Thursday, October 1, 2009

I went on a recon mission to the Revue Cinema today to sort out some final details for my Oct 7th Premiere screening. The Revue Cinema has been in operation since 1911, and aside from a 2 year hiatus (2006-2008) has run continuously in the face of the faceless and soulless multiplexes.

In comparison, over the last 20 years here in Durham Region, the big cinema multiplexes have been torn down and replaced with bigger and more flamboyant locations at least 3 or 4 times in that period alone. The old downtown cinemas that I remember from my youth (where people lined up around the block to watch the first star wars movies) are long gone, long converted into serial failures of nightclubs, carpet stores, or other such "ventures"

Which is why it's important to preserve places like the Revue Cinema, places which welcome the Independent filmmaker, like myself. We need to preserve these places, in order to preserve the sense of community and independence which they represent. Culture today is too fast food, portioned out by the big box stores, and subdivided into the hive houses of the suburbs. Just as fast food is unhealthy for the body, fast culture is unhealthy for the mind and the soul.

But, there is a growing awakening, a growing awareness of the shallowness and sustainability of our modern culture. This is not to say that I'm opposed to technological advances, in fact it is advances in technology which are enabling this awakening. A connection of the technological future with the spiritual past. And places like the Revue Cinema are the temples of this new awakening.

Now... as I was saying I was on a recon mission to sort out HD playback of the film, which is BTW going to look WIN up on the big screen. So I met with Tim, the Revue manager, and he gave me the grand tour of the place, which is an art deco masterpiece from the 1920's. It's not in pristine condition by any stretch, but rather has the character of accumulated wear and tear of the last century. plus. So to get up to the projector room, you access the most treacherous flight of stairs. From a side door in the men's washroom. Stairs, a ladder would be more appropriate a term, but also safer. A reminder of the days before building codes. So up the stairs and into a world simultaneously frozen in the 1940's, but with layers of the technological encrustation of subsequent decades.

The projection room. The projectors are from the 1940's (or so, according to Tim) The lamps are newer, 1950's or so, not to mention the huge reels of 35 mm film. The faded Marilyn Monroe poster on the door, and an admonishment for the projectionist to focus, written on blank frames of film and posted onto the wall ( sometime in the 40's. )

Now the new tech is high speed, the digital projector is this huge box with some german company name I don't even recognize, connected to a DVD player or alternately a playstation 3, and it this is where the delicious 1280 x 640 15fps divx avi is served up onto the big screen.

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