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"It's Bloody Marvellous"
Widescreen Weekend 2011, Pictureville, Bradford, UK

The 70mm Newsletter
By the "Widescreeners" & photographed (unless otherwise noted) by : Thomas Hauerslev Date: 06.04.2011

Tony Sloman, England:

Tony Sloman (right) talking with a fellow widescreener


What do I think about the Widescreen Weekend? It's absolutely, to use David Lean's quote, "It's bloody marvellous". There is nothing like it anywhere in the world, that's for sure. Believe me, I do festivals regularly. I even participated in helping with a 3D festival in Los Angeles and I have done retrospectives in over 50 programs for the National Film Theatre on the South Bank. There is nothing like Bradford at Widescreen Weekend time.

There is an excitement, there is an enthusiasm. People do come from quite literally - and I am amazed - all over the world to see the films as they were meant to be projected. It's absolutely wonderful. The choice of film tends to be exquisite.

We all have those we desperately want to see, "The Big Fisherman", "La Fayette", still missing, and blow ups to 70, like "Wild Rovers", "The Carpetbaggers", its a long list, and so therefore it should go on forever because, I have my son here now, which I couldn't have imagined when I started coming. It's a new generation. And it's very exciting that people still get the chance to see, in a purpose-built cinema - which is very important - Cinerama and 70mm with stereo, as it was meant to be projected
More in 70mm reading:

Widescreen Weekend 2011
Gallery: 2011
Mission Report
WSW Home
Through the Years
The Best of WSW

Academy of the WSW

Creating the WSW
Planning the WSW
Projecting the WSW
Projecting CINERAMA

Widescreen Weekend Mission Report 2011

Internet link:

I am of course totally opposed to the substitution of digital projection, although I am learning to live with 4k hard drive, but its not the same, it lacks resolution, it lacks luminescence, so its really great to be able to come back to Bradford, especially. It's difficult for those of us who don't live in Bradford, to come up and stay and to be looked after by the Bradford team.

The team are wonderful. The projectionists really know what they are doing. And this is what it should be like in the Cinematheque Française, and the National Theatre on the South Bank as well because the atmosphere is terrific. The most important, and most important of all, its the films you have come to see. And when you see them in this condition projected like this, all aesthetic judgement goes out the windows, it is tremendous to see them as they were originally intended in 70mm with full stereo at Pictureville, which is one of the best screens, with the best crew, I think not just in the country, not just in the UK, but also in the world.

I just wish they [projectionist team] take a little more care - they seem eager to show off the marvellous tabs, which is great. But those of us who grew up knowing that the performance really starts with the first frame of the censor certificate would like to see it, and of course that leads to the logos. I don't want to see the curtains open OVER Leo the Lion. I want the curtains to open, and WOW, there comes Leo the Lion, and also they seem in a hurry to draw the tabs at the end, but for for those of us who worked on the picture, and for those of us who are really interested want to see the copyright date and where it was shot, I don't want curtains. And I especially don't want - I know they have to show it - the Bradford logo, as soon as possible. But I like a moment with a blank screen, especially when there is play-in and play-out music. Which, by the way, is also a great pleasure to hear in full stereo.
It always surprises me how much I enjoy it, "How the West Was Won", which this time shown complete with censor cuts. I have never seen the tomahawk before, and certain other things.

Again seeing "How the West Was Won". I didn't expect it. I thought I knew it from previous festivals. I've not bothered with it because I saw it when it came out. I've only ever seen it in 3-strip, I don't watch it in any other way. Not on television, not the 35mm release, even though the joins have seamlessly been put together, it's still not the film I remember. And I sat through it and I was absolutely enthralled. The sheer quality of the sound, the technique, the excellence of the way this film was made. And the fact that it works. Its about a family growing together with a country growing together. And this time I really appreciated the John Ford material before the civil war. Previously I just thought, "Oh John Ford, civil war, its great". But all this stuff with George Peppard and the most moving performance by Carrol Baker. Lets hope we get "Cheyenne Autumn" which was also shot in 70 with the similar cast, Carrol Baker and Richard Widmark of course, its in the period.

There are those like "Cheyenne Autumn" that are still out there. I say I'm still missing a Cinerama film. I think we are all missing the same one "South Seas Adventure", be lovely to see that. And "La Fayette" and especially if we can get "The Big Fisherman" out of Disney's vault, so there is a lot to look forward to for our children and our children's children.

Paul Shackleton, England:


Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I enjoyed the Widescreen Weekend 2011 in Bradford. (the Cineramacana events a highlight)

This was my first full weekend after watching Die Hard, Alien, 2001 & 2010 at last years festival.

I can honestly say that after this weekend I am hooked on 70mm and Cinerama. As someone who is new to the format I found the mix of films and talks a real pleasure.

I hope to bring my wife and son in future years (he's only 2!) so he can see how films should be projected and presented.

Roll on 2012


Peter den Hanhn, The Netherlands:


This is my third widescreen weekend, and we are planning to come here next year again. I really enjoyed it.

The highlight for me was, I think "Doctor Zhivago", it the first time I saw it, especially in this surrounding and on this screen, it's beautiful.

Francois CARRIN, France:

Francois Carrin and the Pope of Panorama


I'm widescreen enthusiast since 16 years, and I think in 2011, this is one of the best widescreen weekends.

Choice of the film, the mixing between academy print and digital and you know that for the future, it will be a digital screening, recognizing it's a good solution to mix two systems.

Lee Pfeiffer, Cinema Retro Magazine, USA:


The Widescreen Weekend, it's a wonderful event, its a wonderful tradition. Film fans from all around the world, they mingle, they socialize, we all enjoy the common love for classic cinema in Europe's last remaining theatre that shows Cinerama. It's a wonderful experience and you really should take the effort to attend next years festival

The highlight for me, I would have to say is, I never get tired of seeing "How the West Was Won" in its original 3-panel presentation. Our magazine sponsored a showing of it last year, not during the film festival, so I thought perhaps, maybe it would be a little boring to me, but when I saw it again it was just as thrilling as it was the last time I saw it, so that's something that I always enjoy; seeing a true Cinerama presentation

And I think part of the highlights are really the camaraderie, and the friendships, see the same people every year, like meeting old friends. Different countries, different cultures all united by a common love for classic cinema.

I have no disappointments at all. They do an excellent job. Duncan McGregor and his staff work themselves to the limit trying to put this together. Obviously not every film appeals to every person, but I think this is a very good mix, and from my standings, there is a wide range of movies that have great interest to me

Mike Taylor, England:

Mike Taylor


It's my 13th Widescreen festival, and excellent presentations all around. The highlight was "How the West Was Won". I'm not a fan of digital presentations, it's got to be film.

Klaus Neubauer, Germany:


It's bloody marvellous, that's it!

Highlights for me; "Doctor Zhivago" and "How the West Was Won" of course.

Disappointments? Not in the cinema. Maybe more food in the evening. I think that's a problem, because they close 6 or 5, and then you can only get small things.

Andrew King, England:

Andrew King.


Widescreen Weekend - superb weekend. This weekend, as good as any of the others. A very interesting program and particularly to see "How the West Was Won" in 3-strip again, it's absolutely superb, and look forward this morning to seeing "The Great Race", which I have not seen for, probably 30 years in the UK in 70mm. Most enjoyable.

What's the highlight? I think this year "How the West Was Won" again, it's always been my favourite film since I saw it in 3-strip Cinerama many years ago. So yes, that was the highlight.

Any lowlight? I suppose would say the introductions. Some of them have been interesting, but a bit long on occasions, and I think they need somehow trimming, and I know its difficult for our guest speakers, but I think when you are sitting there waiting for the film to start, they keep going on and on.....

Anders Olsson, Sweden:


I think this year's program is a little bit weaker than it has been on previous years.

Any lowlights? Well a couple of the introductions were a bit long, very nice, but a little bit too long

Highlights? I will say, unfortunately, I will not be able to stay here for "The Great Race", because THAT would really be a highlight of this weekend

Michele De Angelis:


Geezz Thomas I wish i made it to the widescreen week end ..you did an amazing job ...hope to come next year.

I know the website ...I check it almost every day ...next year I want to come to film something since I'm planning a web tv dedicated to old stuff and movies..."

Claudy Op den Kamp, Holland:

29 March 2011

Let me start by saying that I had an amazing (first) time at the Widescreen Weekend, what a truly wonderful experience...!

Congratulations on this wonderful festival!

With best wishes

Siddique Hussain, England:


Great weekend. Best moment was the sheer joy of seeing "Dance Craze" - a totally unexpected pleasure.

Jasper Sharp, England:


I just wanted to say a big thanks to all of you for such a wonderful weekend. I had a great time and learned a lot. I am positively inspired by all of your dedication and enthusiasm.

All the best,

Sebastian Rosacker, Sweden:

Sebastian Rosacker, retired opera singer, "Doctor Zhivago" fan-extraordinaire, 70mm fan from Sweden, and he has been kissed by Julie Christie!


Hej Thomas,

Tusind tak for en fantastisk weekend!!! Jag är mycket glad att jag åkte dit och har haft en dejlig tid. Såg bilderna du redan lagt in på vår Tribut to David Lean. Och när vi tog hand om Wolfram. Haha. 

Ha det gott Thomas. Du har gjort ett fantastiskt jobb!!! Vi hörs o ses

Tak tack thank you Danke schön Mercí

Manfred Thiel, Germany:


Hallo Mr.Hauerslev,

I was on this great Festival with my son and we enjoy this very well.

Thank You Very Much, and Greetings from Germany

Francis Barbier, France:


Hello Bill,

Took me a while but i wanted to say that the 2011 WSW was a great one indeed.

I came with some low expectations (wasn't a great fan of half the movies presented there) but the projections exceeded everything. I was amazed by DERSU UZALA and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and glued to THE SCREEN with HOW THE WEST WAS WON. What an experience!

I came this years with my 16 y.o godson for his first 70mm and Cinerama experience ever - Even though it was a bit hard for him to see English-speaking movies with hardly any subtitles but he was indeed highly surprised by the grandeur and the width of everything he saw. He never expected what he saw an felt, especially with HOW THE WEST WAS WON; That's part of our job, i guess, also trying to educate the younger generation and trying to make them appreciate what is really 70mm.

And thanks for putting SUSPIRIA - too bad not on the Pictureville screen, though- in the program. Unforgettable.

I cross my fingers for next years having on the curved screen what i heard on the last day : LAFAYETTE, SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURES... if I had one wish, is to see KRAKATOA EAST OF JAVA in 70. Only saw the crappy US DVD and always dreamt of seeing this one on a giant screen. -i know it's only a Cinerama release, not a real Cinerama movie!-As cinerama 60th birthday ont the way, maybe some reasons to hope?

Anyhow, Keep up the good work. and many thanks again for this wonderful moment.

And, oh, my annual review in French of the WSW will be on line next week on  www.devildead.com

Best regards,
Francis Barbier
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Updated 21-01-24