April begins with what’s going to be a monthly series – one, if not two 3D Blu-ray reviews. There’s a surprising amount of classic and rare 3D films which tend to get overshadowed by the sexier contemporary 3D releases, but as fans of the format know, a 3D movie from 1953 or 1954 doesn’t mean it’s old and creaky and features primordial effects.
The proof lies in some of the studios’ first efforts – It Came from Outer Space (1953) is truly outstanding – and yet after the 3D wave withered by the mid-1950s, producer Edward L. Alperson thought a revival was justified, and filmed what became that last two-strip 3D film in 1960. It was the first CinemaScope film presented in 3D, and yet when Fox released Alperson’s production, it was in flat ‘scope, after which it vanished.
Cue the ‘discovery’ of the film, its Kickstarter program to fund its restoration by the 3-D Film Archive, and its release on Blu – a miracle for any movie that was rescued from oblivion.
The beauty of the Archive’s fine work (which includes It Came from Outer Space) is not only that it exists on disc to own, but a digital print exists for theatrical screenings, and I hope that these restored classics aren’t restricted to pre-video release media events.
September Storm was made for the big screen, and director Byron Haskin (War of the Worlds) crafted a fine 3D production that deserves to tease audiences in cinemas, so here’s a challenge to local rep cinemas and cinema societies: just as Toronto’s old Festival rep cinemas used to do in the summer, program some 3D screenings that deliberately showcase the rare and the lesser-known.
House of Wax + It Came from Outer Space + Dial M For Murder + Creature from the Black Lagoon are great, but sneak in some treasures few have seen, let alone heard of, and use these screenings to expose multiple generations to works few may realize exist on disc, and offer fine thrills in the more epic realm of a theatre. Make it a mini-expo, and invite local 3D filmmakers, technical artisans, and historians to interact with audiences to set up and later expand on topics after a screening. Can’t hurt, right?
Until then, enjoy the first of my regular 3D visitations – Kino’s 3D Blu-ray of September Storm – and hopefully when I get to the second installment, I’ll also have links to another test video as I try and refine a way to shoot 3D with a tube video camera for a music video (and for those who missed the first test, you’ll need classic red-blue anaglyph glasses to watch the footage at Big Head Amusements).
Mark R. Hasan, Editor
Category: EDITOR'S BLOG