Martin Scorsese spearheads widescreen education campaign

Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese is joining TV manufacturer Philips Consumer Electronics on a campaign to promote widescreen movie images, which preserve films in their original proportions instead of formatting them for television. Scorsese, best known for his directorial work on such films as “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” has become a champion of film restoration and preservation. His dedication to preseveration of film integrity has included promoting education on widescreen versus fullscreen presentations to American audiences.

The director plans demonstrations for reporters by satellite hookup Tuesday, discussing the value of widescreen images and showing film clips in full widescreen and in narrow formatted versions. This, he hopes, will allow viewers to discover the differences between the formats and the information lost in many fullscreen transfers. “The idea really is to educate the public to the reality that they’re losing half the image,” said Scorsese.

The growing popularity of DVD and widescreen televisions has brought more awareness and acceptance of widescreen among the general public. Scorsese hopes to reach other viewers who do not have high end equipment by comparing transfers on a list of ten films compiled by the director to best signify the differences. The films include “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Ben-Hur,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and Akira Kurosawa’s “High and Low” among others.

Leave a comment