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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Links: 'Bubble' commentary...Vongo review...Smell-O-Vision

Traveling in Los Angeles this week, interviewing cinematographers and studio execs mostly... so just a few links for now.

- `Bubble'

Josh Oakhurst has transcribed the DVD commentary from `Bubble' (released last week, shortly after the movie's theatrical debut). Filmmaker Mark Romanek interviews Steven Soderbergh (who directed `Bubble'). It begins:

    Steven: First I want to thank you all for buying this disk. It was available the first day the movie opened in theaters, which is something Mark and I will talk about.
    Mark: You’re assuming they bought it.
    Steven: I hope they bought it. Well, you mean, they might have pirated it?
    Mark: Well, there are all sorts of ways to get a hold of these things.

Here's a Washington Post review of the `Bubble' DVD.

I still haven't seen much info about whether/where `Bubble' is playing on Landmark's 4K projectors from Sony. Anyone know? This piece says it's playing in Manhattan on a Sony 4K projector. This piece from the Dallas Morning News indicates that the film is playing in some Landmark Theatres on Texas Instruments DLP projectors, and others on the Sony. But I didn't see the full list of six (I think) Sony projector locations anywhere.

- David Colker of the LA Times reviews the new all-you-can-eat video buffet from Starz Entertainment, called Vongo. He's underwhelmed with the 850-movie library Vongo. Colker writes:

    Primarily, there's a paucity of content. Movielink, which is owned by several Hollywood studios, offers 1,200 features. CinemaNow, which offers films from several small independent and foreign outlets as well as the majors, says it has about 2,500.

    The other big problem is picture quality. Vongo's technology isn't on par with that of CinemaNow and Movielink.

    Still, the buffet option is an attractive one. Over several days of testing Vongo, I found myself downloading and watching movies I'd normally not access if I had to pay for each film.

- Having just done some reading about Smell-O-Vision and its rival, AromaRama, I was tickled to see this piece in the LA Times recently, "The Lingering Reek of Smell-O-Vision". Martin Smith and Patrick Kiger write:

    Almost since the invention of the motion picture, filmmakers have sought to exploit senses in addition to sight. Some tricks, such as the THX system that provides high-quality sound in theaters, have been successful. Others, such as Sensurround—a violent motion-simulating technology featured in the 1974 film "Earthquake"—fell flat.

    The sense of smell has tempted filmmakers for a long time, with good reason. The olfactory neurons in the nasal cavity, which detect chemical components of aromas, and the brain's olfactory bulb—a clump of cells that identify nerve impulses as being triggered by jasmine, say, rather than rose petals—are capable of sensing and distinguishing about 10,000 scents. Research has shown that scents can stimulate physiological responses before people even realize what they're smelling.