Eyes Wide Open: The Evolution Of Widescreen Cinema Opens
The first Cinemascope movie, The Robe, premiered in September 1953, and its success changed the path of cinema. Widescreen films soon became the standard in Hollywood, as studios tried to lure viewers back into theaters and away from their television sets. Cinemascope was not the first widescreen format, but it was the first to be embraced by the industry.
The first widescreen format, This is Cinerama! premiered in a process that linked three separate projected images side-by-side to create one enormous image. While it excited audiences and filmmakers alike with new creative possibilities and innovative stereophonic sound, Cinerama was expensive and technically cumbersome. Its popularity and commercial potential sent studios scrambling for a way to make widescreen a reality. Ironically, television—its success the catalyst for widescreen cinema—emulates the format with 16:9 screens.
The series consists of 30 features and three short film works, July through September:
July: July 26, Forbidden Planet, Forty Guns, High and Low; July 27, The Tarnished Angels, The Sun’s Burial, High and Low.
August: Aug. 1, The 400 Blows; Aug. 2, Jailhouse Rock, Some Came Running, The 400 Blows; Aug. 3, Jailhouse Rock, The Hustler, The 400 Blows; Aug. 9, 10, Lawrence of Arabia, The Wild Bunch; Aug. 15, Pierrot Le Fou; Aug. 16, West Side Story, Point Blank, Pierrot Le Fou; Aug. 17, Kwaidan, The Pornographers, Pierrot Le Fou; Aug. 23, Tokyo Olympiad; Aug. 24, Grand Prix; Aug. 29, Once Upon A Time In The West; Aug. 30, Inner and Outer Space, The Chelsea Girls; Aug. 31, Lisztomania, Flesh for Frankenstein, Once Upon A Time In The West;
September: Sept. 5, Apocalypse Now Redux; Sept. 6, THX 1138, Manhattan Apocalypse Now Redux; Sept. 7, THX 1138, Stand Alone.
The American Museum of the Moving Image is located at 35th Avenue at 36th Street in Astoria. Unless otherwise noted, screenings are free with museum admission; $10 adults, $7.50 persons 65+ and students with ID, $5 children ages 5 to 18 and museum members and children under 4 are admitted free. For more information, call 718-784-0077 or go to the Web site at www.movingimage.us.