Jeff Bridges and Cindy Morgan in Tron
  • Jeff Bridges and Cindy Morgan in Tron

For me, the most fascinating part of the 70-millimeter print of Tron that the Music Box screened this weekend was the distinct look of the actors’ faces and hands. As I learned later from the movie’s IMDB trivia page, the “computer world” sequences were shot on black-and-white 65-millimeter film, printed on high-contrast Kodalith sheet film, and then shone through with colored light before effects teams added the pioneering CGI effects frame by frame. Has any other movie employed this process? I can’t think of anything else shot in black-and-white 65-millimeter—in fact, I was surprised to learn that the stock ever existed, as 65-millimeter is all but synonymous with colorful spectacle (like West Side Story and Jacques Tati’s Playtime, both of which will screen in the Music Box’s 70-millimeter series this February). That’s too bad, as it looks extraordinary when projected; there’s a hyperreal definition to both human features and the shadows around them. The people look like monuments—just seeing them move is breathtaking.