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70mm Reigns Supreme

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Mark Lyndon, 70mm correspondent, London, UK Date: 12.10.2020
Has there ever been a motion picture which has been more talked about, analysed, reviewed and critiqued? Is there any more than can be written about "2001: A Space Odyssey"? There is nothing like a good old controversy to keep the memory of a truly great masterpiece vital, alive and kicking. The Nolan unrestored “Blueprint” which shifts the projected image decisively to the blue end of the spectrum, has aroused quite a stir, or:

“Im afraid that there is going to be a bit of a row about it.”

-, as Dr Andrei Smyslov might have warned Nolan.

How does it look on the giant, deeply curved Cinerama screen? The print suffers from a muting of the famous Kubrick Red. This is particularly noticeable on the death notice: LIFE FUNCTIONS TERMINATED. The red alert of the emergency ejection of Bowman from the pod, is not quite so red, the bright red interior of the HAL 9000 “brain” is somewhat dulled even before shutdown and as for HAL’s iconic Cyclopean red eye...

Is this REDRUM on Nolan’s part? So much for the cons, here are the pros.

The Nolan “Blueprint” creates a subtly different atmosphere. The stars and spacecraft were much brighter, the murders more horrific, the Stargate transit more traumatic and the desperate loneliness of Bowman in his faux eighteenth century environment more poignant. The only escape from his predicament being graduation to infancy and beyond...

Having watched this legendary chef d’oeuvre on the deep, Cinerama curve in Super Panavision 70, my definitive conclusion is that in the third decade of the 21st Century, 70mm reigns supreme. In image quality, resolution and sheer solidity, no other format comes close.

Long live the King!

More in 70mm reading:

Time for Tenet

The Golden Age of 70mm

Stanley Kubrick's "2OO1: A Space Odyssey" in Super Panavision 70

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Updated 07-01-21