Dr Iannone focused on a few directors (both in Hollywood and further abroad) who grasped the possibilities of the new format with a great degree of artistic creativity. He used, for example, certain clips illustrating a number of points that made you look at how the wide screen format of 2:35:1 (getting all technical here) could enhance and enlarge the visual experience.
Among the directors he highlighted included the likes of Frank Tashlin (the humorous opening credits to “The Girl Can’t Help It”) Richard Fleischer (whose work is celebrated at this years Festival) and Jean Luc Goddard. Fleischer in particular used the wide-screen format with great skill during his long career, even splitting the format into 16 segments during his 1968 serial killer thriller “The Boston Strangler”.
Nevertheless, a number of established and successful directors (such as Hitchcock, John Ford, Howard Hawks etc.) resisted utilising wide-screen if possible, or using it very sparingly, and only when the subject required it. But equally, many revelled in its unique possibilities in telling their particular stories for maximum visual effectiveness. One only has to think of the likes of Sam Fuller, Nicholas Ray, Anthony Mann and John Sturges, directors whose work used the format with immense stylistic expression.
For me, the one man whose later work used the wide screen to its fullest potential (someone that Dr Iannone concurred with me) was David Lean.
But that’s not to forget individuals such as Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah, Michael Mann and Brian DePalma, all who have given the wide screen many of its richest and most visually arresting images.