When you go to watch a film at the IMAX, generally you're off to see a giant sci-fi saga or a fantasy extravaganza. But for this year's American Express Archive Gala at the BFI London Film Festival, things are taking one epic step back in time with ‘The Great Victorian Moving Picture Show’.
Presenting some of Britain's earliest films in 68mm (that's 4x the size of your bog standard 35mm film) on the UK's largest screen, the BFI IMAX, the Archive Gala will showcase how the first filmmakers utilised the developing new media of moving images while also exploring the ever-growing world around them.
Transporting viewers back to the Victorian-era, this one-off event will feature various films, which run for a minute or so, many of which were screened originally in London's multitude of West End theatres. Filmmakers include William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, who held a residency at the Palace Theatre and who worked with Thomas Edison. Dickson specialised specifically in large-format films, a novel technique he utilised to outperform his rivals.
The films, which date from between 1897-1901, have been restored from the 68mm original nitrate prints by the BFI Conservation Centre and will be presented digitally in their large format for the first time in 120 years. Basically, it'll be like you're living inside an H.G. Wells novel. The screenings will be accompanied by music from the composer and pianist John Sweeney and his Biograph Band.
‘The Great Victorian Moving Picture Show’ Archive Gala joins the opening and closing screenings of Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’ and Jon S. Baird's ‘Stan & Ollie’, as well as the recently announced American Express gala screening will be Yorgos Lanthimos’s eagerly awaited period drama ‘The Favourite’. The full Festival programme will be announced on Thursday 30 August 2018.
The one-off ‘The Great Victorian Moving Picture Show’ will take place On 18 October. The 62nd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs Oct 10-21.
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