OOPs: Our Review of ‘Out of Print’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - July 07, 2016
OOPs: Our Review of ‘Out of Print’

Sometimes you just want a movie to be so good, that it just can’t help but fall apart on you.

Out of Print starts off well enough as a sweet love letter to the New Beverly Cinema repertory theatre as it eschews it’s love for old movies on the big screen but it devolves into a messy affair that tries to make a salient point about the death of film as a medium and the importance of exhibiting films on 35 mm that just ends up feeling kind of pointless.

Filled with directors, dorks and deviants who just don’t want to go away, the repertory cinema in all of its sticky glory can also be a beautiful thing.  Out of Print takes a look at the life and times of the New Beverly Cinema and its place in movie history as one of the last safe havens for cinematic dweebs to congregate and talk about movies.  The film champions the importance of not only revival cinema but the necessity to preserve actually 35mm prints as a sign of not only our creative legacy but its importance in the evolution of storytelling over the years.

Directed by one of the New Beverly Cinema’s own employees, Out of Print starts off well enough but really begins to lose its focus about 2/3rds of the way in as it shifts from being a tender love letter to this one location to awkwardly championing 35mm film and repertory cinemas across the globe.

Theatre New Bev

To director Julia Marchese’s credit, the start of the film does hum along quite well as we get some back story on the location and how this family business ultimately evolved over the years as a home for the film fanatic.  We meet interesting subjects and get celebrity testimonials from actors and directors who not only call this theatre one of their favorite places to go but have also gotten to program some pretty rare and amazing stuff over the years.  In many ways it speaks to the core desires of the cinema enthusiast and succeeds in making even the most hard hearted of us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Sadly it’s in the last 1/3rd of the movie that it shifts into championing the 35 mm and it’s preservation along with the difficult financial constraints that studios have been putting on some of these repertory houses by not making 35mm prints available and forcing the conversion to digital projection.  While I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the arguments that she is trying to make, the film makes such a hair pin turn into this subject that it feels incredibly forced and we never buy into it like we should.

On one end, Out of Print reminds us of how truly magical the shared experience of watching a movie in a darkened theatre, but when it shifts into a plea to preserve the medium of film, you can’t help but feel like someone just turned the lights up and is giving you a lecture on a topic before the movie is even finished.  It was a lovely idea that fell apart in execution.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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