Flicker Alley Cinerama Is CineSational
These Cineramic Blu-Rays Are Smileboxes All!
How could biggest event movies of the 50's disappear so completely? For me, the best and biggest ongoing Blu-Rays are Cinerama times six (so far) from Flicker Alley. Each are show-stoppers in truest sense of home viewing, Dead Sea scrolls of film history resurrected from seeming oblivion of damaged and incomplete negatives. How David Strohmaier and team staged rescues is miraculous on par with three-panel triumph that changed movies for keeps from premiere of the first, This Is Cinerama!, in 1952. How I envy those who saw one or more of these in theatres. Like boarding a moon rocket. You can get nearly that sensation watching any of Flicker Alley Cineramas, including two just out, The Seven Wonders Of The World (1956) and Search For Paradise (1957). From sound and visual standpoint alone, they make tinker toys of everything
Here's instance where you should begin with dessert, then have the meal. Extras with Cinerama detail awesome effort behind fix of camera negatives left for dead in warehousing since practical usefulness ended for Cinerama in the 60's. Genius behind Blu-ray production Strohmaier illustrates frame-by-frame recovery of color and sound from three individual panels, plus separate Stereo tracks, that made up each Cinerama production. That's restoring what amounts to three movies for each individual result. What incredible strides have been made in digital clean-up and color correction ... you'd not figure gone-to-pink negs for anything but a scrap heap, and then comes process that puts V back in Vivid that got folks cheering at Cinerama first-runs. Here is best explanation I've come across of effort going to movie restoration, and what patience and dedication it requires. Cinerama groupies have for years been a nomadic tribe going from one isolated revival to another. Now they can have a near-whole of output right in the house. No, it isn't a same as synced-up panels in company of thousands at deluxe 50's environ, but sit close enough to a big enough HD screen, and you'll channel at least part of what first-nighters felt.
I think it's safe to say that Cinerama changed lives. 99% could go in, be amazed, then resume normal routine. Others, a transformed few, would dedicate selves to quest for lost horizon of Cinerama, this splinter group of Ronald Colmans crossing wilderness in search of three panels they'd known but briefly from childhood. What's left of an original Cinerama audience has to be at least sixty and up. Most dedicated ones would rather glimpse their beloved process again than Heaven itself. Maybe Cinerama was Heaven on earth and we let it get away. Hardest-core fans could make an argument for that. One of them was an
Among Blu-Ray extras with The Seven Wonders Of The World is a 50's newsreel of Cinerama as a tent show moving across French countryside, with stops every thirty or so miles to thrill small towns and villages. Canvas was raised as with a circus, spikes hammered down just like Mr. DeMille shows in The Greatest Show On Earth, except this big-top housed massive equipment and manpower to put on, then tear down, daily runs of Cinerama. Clunky generators and ton-weight projectors are hauled against bucolic backdrop of livestock and curious kids on bikes. You'd not believe such a thing was possible if you weren't seeing it. Charm of Cinerama was its low-tech render of space-age wonders. What an audience got was glimpse into other-worldly future, not knowing that projection booths behind them were sealed galleys where men rowed with oars that had to be pulled in precise unison, lest the whole enterprise sink. Sometimes, of course, leaks were sprung, and for such interruption there were "breakdown reels" to distract viewers while harried crew effected a fix. Some of these are also included as Blu-Ray extras, each an attraction in itself.
Further, and sufficient reason by itself, to have these Blu-Rays is the music. Most of best