Last week, yet another classic appeared across Canadian movie screens after years of waiting from eager fans.
The film was the 1954 version of A Star is Born and it was shown at the Scotia Bank Cineplex as part of The Classic Series. The monthly series since September has showcased some of Hollywood’s best motion pictures and will offer a total of twelve films.
The idea: showcase classic movies in theatre in digital and HD format.
The reality: just another example of classic cinema surging into the mainstream. And it’s about time. In the spirit of preserving our film heritage, it seems the major companies have finally taken to projecting these Hollywood gems onto the big screen.
But before delving into a discussion of the resurgence of classic cinema, I must admit that when I heard that A Star Is Born was playing in digital format, I could barely contain my excitement.
The film, an epic allegory for Garland’s life and the artificiality of Hollywood itself, was Garland’s reentrance into the spotlight after an attempted suicide in 1950. The re-offered version includes deleted scenes that were not shown to original audiences in the 1950s.
Judy Garland’s marvel entrance on screen in electric coloring and sparkling HD, however, quickly turned my excitement to disorientation, and then excitement again. As I sat in the exact theatre I had seen Black Swan the week before, I marveled at the fact that I was seeing Garland perform on the same screen as Natalie Portman near days apart….Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.
No one else in the audience seemed to have the same moment of mystification. Audience members clapped from the onset of the film, as Garland’s name appeared on the screen. The clapping continued following the prolonged (and tad egotistical) sequences of Garland performing- a reminder to the audience that true talent exists, somewhere.
Following the film, I spoke to Sara Marshall, assistant to the Communications Manager of CEO, about Cineplex’s decision to showcase classic films this year.
“I think there is something to be said seeing a movie that you’ve loved since you were kids. It’s a bit of a novelty. People really respond to that,” she told me.
The packed audience certainly showed this to be true.
So, whether you’re a movie buff or think there is something fantastical in seeing classic cinema in HD format, Cineplex in Canada will be offering Doctor Zhivago next month followed by The Wizard of Oz . Did I mention the tickets are just $5?