“I’ve recently watched two largely dismissed large-format Hollywood films in exemplary HD transfers– The Big Country and the 1966 Lawrence of Arabia wannabe Khartoum. In both cases certain dramatic deficiencies of the films that would have been apparent [as] talking-heads dramas on your 21″ Sylvania in the 60s or 70s, receded in importance when the films again benefited from having their sheer size and detail restored.
“Seeming subtleties of presentation make a big difference. A film that is captivating in a sparkling clear print can be a chore in an only slightly muddier one. A film that seems trite on TV can delight on a big screen when its visuals dominate its words.
“We know all this, but as we were reminded this week, the chances to see such movies on the big screen are fewer and fewer and, of course, for many films they have never existed again since their initial release. HDTV is not the same as having everything in 35mm or 70mm on a big screen, but at the same time, it is very different from the standard-def TV experience we’ve known for 50 years.”
— from an excellent piece by Nitrateville‘s Mke Gebert about re-discovering the pleasures of big-format films via big-screen high-def.