Charm City Cineaste Five Year Anniversary: 2007-2012

Well, here we are, five years later. Much has changed.

To quickly get into the problem of film appreciation in 2012, I will cite the present moment in my apartment.

As I compose this, the Blu-ray edition of Moonrise Kingdom is playing on the big fancy “smart” television to my left via a PS3 gaming console.

It is superior in every way to the print/presentation of the film as I saw it at the Charles this summer. It was blurry, hard to hear, and with a color palette that was “off”, somehow muted and weird. I can remember also the tracking shots blurring as I watched the film.

Granted, the colors are tonally very odd for this film, and, granted, maybe my eyes are changing or getting worse (I have had troubled and poor eyesight for a long time), but I know some of those things were “wrong” that evening.

Am I sniping at the Charles? Was it an off night? Another film-goer noticed the blurriness, so I know I am not totally off base.

I state all of this not to suggest too strongly that the Charles invest in all new digital equipment at great expense and stop showing films on film (although that is the way the industry is going and it seems inevitable to avoid extinction). It is just to say that we are no longer talking about the sanctity of “seeing it on the big screen” any more. I am seeing it in my house and it looks entirely better. The filmmakers I tend to find engaging are thinking and creating with the possibilities (and detail) of digital in mind.

Although I will remain a dedicated revival-goer, I think we are paradigm-shifted now, into a new era. And I am sure I am no longer as invested in seeing things in theaters. And, yes, I know I just went all the way to Silver Spring to see something projected in 70mm. But it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

With that rant/eulogy out of the way, let us move into year five. I hope to get more sharp and formal in my reviews, as I feel I have been slipping into the mode of the casual film diarist. I will see if I can reform that in the new year.

Regards and Best Wishes,




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