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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » "Cinema Paradiso" and Cinemecchanica in Italy... (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: "Cinema Paradiso" and Cinemecchanica in Italy...
Joe Schmidt
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 172
From: Billings, Montana, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-14-2001 12:54 AM      Profile for Joe Schmidt   Email Joe Schmidt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This marvelous film released in the US by Miramax is a 4**** ++++++++ film about a projectionist in a tiny country theatre in Italy. Anyone on this forum who hasn't seen it should Run, don't walk to the nearest video store and rent it.

I have two copies of Paradiso in the library, one in Italian with subtitles and another English dubbed.

I see that Antonio M. from Italy is here and a key element in the earlier scenes in the booth was a Cinemecchanica arc projector of an ancient vintage, or so it seemed and it looked historically accurate to me, unless I have this wrong which is possible.

But there was only ONE projector and we all know you can't run a complete feature on such a system this way unless you stop periodically to rethread. Yet, the old movie house certainly looked very authentic and in some shots where the kid was looking back at the booth from inside the house there was only one porthole done up with an ancient Grecian mask and the light beam shone out through the open mouth.

I'm wondering if due to very limited finances country houses in Italy might have run with just one projector, in which case the audiences would be used to the stoppages for rethreading, which might be similar to commercial breaks in awful American television. Or did they all have two projectors and the movie was filmed with just one as it was easier that way and it would be reasonable to assume the audience wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Other areas of technical confusion in the film were aspect ratios not consistent with the period where everything would have been 1.33:1 ratio.

Antonio, can you enlighten us?

Thanks!



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James R. Hammonds, Jr
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 931
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-14-2001 02:49 AM      Profile for James R. Hammonds, Jr   Email James R. Hammonds, Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unless you plan to show that video to someone who can't read, I think you should burn that dubbed video.

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Christos Mitsakis
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 242
From: Ag.Paraskevi, ATHENS, GREECE
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 04-14-2001 02:57 AM      Profile for Christos Mitsakis   Email Christos Mitsakis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe,
Actually the projectors in "Cinema Paradiso" - before and after the fire - were PREVOST, another MILAN produced projector very similar to Cinemeccanica.
I don't know the whole story but as I've been told both companies shared the same "father".
Antonio is the most eligible to tell us their history.

Regards,
Christos.

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Demetris Thoupis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1240
From: Aradippou, Larnaca, Cyprus
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 04-14-2001 04:31 AM      Profile for Demetris Thoupis   Email Demetris Thoupis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmm. Actually, sorry Christo but I strongly believe that the projector is Victoria 8 projector with Carbon Arc lamphouses. And as for Joe's question of one projector. YES. It is possible and it is done not only in Italy but in other countries too. Some cinemas still use one projector. As for the other question. They put half the film on one big reel ( I am not sure, I think 6000) and the other half on another and they have an intermission in the middle of the film. In my country, Cyprus, most cinemas still do it. Hope this answers your question.
Thank You
Demetris Thoupis

"FOR STRENGTH AND HONOUR"

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Antonio Marcheselli
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1260
From: Florence, Italy
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 04-14-2001 05:52 AM      Profile for Antonio Marcheselli   Author's Homepage   Email Antonio Marcheselli   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Humm...
I can't tell you much more because I've saw "Nuovo cinema paradiso" many many years ago when I wasn't a projectionist!
I have to watch it again!
About having only one projector, in Italy we usually make an intermission between two parts of the film. Actually every film (US also) come with an "INTERVALLO" leader printed at the end of part 3 or 4, depending of the lenght of the film.
If you don't need intermission, just splice part togheter (platter use) or have a changeover before the leader.
Pls note that in Italy platters are rare.
We use two projector with automatic fast rewind. Cinemeccanica, prevost and Kinoton makes them.
For example I have Cinemeccanica V5 "MI" (Marcia indietro) that, after changeover, starts rewinding the film at 31fps and stops automatically.
There is one theater in florence that has old Victoria 6 without rewind. They have to split a big film (2h+) in 4 parts:

Part 1 -> Proj 1
-Changeover-
Part 2 -> proj 2
[in the meantime the projectionist thread part 3 on proj 1]
-Intermission-
Part 3 -> Proj 1
-Changeover-
Part 4 -> Proj 2
:-)

I'm young (23) and I really don't know old tecnique. But I agree with demetris: to save money you could install only one projector and show the intermission that, for Italian films, was planned by film's director!

With US films I think that intermission is a bad tecnique. But sometimes, if a Bar is present in the theater, managers prefer to have a little stop to let the audience spend some money... :-)

AND, there are a lot of people "asking" for an intermission!!!!
I don't have a need to make any stop (We don't have a bar!!) and often when I inform people that there is no intermission they are not very happy...

Cinemeccanica-Prevost: I didn't know that they have the same "father" and I don't think so. If you put one Prevost's tech and one cinemeccanica''s tech into the same room, they will kill each other within few minutes...
I will investigate AND I will again "Nuovo cinema paradiso"!!

Bye
Antonio

P.S. Am I the only guy writing from Italy???

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Mitchell Cope
Master Film Handler

Posts: 256
From: Overland Park, KS, United States
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-14-2001 07:16 AM      Profile for Mitchell Cope   Email Mitchell Cope   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I read a report that Miramax was going to celebrate their anniversary (15th, 20th?) by having a re-release of their classic films, "Cinema Paradiso" being one of them. If I remember correctly, CP will have some new scenes in it. Can't wait!

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-14-2001 09:21 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I watched it a couple weeks ago and they had a close up of the characters threading, and Prevost is clearly visable. Never seen this film on the screen, only on the tube. Sure would like to.

------------------
Greg Mueller
Amateur Astronomer, Machinist, Filmnut


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John Walsh
Film God

Posts: 2490
From: Connecticut, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Registered: Oct 1999


 - posted 04-14-2001 09:32 AM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Can't remember the exact model of projector in Cinema Paradiso, but I know it was not a V8.

The V8 was designed in the middle-to-late 1950's. When does Cinema Paradiso take place?

(quote) " If you put one Prevost's tech and one cinemeccanica''s tech into the same room, they will kill each other within few minutes... "

Ha-ha! That was great!

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Jerry Chase
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1068
From: Margate, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-14-2001 10:40 AM      Profile for Jerry Chase   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just a reminder, the earliest films were generally one reelers (ten minutes) or two reelers (twenty minutes). To the older audience that grew up with this, the idea of intermissions in longer films would have seemed much more logical than it might to us.

I just got reminded that speeds were more like 16 frames per second on the early films, which would increase the time to 15 minutes or 30 minutes, the standard time for a featured act in vaudville and English music
halls.

By the time sound rolled in, speeds had inched their way up.


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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 11749
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 04-14-2001 03:08 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As to the projectors in CP...they were most certainly Prevost, not Cinemeccania though it is easy to get the two confused if you haven't seen them much.

The screen in the film certainly seemed to be nearly 1.37:1 and that would make sense on the pre-fire scenes and probably correct for post-fire as well.

As to the subtitles...I generally recommend hearing the dubbed version of subtitled films at least once. They normally do a better translation but the voices don't match. Then I can watch the film with subtitles and put the words right. When I used to run a bunch of french films (with subtitles), I once had a trainee that was fluent in English, French and German (among others)...he started laughing during a scene that I didn't find funny and I asked why...he pointed out that the subtitles were mis-placed so as to even change the meaning of the sentances. On subsequent viewings, I became more aware of such things. Das Boot has this problem on some of the subtitles as well. One of the nice things about the dubbed version of DasBoot is that the bulk of the actors (almost all of the main characters) did their own dubs so the voices matched the actors in timbre.

Back to CP...I believe many scenes with Toto's girlfriend were cut in the domestically released version....I believe that Mirimax is going to be releasing the Director's cut that might have them put back.

I agree that CP should be required viewing by any projectionist or movie theatre lover.

Steve

------------------
"Old projectionists never die, they just changeover!"

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Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-14-2001 06:29 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, Steve and Greg - it was a Prevost.

Joe, are corect. It is a marvelous film! I have that in my VHS collection. I wish it was on DVD.

Antonio - The Italians know how to make a good movie. Too bad we can't. The past 8 months or so proves that.


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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-14-2001 06:44 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, the Italians do a remarkably good job of dubbing films for different languages. This is apparently because most Italian films are (or, at least, historically have been) shot MOS (no sound recorded on set), with all dialogue dubbed in later. Thus, Italian film-makers have gotten very good at dubbing dialogue, and producing a foreign-language track is just an extension of the typical postproduction process.

The original-language versions of these films really do show how well these films have been dubbed for their original releases; a typical Fellini (for example) title might have a couple of scenes with noticeable sync problems, but otherwise looks completely convincing.

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Mitchell Cope
Master Film Handler

Posts: 256
From: Overland Park, KS, United States
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 04-14-2001 08:06 PM      Profile for Mitchell Cope   Email Mitchell Cope   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

"Cinema Paradiso" is on DVD! I have a copy.

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Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 04-14-2001 10:57 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the info, Mitchell. I'll have to track one down.

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Stefan Scholz
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 223
From: Schoenberg, Germany
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 04-15-2001 07:06 AM      Profile for Stefan Scholz   Author's Homepage   Email Stefan Scholz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As far as I remember, the first projector in "nuovo Cinema Paradiso" was a Victoria 4 type, early after war model. The new projector was definitively, and claerly visible a Prevest of Milano projector.
It was very common to run just 1 machine with 6000 ft (Nitrate!) reels. At the time beeing in the 30's to 50's normal films (non special engagement) tended to be around 9000 ft in length, so they had 1 intermission. Most theatres of the time, I have been to some years ago, when they were still running, used to have lighted display, indicating 1. half (primo tempo) or second half (secundo tempo) over the box office. Even though owning a Kinotone FP 30A and ST 200 platter, a friend of mine is still making an intermission at the movie's half. Not as bad as in other European contries, where they even tend to show commercial advertising, but still an intermission with concession sales.
In Italy it was a matter of rural areas not beeing very rich, so they had to work as economical as possible in those times.
In Germany, and many other European contries Nitrate film use was limited to 900 ft, later 2000 fett reels, so there was a neccessity to run 2 projector changeover, with 3 projectionists in the 30's (2 running machines, 1 rewinding). Also German "Reichsstandards" did not allow to make an intermission on films of any length, unless purposely foreseen by the director.

Therefore it has never been general practise in Germany to make intermissions. I do know some bottom of the barrel "projection rooms", which purposely make an intermission, as they just want to ripp off arthouse film buffs. They fight every possible investment, and use portable Cinemeccanica "Portacine" with 4500 ft reel capacity, halogen lamp projection.
Theese are not situated in the country or poor regions (like Italy), but in major, rich cities. In my eyes poor projection quality is fraud.

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