With the challenges inherent in screening often-aged 35mm prints, we're no strangers of screenings gone awry. Today, we pause again to consider the often-foretold evidently-impeding advent of digital cinema. Any time now, we're told. Being an organization bringing a mix of new and classic film, we, by nature, are/have been struggling to reconcile film's future with its past. So, it is with great interest that reports of recent high-profile digital screenings have notably gone awry with some of the major proponents of d-cinema in attendance, and press to cover it. Just Thursday, Paramount's VIP screening of THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON was cancelled when it became apparent that there would be no red. Additionally, a recent industry screening of CHE was botched when it became apparent that there would be no subtitles (oddly enough, they showed up later on a seperate screening of DOUBT, an English language film).
For an organization like the Belcourt, the ramifications of digital cinema are pretty big and would a huge investment in materials that could be subject to expensive upgrades as the tweaks are worked out. We have witnessed at world-class film festivals such exhibitions of world-class digital gear to nary a fault, but the difference in depth, atmosphere and similar intangibles don't quite live up to the glow of 35mm film. This is the world where the history of cinema lives. However, and this could be the subject of an entirely different post, one must consider The Way We Live Now.