A Few Words About A few words about...™ Charade -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Stanley Donen's chic romantic thriller, Charade, is a film that not only beautifully stands the test of time, but in a certain way, bridges the gap between the classic era of American film, during which many of the greatest talents of the 1930s and '40s were still working in front of the camera, and that that followed.

     

    Criterion's new Blu-ray of the Universal production is a simple disc to review.

     

    Scanned from a 35mm interpositive derived from the original negative, the disc beautifully mimics the original 35mm prints that ran in theaters 47 years ago.

     

    This is a Blu-ray that from standpoints of image as well as audio, excels at what Blu-ray does best, and that is the ability to create a digital image on a small disc that re-created the look of the original in a home theater environment.

     

    Highly Recommended.

     

    RAH
     
  2. marsnkc

    marsnkc Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for your imprimatur, Robert. That and the link to comparison grabs posted by Brandon Conway in his post (#39) in the Criterion Press Release: Charade thread is very reassuring for one of my top ten favorites.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I would have to rate it as perfect.

     

    And there's a bit of jealousy toward anyone viewing this film for the first time.

     

    What a wonderful experience!

     

    RAH
     
  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Well, that does it. I had thought I'd at least wait a bit to get to this one, but no way is that happening now.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I've only seen the film on TCM, so you're sorely tempting me with this one.
     
  6. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Speaking of 47 years ago and one's first time, the theater where I had that very thrill of viewing Charade is the one in my avatar. Naturally, this factoid should be of interest to just about no one, but I'm especially interested in relating moviegoing experiences to specific places, even if I've learned that such memories can be way more erroneous than we'd like to think. I'm 99.9% sure of this one, and I raise a glass to the (no longer single screen but still active) Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale.
     
  7. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    I like Charade, which seems to me a bit like a "lost Hitchcock," even though he didn't direct it.

     

    The rest of this is a bit off topic...

     

    As RAH says in his review, an interpositive, or IP, can sometimes be used to make a good HD master for a blu-ray. Here is how wikipedia defines interpositive:

    "An interpositive, intermediate positive, IP or master positive is an orange-based motion picture film with a positive image made from the edited camera negative. The orange base provides special color characteristics that allow for more accurate color reproduction than if the IP had a clear base, as in print films.

    From a traditional photographic perspective, an interpositive is essentially a negative processed in a positive process. An original negative is exposed to film in-where the film is processed creating a like image, 'a negative', in a positive process, an interpositive.

    Photographers that create photographic art by 'contact printing'; i.e. Platinum, AZO, need to create interpositives to create large negatives. The final art work is the size of the contact negative produced. Interpositives are also the best means of archiving or copying old image libraries. Reversal B&W processing can also be achieved by various kits and published recipes.

    The interpositive is made after the answer print has been approved. All lights and opticals from the answer print are repeated when striking the interpositive, and once the IP exists, the original negative can be vaulted.

    The interpositive is printed with a "wet gate", contact print that has been done in "liquid", and historically has had only one purpose, namely, to be the element that is used to make the internegative.

    It is sometimes referred to as a Protection IP, which is a good term since the only time the IP is touched is on the occasion of making the first or a replacement internegative. Since interpositives are used so rarely, they are usually the film element that is in the best condition of all the film elements.

    Interpositives are usually element of choice for film-to-tape transfers for several reasons:

    1. They are usually in better physical condition than the other film elements. The original camera negative is often checkerboarded on several rolls, or may be chemically unstable if stored improperly.
    2. They are very low-contrast and therefore help to preserve shadow detail.
    3. Scratches or dirt on the IP appear as black defects on the transfer, which are generally less objectionable than white defects, which would be the case if the camera negative or internegative were used."




    That's a long winded build up for some questions I have:

    First, are IPs made for all major Hollywood productions, whether for TV or for motion pictures?

    Does an IP exist for a black and white film, or not?

    Are IPs sometimes made and then later just thrown out, whether accidentally or or purpose? Or are they likely to exist for most films and tv programs?

    Finally, is an IP much more common than a separation master?

    For those who don't know, and probably everyone here does, a separation master takes the three colors that combined can make up a color film, and separates them out into three black and white strips for preservation purposes, since b/w won't fade like Eastman color, etc. It's basically going back to the principle of the long dead Technicolor process. I know separation masters exist for a few films, but I get the idea that it was something special and troublesome to make them, and that they were only made--almost randomly--for a few films, but don't exist for most others. Is that correct?

    For instance, I think an almost perfect sep master exists for John Ford's The Searchers, and this was used as the basis for the blu-ray. I don't think that a similar thing does exists for Lawrence of Arabia, even though that film was a bigger hit and won more Academy Awards.

    Sorry this is so long, but I guess my interest comes down in part to this--how many films and TV shows would it be theoretically possible to make a knock out blu-ray using IPs or sep masters? That's leaving aside whether it's commercially viable, I realize. But I'm just wondering if it's even possible for most films and TV programs.

    The colors on the 1960s Star Trek seem perfectly preserved and vivid on the blu-rays. I assume those HD masters also came from IPs?

    Again, sorry this is so long...
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You presume many things, of which less than half are correct. Wiki doesn't have it totally correct.

     

    Anyone interested in the subject is best staying away from the web, and spending a year at GEH, UCLA or NYU.

     

    RAH
     
  9. Brianruns10

    Brianruns10 Second Unit

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    I'd be willing to pay just to look over your shoulder for an afternoon, RH! That'd be a heck of a learning experience!


    BR
     
  10. Torsten Kaiser

    Torsten Kaiser Film Restoration & Preservation
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    An internship at a good lab such as DeLuxe would already help, as well. All joking aside: for Wikipedia, the "open source" character of the website is also its greatest weakness. A lot of misinformation is in there; and it is hard for people with the desire to learn more to distinguish between true and "not so much". I agree, it is a source best to stay away from or at the very least to be varified by known knowleadgable sources.

     

    As for CHARADE - Robert, I saw a Technicolor Dye Transfer print recently projected on a large cinema screen , and of all places in Paris - at the Eclair Labs ;o)) I look very much forward to the BD; though Universal's PAL DVD issue was already way ahead of Criterions 2nd edition DVD...

     

    benbess,

    to go into all the things to unravel the literal web of your confusion that are wrong assumptions based on vague or even false information [from Wikipedia] would require a far longer post than you have written. Suffice it to say that IPs are not superior to OCNs/Picture Negatives, PNegs/OCNs are rarely "checkerboarded" and are just like IPs, Low Cons/Teleprints or Theatrical Prints divided onto several reels and they all can be flawed if handled incorrectly. An IP status does not mean it will generate a "WOW" Blu-ray image. As for ST:TOS - The STAR TREK TOS elements used in that instance were the picture negs, with the composite effects shots (that required several pos/neg coping stages) spliced in. Re: Seps and IPs - apples and oranges; both have different "objectives". Just a (very) few clarifications.
     
  11. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the clarifications. I fully realize I don't know much about all of this...
     
  12. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Keep this up and you will. :)
     
  13. ChristianLiemke

    ChristianLiemke Stunt Coordinator

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    Indeed it was. That's the reason why I kept my PAL DVD and the first Criterion edition and sold Criterion's second edition. Why keeping the old Criterion and not the anamorphic one? For bonus materials and because it was my very first disc from the New Yorker label.
     
  14. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    What bonus materials were those? Something that wasn't carried over to the anamorphic release? I'm a late-comer to the colorful history of Charade on DVD.
     
  15. ChristianLiemke

    ChristianLiemke Stunt Coordinator

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    The first and second editions contains the same bonus materials. I kept one of the Criterions because the PAL DVD was bare bones. The Criterion Blu-ray misses the "Films of Stanley Donen" filmography.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For those who can't get enough background on Mr. Donen, try Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and His Movies by Stephen Silverman.
     
  17. lscd

    lscd Extra

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    Does anybody know why Criterion's BD releases are region A even for movies that were released region free on DVD?

     

    (I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere before)

     

    --

    Link deleted by moderator; do not repost
     
  18. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    It has to do with rights, mostly. Criterion only has the rights to release these movies in America, so they lock it to make sure that only the people in region A can buy it. Of course, region locking can be cracked, but that's another topic. They've refrained from releasing region free DVDs a long time ago, so it wasn't surprising to see them region lock all of their Blu-rays.
     
  19. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Its a luxury some of us cannot afford or cannot do for other reasons, just a thought but Wikipedia could do with some experts updating that post, why not do this yourself or maybe Torsten can do it, that way we will have experts in the field making sure the information on the web is upto date and correct and i'd certainly appreciate it as i'm sure a few others will.


    Anyway back on to Charade, i didn't realise this film was out on blu ray, i'm ordering it straight after i type this post.
     
  20. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    A little late to this party, but I have to agree with Malcolm on this response. On the surface at least it seems a bit elitist, condescending and ultimately worthless as a reply to Ben's sincere inquiry. If you didn't have the time or inclination to post a more helpful response or indeed make any effort to correct the misinformation on the web, why not just plainly say so rather than suggest something that I'm sure for Ben and most of us who participate in this forum is not a feasible nor reasonable resolution.
     

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