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Critic’s Choice: Nitrate lives on at the Egyptian

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Sabu and Jean Simmons in the 1947 movie “Black Narcissus.”
(Los Angeles Times file photo)
Film Critic

In an age when even seeing a film on celluloid is becoming a thing of the past, any chance to see nitrate, that legendary, highly combustible substance that creates pure on-screen magic, comes by so rarely that it should be embraced, especially when the examples shown are as vivid as the 35mm prints the American Cinematheque is getting ready to display on separate programs.

In partnership with the George Eastman Museum and the Academy Film Archive, the Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, will show a pair of gems: Carol Reed’s luminous black and white “The Fallen Idol,” taken from a Graham Greene story; and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s “Black Narcissus,” one of the most beautiful color films ever made. Events not to be missed.

Nitrate Nights, “The Fallen Idol,” March 16, 7:30 p.m. “Black Narcissus,” March 18, 7:30 p.m. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 466-3456. $13-$15. www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/

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kenneth.turan@latimes.com

@KennethTuran

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