Regarding "Strip Search" (Dec. 1): The Belcourt currently owns a nice HD projector that swaps back and forth between halls as needed. You can see it in action this weekend when we open Gary Hustwit's Urbanized. However, it is not DCP-compliant, and in order to properly upgrade, new units would be stationary, likely with ventilation shafts like our 35mms. We're fairly certain we'll be still be able to show 35mm in both halls once these units are installed. Cramped as it might be, the platter system in the 1925 hall would see less and less use as first-run films in 35mm decrease in availability. As such, the desire to keep 35mm prints in optimal condition would relegate the vast majority of 35mm screenings to the reel-to-reel projectors in the 1966 hall.
Regarding Robert Bresson: a multi-city touring retrospective is in the works and will kick off at the Film Forum in New York this January, then move around North America from there. Since the Scene has gone and blown my cover (!!), I may as well admit here that we're working to hop on board mid- to late spring, but not sure yet as to how many of the films from overseas will play, as things get costly. One often pays film rental to its owner in addition to rights to another entity altogether, plus international and domestic shipping shares on top of that. With this in mind, feel free to send your underwriting checks to the Belcourt! Just mark them "Attn: Bresson retrospective." The more you pay, the more we play! Ka-ching!!!
One small clarification on the piece itself: While I cannot recall an instance where we booked an older film for a DVD screening and charged full price, there have been a few instances where we have booked an older film and were forced to screen DVD because the film itself didn't arrive on time (case in point: a recent screening of Bitter Victory). To expound upon that, many of our Saturday Kid Shows through May will be projected digitally from high-def Blu-ray so that we can keep the ticket price low at $5 (a brand-new development). If there's ever any question, we always post formats on our website.
They call it a 'film' for a reason
I enjoyed "Strip Search" (Dec. 1). And yes, every cinephile out there knows Roger Ebert is the biggest critic/pundit regarding the decline of celluloid versus digital. He is quick to point out how digital has its advantages in preserving older titles, but at the same time addresses the issues with image quality and washed-out colors when the equipment is not set up properly, whether it's the use of 2,000-watt bulbs instead of the standard 3,000-watt bulbs, or not having reps come in to show how to configure a projector for specific films. (I saw firsthand how troubling watching a 2-D digital version of a film on a projector configured with 3-D lens can be when I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Green Hills this summer. I promptly asked for a refund.)
For these two reasons alone, I have avoided seeing most new releases in the past two years. I find my money is better spent going to McKay's and looking for foreign titles on my wish list. I do regularly visit the Belcourt (Melancholia is next on my list), but as far as going to the cineplex, it is a hard trek for me to make. I am hopeful the reopened Opry Mills theaters were able to make improvements with the issues plaguing the conversion to full digital.
Nevertheless, I support the preservation of celluloid. Sometimes a digital copy you watch can be terrible to the point where even the most casual moviegoer would cry for celluloid.
I'm Anthony Dowell-Blakemore, and I'll see you at the movies.
Regarding "Strip Search" (Dec. 1): The one part of my interview that was left out (and I'm not complaining — just wanted to make sure people know) was where I said I much prefer the warmth that 35mm brings to the experience; I'm just fully aware that it's a changing system and we must change with it.
Nashville Film Festival
In defense of Steve
Gee, the letter from T. Clark (Love/Hate Mail, Dec. 1) in regard to Steve Haruch's "An Open Letter to the Kroger Employee Who Bags My Groceries Carefully" ("Hey Thanks," Nov. 17) wore me out. The letter writer really needs to get a hobby, a lover or a doctor. The letter is really over-the-top regarding a simple matter. Relax. On and on it goes.
And what about the 200-word limit for letters to the editor? This one is 500 or more.
T. Clark, just one more question before you explode: paper or plastic?
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