OK, ok. I caught some flak from Head of Press and Publicity for AFI, John Wildman, for my last post. I just wanted to clarify a few points regarding my comments about AFI Dallas’ screenings.
First off, I in no way wanted to sound ungrateful to the fest organizers. I was an invited guest at this year’s fest and I really appreciated being able to be a small part of it. It was pointed out to me by some of the organizers about the difficulties inherent in screening classic film. If anyone knows about this, it’s me. Booking prints and showing them in theaters in this town is a dicey proposition at best. The studios don’t want their precious films being projected from a platter projection system — the most common, and in Dallas, the ONLY way films get shown in theaters. This puts programmers in this city at a disadvantage in regards to obtaining vintage prints. It was incredible to be able to see a 35mm print of DOUBLE INDEMNITY and I would gladly see it again…wrong aspect ratio or not.
Regarding the video screening of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, I want to say that I was indeed a little disappointed to see an advertised 35mm print being replaced by DVD, but in the end, what’s really important was the fact that so many folks were interested in seeing a classic film projected on a big screen. I was wrong to imply any deliberate deception on the part of AFI Dallas’ programming, advertising or projection. Problems occur and sometimes you have to roll with them.
I think that it’s really incredible that AFI Dallas exists and even more incredible to see all the volunteers and staff organized to provide a memorable experience for all concerned. It’ll be interesting to watch how this unique entity grows over the coming years.