Think Big

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One of advertising’s perfect moments was the VW moment in the late 1950s - early 60s.  At the time, everything was big.  The economy was booming, the Jet Plane was in its ascendancy.  Cars had fins and movies were in wide screen.  Along came Doyle Dane Bernbach, asking that people purchase a funny-looking little German car that resembled a bug. The famous slogan: Think Small. 

We’re in a somewhat comparable moment now, in reverse.  You can carry the world in the palm of your hand. You can put the universe in your pocket.  You can look at a movie on a screen the size of a watch face.  So it’s a perfect moment to launch “See it Big,” a series of screenings of big screen blockbusters to remind us that size does indeed matter. 

The Museum of the Moving Image is showing the series in its new, modern-day movie palace.  After all the concert halls and performance spaces, black box theaters and Chelsea galleries –it’s about time someone designed a movie palace, a space for the pleasure of seeing movies on a large scale, among others.  Thomas Leeser designed the place as a “space capsule for movie-going,” as it is described in the press release.  It has a wraparound ceiling and blue fabric walls, a classically proportioned screen and a range of equipment to suit formats from 16mm to 70mm and hi-def digital 3-D. It claims to provide an “unsurpassed filmgoing experience.”

I’ll bite. With films from Jacques Tati’s “Play Time” from 1967, to Spielberg’s 1987 “Empire of the Sun,” to Max Ophuls’ “Lola Montes,” 1955, the series offers a spectrum of films with rich detail.  It may be the first time you’ve seen any of them in a theater. Better off familiarizing yourself with the dialogue beforehand, so you can lose yourself in the backgrounds, the sets, the costumes, the makeup, the miniscule subtleties more or less wiped clean by your hand-held electronic device. What a luxury to think big, once again.

I’ll report back when I’ve been to my first screening at the Moving Image’s new movie palace. In the meantime, the schedule for the series is below.

See you in Astoria.

Listen to the most recent Fishko Files: Jean Vigo



Schedule for 'See It Big!' - October 28, 2011 through January 1, 2012

Friday, October 28, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 30, 4:00 p.m.

The Shining
Saturday, October 29, 7:00 p.m.

Play Time
Friday, November 4, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5, 3:00 p.m.

Lawrence of Arabia
Saturday, November 5, 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 6, 6:00 p.m.

Friday, November 25, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 26, 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 27, 3:00 p.m.

Gone with the Wind
Saturday, November 26, 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 27, 6:00 p.m.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Friday, December 2, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 3, 1:00 p.m.

Empire of the Sun
Saturday, December 3, 4:00 p.m.

Raging Bull
Friday, December 9, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, December 16, 7:00 p.m.

Tree of Life
Thursday, December 22, 7:00 p.m.

Lola Montès
Friday, December 23, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 29, 7:00 p.m.

Barry Lyndon
Friday, December 30, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 1, 6:00 p.m.