Friday, March 16, 2012


Abel Gance’s epic NAPOLEON will be screened March 24, 25, 31, April 1 the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA. Athough a 4 hour version of the film toured the U.S. in the early 1980's, this new 5 1/2 hour version represents a complete restoration by Kevin Brownlow. The film will also feature the North American premiere of a new film score by Carl Davis who will also conduct the Oakland East Bay Symphony for the four screenings.

In NAPOLEON, Gance introduced a special wide-screen shooting and display process called Polyvision which involves the simultaneous projection of three reels of silent film arrayed in a horizontal row, making for a total aspect ratio of 4:1 (1.33×3:1). 

It has to be seen on a big to be appreciated. I was lucky enough to see NAPOLEON which it was screened in Chicago in 1981.

Seeing "Napoleon" - 1981 
I don't know who these people are. I plucked the image from Flickr.

As you can see from the photo, the score for the 1980's version was composed and conducted by Carmine Coppola, father of film director Francis Ford Coppola.

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