Where did the idea of converting The Last Emperor come from?
The 3D Summit runs 12-13 March 2014 at BFI Southbank, London. Highlights include extracts from Norman McLaren’s and other historic 3D films, UK premieres of the 3D Russian hit Stalingrad and Wim Wenders’ Cathedrals of Culture, Q&As, panel talks, pre-recorded talks with James Cameron and David Attenborough and a showcase on the processes behind Gravity with its stereo supervisor Chris Parks.
Jeremy Thomas: The London-based company Repremiere approached us, saying they wanted to be involved in remastering the film, and were we interested as they wanted to do an important film with strong visual qualities. The Last Emperor fitted the bill as, unusually, it’s an independent film where those rights were available.
They were both excited by the idea, and embraced it. Bernardo took a painstaking interest in the remastering.
Do you see opportunities for other 3D post-conversions of historic films?
It was a great adventure to revisit this visually stunning film, with its superb production design from Ferdinando Scarfiotti and costumes by James Acheson. I feel the film’s richness has been highlighted in a magical way.
But above all, the 3D process has reaffirmed Bernardo’s epic vision. This conversion could reach new audiences and find new markets for a cinema classic. It’s important for us to keep films alive, so I’m hoping that this won’t be an isolated experiment.