Madagascar 3 or Paranormal Activity 4?

Listening to Mark Kermode’s podcast, he related an interesting story about a cinema in Nottingham that inadvertently screened the first few minutes of Paranormal Activity 4 instead of Madagascar 3.

“They started playing the movie and I thought – this doesn’t look right,” said mother Natasha Lewis. “Everybody just scrambled for the exits, all you could hear were children crying and screaming. Everyone was very upset.”

Whilst there is some dark humour to be found in this scenario, I expect that some of the kids might have been pretty shaken up as the first few minutes apparently show the end of the first Paranormal Activity movie featuring a bloodied female corpse.

I can remember watching my Dads copy of Terminator and having nightmares thanks to the eye-gouging scene. My own fault as I watched it whilst off school sick one day.

Anyway, does this post have a point? Yes, actually – for you see there is a quiet revolution taking place in your local cinemas. The film projectionist is gradually being replaced by the Hard Drive. Odeon UK, for example is replacing its 35mm projectors with Digital ones throughout all of its 100 or so UK cinemas.

Perhaps it’s surprising that this hasn’t already happened? and the reason it’s happening now is that 3D titles require Digital Projection equipment. So does it really matter to anyone that Digital Projectors are taking over? Well, it did to Tarantino, who asked that Inglorious Basterds only be shown on 35mm film.

Is anyone in there?

Shooting with digital camera’s is faster and cheaper than film. The last season of ‘Enterprise’ was filmed with digital camera’s rather than film and I can’t tell the difference.

What I will miss is the scratches and flickers at the beginning of a movie. If the cinema in Nottingham had been using a film projector, perhaps the unfortunate incident with Paranormal Activity 4 would not have happened as the projectionist would have realised the mistake.


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