New Technology?

It is thought-provoking to read how Sony has positioned itself to insert its video equipment into feature-film production, while in an article in the same issue David Lean laments the fact that few studios are willing to pay for 70-millimeter original photography.

Wide-screen formats and multitrack sound systems were developed by the motion-picture industry of the 1950s to compete against television. Today, film and video distribution have merged into one business, and with it has come the advent of six-pack shopping-mall theaters whose image quality is descending toward that of home video.

Video, even HDTV, does not match the beauty of film at its best. It is not the radiant clarity of "Lawrence of Arabia" or the warm Technicolor of "Gone With the Wind." It is nothing close to the visceral impact of Showscan or IMAX. These most ancient and modern forms of picture projection are available only at specialty venues, such as amusement parks, world's fairs and revival theaters.

Video is the medium of the Information Age, but I hope it is not a force that limits everything that motion pictures can be in the future.


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