Friday, April 23, 2021

Blood Of The Vines - Long Live The Dome

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌  ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌  This week, we join Cinerama fans in calling for the preservation of the world-famous Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.  If you want to see the petition to Save the Dome, click here.  We also have ideas for something to drink with these movies.

The 1952 documentary, This Is Cinerama, was narrated by Lowell Thomas, whose voice you may remember from the old Movietone newsreels.  His authoritative tones were used to introduce America to a brand new technology for movies.  

This is Cinerama features three-camera thrills from roller coaster footage, Niagara Falls, a bullfight, a B-25 flyby and parts of an opera, all shot using the Cinerama technique and its 2.65:1 aspect ratio, which enables viewers to watch not only with their eyes, but with their ears as well.  Actually, the peripheral vision is involved, not the ears, but catching all the action may seem like watching a tennis match from up close.

For a movie - and a cinematic technical advancement - that turned it up to eleven, let's toast with a wine of the same ilk.  Santa Barbara County's Andrew Murray turned up his winemaking skills to eleven with his line of E11even Wines.  Pick one, they’re all winners on a scale of one to ten.

A decade later, in 1962, How the West Was Won splashed across movie screens in true Cinerama.  The epic Western spans 50 years in the 19th century, in segments named The Rivers, The Plains, The Civil War, The Railroad and The Outlaws.  What about The Intermission?  The movie needed to run nearly three hours in order to fit in the cast of more than two dozen big names.   Everybody has an agent, ya know.

How the West Was Won was a blockbuster of the day, reportedly earning three times its $15 million budget.  It holds the distinction of being, probably, one of the few films to be sued by a hospital for a share of the profits.  The film was Bing Crosby’s idea, with a donation to St. John's Hospital attached.  Oh, and Spencer Tracy did a dandy job with the narration.

In wine, the west was won by Zinfandel.  That's my humble opinion, as Zin is generally considered to be the national grape of California.  Try one from Lodi, which also happens to be ground zero for the Golden State's heritage grape wine production.

1958's Windjammer is another documentary, this one covering a voyage by a Norwegian, multi-masted sailing ship.  It was shot in the Cinemiracle process, actually Cinerama's only competition.  It's amazing to me that a process as complicated as Cinerama had any competition at all, but I guess that's what happens when people with too much money realize that someone else had a great idea first.  

The Shaw Family of Australia makes a Windjammer Shiraz, out of McLaren Vale, for just $26.  If you want to step up your tall ship game, go with another Shaw Shiraz, The Navigator, which will run a man a Benjamin.

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