Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's About the Screen!

When I watched a few YouTube clips from the 1958 film "The Big Country," I noticed how the camera would linger over the striking landscapes, which when reduced to the size of a netbook screen weren't so striking. This reminded me of the importance of properly viewing this kind of movie. This is certainly the case with "El Cid."

When you watch a big screen movie-- whose compositions and images and sound were designed for a large scale-- on a computer, you're getting maybe 1/100th of the real impact the artwork is supposed to have. When you see it on the largest home video screen possible, you're still getting maybe 1/4 to 1/2 the intended artistic experience.

Not all movies are like this. Some classic films well fit the intimacy of a small screen, and when blown up don't give all that much difference. I think of something like "All About Eve," black-and-white with small interior sets, and almost no shots taken outdoors. A big screen, in fact, sometimes reveals the staginess of these kind of films-- an example being the toy night club in "Citizen Kane."

To have people understand the impact and importance-- the sheer magnificent power-- of "El Cid" is why I'm pursuing the idea of the El Cid Project, showing the movie as it should be shown, at a time and place where its symbolism and power will be most strongly felt.

No comments:

Post a Comment