Book review by Jim Slater, former managing editor Cinema Technology UK
l enjoyed reading a publication from Johan Wolthuis of International 70mm Publishers, as will anyone with an interest in widescreen and 70mm movies in their various incarnations. Widescreen History is an A4 landscape format softback of 62 pages, packed with text and pictures, many of them in colour. The chapters, written by Johan and a selection of widescreen industry gurus, include a history of widescreen cinema, a summary of the many widescreen processes and a detailed look at the sound and colour systems that have gone along with them.
Articles on Cinerama, Cinemiracle and Kinopanorama show how these led the way to CinemaScope and its 55 variant, and there are fascinating essays on Vistavision, Technirama, Super Technirama, Cinéorama, Circarama, and Circlorama. The history continues with pages on Grandeur 70, Todd-AO, MGM Camera 65 and Super and Ultra Panavision. IMAX and Omnimax complete the story and bring it up to date.
One of the strengths of the book is that it includes information on some of the cameras and of the projectors used with the different widescreen systems, including the remarkable Oscar-winning Philips DP7O. There are lots of pictures of film posters and advertisements in both colour and black and white, from the decades when 70mm thrived, making it a useful historical collection of memorabilia. lt is a very personal book in many ways, with lots of instances where Johan's life-long love of 70mm shines through in his stories. There is an interesting piece about David Lean and his 70mm work, entitled Master of Epics and other pieces come right up to date with the authors bemoaning the recent loss of projectionists and their traditional skills. There is even some information about a boothless cinema! This is unashamedly a book for enthusiasts, written by enthusiasts, and l am certain that many readers will want to buy a copy.
Dear film and cinema lovers
We have reprinted WIDESCREEN HISTORY in full colour:
Mailing included EU €19.50, UK £16.50, USA & Canada USD $23.50.
BUT also look at our Special Offer for €29.50: four books and two posters (shipping included!)
WIDESCREEN HISTORY included. (Except the CINERAMA story...) To the UK £29.50 To USA & Canada $39.50.
As there were many requests for our publication the CINERAMA story it has also been reprinted. It was published in 2012 on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Cinerama and presented in Europe’s only 3-strip Cinerama Theatre in Bradford, UK. There is no way to know the complete and rich story of Cinerama without years of research. In our days you can hardly imagine the large queues in front of the Cinerama theatres during the introduction of the 3-strip Cinerama process. We can offer you the CINERAMA story for €18.50 mailing included, United Kingdom £17.50, USA & Canada $27.50.
WIDESCREEN HISTORY and the CINERAMA story in one parcel EU €38.00, UK £34.50 and USA & Our Special Offer and the CINERAMA Story mailing included EU €47.50, UK £46.50, USA & Canada $67.00 (Payment by PayPal).
Johan C.M. Wolthuis, editor/ publisher
International 70mm Publishers - www.70mmpublishers.nl
Katwoudehof 36; 6843 BX Arnhem - The Netherlands