This Nightcrawler redband trailer is inspired — it nails the sensibility and the coolness factor to a T. Serious congratulations to the Open Road marketing ace who cut it together and decided on the tone. On the other end of the spectrum, TheWrap‘s Jeff Sneider needs to apologize for not even mentioning that Nightcrawler (opening on the evening of 10.30) is the only new film to see that weekend. Sneider urges viewers to catch some classic horror films (Candy Man tops the list) but…well, this is a portrait of typical genre hounds, I suppose. They want what they want when they want it, and they don’t want to know from intelligent counter-programming.
During yesterday’s drive into Savannah from the airport I told a senior Los Angeles-based exhibition executive (i.e., a guy who doesn’t want to be quoted) about the over-cranked, super-bassy sound inside the TCL Chinese that made dialogue hard to understand at times during Thursday night’s Interstellar screening. He said he knows all about that. He said that union guys who were calibrating the sound at a West L.A. theatre plex constructed two or three years ago wanted to heighten the bassy “thromp” levels, and that he and his associates told them “nope, nope…no way.” He knows exactly what bass-thromp does to dialogue. And he made the right call. The plex in question delivers excellent sound. Hearing dialogue is never an issue when I see a film there. I can always hear every last vowel and consonant.
Interior of refurbished TCL Chinese. The muddled, super-bassy, over-cranked sound delivery in this theatre has probably harmed…okay, influenced the critical opinion of Interstellar among L.A. journos who attended Thursday night’s screening. I have already pledged to see Chris Nolan’s film again in a theatre with better calibrated sound.
I’ve also heard from a journalist friend who saw Interstellar Wednesday night at the California Science Center IMAX theatre, and he says the sound there “was exquisite…you could hear absolutely everything perfectly.” He also dropped by Thursday night’s TCL Chinese showing, or actually “bits and pieces of the last 25 minutes of the film and the sound was way overpumped. In fact standing in the lobby we thought the theatre was going to collapse, and I heard complaints from a couple of SAG voters that they couldn’t understand the dialogue, which always used to be the case at the Chinese pre-IMAX.”
I’m waiting to speak soon to Chapin Cutler, the projection and sound guru from Boston Light & Sound who handles projection standards at the Telluride Film Festival, the TCM Classic Film Festival and is now preparing projection for the upcoming AFI Fest. I’m not going to assume anything but Cutler knows his realm cold, and I can guess what he’ll tell me about bass-thromp.
Hollywood Elsewhere to Tim Berners-Lee: “I hear you, man. I know exactly what you’re talking about and then some. But I fear your assessment of human nature is a touch on the Pollyannic side. If nothing else comment threads on the web have revealed who and what some of us really are. The more vocal sector, I mean.”
A little less than 150 years ago, or in late December of 1864, the city of Savannah surrendered to Union troops led by General William Tecumseh Sherman. Here is the message sent by Sherman to Confederate General William J. Hardee on 12.17.64:
Gen. Sherman and troops entering Savannah just before Christmas 1864.
“I have already received guns that can cast heavy and destructive shot as far as the heart of your city. Also, I have for some days held and controlled every avenue by which the people and garrison of Savannah can be supplied, and I am therefore justified in demanding the surrender of the city of Savannah, and its dependent forts, and shall wait a reasonable time for your answer, before opening with heavy ordnance. Should you entertain the proposition, I am prepared to grant liberal terms to the inhabitants and garrison; but should I be forced to resort to assault, or the slower and surer process of starvation, I shall then feel justified in resorting to the harshest measures, and shall make little effort to restrain my army — burning to avenge the national wrong which they attach to Savannah and other large cities which have been so prominent in dragging our country into civil war.”