My First 70mm Experience
The 70mm Newsletter
by: Anna-Franziska Rudschies
„Please tell us what your first 70mm film was“ was one of Thomas
Hauerslev’s kind requests at this year’s 70mm festival in the Schauburg.
Sounds like an easy thing to do, but is it really? Since I first went to
Bradford in 2000, I’ve seemingly seen a huge amount of films in 70mm and
it was pretty hard remembering the first movie they showed in Bradford
that year. Then it dawned on me... I didn’t actually see my first 70mm
film in Bradford, there was one experience preceding that particular
So strictly speaking, the first film in 70mm I ever saw was a restored
copy of “Vertigo”, in the “City Cinema” in Munich. Strictly speaking,
you ask? Either she did or did not see her first 70mm then and there!
True, but... cinema is a passion for me. It’s a love that will never die
or fade. 70mm is that love and passion catapulted to a whole other
level. If it were physically possible to make love to a film format,
this would be the one I’d choose. And as with anything to do with love,
you have to learn certain things, get used to them, practice a lot.
“Vertigo” was wonderful. It was on a huge screen (non-curved though),
with stereophonic sound (!), great colours and scalpel-sharp images. But
“Vertigo” was only a trial kiss. You see, many girls don’t tell this,
because we like to pretend we’re secure and know everything. But unless
our first kiss is Hollywood-love-story-first-kiss-material (odds: slim
to none), we’ve secretly practiced a little beforehand. Strictly
speaking therefore, I had my first kiss on a boat in Italy, with a
girlfriend. Yet do I count that kiss as my first kiss? Of course not. My
real first kiss happened by a swimming pool we’d snuck into at night.
And so it goes that I do not count “Vertigo” as my first 70mm
experience. My real first 70mm kiss was given to me in Bradford, by Ken
Annakin, so to speak, with his “Magnificent Men in their Flying
Machines”. I was hooked from the first minute. Yes, the copy was
colour-faded, yes it was a bit old and scratched, but a film where I
have to physically move my head from side to side to see the whole
picture? A curved screen made especially to encompass all that beauty,
all that fun, all that 70mm? Wow. After that and since then, I’ve sailed
on the Windjammer, I’ve won the West, I’ve fought an evil AI computer
and I’ve gone into battle alongside General Patton, to name only a few
awesome 70mm experiences. 70mm is more than just a format, a number.
70mm swallows you whole and it never ceases to amaze me how films I’ve
found boring or didn’t understand suddenly gain my love and my
understanding once I’ve seen them in 70mm. “Patton” was just another war
movie and “Spartacus” just another peplum, “2001: A Space Odyssey” never
made any sense to me until I saw them all, as they should be seen.
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