First Report from the World 3-D Festival in Hollywood
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Richard Greenhalgh ||Date: September 17, 2003|
| ||Further in 70mm reading:|
Remembering Richard Greenhalgh May 29, 1948 – September 5, 2011
|We are already a zombies and we've only finished the first 7 shows! We arrived at the historic Egyptian Theater before noon yesterday and got home just before 2:00 AM this morning. I only have a few minutes until we have to leave for day three. In addition to the usual local suspects, we have met people from New York (a Bradford alumni), Atlanta, Virginia and Connecticut. They are all here to see this amazing week of 3-D, "HTWWW" at the Cinerama Dome and the important showing of David Strohmaier's "Cinerama Adventure" on Monday.|
I am about 5 years too young to have seen any of these films first run and I never really wanted to see them projected anaglyphically in most recent retrospective showings. This festival has given us a real appreciation for these films and the 3-D process of the day. While some are better than others, this process enhances every film we have seen. The process is not just something to use for a few comin'-at-ya effects, it adds depth and interest to every scene.
Jeff Joseph and Sabucat Productions have simply produced the most complete and amazing once-in-a-lifetime 3-D festival on the planet. Paul Rayton and his crew at the Egyptian Theater are projecting every film and short in the Polaroid 3-D process on a newly installed silver screen in perfect registration. Some of the films we have seen are beautiful, newly-struck, prints. Others are last remaining prints. Some where thought no longer to exist. All of the films are shown, as they originally were, with an intermission to allow for one reel change.
"House of Wax" was well deservedly sold out. Though the stereo sound track no longer exists, the new print is excellent. A fascinating short, Motor Rhythm and a Q&A session with special guest Paul Picerni, rounded out the auspicious start of the festival. Mrs. Andre DeToth, the director's widow, was in the audience.
Jeff Joseph shared that "Stranger Wore a Gun" was the only film shot on Eastman "Stripper Film" which Technicolor locked away thereafter. The new print looked good.
"Gorilla at Large" was a surprisingly good mystery with Raymond Burr. The color print looked good and the Q&A with Raymond Stevens was illuminating.
"Cat-Women of the Moon" was shown from an original print which was as sharp and grain free as it gets. This cult classic was great fun. The color short "Adventures of Sam Space" was very entertaining and the Q&A with the head Cat-Women was a hoot.
The left-eye print of "Gog" was thought to be lost forever and the negatives no longer exist. While a bit faded, this recently found left print is in good registration with the right print and the good color from the right print allowed us to enjoy some very well done 3-D effects. Joe Dante hosted director Herbert L. Strock and actor William Schallert in an interesting Q&A session following the feature.
The "Kiss Me Kate" sold-out audience was one of the most appreciative in my recent memory. This new print was just a delight to see, if a bit warm in color balance. It was shown in stereo for the first time in fifty years. Bugs Bunny delighted the audience in "Lumber Jack Rabbit" before the show and special guest Kathryn Grayson and Tommy Rall made the Q&A a most memorable event.
While we were watching "Kiss Me Kate", another sold-out audience waited to see "It Came from Outer Space" at 10:30 PM. The studio loaned the original 3-track mag soundtrack to Jeff Joseph who magically got Chace Productions to donate their services to transfer it to a hard dive which was synced with the two projectors to provide the appreciative audience with a rare opportunity to see this show in both 3-D and stereo. A surprise citation from the mayor of Los Angeles was presented to Ray Bradbury to commemorate this occasion during the Q&A which preceded the film. A Universal Nat King Cole short rounded out the evening.
Today we are going back to see such classics as "Robot Monster", a Stereo Techniques Seminar, "Flight to Tangier", "Charge at Feather River" and we are looking forward to the sold-out showing of "Creature from the Black Lagoon".
If you have not yet purchased your copy of the World 3-D Festival Poster, the fabulous all-color Festival Program AND the excellent DVD (with over 40 3-D trailers and some fabulous early 3-D footage which can effectively be seen anaglyphically with the included glasses, get to www.3dfilmfest.com and get yours on order before this rare stuff disappears.
|Sunday we were back at it at the Egyptian for more 3-D films. Some of these films are really quite excellent. And then, well, there are others. First up on Sunday was a rare (perhaps not rare enough) showing of the 1953 classic, "Robot Monster" (which has obtained a richly deserved 2.1 rating from all of us who rate films for our friends at IMDb).|
Before the film, we were treated to a screening of the short "Stardust in Your Eyes" which was made by the same people who produced "Robot Monster." It was designed to be run before it, but apparently never did. In it, actor Slick Slavin delivers a humorous monologue featuring a number of impersonations (including Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart and others) about their reactions to 3-D.
As with "Cat-Women of the Moon" the previous day, the audience showed remarkable respect and restraint for Jeff's new silver 3-D screen by not throwing things at it during this not-to-be-missed film. One can only wonder if Western Costumes was overstocked on gorilla costumes that year . After the film, the director's son had a few words to say followed by a surprise special guest. Ro-Man came out of retirement to the great delight of an almost full house. He later terrorized those waiting for the next show in the theater forecourt.
I must add that Paul Rayton was kind enough to ask me if Jack Greenhalgh, the cinematographer, was a relative of mine. While I have heard of him, gratefully (in this case) he is not a relative. I did look him up and found that he was involved in 199 films from 1926 to 1953. I found it interesting to note that his work on "Robot Monster", appears to have been his last job .
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