I'm collecting information on London's open air cinema listings here by the way:
I just enjoyed having Titanic 'back in the news', even if I hadn't gone to see it I would have enjoyed that. Like many I found the theatrical spectacle rather good fun the first time around and was curious to see how James Cameron had managed the layering techniques required to render 2D to 3D (that's the extent of my knowledge about it, it seems akin to magic to be honest). I also learned that Cameron drew all of Jack Dawson's pictures and that he co-invented the Cameron/Pace Fusion 3D cameras that were used to film Avatar*. Not to mention he's just shimmied all the way down to the Mariana Trench... I'm definitely of the opinion that he just makes startlingly incredible films to finance his science and discovery habit :-)
Speaking of nostalgia, the 194 minute Titanic 3D screening had a 25 minute intermission. I've no idea what the projectionist did during the 25 minutes (I like to think they changed the reels but I suspect not) but the presence of an interval was itself rather lovely. An 8pm start meant we left the IMAX at about ten to midnight though.
I find the information about the creation of a film every bit as fascinating as the actual film itself and can't help wondering why cinemagoers can't buy a programme about the production, with technical details as well as anything else people might find interesting. This is commonly done in stage productions so there seems to be some sort of precedent. I'm currently finishing off Simon Callow's excellent little book on the back story to the making of Charles Laughton's Night of the Hunter. Why aren't miniature versions of film-related info / screening notes etc available for every film? Could be cheaper than popcorn and probably more filling.
It would also be quite useful if there was a Songkick for films to make it even easier to hear about screenings. Songkick is embedded in YouTube and lets you know if an artist whose song you're listening to is touring, you can also use the iPhone app which performs the same service for artists on your iPlayer.
* Further reading
The Cameron/Pace Fusion 3D cameras used on Avatar were 'first used in a feature film' on Eric Brevig's Journey to the Center of the Earth - which I had already deemed brilliant merely for having the lovely Brendan Fraser in it but it's nice to learn more about the technology behind it - and this is a technically detailed PDF on the filming, post-production and theatre projection of said film. The post-production process sounds pretty unforgiving and I suppose I have a marginally better-than-zero hope of grasping the gist of it thanks to having just finished Walter Murch's fantastic book "In the Blink of an Eye" which is all about film editing etc etc.
Not everyone likes 3D though
- Broken Glasses: Experts Try to Save 3D from the Theaters Themselves CraveOnline (4 May 2012) - it all went a bit pear-shaped here, but again it's not really to do with 3D problems but the infrastructure around it
- Even Walter Murch (who can do no wrong) isn't a fan of 3D projection because of the way he says our eyes and brains work (I'm not sure I agree but it's nearly 20 years since I did my Masters degree in Neuroscience so I'm not really up to date in that subject!) - Why 3D doesn't work and never will. Case closed. Roger Ebert's journal (23 January 2011)