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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 22, 2013.
Not fair to lump Cundey in with the other two.
It's certain that the 1999 DVD, (color timed by an award winner, no less) was 100% the intended look at the time, unlike the variations that came later.
The production diaries clearly spell it out that the movie works better with the autumnal leaves in the daylight scenes.
I figure that this choice made then, not having been reproduced by Cundey on the Blu-ray now, must be either he forgot about this, or they didn't have the time to adjust these scenes. Maybe he only made sure to correct back the very important Blue shades and forgot the rest.
All in all, it may be accurate to original VHS transfers or past transfers, but it's not accurate to the storytelling.
No wanting to derail the thread, but The Godfather restorations did made color choices that made the movies different (for example, the original scene where Pacino kills the guy in the restaurant was originally all bathed in blue), yet no one or nearly no one complained, because the changes made worked for the storytelling. This I believe comes with the territory of remastering. It's not revisionism, it's adjusting to the current medium so that the film experience is best.
For Halloween, I say the clearly spring shots in the daylight scenes, are distracting to the storytelling. I would have done them as Adam Adams did, because unless you compare, it's a subtle adjustment that is invisible, and it works for the visual coherence, and elegance of the film.
Maybe for you it is, but many others don't agree with that assertion.
For those arguing back and forth, I wonder if all of you have even watched this latest BD?
I'm sure Mr. Harris could speak to this, but that Godfather shot on the left looks like a very faded, deteriorated shot in no way representative of how the movie originally looked.
I haven't watched the entire disc, but I have popped it into my Mac and watched a few scenes here and there (including the tree-lined street scene with Meyers by the hedge). To this photographer's eyes, the 35th Anniversary Blu-ray is absolutely gorgeous! I found the overly bright colors of the first Blu-ray were not in keeping with the mood of the movie. The new Blu-ray fixes that.
I'd have already watched the entire movie but we are planning a horror movie night in the Booth Bijou Garage Theater in October. Halloween will be the main presentation (along with 'The Thing') and I'd rather save watching the entire movie for that evening.
OK, I'll take your word for it. I don't have the DVD. I was just responding to haineshisway's post where he said, "When you wash an entire transfer so that the leaves look golden and there is less green to the greenery, then every other color in the scene is not what it should be and that's the case with that DVD - skin tones are off as are other colors - that's pretty clearly obvious." Unless I'm misinterpreting his intent, he seems to be saying that everything in the DVD transfer was washed in the new colors.
Friedkin's "pastel" processing of the first French Connection Blu-ray left much of the movie with a disturbing purple tinge. That may be the fault of the color bleeding (too much blue and red, and not enough green). Regardless, the end result is that much of the movie looks like it's been tinted purple.
When the remastered Blu-ray came out, Friedkin claimed that the original disc was never what he wanted. It was all some random studio technician's fault. He was lied to and shown a master that looked good, but what wound up on the disc had additional processing and was turned ugly.
The problem with this story is that, if you watch the Color Timing featurette on the original Blu-ray, you can see footage of Friedkin sitting in the studio mastering suite, looking at the ugly contrast-boosted, color-bled, purple-tinged transfer on the video monitor in front of him, boasting about how great it looks and how it's exactly what he wants.
Also, the new Blu-ray transfer looks almost identical to the unprocessed "before" clips in that same featurette. The new Blu-ray does not represent Friedkin's stated desire for "pastel" colors. In fact, colors on the new Blu-ray are often oversaturated, which is precisely what Friedkin said he didn't want the first time.
I have nothing against William Friedkin as a person, but in this instance, he is clearly changing his story as he goes and trying to pass the buck on problems that he himself caused.
My point being that sometimes we need to take filmmakers' claims about something new being "exactly what I always wanted all along" with a grain of salt.
Where did Friedkin say this? I distinctly remember the featurette from the original disc, and I remember the release of the remastered version, but this is the first I've heard of Friedkin commenting on the remastered vesion.
As to Godfather, if I recall, Mr. Harris has spoken about how shots from that scene were mis processed by the lab initially which is why they had that look, the current restoration was able to fix the shots to what was intended all along.
^ I should also point out that the Color Timing featurette that shows Friedkin bragging about the first goofy-looking transfer was conveniently omitted from the re-release disc.
More evidence that the 1999 THX DVD is completely revisionist! In a post in another forum, a person that owns the Criterion CAV Laserdisc has posted this:
Two messages later, a different person posted this link to a screen shot from Criterion's site for the Laserdisc version:
With regard to the trees, quite obviously, the Criterion Laserdisc's color timing for that scene is far more similar to the 35th Anniversary Blu-ray and decidedly NOT similar to the color timing used on the 1999 THX DVD. The other areas of that scene have a deeper contrast than the 35th Anniversary Blu-ray, making thinks a bit more vibrant. Overly vibrant and contrasty, in my humble opinion.
The 1999 THX DVD is a revisionist release and it is NOT how the movie originally looked in theaters. PERIOD!
Is that the full image from the LD? If so, it's revisionist! It's not 2.35:1. : P
I did a little searching and figured out he got the image from this article at Criterion's site:
Not sure why Criterion cropped it for the article (good catch, BTW) but, based on descriptions by others, that is indeed how the Criterion Laserdisc looks (color timing wise).
Regarding The Godfather, RAH can speak very well for himself on this, but on the Blu-ray, there's a featurette called "Emulsional Rescue" where he lays out what happened with the Sicilian Restaurant killing. I believe one of the two nights of shooting had its footage mis-processed, something that caused a major headache and resulted in the sequence not looking the way Gordon Willis had intended at the moment they had rolled the cameras. Willis made it work for the theatrical release, which is all anyone knew of the issue until RAH's restoration work. When RAH got into it, he saw the mess and was able to correct the problem to finally get that sequence the way Willis had wanted it to look for the original release. Willis and Coppola approved the fix, particularly since this is what they would have done in 1972 had they been given that ability. And to be careful with the terminology, this wasn't a change in Willis or Coppola's intentions. This was a technical problem that they were happy to see fixed. For myself, I see it as akin to the stabilizing of a single shot in Out of Africa for the Uni 100th Blu. Although in that case, the director was not alive to see and approve the correction. A purist would say that they shouldn't have stabilized the shot. I look at it that it was clearly a mistake that was left in and not an abomination to correct.
Regarding the intentions of DPs, we must keep in mind that they can change over time. We had a debate on this forum about the Blu-ray of Do The Right Thing four years ago, because the heavily warm filter had been removed for the Blu. People speculated that Ernest Dickerson and Spike Lee must not have been shown the new transfer and that someone at Universal had fiddled with the knobs and blown the transfer. After more theories than I can count were played out here, I wound up on a stage with Dickerson and directly asked him about the transfer. As it turned out, Dickerson had supervised the transfer, just as he had with the Criterion Edition years earlier. He told me that if there was a difference in the way the movie looked, it was due to the way he was seeing it today versus when he originally shot it and when he supervised the Criterion release. He said he felt the movie still looked plenty hot but acknowledged that it didn't look nuclear hot.
Based on this encounter, I think it's possible that Dean Cundey may have had different feelings about the look of Halloween over time. It's entirely possible that he was happy with the 1999 DVD as an attempt to get the movie to look closer to an October Haddonfield color scheme. And it's also possible that he was happy to be allowed to do more work with it for the new Blu-ray. The only way to know for certain would be for someone to contact him directly and ask him the question, as I did with Ernest Dickerson. All else is speculation. Mark's excerpt would seem to indicate that Cundey views the new Blu as the most accurate reflection of his intentions. But I don't see any question to Cundey there specifically asking about the 1999 DVD that he supposedly approved. I'd want to see what his response would be when directly addressing the other time his name was included as an endorsement.
Let me just say that I have no clue how "Halloween" is supposed to look, but I love the fact that there are a lot of people out there who DO care...As a movie lover, I thank you
If I were Dean Cundey, at this point I'd wish I'd have filmed Halloween in black & white.
Not I. I haven't seen the thing but I did call it the best looking of the screenshots posted. This discussion also made me turn away from the 1999 release as being how the film should look so something positive has come from it. Now the discussion is about which one is correct and the various bits and pieces that have been said in the last 14 years supporting various sides of the debate.
My friend does own it and I'm sure he'd let me watch it after the Reds game Friday.
I've got a source who says Anchor Bay and Cundey are planning this for the 45th Anniversary release.
If Cundey says that the 35AV is his "original look" of the film it should be enough for the fans.Then again we have DOPs like Storaro who suddenly said that 2.20:1 is the "corret aspect ratio" (or something) of Apocalypse Now some years ago. Even artists can change their minds or even forget their "original vision" over the years.
Also, you can't compare normal humans to William Friedkin.