Rod White Introduces the July 2017 Brochure

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Thu 29 Jun 2017

At the onset of digital cinema exhibition around 10 years ago, the use of 35mm prints in cinemas declined very rapidly. For a few years there were always a few prints kicking about of each film, and then (I think I recall correctly) Senna, in 2010, became the first film widely released in the UK solely digitally. These days, it’s very rare for a film to be made available in anything other than digital – the cost of making and distributing the prints, and the dearth of cinemas still equipped to run them being the issue – but it does happen. Film prints tend to be made where the filmmaker has a particular affinity for the analogue medium and the studios involved are prepared to support them. Carol (2015), was a recent example. Oddly enough, these days, the superior 70mm format seems almost more prevalent than 35mm: Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (which screened here in early 2016 in the super-rare Ultra Panavision 70 format – so rare we had to borrow lenses from the USA!) would be recent examples.

Christopher Nolan is probably currently the best-known proponent of shooting on film, and in the knowledge that he and Warner Bros. had made one 70mm print for the UK for Interstellar a few years back, I hoped that they might do the same for his hotly-anticipated World War II epic, Dunkirk. Well… imagine our excitement when the aforementioned WB called us to ask if we’d be interested in showing Dunkirk, from release, from 70mm film, one of only a handful of cinemas in the UK to do so. We thought about it long and hard for about two seconds, and said “yes please”.

Oops, I got so tangled up in 70mm film there I forgot to mention anything else… Suffice to say there’s jazz, car chases, cats, restorations and a short season of films selected by our first ‘House Guest’, Ian Rankin. Read on!

Rod White, Head of Filmhouse

Rod White

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