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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

10 years of Flick Filosopher: bring back theatrical revivals

I lament the day theatrical revivals of old films went out of style. For what a joy it is to see on a big screen a movie you’ve only ever seen on a TV. From my review of Alien: The Director’s Cut:

And now you can see it the way it was meant to be seen: 50 damn feet tall with those transtellar engines — and the screaming and the jaws-within-jaws snapping and Jonesy the cat hissing and the primordial wind howling and that horrid screeching as Ash goes haywire — at decibels that’ll damage your ears. Geeks, rejoice. Cuz if you’re like me — possessed of reasonable parents who’d never have taken a 10-year-old to an R-rated horror flick — you have never seen this film on a big screen, all glorious flickering projected light and the munch of popcorn all around you and hundreds of people laughing nervously at what they know is coming and will still be frightened by anyway.

What a newsflash: Movies should be seen in a movie theater. Not on DVD, fine and wonderful as DVDs are (my collection is embarrassingly large), certainly not on video, god forbid not on broadcast television. I think we all know that, but it doesn’t really hit home until you see a film that you think you know by heart the way it was intended to be seen, and it suddenly feels fresh and new.

review of Alien: The Director’s Cut, posted 10.29.03

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  • Totally. Almost all of my all-time best theatrical experiences were revivals: VERTIGO, APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX, E.T.

  • Harley

    Revivals have definitely been some of my favorite movie-going experiences. I mean, I got to see “Alien” AND Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (with the original soundtrack) on the big screen. How cool is that? Some films just NEED to be experienced in the theater.

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