One of the unexpected side benefits of the digital cinema revolution has been the surge in classic 3-D films now made available through the new technology, many looking better than ever. This program of rare short films suggests the international reach of the 3-D phenomenon of the late 1940s and early 1950s as well as the range of material created for the new medium. The program begins with Now Is the Time (To Put on Your 3-D Glasses), from 1951, a brief reminder from the National Film Board of Canada and its star animator, Norman McLaren, that the audience must do its part, too, in creating the spectacle. It will be followed by three more animated shorts by McLaren: O Canada, Around Is Around, and Twirligig. The latter has an interesting history: Gretta Ekman, whose drawings on film were turned into 3-D by McLaren, was a victim of an anti-Communist purge at the NFB in 1952 and her name was removed from the credits; her credit has now been restored. From Gosfilmofond, the Russian state film archive, come two rarely seen Soviet-era 3-D shorts, the 1948 educational film Kristally (Crystals), directed by Jakov Kaplunov, and the 1952 travelogue V Allejah parka (In The Alleys of the Park), directed by Andrei G. Boltianski. Concluding the show are three rarities from the 3-D Film Archive, presented by its founder, Robert Furmanek: M.L. Gunzburg Presents Natural Vision Three-Dimension, in which the puppets Beany and Cecil explain how the process works; the trailer for William Cameron Menzies’s 3-D horror film The Maze; and a new restoration of the widescreen Technicolor cartoon Boo Moon, directed by Izzy Sparber and Seymour Kneitel for Famous Studios and starring Casper the Friendly Ghost. Program 75 min.
Now Is The Time. 1951. Canada. Directed by Norman McLaren. 3 min.
O Canada. 1952. Canada. Directed by McLaren. 2 min.
Around Is Around. 1951. Canada. Directed by McLaren. 8 min.
Twirligig. 1952. Canada. Directed by McLaren. 4 min.
Kristally (Crystals). 1948. USSR. Directed by Jakov Kaplunov. 20 min.
V Allejah parka (In The Alleys of the Park). 1952. USSR. Directed by Andrei G. Boltianski. 7 min.
M.L. Gunzburg Presents Natural Vision Three-Dimension. 1952. USA. 5 min.
The Maze (trailer). 1953. USA. Directed by William Cameron Menzies. 3 min.
Boo Moon. 1953. USA. Directed by Izzy Sparber, Seymour Kneitel. 7 min.
Courtesy the National Film Board of Canada; Gosfilmofund, Moscow; and the 3-D Film Archive