In an 11.18 N.Y. Times piece by Ben Kenigsberg (“The Images in Billy Lynn? Razor Sharp. Your Eyes? Bewildered”), high-def pioneer Douglas Trumbull says he was unhappy with the venue for the 120-frame-per-second projection of Billy Lynn during the New York Film Festival. “I was really upset…that it was in a very narrow, small-screen theater,” Trumbull says.
My feelings exactly. “I felt crestfallen when I walked into the almost shoebox-sized AMC Lincoln Square theatre that Billy Lynn was projected in, ” I wrote on 10.15. “It was as if I was sitting in some nondescript megaplex in Tampa or Baton Rouge.”
I remain stunned that the critical elite dismissed Billy Lynn with such uniformity. The Heaven’s Gate-Like rejection of Ang Lee‘s film happened without remorse, without even an expression of mixed feelings. Critics and public alike dumped it like a McDonald’s Big Mac wrapper in a trash bin. For me Billy Lynn‘s HFR format elevated what would have otherwise been just another modest, dialogue-driven, Playhouse 90-styled drama. Is there anyone who found the 120-frame-per-second version at least interesting?
Trying again: at the very least all theatrically-aimed films should be shot in at least a 30 fps format, and all CG fantasy crap should definitely be captured in HFR (60 or even 48 fps would suffice). Action footage is always more mesmerizing if you remove the blur factor.