I've got my ticket, how about you?
It was announced yesterday - after much back-and-forth one can only imagine - that Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master will get it's Australian 70mm premiere right up the road from my house, at the local Astor Theatre in St Kilda. Of course, we already knew that the famed picture house, which was recently saved from potential vanishing due to a landlord dispute, was hosting a week-long engagement for the film, the only cinema in the state (and perhaps even the entire country) to screen it in Paul Thomas Anderson's preferred format of 70mm film print. What we didn't know, however, was that behind the scenes this event was brewing. An event that will see the American writer/director introduce the film as well as partake in a lengthy Q&A afterwards (to be conducted by Martyn Pedler, a particularly excellent fellow Melbourne film critic).
The film will premiere at the Cockatoo Island festival up in the northern state, but on a decidedly less thrilling digital format. Granted, 2K is still fabulous, but for the first feature film made in the 70mm format for a good 20 or so years, it's nice to know I'll be catching it in that way. I'm not even frustrated Australia is getting the film nearly two months after the USA (a very frequent bug bear of mine) since viewing The Master in 70mm at The Astor Theatre with Paul Thomas Anderson in attendance is pretty much the most perfect way anybody could have ever endeavored for the film to be experienced. The Astor, with its best projection in the city, is the perfect fit for The Master's 70mm presentation and I'll be keen to hear what he thinks. They even sound alike!
International/interstate readers? Proceed with bug-eyed jealousy... now!