Disney took a break from the fairy tales and princesses when it created “Tron,” a film that is placed in a digital world where a video-game gladiator battles threats from artificial intelligence.
As an attempt to improve the presentation of this film, it was upgraded to 70mm. The Wexner Center for the Arts has sought to bring this version to Ohio State’s campus.
“Tron” will only be playing for two days, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., at the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater as part of the Center’s The Big Picture: A Summer of 3D, Technicolor, CinemaScope and 70mm event.
What makes the showing a big deal is that the film will be seen on 70mm film instead of the standard 35mm, Chris Stults, associate curator of the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Department, said. It’s a rare feat because the only theaters that show 70mm movies nowadays are older ones, because they have the type of projector that can display the rare film type.
Erik Pepple, media and public-relations manager for the Wexner Center, explained the difference between the two formats of 35mm and 70mm film.
“70mm film is a much higher resolution format than 35mm, meaning the image will have greater depth and color,” he said in an email. “A really good 70mm print will actually look better in terms of image clarity and sharpness and color than many digital restorations. We’ve shown 70mm films here in the past — such as ‘The Master,’ ‘2001,’ ‘Vertigo’ — which were absolutely breathtaking.”
Pepple also said it is rare to see a film projected in that format, so for film fans, these screenings are very special.
“The ‘Tron’ print looks excellent too, and we’re very excited to have it here this weekend and to see such a groundbreaking film in terms of computer animation and special effects — and a film that is entertaining too — like ‘Tron’ is going to be a blast,” he said.
Pepple said another reason for the 70mm film method not being used as much is because of the cost.
“70mm does cost more to shoot on than 35mm,” he said. “That’s why the 70mm film is only used for special occasions or events, instead of regularly.”
Stults said it was an easy decision for the Wexner Center to show the 70mm version of “Tron.”
“We love to show 70mm as much as possible,” he said. “Even with digital projection being so great these days, 70mm remains, I think, the best image-capturing technology we’ve ever had.”
Stults said this is still the best way to film and project a movie, but there were just so few films made in that format.
“So any time we get a chance to show something in 70mm, we love to take that opportunity because I think we might be the only theater in Ohio that can project 70mm, “ he said. “So, we were looking for things to do this summer and realizing that this 70mm of ‘Tron’ was out there; it was impossible to resist.”
Tickets are available at the Wexner Center and cost $6 for OSU students and $8 for the general public.