Wednesday, 20 July 2016

September Storm (1960): Help Save This Golden Age 3D Movie!

It isn't every day film fans get to save a piece of Hollywood history, but it's happening right now. I pledged to support this project on Day One, but if we're to save this forgotten 3D movie, time's running out!

Dir. Byron Haskin (War of the Worlds, Robinson Crusoe on Mars)
Starring: Joanne Dru, Mark Stevens, Robert Strauss, Asher Dann

A Kickstarter campaign has been started to fund the restoration of the 1960 3-D film September Storm. This project will only be funded if at least $25,000 is pledged by Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 11 p.m. Central Daylight Time. People interested in donating can do so by visiting the funding page at

September Storm is considered one of the "lost" 3-D features of the golden age of 3-D cinema. Shot in 1959, it was the last of the 3-D movies to be filmed in the 1950s, and is most notable for being filmed in Stereo-Vision using the Natural Vision 3-D camera rig and in CinemaScope. September Storm hasn't been seen in it's intended 3-D and widescreen format since it's initial theatrical release in 1960, and the surviving film elements are deteriorating. If a digital restoration of the stereoscopic anamorphic version isn't done soon, it is at risk of being lost forever. Your donation to this campaign will help save this important motion picture so that it can be seen by future generations of movie fans.

The 3-D Film Archive has been actively working to preserve our 3-D film heritage by digitally restoring classic 3-D movies, and making them available to a new generation of theatergoers and home viewers. Recent restoration projects include the 3-D movies Dragonfly Squadron, The Bubble, The Mask, Gog and the 3-D Rarities collection.

To accomplish the funding, the 3-D Film Archive has teamed up with 501(c)3 nonprofit organization 3-D SPACE: The Center For Stereoscopic Photography, Art, Cinema, and Education to embark on the conservation and restoration of September Storm. Your donation to this project through 3-D SPACE may qualify for an income tax deduction in accordance with Federal or State income tax laws. Please consult with your tax advisor to determine whether your donation is tax deductible in whole or in part.

Bob Furmanek and Greg Kintz of the 3-D Film Archive have a proven track record when it comes to restoring vintage 3-D films that might otherwise have slipped through the cracks, neglected and forgotten. "The 3-D Film Archive has already obtained, for a limited time, the rights to restore and distribute September Storm, but the hard work is still ahead of us. Both the left eye and right eye film elements will need to be digitally scanned, frame by frame. We will need to assess the level of damage to these existing elements, and determine how to best fix the images. This will require a stereoscopic re-alignment pass, left and right color restoration and matching, and clean-up of scratches and other damages to the film surface. This is very challenging post-production work, and can potentially be very expensive. Fortunately, the 3-D Film Archive's success with previous restoration projects, and by teaming up with 3-D SPACE and maintaining this work "in house" costs will be kept at a manageable level. We are confident that we will be able to produce both a 3-D Blu-ray master and a digital cinema package (DCP) that will look fantastic."

As with any Kickstarter campaign, the organizers have included rewards based on the donation pledge levels. The most basic pledge of $10 or more will get your name included in the Blu-ray credits. Other rewards include reproductions of the September Storm lobby cards, a special Kickstarter limited edition Blu-ray of September Storm, VIP admission for two to the New York or Los Angeles world premiere of the restored version, and more.
Pledges reached the 25 percent mark within the first four days of launching the Kickstarter campaign, which started on July 16. 

People are being asked to share the campaign through the hashtag #SaveSeptemberStorm

Let's save this long-lost 3D gem!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Movies I've Watched in 2016: Part 1

Film-wise, 2016 has been pretty entertaining so far. I usually visit the cinema once or twice a week, depending on the selection (and making full use of my Cineworld Unlimited Card). I'll try most genres, but I do tend toward mainstream Hollywood fare, unless something really catches my eye (I've been burned too many times by foreign-language films).

My only five-star film so far is Adam McKay's sensational, go-for-broke Wall Street black comedy, THE BIG SHORT. You really have to pay attention between the laughs, because it describes the complex moves that led to the near-total collapse of the US (and global) economic house of cards. Smart, frightening stuff.
Other nice surprises were David O'Russell's JOY, starring Jennifer Lawrence, which had received wishy-washy reviews (I loved it), the gripping suspense thriller 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, and Kevin Reynolds' biblical procedural, RISEN, starring an excellent Joseph Fiennes.

Here's the complete list thus far. I'll post another one after the summer season is over.

10 Cloverfield Lane ****
Allegiant ***
Bad Neighbours 2 **
Batman vs Superman 3D ***
Captain America: Civil War 3D ****
Deadpool ***
Eddie the Eagle ****
Hail, Caesar! ***
High-Rise **
Joy ****
London Has Fallen ***
Midnight Special ***
Risen ****
Spotlight ****
The Big Short *****
The Finest Hours ****
The Huntsman 3D **
The Jungle Book 3D ****
The Revenant ****
Zootropolis 3D ****
And a couple of retro double-bill screenings I attended (the Cap films were actually screened as a triple, culminating with the equally brilliant Civil War):
Alien *****
Aliens *****
Captain America: First Avenger 3D ****
Captain America: Winter Soldier 3D ****
Next up, I'm really looking forward to Shane Black's THE NICE GUYS, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. The trailers are hilarious, and Black's previous films (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3) both hit the spot for me.