Here’s my list of the best experiences I had from the perspective of the projection booth. I tried to narrow it down to ten, but just couldn’t do it. So here they are in no particular order:
This film (and a few others on this list) is an excellent example of why it matters to support American independent cinema. Also, I hope that Michael Shannon garners a deservedly rich and successful career from his performance as Son Hayes, but I worry that he will forever be typecast as a creepy Southerner.
Every screening of this that I projected, I went into the theater for the opening just to witness the audience reaction to the first close-up of Zidane accompanied by the deafening roar of a full football stadium. Some of the best sound design I’ve ever heard.
Beautiful and weird.
Dore Mann’s performance just plain freaked me out.
Who knew WWI would be such a lovely setting for modern pop songs?
By far, the Jacobs’ Manhattan loft is the best shooting location of the year.
Hal Ashby Series
Some of my favorite audiences of the year, especially the people who had never seen many of the films (I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the possibility that there are people out there who have never seen Harold & Maude).
Decibel Fest: Optical Showcase #2
Occasionally our space gets transformed in some pretty odd ways for a cinema, and this night was perhaps my favorite (and most challenging). Carole Kim’s piece required two digital projectors, the curtains closed, and a giant translucent scrim hung eight feet in front of the curtains to provide a very cool layered effect. It’s one of those things that needs to be seen to be understood…
Kamran Sadeghi of Seattle provided plenty of mind-bending visuals and sound, all (like each performance of the night) mixed live in the cinema. If the db Fest does this again next year, I highly recommend checking it out.
War of The Worlds 70th Anniversary
Another great transformation of the space, this time nice and simple: Curtains closed, lights down except for a dim spotlight on an antique Philco tube radio while the original radio broadcast played in its entirety.
From the Slovenian Series, a nice, sweet coming of age story, but I am guilty of loving any film that features a projection booth in the story arc. Reminiscent of Cinema Paradiso, but not nearly as schmaltzy…
Note By Note
This was a great portrait of the beauty of craftsmanship, from woodwork to exacting mechanical details, but the best part was having a concert grand Steinway in our cinema. The bonus: watching professional piano movers at work on closing night.