70mm In the Emerald Isle
|Read more at|
The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Brian Guckian, Dublin, Ireland||Date: 11.09.2008|
|The modest street frontage of the IFI conceals the much larger interior space, created from the amalgamation and restoration of several buildings to the rear. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|
The Irish Film Institute (IFI) is Ireland's national film centre and contains two cinemas, a bookshop and a cafe bar and is also home to the Irish Film Archive (IFA). The Institute also has an excellent reference library and an education department.
Opened in 1992, the current premises are converted from a former Quaker Meeting House in Dublin city centre and particular attention was paid to retention of architectural features during renovation and conversion, which gives the building a unique character.
The cinemas initially operated with Century 35mm projectors and Orcon platters, but in the late 1990s a DP70 was added; one of a pair the Institute purchased that originally came from the Curzon Shaftesbury Avenue, London. The sister machine is used for spares. A Kinoton 35/70mm platter was also installed along with accessories, plus a Panastereo unit and DTS-70 reader.
|More in 70mm reading:|
The Passing of Brian Guckian, Ireland
David Lean’s Film of “Ryan’s Daughter” Photographed in Super Panavision 70 by Freddie Young, BSC
Todd-AO & Cinerama in Ireland
Tuairisc Todd-AO agus Cinerama in Éirinn
|Brian Guckian and Pete Walsh 25. August 2007. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|
Although the Institute currently has the only operational 70mm facility in Ireland it has been some time since 70mm has been run there, due to some image ghosting problems with the DP70. Thankfully however these have now been resolved and the venue was very recently able to run both "Lawrence of Arabia" (as part of a David Lean Retrospective) and Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (to mark the 50th anniversary of the film's release).
IFI Cinemas Programmer Pete Walsh reports that both screenings of "Lawrence of Arabia" (which took place on August 16th and 17th) went extremely well, with excellent houses and similar results for "Vertigo" (August 30th and 31st).
|A nice touch is this embedded film reel in the pavement outisde the entrance. Image by Brian Guckian|
This writer was able to attend (a packed) screening of "Vertigo" on August 31st and noted that the print was still in good shape, although the fact that it had to be restored from surviving duplicate elements meant it was somewhat grainy in places. Nevertheless the photography (by Robert Burks, ASC) remains mesmerising, and the use of colour, soft focus, sophisticated composition and excellent matte work also holds up extremely well today.
More 70mm screenings would be most welcome, aided by the ever-increasing number of restored as well as existing 65mm titles. "Baraka", "Cleopatra", "Hamlet", "Hello, Dolly!", "My Fair Lady", "Ryan´s Daughter", "The Sound of Music", "STAR!", "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines", "West Side Story" and others are titles that could successfully find a new, appreciative audience in Ireland, as they have done elsewhere in recent times.
|The spacious lobby area at the Irish Film Institute, Dublin. Image by Brian Guckian|| |
|The cinema 25. August 2007. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|| |
|The DP70 25. August 2007. Image by Thomas Hauerslev|| |
| || |
|Go: back - top - back issues - news index|