Roger Ebert: “The Dying of the Light”


3 of 5 stars
What’s this?

From a few weeks ago, a powerful essay about how theater film projection has become a neglected craft.

“Do you remember what a movie should look like? Do you notice when one doesn’t look right? Do you feel the vague sense that something is missing?.”

The culprit is the recent mania for 3D projection, which generally produces a visibly darker picture than traditional 2D projection. Worse, Ebert charges that many theater owners are leaving 3D lenses on even when projecting 2D films; though they serve no function in those instances, those 3D lenses are nevertheless absorbing fifty percent of the projected light.

This reminds me a bit of the quality of voice telephone calls. With the proliferation of mobile phones and VOIP it’s hard to remember now that voice calls carried over land lines used to much, much clearer.

Read Ebert’s full article here.

  1. Odd you mention VoIP. While some VoIP is crummy, when I get a good Skype-to-Skype call, it’s like talking to someone in a radio studio.

  2. I’ve long been annoyed that they don’t grade 3D films brighter too (meaning the final polish of light and color). Between the tint of the lenses and the glasses, you lose at least a full f stop of brightness. Seemingly more.

    For all the attention paid to the execution of effects and visual aesthetics, how do they overlook this simple, last intervention with the audience?

    I also think the issue with theaters, poorly run, expensive, etc., is much like that with chain restaurants: the priority is on the margin for the holding companies at the expense of the operations and audience. Good food should be a little more expensive because it was make with great ingredients, care and precision, not because the supplier extorted more money out of the owner or saw a sucker in the customer. The same is true for theaters.

  3. I’ve always wondered why in sci-fi films they have developed so much technology yet haven’t found a way cut out the crackle over the phone.

  4. I just love the theater a usually go to. They always swap lenses right when it is necesarry: after the 2D ads, when the 3d commercials begin. To shorten the time they sell icecream. Yumm!

Thank you! Your remarks have been sent to Khoi.