Radiant Watermarks?

Sunday Beth and I watched Radiant City at two Boots Pioneer Theatre in Manhattan. (Short review: great movie: go see it if you have the chance, or, more likely, wait for it to show up on PBS at 3:00 one morning).

The tech left something to be desired though. The projectionist missed the cut between reels once. That could happen anywhere, but one weirder thing I noticed was that every three or four minutes, a pattern of dots that looked a little like braille would flicker briefly onto the screen. E.g. something like this:

* *
* *
*

The exact pattern seemed to vary from occurrence to occurrence, though they flashed by so fast I couldn’t be sure. The pattern seemed to consist of three or maybe four rows of one to two dots each. (I worked as a projectionist one year back in college so I’m a little more sensitive to these things than most people are.)

Is this maybe a watermark being inserted into the film to track videotaping? I’m not sure how many people noticed it, but it certainly wasn’t inobvious. I wasn’t certain I’d seen it the first time it flashed by, but once I was attuned to it, it became obvious. It does seem strange that this would show up in a small independent semi-0documentary like Radiant City though.

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