Sunday, May 10, 2009

The big screen

Question. Why do you watch a Wong Kar-wai film? Answer. For its colour and composition. Yes. He can make rain beating a dirty wall look absolutely beautiful (‘In the Mood for Love’); he can make a waterfall look a work of art (‘Happy Together’); he can show innumerable ways of seeing a taxi ride (‘2046’). You see a kar-wai film for its visuals. So, it can be pretty depressing when you have to content yourself seeing the films on a small screen, imagining how it would look like in the big screen.
I am not talking about IMAX. I am talking about a normal theatre screen, not even a 70 mm screen. The big screen has its own magic, which a home theatre with all its fantastic sound and picture devices cannot compete. I am not even talking about the experience of seeing a film with a houseful audience. (I remember seeing a rerun of ‘DDLJ’ in a houseful theatre and what I enjoyed more was how the audience reacted to every major scene. They had all seen the film, they knew what to expect and cheered it happily.)
The visuals on a big screen has its own charm which cannot be compared to anything else. I remember seeing ‘Blue Lagoon’ on a big screen when I was young. The underwater scenes just blew my mind away. Once the film was over, I went to the ticket counter and brought another ticket, such was the allure of the big screen.
Now, with the arrival of multiplexes, with its exorbitant prices and mediocre movies, I prefer to see the films I like at home, thanks to the DVDs. But I miss the experience of the big screen. Imagine how would it be like to see ‘One Upon a Time in West’ in the big screen? or ‘Eight and a Half’?
That’s why I wait for film festivals where you can experience cinema as it should be. I remember seeing ‘Seven Samurai’ in the big screen. It was a fantastic experience.

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