Over the weekend, I went to a late night showing of a documentary and the trailer for Ironman 2 (2010) was shown. And then something clicked. I finally understood. Anyone who goes to see Ironman 2 or any other film with some amounts of CGI wants a visual spectacle. They want something they can't get at home. They want their movie experience to be the equivalent of a roller coaster ride. They want to be on the edge of their seats, hearts pounding, eyes wide open; they want the thrill.
This isn't new. Ever since the advent of Television, movie studios have relied on technological advances to woo movie goers away from their living room and into the theater. CGI is one way. 3-D is another. Weird musicals with Gene Kelly yet another.
So what does this have to do with Ryan's Daughter (1970)? This David Lean epic isn't an outstanding film in terms of story. Sarah Miles stars as Rosy, local pub owner Ryan's daughter, who marries sheepish school teacher Robert Mitchum. She's Irish and has a wild extra-marital affair with a British soldier played by Christopher Jones. Miles and Mitchum are terrific in the film as are Trevor Howard and John Mills. They deliver first-rate performances. But the story is so-so and Christopher Jones is a big disappointment.
What makes this film truly amazing is it's incredible cinematography. It's pure eye-candy; a feast for the eyes. You are transported from your seat into a seaside town in Ireland circa late 1800s. The breathtaking cinematic quality of this film is lost on a TV and it begs to be watched on a big screen.
I created a Flickr slideshow of some of the best visuals from the film. I've also included my favorites below.