The year is 1896, the film is called “Arrivée d’un train à La Ciotat, L”, the plot “A train arrives at a station” duration: 15 minutes, format: black and white, sound: none, yet this is possibly the only film that evoked emotions in an audience to an extend that they jumped up off their seats and ran out of the picture house in sheer terror. No, this was not shown in IMAX SUPER EXTREME HIGH DEF 3D 3000, there is no CGI, and THX was nothing more than just three letters floating in the universe with no meaning, waiting for George Lucas to be born. What happened? Wide Shot of train heading towards the camera. What’s to make them think that the train being projected running towards them is not real? Nothing… this is cinema.

Its easy for us to rationalise and conclude that this would never happen to us, and in all probability it wont, but we cant deny watching Star Wars and not be scared shitless by Darth Vader. We know its just a film, just light projected on a screen, just an actor in a suite, all set in the past, way way back in the past, so you tell youself that there is no need to be afraid, yet you develop a distinct distaste towards this man, his dark jedi powers and his ventilator.

The year is 2009, welcome 72 feet wide by 52 feet tall screens, Welcome digital 6 channel cinema sound systems, welcome acronyms HD, CGI, Dolby, THX, IMAX. Welcome cinemas with people strolling out, trying to find their bearings, trying to subdue their nausea and friends flattening each others hair that’s standing on end. Some grasp the wall for support and tell their mates “holy ba jesus, that was unreal?”. It’s the cocaine of films, but it will always remain just that. A temporary high and the final low when you realise that the car ride back home will just be 30mph, sticking to the white lines and red lights.

We are after the proverbial carrot projected in front of us. Salivating at acronyms and numbers. So I say screw HD and lets just watch a movie. Don’t get caught up on blue ray, get caught up on the story. Start a DVD collection and don’t upgrade to blue ray. DVD is all we need, its cheap, its clear, you have non linear play black, it sounds good, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s not high definition but the right definition.

Watch a good movie on a 2” inch screen and you’ll forget the screen first and yourself second.  Lets stop living on the other side of the grassy field and enjoy the patch right here.

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