As noted, I went to see Michelangelo Antonioini‘s Blow-Up last night at the Aero. Also as noted, I own a Vudu digital stream of this classic 1966 film, and it looks quite perfect. No scratches, no pops, no faded colors, no reel-change marks…better than any 35mm print ever looked.
As luck would have it, the Aero didn’t show a DCP but a 35mm print, and a bum one at that. I knew they were showing 35mm going in, but in the back of mind I have this Tarantino-ish belief that 35mm prints are somehow more vivid or detailed or movie-ish on some level. Well, they’re not. Nort this time. I felt like a chump watching this beater of a print, which was slightly reddish to boot. I was muttering to myself, “The Aero has gotten people to actually pay money to see this crappy-looking thing?” The sound was shitty for the most part — no accentuated treble or bass, like a p.a. system at a high school. The film was focused but it never delivered sharp images, or at least not what I call sharp images. And the scratches and marks, especially as the reel changes approached, were irksome as fuck. And the way the grass looked a bit faded and brownish and the way the blacks looked a bit reddish and the way everyone’s skin seemed just a little too pink…it was a crappy experience.
Antonioni’s ghost would have been appalled. I left around the one-hour mark. I have better things to do with my evenings.