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Friday, June 14, 2019

3-D Screens A-Poppin'

Jivaro and More On Tap From 3-D Film Archive

I wonder if anyone suggested to Rhonda Fleming that she was born to be photographed in 3-D. Would she have been flattered if they had? Was a same observation made to Arlene Dahl? Did they say of Rhonda and Jivaro ... See Her Titian Tresses in Technicolor! Having watched Jivaro and Sangaree, both gloriously available in restored depth, I am put to wondering if Fleming and Dahl were perhaps the same person. They seem to have bathed in a same fountain of youth, being here still to reminisce on Paramount chest-beaters top-billing Fernando Lamas. Lamas was made fun of on Saturday Night Live a generation ago, but manfully bestrides the stereo-screen. People might be forgiven for thinking Jivaro and Sangaree are the same movie. They are very much beats of a same 3-D heart as maintained at Paramount, tailwinds from a fad declared irrelevant before they could even be released. Thing about late 3-D was fact they were technically better than earlier and more famed exemplars of the process. Technicians were learning on the job, their reward unfortunately a kick in the pants when a fickle public tired of their vaunted process. By then, 3-D was declared fittest for kids or dumbbells, when the real dumbbells were showmen who failed to master presentation of the process. 

I would argue that Bob Furmanek and the 3-D Archive team are depth's truest salvation. Their transfers have introduced not a few of us to perfected 3-D. For me at least, there were mostly gremlins before. I had a 16mm red-green print of Revenge Of The Creature that was faded just enough to null the effect. There I sat wearing paper glasses and regarding level I’d sunk to as a collector to have been chivied into a purchase so unwise. I'd largely given up on 3-D until Furmanek’s crew got to work in earnest and dredged titles figured not to see light of depth again. Research says Jivaro never had a 3-D release, so what this Blu-Ray gives is a sixty-five year delayed World Premiere. Worth the wait? I’d say so, if one’s bag is backlot jungles, treasure hunt through same, Brian Keith fighting unfair, Lon Chaney being obnoxious and walloped for it, plenty more. Pine/Thomas produced, like all of theirs Jivaro is pitched to crowd satisfaction, which it still delivers. I had plentiful fun watching. Furmanek and archivists continue digging their own treasure. Their next is one that few knew existed, being made in Mexico, seldom seen stateside, and starring Caesar Romero and Katy Jurado. It is part of 3-D Rarities --- Volume Two, and will be buttressed with shorts, animation, ads, numerous deep screen sensations. 3-D Film Archive has a Kickstarter page, their goal more than met, but noteworthy is fact that the more they get in donations, the more loaded this fresh volume will be, so for even more in 3-D, by all means go over and give.


Blogger CanadianKen said...

Nice surprise to see your shout out for "Jivaro". Once in a while a Saturday matinee opus comes along that neatly transcends its supposedly limited ambitions; For me "Jivaro"'s in that select group. I find it much more than a guilty pleasure; entertainment-wise it's a genuinely involving little engine that could. In my opinion, Rhonda Fleming made three of these extra special items in the 50's - "The Last Outpost" (with Ronald Reagan), "Gun Glory" (with Stewart Granger) and this one. Visually she was always a dream, especially in Technicolor. But in these three films she really did create fully formed, intensely sympathetic characters. Her comic reactions in "Jivaro" 's chili eating scene never fail to delight me. And in more serious moments she brings dignity and depth. And of course mention should be made of the fact that - between the two of them - Fleming and Lamas work up quite a sensual sizzle. The picture also has a great supporting cast. I don't think you even got around to mentioning Richard Denning and Rita Moreno, both along to enliven the ride.
Naturally I bought the Blu-ray the moment it came out - and enjoyed "Jivaro" all over again. Doubt if I'll ever see it in 3D. At this stage I don't foresee ever owning a 3D TV (aren't they actually being phased out these days?). But even in 2D this is a picture I love Yes, "On the Waterfront" 's more hard-hitting,"La Strada" 's a miracle. But - in the unlikely event anyone ever asks me what my favorite movie of 1954 is - I suspect sentiment and candor would both lead to the same answer - "Jivaro". Loved it then. Love it now.

9:58 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

What a lovely tribute to a very enjoyable movie. The Jivaros in our lives should never be underestimated. And what a neat boost for Rhonda Fleming. Too many take her and modest shows like this for granted. Another thing I liked about Jivaro was the music score --- sprightly and fun. You sum up well the impulses that guide (or should guide) our pick of favorites ... "sentiment and candor." Thanks for expressing it so well.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

Well, Ken, if you're in or near Toronto drop over and I'll show you JIVARRO in 3D on the big screen here at The Cineforum.For years I wondered what it would be like to see films like INFERNO, CEASE FIRE, SANGAREE, SADIE THOMPSON and others in 3D. I read about 3D Film Festival at Film Forum in New York, in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Tried making 2D to 3D conversions of some of them. Close but no cigar. Now thanks to THE 3D FILM ARCHIVE and TWILIGHT TIME i can stop wondering. That people dismiss the new is a given. It's also a big pain in the ass. 3D adds gravity and weight to the flat 2D image bringing an emotional intensity that literally remains flat in 2D.

5:42 AM  
Blogger coolcatdaddy said...

It's a shame that the studios and electronics manufacturers are moving away from 3D in favor of promoting 4K just as the 3D Archive is releasing some of its most interesting work. I have all of their releases and several of the more recent 3D films from the Hollywood studios.

It's at the point now that several films are getting a first-run 3D release in theaters, but no release here in the US on 3D blu-ray. I was particularly disappointed that Disney only chose to release "Wreck It Ralph 2" in 3D blu-ray in Japan - the 3D render of that film wasn't done in post, but integrated into the production and works really nicely. And, despite a restoration by the 3D Archive team, the distributor wouldn't pick up the rather small extra cost to release Martin and Lewis's "Money From Home" on 3D blu-ray.

I'm still trying to convince my home theater audience to screen "Jivaro". I couldn't talk them into watching "Those Redheads From Seattle". I finally gave up and watched it on my own and enjoyed it. Probably the best reaction I got with my audience for a vintage 3D movie was "The Maze".

7:42 AM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

"I'm still trying to convince my home theater audience to screen "JIVARO"

It's your home isn't it? Screen for yourself and you'll be happy. Screen for others who may not be happy with your choice and you will be miserable.


You are missing out on some neat films.

Leave those sticks in the mud. Get a new home theater audience.

There, Beowulf, not all one paragraph.

12:02 PM  
Blogger stinky fitzwizzle said...

Stinky giggled when he saw the word "Titian".

3:54 PM  
Blogger CanadianKen said...

John: Glad to see you enthusing about "Jivaro" 's musical score. I like it too. The best parts remind me of Yma Sumac's terrific album "Mambo!" (also '54) minus the vocals.

Mr. Hartt: Thanks for the generous offer. Unfortunately it's unlikely to be feasible in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, I definitely appreciate your kind gesture.

John: On another topic - when I responded to your recent "Son of Dracula" post I noted that I had ordered the book. It came this week and is all I hoped for. In my response to your post I praised Robert Paige's work in the film. I loved the later comments from Craig Reardon who wrote with eye-opening eloquence about the parallels between Paige's character in "Son" and James Stewart's in "Vertigo". Especially when he equated those infinitely desolate "there goes my everything" expressions at the fade-outs of both films. I'm happy to say the "Son of Dracula" book also includes a further exploration and celebration of Robert Paige's exceptional contribution, beautifully written by Robert Guffey. I reiterate - Paige should have (at very least) netted an Oscar nomination for this slow burning stunner of a performance.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Tommie Hicks said...

I have just returned from Mostly Lost 8 at the LOC where we experienced a wonderful presentation by Serge Bromberg on the fate of George Melies' printing material. Most here well know that when shooting a film in the silent era, most studios would have two cameramen, sometimes more. One cameraman would shoot the A reel for the American printing negative and another cameraman would crank the foreign negative reel called the B reel. Melies devised a camera that shot the two negatives at the same time with one camera, the two lenses side by side. With this system Melies inadvertently invented the 3D movie camera. Serge stated that there were about a half dozen Melies films in which they have both sides of the shot film and they will be released in the near future in real 3D.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

Ken, Get yourself a 3D projector and an all regions 3D Blu-ray player. They're way better than a TV. You can get a much larger picture. You can use a white wall for a screen. The glasses are not expensive. You can then watch both 2D and 2D movies in a Big Screen Format that blows even the biggest TVs out of the water. People who tell me they do not like 3D walk in here and go, "WOW!"

12:06 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Melies subjects in true 3-D --- the mind boggles. Thanks for passing this news along, Tommie.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Beowulf said...


Thanks! Like CanadianKen AmericanKen (me) would love to drop by next time I'm in
the Great White North. Wife and I used to come up a lot for the CNE, eh.

How to spell Canada: C, eh, N, eh, D, eh.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

I saw fragments of those Melies films in 3D. They are spectacularly beautiful.

3:09 PM  
Blogger MDG14450 said...

It wasn't 3D, but years back I saw a gorgeous Technicolor print of Slightly Scarlet--with Fleming and Dahl--at Eastman House. When Fleming first appears, wearing a halter and shorts, you could feel something ripple through the auditorium.

2:59 PM  

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