A Tale of Two Movies

Once every couple of years we present a movie on our Pops series. The film is shown on a big screen suspended above the stage while the orchestra performs the score. The Bugs Bunny show from a few years ago was very successful, and many patrons still talk about the Charlie Chaplin films.

This week’s Pops concerts featured The Wizard of Oz. The producer had gone back and taken all the music out of the movie, retaining just the dialogue and the singing. The movie was then shown in its entirely while the orchestra played the songs and incidental music.

It’s a great idea, but a little difficult in execution. The audio component that remained from the film was muddy in spots, making it difficult to catch all the dialogue. From time to time there were also slight synchronization issues between the orchestra and the film. On the positive side, it was great to see a classic movie projected on a big screen.

Speaking of big screens, we went to see 300 at the IMAX theatre tonight. Before the movie began, we were treated to a five minute preview of how great the IMAX experience is. Six-storey screen, one-tonne projector, 40 speakers, 10,000 watts of bone-jarring sound, etc.

Then…nothing. We sat in darkness for about 5 minutes before the house lights came up. “Please be patient, we’re experiencing technical difficulties.” Time passed, and the manager returned to say it would be another 10 minutes until the problem might be resolved.

We decided to call it a night and left with a refund and two free movie passes. Instead of watching the Spartans take on the Persians in an orgy of blood and decapitations, we ended up reading the Sunday New York Times at Starbucks, which when you think about it was probably a much better use of time.

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