Catch the best 70-millimeter films in all their grandeur and beauty between July 29th and September 4th, 2016, when the Museum of the Moving Image hosts its annual See It Big! 70-millimeter film series in New York City.
So what’s all the fuss all about when we have big-budget movies showing in IMAX theaters? Throughout history, most films have been shot on 35-millimeter film stock. Over the course of the past two decades, film has been gradually supplanted by digital. This new technology shares a similar format ratio to that of the old 35-millimeter films. Most filmgoers have never really noticed the difference between 35mm and digital, but a 70-millimeter film is immediately noticeable.
The creation of the 70-millimeter format was largely due to necessity. Films began losing attendance at the end of the late 1950s and into early ’60s thanks to television. This grand new film technology gave viewers an experience unlike anything they had witnessed before with its bold, vibrant colors and textures displayed on a screen that swallows your entire periphery.
Unfortunately, there were limitations with this format because 70-millimeter films are very expensive to produce, thanks to the need for huge, technical cameras. Not all theaters had the capacity to show them because they require gigantic, specific projectors to show them. These obstacles were the beginning of the end for 70-millimeter film, and they began to fade away from the public consciousness.
In recent years, 70-millimeter film has made a comeback of sorts, as some of the world’s biggest and most important filmmakers have begun resurrecting it. They included Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Christopher Nolan.
From July 29th through September 4th, you can see some grand 70mm films for yourself at the Museum of the Moving Image’s See It Big! programs. Among the spectacles screening are Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, Samuel Peckinpah’s revisionist western The Wild Bunch, Tarantino’s genre-mixing whodunit, The Hateful Eight, and Kenneth Branagh’s gorgeous version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.