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The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm in Bradford
Widescreen Weekend 2017

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: By Johan C.M. Wolthuis with assistance from Ulrich Rostek Date: 05.11.2017
Corrie Boonstra, Johan Wolthuis (co-author of this text), Randy Gitsch and Dave Strohmaier. Picture by Ulrich Rostek

On the early Saturday morning of 14 October 2017 we were invited visiting an exciting screening of the only existing 3-strip Cinerama print of "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm". Preceding the screening Tony Sloman spoke an interesting introduction about this first (non documentary) feature Cinerama movie ever produced. Beautiful images projected from the unique three projection booths onto the large curved Cinerama screen of the Pictureville Cinema, the only existing Cinerama installation in Europe. Despite the print had some minor damage, it ran very well on the original Cinerama screen. Only suddenly there was a break down, but the projection team was alert and started the special 35mm black and white short with the famous words from producer Lowell Thomas: “Sorry, it seems that we have a break down, but we hope to start again within a few minutes”. Sadly, film breakdowns like this are an indicator for the disintegrating base material, which causes shrinkage, film tears, and in the end the complete destruction of this only surviving print. How great would it be if this Wonderful World movie could also be restored, but there seems to be no interest at Warner's to invest any money in the restoration! A great loss when this unique movie will not be saved for future generations!

However the Widescreen Weekend in Bradford started already on Thursday 12 October with a demonstration of Barco Escape, the new digital 3-screen concept of the Barco Company. It looked nice but it needs a lot of improvements to come at least a little near the idea of 3-strip Cinerama from the fifties!.
More in 70mm reading:

Widescreen Weekend 2017
Gallery: 2017
Film Introductions

WSW Home
Through the Years
The Best of WSW

Academy of the WSW

Creating the WSW
Planning the WSW
Projecting the WSW
Projecting CINERAMA

Internet link:

"Mr. Widescreen Weekend" himself Bill Lawrence, Dave Strohmaier and Randy Gitsch. Picture by Ulrich Rostek

The Thursday afternoon was dedicated to the Student Widescreen Film of the Year Competition, in an effort to involve students in Widescreen presentations. And seeing the increased sale of Student Passes this year with a 100% uplift on 2016 (50 passes in 2016, 103 in 2017) according to Kathryn Penny, Festival Director, this Competition was a great success!

After the, as always entertaining, Opening Night Reception, the evening was concluded with the brand new 70mm movie Dunkirk on the flat screen, introduced by Sir Christopher Frayling.

The next day Friday started with Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich. Despite it was not the original 3-strip Cinemiracle from 1958 this digitally restored movie looked great on the large curved screen. Now digitally restored from the original 3-panel elements it was the only possibility to save this great movie for future generations and again producers David Strohmaier and Randy Gitsch did a great job! Beautiful images from Madeira, Puerto Rico, Curacao and Trinidad. And great music from Pablo Casals, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston “Pops” Orchestra and the New Orleans Jazz Band were a feast for the eyes and ears. As usual this screening was introduced by David Strohmaier and Randy Gitsch, the Restoration Producers.

In the afternoon famous British film historian, film maker and author Kevin Brownlow took us on a voyage along Abel Gance's five-and-a-half hour masterpiece Napoléon. Mr Brownlow worked nearly his whole live to restore this monumental silent famous French movie from 1927. His speech was finished with a screening of the famous triptych sequence from the film, one the first time of projection 3 images on the large screen.
The incredible Tony Sloman. Picture by Ulrich Rostek

In the evening on the large curved screen Audrey Hepburn was the star of My Fair Lady, the famous musical with songs like The Rain in Spain, I Could Have Danced All Night, Get Me to the Church on Time. Beautifully restored frame-by-frame by Robert A. Harris, this Super Panavision 70 movie from 1964 has won eight Oscars, including one for Best Cinematography (Harry Stradling Sr.) and has now been restored on 4K DCP. Jack Warner’s grandson Gregory Orr introduced this great movie which was his grandfather’s favourite project.

Celluloid Saturday’s program was entirely dedicated to film based movie presentations, including historical black and white CinemaScope prints of Jailhouse Rock and The Fortune Cookie, a well conditioned 70mm print of The Untouchables, and a rare screening of Dario Argento’s horror trip Suspiria in IB-Technicolor – the only mean to reproduce the movie’s psychedelic colours.

Next day, Sunday morning started with Cineramacana, a program with a lot of shorts which was opened with a CinemasScope excerpt from Silk Stockings, presenting a dance number starring Fred Astaire and Janis Paige, shouting out the widescreeners’ mantra: “You got to have glourious Technicolor, breathtaking CinemaScope and Stereophonic sound!”. It was followed by a 3-strip promotion for the French automobile Renault [Dauphine, ed]t, an “In Memoriam” clip remembering all our stars on the screen and behind the scenes who passed away within the last year, and many other interesting bits and pieces.

In the afternoon the 2K digital restoration of Walt Disney's timeless classic Sleeping Beauty from 1959, filmed in Super Technirama 70 screened in the original aspect ratio 2.55:1. And last but- not- least on the closing night the famous David Lean film Lawrence of Arabia with a brand new 70mm print. The film won 7 Oscars in 1963, including for Freddie Young's stunning cinematography in Super Panavision 70, with the famous scenes in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.

Also an Oscar for Maurice Jarre's unique musical score. Sir Christopher Frayling introduced this movie. General admissions for this Widescreen Weekend had a 15% uplift (3419 in 2016, 3936 in 2017). Next year we hope to see How The West Was Won in original 3-strip Cinerama!
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Updated 21-01-24