  well with 3-D glasses at all.

 

I will drive 4 hours to attend a 35mm screening, but realize soon no one will be projecting film. Hopefully the technology will evolve to please everyone ....since we have little choice.

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I reread my last post and realized how much I left out.  It is just a big topic.  Another thing the OP might be talking about is that the first digital cinemas were 2K cinemas.  That is a similar resolution as our full-size HD-TVs (1920 x 1080, where 1920 = "2K").  So if you stretch that out across the area of a theater screen and sit near the front, you might be able to see pixels too.  The 2K format theaters are still used today, often in smaller rooms, but newer ones are mostly 4K.  A handful of rows back and most cannot even tell the difference between the two.

 

As far as motion goes, film works by persistence of vision.  There is a shutter in both the camera and projector that stays open long enough for your to brain detect it, but not long enough for the film to advance to the next frame.  So a good percentage of the film experience is spent in darkness.  With video, at least the percentage of time spent in darkness is reduced, if not gone altogether, as there isn't the same guaranteed functional requirement for it.  So that might have a bit to do with the OP's concerns.  I don't know whether or not digital Cinema projectors attempt to emulate this, but if they did, it might cut down on perceived brightness.

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