Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh, say can you see...the big screen and the small print

So I finally did the Fort McHenry tour, which is one of those things ya just gotta do when in Baltimore. I liked the film shown in the visitor's center. All my life, I've wanted to see a movie projected in a system as wide as the Ultra-Panavision aspect ratio, and here it was.

Actually, I think that the Fort's film is even wider. I also suspect that it was shot digitally. If you're curious about the original Ultra-Panavision system, the DVDs of Ben Hur, Mutiny on the Bounty and Greatest Story Ever Told represent the aspect ratio accurately -- alas, your monitor is no substitute for a 110 foot curved screen. I am reliably told that Panavision still keeps the cameras and lenses in perfect working order, just in case...

You know the aspect of my visit that I enjoyed most all? The bookstore offers many patriotic books and keychains and flags and other paraphernalia -- and if you examine these items closely, you'll discover that most of them were made in China.

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