Due to be released on the 22nd October 2013, the next two all but lost Cinerama Travelogues are being released by independent U.S. distributor, Flicker Alley. Flicker Alley were responsable for last year’s landmark releases, This Is Cinerama (1952) and Windjammer (1958). Both remastered, as are the two forthcoming releases, by the masters behind the Smilebox format, curve screen simulator, received excellent reviews last September when they were released, reviews which I would pretty concur with.
Considering the low-budget restoration they were first-rate, but the films on the other hand, are very much for the collector of the format. Basically, travel documentaries, the aim was to transport the audience who didn’t travel as we do now, to far away and exotic lands, in a way similar to IMAX today, with space and underwater films.
Interesting though they are, they are incredibly dated as they were current and I suspect that the interest is reserved for collectors which I count myself as.
The first is Cinerama Holiday (1955), the second film to made in the format following This Is Cinerama in 1952. The second title is the fifth Cinerama film, Cinerama South Seas Adventure (1958). This was not strictly a documentary, as much of it is fictional but still, the idea and the theme were that of a Travelogue. And, as an added bonus on the South Seas Blu-ray, is a rare and restored 3-panel promo for Renault, another hidden and rare gem from a limited collection of true Cinerama materials.
My enthusiasm for the subject of Cinerama and the Smilebox format are well-known to regular visitors to the blog, but for those interested in the subject, check out this page, which is a collection of my Cinerama @ 60 reviews and articles from last September.
Personally, I’m looking forward to this release though I doubt that I will be giving the films anywhere near top marks. I love the format, but the material and pro-1950’s Americana is just a little to much for this thirty-something Brit to swallow wholesale. I find it all very interesting though and an intriguing entry into film history. These have been, for almost 40 years, lost films and have never been released on home video.
Hats of to Flicker Alley and the restoration team who work so hard to preserve these and all films.