Projection Booth Tours

A gift of the Century Projector Company, the Century Model C projectors have been installed in the Dryden Theatre since it opened in 1951. These MacHines are "closed head" projectors, so called because the entire film path from feed magazine to takeup magazine is enclosed. This makes them safer for running nitrate print film. Other safety features on the projectors include fire rollers or fire valves located between the body of the projector and the film magazines and a fire shutter. The fire rollers help prevent a fire from spreading to the roll of film in either magazine. The fire shutter cuts off the hot beam of light when the projector is either slowed down or stopped, helping to keep the film from catching fire. The projectors were originally set up with carbon arc lamphouses, replaced in 1979 with xenon light sources as carbons were being gradually phased out. The Century projectors' sound reproducers have also been upgraded over the years to ensure the best possible sound from vintage sound tracks. The projection booth of the Dryden Theatre also includes two Kinoton FP38E projectors for modern prints on 35mm and 16mm stock, as well as a Barco digital projector.

[source: Nitrate Picture Show program, 2017-May-5]

Blind Date with Nitrate

Language is the primary tool we use to communicate about cinema, but it is not cinema itself. We use language to contextualize the cinematic experience, to talk about the themes and content of film, to relate the emotional journey we've undergone through cinema. We use language to entice others to interact with particular pieces of cinematic art, to make it as exciting as possible before they have seen a frame of the film itself. But language is not cinema; it is a poor substitute. Cinema is expression through images, and the purest cinematic experiences retain certain indelible qualities that language is unable to adequately capture. Cinema is immersive, both visually and aurally; cinema is immediate in that it cannot be interrupted, nor encountered in the same way at another time; cinema is communal, shared among like-minded individuals. It is a unique experience in and of itself, a moment in time remembered but never recaptured. So what if we pared away the language about cinema and left only the language of cinema? Throughout this catalogue we have taken great pains to let the condition and provenance of the films speak for themselves, knowing that a print's background and care have a profound effect on its exhibition. In addition, we have added contemporaneous commentary, trading present-day interpretation in favor of immediate reactions at the time of the film's release. The Blind Date with Nitrate is our ultimate achievement in this endeavor. We offer no context other than a solitary image, a frame enlargement from the print itself. There is no language of enticement, no words to stand between you and the complete mystery of cinema. We offer instead an invitation—an invitation to communicate with cinema in your own way, free of context and expectation. We invite you to a singular immediate, immersive, and communal exhibition, with the hope of creating for you a cinematic moment that you will never forget.

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]

Spellbound screening (2017-May-7 @ 1:30 p.m.)

The Dryden will screen Spellbound (Alfred Hitchcock, U.K. 1945, 111 min.)

"This writer has had little traffic with practitioners of psychiatry or with the twilight abstractions of their science, so we are not in a position to say whether Ingrid Bergman, who plays one in her latest film, Spellbound, is typical of such professionals or whether the methods she employs would yield results. But this we can say with due authority: if all psychiatrists are as charming as she—and if their attentions to all their patients are as fruitful as hers are to Gregory Peck, who plays a victim of amnesia in this fine film which came to the Astor yesterday—then psychiatry deserves such popularity as this picture most certainly will enjoy. For Miss Bergman and her brand of treatment, so beautifully demonstrated here, is a guaranteed cure for what ails you, just as much as it is for Mr. Peck. It consists of her winning personality softly but insistently suffused through a story of deep emotional content; of her ardent sincerity her lustrous looks and her easy ability to toss off glibly a line of talk upon which most girls would choke." — Bosley Crowther, New York Times, November 2, 1945

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]

Night and the City screening

The Dryden will screen Night and the City (Jules Dassin, U.K./U.S. 1950, 111 min., format) as part of the Nitrate Picture Show.

"An exciting, suspenseful melodrama, . . . the story of a double-crossing heel who finally gets his just desserts. In this role, Richard Widmark scores a definite hit. And he has excellent support right down the line. Gene Tierney was cast for name value only. Jules Dassin, in his direction, manages extraordinarily interesting backgrounds, realistically filmed to create a feeling both of suspense and mounting menace." — Variety, December 31, 1949

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]

Alexander Nevsky (Alexander Nevsky), Le Sang des Bêtes (Blood of the Beasts) screenings

The Dryden will screen Alexander Nevsky (Alexander Nevsky, Sergei M. Eisenstein and Dmitriy Vasilev, Soviet Union 1938, 108 min.) as part of the Nitrate Picture Show. The feature will be followed by the short Le Sang des Bêtes (Blood of the Beasts, Georges Franju, France 1949, 22 min.): "a haunting documentary classic that details the daily operations of Paris slaughterhouses."

"In Nevsky, the white robes of the Teuton Ritter were associated with the themes of cruelty, oppression and death, while the color of black, attached to the Russian warriors, conveyed the positive themes of heroism and patriotism. This deviation from the generally accepted image for these colors would have been less surprising to the critics and press abroad (whose objections were very interesting in themselves) if they had recalled an astonishing and powerful passage of literature which I have since found for myself—the chapter called 'the Whiteness of the Whale,' in Melville's Moby Dick." — Sergei Eisenstein, The Film Sense, 1942

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]

Phanton of the Opera screening

The Dryden will screen Phanton of the Opera (Arthur Lubin, U.S. 1943, 92 min.) as part of the Nitrate Picture Show.

"Phantom of the Opera is far more of a musical than a chiller, though this element is not to be altogether discounted, and holds novelty appeal. Story is about the mad musician who haunts the opera house and kills off all those who are in his protege's way towards becoming the headliner. Tuneful operatic numbers and the splendor of the scenic settings in these sequences, combined with excellent group and solo vocalists, count heavily. Nelson Eddy, Susanna Foster and Jane Farrar (niece of operatic star Geraldine Farrar) score individually in singing roles and provide marquee dressing. Third act from [Friedrich von Flotow's opera] Martha and two original opera sketches based on themes from Chopin and Tchaikovsky have been skillfully interwoven. Outstanding performance is turned in by Claude Rains as the musician who, from a fixation seeking to establish the heroine as a leading opera star, grows into a homicidal maniac. Eddy, Foster, and Edgar Barrier, as the Parisian detective, are awkward in movement and speech, though much like opera performers restricted by their medium." — Variety, December 31, 1942

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]

My Life without Nitrate lecture, Alexander Horwath; Rouen, Martyre d'une Cité, Die Todesmühlen (Death Mills) screenings

In the Dryden Theatre, Alexander Horwath will present a lecture titled My Life without NitrateRouen, Martyre d'une Cité (Louis Cuny, France 1945, 15 min.), and Die Todesmühlen (Death Mills, Hans Burger, U.S. 1945, 22 min.): "Both films address the destructive consequences of World War II. Rouen is about the 'martyrdom of a city'; Todesmühlen is the most important postwar re-education film made by the Allied Forces, showing to the German and Austrian population the horrors of concentration camps.".

A leader and a source of inspiration in the museum world, Alexander Horwath has worked internationally as a curator of exhibitions, film retrospectives, and festivals; as a lecturer on film at universities and cultural institutions; as a consultant and jury member at film festivals; and as a member of film subsidy boards. Since 2002, he has served as director of the Österreichisches Filmmuseum (Austrian Film Museum). He has been a member of the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts, Berlin) since 2012 and a corresponding member of the Vienna Secession since 2008. Previously, he was director of the Viennale (1992—1997) and curator of film at Documenta 12 in Kassel (2007). Eloquently outlining the principles behind his curatorial efforts, Horwath has stated, "The Austrian Film Museum has the policy of exhibiting moving image works in their respective medium—meaning the way in which they originally entered the world: the 'language' in which they expressed themselves at the time of production and publication. . . . This is what museums do—and why they exist in the first place: to give access to cultural artifacts in a manner that keeps them legible and transparent, especially if these artifacts are no longer part of everyday life or mainstream industrial practice. . . . By continuing to give access to film as film, a film museum also partakes in a tradition that has supported human culture for many centuries: the notion that our heritage can actually remain generative, potent, and procreative in relation to future artistic achievements. For this to happen, our cultural techniques have to be preserved as working systems, and our artifacts need to remain in a shape that can be 'read' by these systems. Only then will they continue to make sense."

[source: Nitrate Picture Show program, 2017-May-5]

Siréna (The Strike), Žhavý jícen (Hot Throat) screenings

The Dryden will screen Siréna (The Strike, Karel Steklý, Czechoslovakia 1947, 77 min.) as part of the Nitrate Picture Show. The feature will be preceded by Žhavý jícen (Hot Throat, Jiří Lehovec, Czechoslovakia 1939, 12 min.): "An industrial short produced by Pražská železářská společnost (Prague Ironworks Company) in 1939, the film contains footage from the shorts Výroba oceli (Steel Production, 1939)—today presumed lost—and Poklady země (Treasures of the Earth, 1939), both directed by Karel Kohout."

"We greatly admired this picture, which resembles Carol Reed's film about the lives of Welsh miners, The Stars Look Down. This is that film's Czech counterpart, so to speak—a dignified and an even more brilliant counterpart, with its proletarian story about the working-class Hudcový family. It is an intense, extensively detailed, and often riveting picture about the bitter cycle of existence for the poor, a picture of misery and grief, warmed only by the rays of human love and hardened by the hate that compels one to clench their fists and come to blows—perhaps even wrongly." — Jan Žalman, Kino, May 9, 1947

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]

Anchors Aweigh screening

The Dryden will screen Anchors Aweigh (George Sidney, U.S. 1945, 143 min.) as part of the Nitrate Picture Show.

"Anchors Aweigh mixes music, uniforms and Hollywood cut-ups in such a show as only Hollywood could concoct. Gene Kelly is in there dancing superbly in more than one sequence. Frank Sinatra tags along with his largo vocalizing; Jose Iturbi knocks out some fancy boogie-woogie on the piano and Kathryn Grayson alternates between singing mock operatic arias and being cute. Since Isobel Lenart has written some amusing lines for the continuity and Joe Pasternak has produced the show with Technicolor extravagance, the film is satisfactory summer fare." — Howard Barnes, New York Herald Tribune, July 20, 1945

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer screening

The Dryden will screen The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (Irvin Reis, U.S. 1947, 95 min.) as part of the Nitrate Picture Show.

"We wouldn't be able to tell you whether Sidney Sheldon, the fellow who wrote The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, which came to the Music Hall yesterday, has suffered personal harassment at the hands of modern youth. But whether he has or hasn't, he certainly understands that dreadful fate. And, furthermore, he knows how to make it seem delightfully bewildering on the screen—which may not be wholly consistent but which makes for most agreeable film fare. For, in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Mr. Sheldon has caught the wry frenzy of a gay, debonnaire, indifferent and slightly naughty man-about-town who suddenly finds himself the victim of a fanciful high-school girl's crush—than which no other attachment of a female is more profound. And he has also invented a hilarious sequence of events by which the baffled hero must submit to the willful child's designs. As a consequence—and while the swoony fever is upon the bashless tot— this poor, victimized bystander is taken for a most amazing ride. . . . And we also must tell you that the texture of Mr. Sheldon's farce is firm and uncloyed with cuteness, which is just the way it should be, and that Irving Reis' direction has kept it in that solid shape. In fact, it is all reminiscent of some of those gay, galvanic larks that Gregory Lacava and Leo McCarey used to make ten or more years ago. And a higher recommendation we can't give to a light summer show." — Bosley Crowther, New York Times, July 25, 1947

[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2017-May-5]