Go big or stay home with these movies

By Merle Exit

For a generation raised on movie watching through their smart phones and pads, Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image has an eye-opening experience in store for the rest of the month.

As part of the See It Big! series, the staff has lined up a smorgasbord of movies from nearly every genre and will screen them in 70mm.

While most directors tend to work with 35mm film, the few that shoot in 70mm realize the later offers a bigger, brighter image with more light hitting the screen, David Schwartz, the museum’s chief curator, said.

“The acoustics in this theater produces a high-quality sound,” Schwartz said. “And the screen size is 35-feet-wide by 20-feet-tall.”

See It Big! begins screenings Friday and continue through Aug. 30.

Up first, Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which will be shown Aug. 7 – 9.

Also on tap for this first weekend is Natalie Wood’s last film, “Brainstorm,” about a machine that records thoughts and dreams.

Choices during the second weekend of movies, Aug. 14-16, offer audiences the chance to step into a video game and a mad, mad farcical world.

“Tron,” from Disney Studios in 1982, while a commercial failure at the time, broke ground for its use of computer graphics and innovated use of 3-D CGI, as it follows the story of a computer programmer who winds up inside a mainframe.

“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World,” directed by Stanley Kramer in 1963, is a three-hour-plus epic comedic romp starring, among others, Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Sid Caesar, Mickey Rooney and Jonathan Winters.

Natalie Wood returns during the third weekend, Aug. 21 – 23, as Maria in the 1961 adaptation of the landmark Broadway musical “West Side Story.” This musical version of “Romeo and Juliet” moves the action to Manhattan’s Upper West Side and tells the story of rival street gangs the Jets and the Sharks.

The second bill for that weekend is David Lean’s 1962 epic “Lawrence of Arabia.”

This version of See It Big! wraps up Aug. 28-30 with a couple of more recent films.

Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” from 2014, stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, and explores a future when the Earth becomes uninhabitable. Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 film “The Master” stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix and tells the story of a wayward soul who falls under the spell of a spiritual guru.

“Although the digital version of ‘Interstellar’ and ‘The Master’ had been shown in movie theaters, both Nolan and Anderson said that they would have preferred to have the audience view them in 70mm,” Schwartz said.

If you Go

See It Big!

When: Aug. 7 – Aug. 30

Where: Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria

Cost: $12/adults, $9/seniors and students with valid ID, $6/children 3-12

Contact: (718) 784-0077

Website: www.movingimage.us

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