Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blood, sweat, but no tears: The One Year Anniversary of the Trylon Microcinema

This month the Trylon microcinema celebrates one year of successfully bringing a shit load of repertory cinema to the Twin Cities, 50 seats at a time. Last July the Trylon christened itself with a month of sold-out Buster Keaton films, replete with live musical accompaniment. This year we are bringing back the 'great stone face' to celebrate with three screenings of his go-for-broke masterpiece The General: two at the Trylon Wednesday at 7:00 and 9:00pm and one at the Heights Thursday at 7:30pm. All three screening will be accompanied by Dreamland Faces. (If you are planning to go to one of the screenings at the Trylon, plan ahead. Tickets are selling fast! Overflow: head to the Heights on Thursday.)

Despite the common theory that people don't go to movie theaters anymore, that rep cinema doesn't matter and that film is dead, the Trylon is proof positive that people still enjoy the communal experience of watching a movie with total strangers from 35mm. To paraphrase an adage used by Barry Kryshka, fearless leader and founder of the Trylon and Take Up Productions: you can drink at home but people are still going to go to bars. If movie theaters were bars, I would have a problem. A film, be it Jean-Luc Godard's Band of Outsiders or Steven Spielberg's Jaws, is always going to be more fun and more engaging to me in a theatrical setting. And it seems I'm not alone. How else do you explain four packed shows of Ghostbusters? Although the Trylon only operates Friday through Sunday for now, there has been much to relish over the past year: from Cronenberg to Capra, Hitchcock to Harryhausen, Johnny Depp to Bill Murray, Buster Keaton to Steven Spielberg and Powell/Pressburger to Godard.

Built from the ground up in an unassuming space in an even more unassuming building in South Minneapolis, the Trylon is outfitted with 50 rocker seats and a 20-foot screen. Although that may sound modest by most standards, the Trylon is also rigged with two Century Model SA 35mm projectors, one of the best digital set-ups in the city and a Sensurround sound system. Seeing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from 35mm (2.85 widescreen!) at the Trylon was a revelation: intimate and overpowering. Likewise was the amazing picture of It Came Beneath the Sea from Blu-ray, or the decibel induced hum of those spaceships in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or the colors from the pristine print of The Red Shoes, fresh from the Film Forum.

I am, however, not an unbiased fan. I met Barry at the Oak Street and subsequently got to know him while he was running films at the Parkway. Barry's idea of opening a theater emerged slowly and magically before my eyes. The Trylon is an organization that is powered by an enthusiastic volunteer staff and I happen to be one of them. Sometimes I'm a advisory board member, sometimes projection booth monkey, sometimes fancy soda supplier, sometimes film dork hang-about and sometimes the person who tries to keep up with Terry Blue's movie consumption simply for the sake of conversation. Regardless of what I'm doing there, I'm honored to be a part of the Trylon and am always inspired in my fellow volunteers and our resilient audience. Congratulations Trylon! Let's do it for another year!

The man and his machines.

The Trylon media buzz has died down, but here are links to some of the various articles and accolades showered on our little microcinema:

1 comment:

Daniel Getahun said...


I've missed the last couple of months of programming but I really hope to jump back in this fall for year 2. I was all over the tickets for The General - couldn't miss that classic in this format. Had tickets to the 7:00 PM first show last July, and tickets to the 7:00 PM anniversary show tonight!

Thanks and congrats to you, Barry, and the crew for making this not only happen but happen rather successfully.