A LITTLE LOOK AT ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA - THE RESTORATION ON BLU-RAY

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by haineshisway, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. alter filmnarr

    alter filmnarr Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for Your explanation, Mr. Harris! Hopefully WARNER is listening.... But would You go so far to say, that the DVD is to prefer (projected)? Or is that a matter of preferences (sharpness vs. colours)? And does not "Rio Bravo" have similar problems? To be honest - You are right: I had never the opportunity to see a correct version, so maybe I will be happy for the time being. Sometimes it's better not to know too much - "innocence" is a bliss :laugh:
     
  2. RobHam

    RobHam Stunt Coordinator

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    'Scuse. I got told off for deviating onto other movies in this thread, albeit other Leone movies. Now we are on John Ford. Anyone know if the about-to-be released How Green was my Valley will be region free?
     
  3. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    I don't seem to have any Fox Blu Rays that are region-coded but I am finding a lot of Olive titles now and Image. Not all Olive have it on the back of the slick, either.
     
  4. alter filmnarr

    alter filmnarr Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, that was obviously my fault - shame on me... :crazy:
     
  5. chris1234

    chris1234 Auditioning

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    Just to clarify the sources of the quotes on the previous page: From an interview between Sergio Leone and Jean A Gili originally published in Positif Magazine No. 280 dated June 1984. Repeated in Jean A Gili's book Italian Filmmakers published in 1998. Sergio Leone: Delli Colli is very good; he created fabulous photography for Once Upon a Time in America, he managed to capture the atmosphere of three different periods. Thanks to RN, Delli Colli could play with the different eras, the twenties with the children; 1933 with pastel colors; finally our own times with sequences set in 1968. RN is a well-known Technicolor process that's a little more expensive but can help you obtain much deeper blacks and much more luminous whites. This process was an Italian Technicolor invention. That was why Warren Beatty's Reds was printed in Italy, two or three thousand copies whose printing was done in Rome instead of Hollywood. From Oreste de Fornari's book Sergio Leone: The Great Italian Dream Of Legendary America, which was originally published in Italian as Tutti i film di Sergio Leone. Tonino Delli Colli: Sergio and I understood each other very well; there was no need for a lot of instructions. We shared a point of departure, an aesthetic principle: in a Western you cannot use a lot of color. We kept to subdued shades: black, brown, off-white, since the buildings were wooden and the colors of the landscape rather vivid. In Once Upon a Time in the West we gave a sandy color to the whole copy. We like colors like these; we have the same tastes. In Once Upon a Time in America we differentiated between three periods. For 1923, a sepia print that recalls the photos of that period. For 1930 we tried to keep the image as neutral as possible, a kind of metallic black-and-white, cold approach to the gangster films of that epoch. For 1968 no special effect. We used a little Rn, a special bath patented by Technicolor Italiana, which made the blacks more velvety, added brilliance to everything and reinforced the contrasts. At first Sergio thought of shooting in Cinemascope but after the first tests he changed his mind. Unfortunately the theaters are not adequately equipped for Scope. The lenses of the projectors make everything fuzzy and you need to create more contrast, use more incisive lighting, sharper photography, to get higher relief. In America we saw Once Upon a Time in the West on television: decompressed, reprinted, a real mess. So in the end we preferred to turn the television set onto black and white. No I really am not nostalgic for Cinemascope. - - - People who have seen the restored version (minus the new scenes) at MoMA and the Film Forum in New York have not been particularly impressed and some of the people who have seen the restored version in theaters in Italy say that it too had a greenish/yellowish tint, milky blacks etc. Whilst they thought it did not look out of place, if true, the 4K restoration can hardly be described as excellent. The restored version is 250 mins long whereas Sergio Leone's version was 270 mins and the restoration has been influenced by people's memories, preferences, imagination and fantasies of what they think the movie should look like - it is far removed from being a fair or true representation of any version of the movie made by Sergio Leone.
     
  6. alter filmnarr

    alter filmnarr Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the Information! That fits to my memories of the movie, when I showed it at a first run theater... Really a pity, but something went terribly wrong... :(
     
  7. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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  8. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Read the thread - it has everything you need to know - if I were you I would avoid the Italian Blu like the plague.
     
  9. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    So the U.S. version is the one to get? Thanks - makes it easier and cheaper that way. :)
     
  10. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    The US disc is not without its own set of problems but it is much preferable to the Italian mess. It has correct color and much better contrast.
     
  11. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    I have no idea about the original colour on this film - I'll bow to Bruce's greater experience on this one.

    I went to the cap-a-holics link, I often look for caps with text/newspapers. It's very easy to compare detail, and spot any excessive EE.

    Having compared Cap 13 (Miami Herald) I zoomed on the portion which has 'TROOPS SENT TO PRECINCTS' in the bottom-left corner.

    You can read the Italian version fairly easily, but much of it is illegible on the US version.

    I understand the restored version was pulled from the festival circuit after a very short time for further work to be done - let's hope they get it right. I'd certainly like both versions/seamless branching maybe over 2 discs.

    Steve W
     
  12. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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  13. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    Agreed, Foxy.

    Steve W
     
  14. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    It has the English track because it's spoken in English by American actors. It's not like a spaghetti western where only one or two Americans are in the film and the rest is dubbed. This is synch sound American all the way - any other soundtrack options are silly unless you like dubbed films.

    And I'm here to tell you having watched both transfers side by side, the better detail is minimal and really only occurs in the film's second half - it's that simple. The first half's detail on the US is just as good as the Italian with the added benefit of correct color and better contrast. There is no point to extra detail no matter how large (and it isn't large in this case) if the color and contrast are so far off that it makes a travesty of Mr. Leone's film.
     
  15. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Agreed, Bruce.
     
  16. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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  17. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    There's also more information on all 4 sides of the image, but what needs to happen is either a color correct and good encode from that scan or a new scan and proper work done. While the WB disc is the best for now it can most surely be bettered easily.
     
  18. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    A new scan by people who know what they are doing, properly color timed, would be great. That's all any fan of this film should want.
     
  19. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    'appen.

    My point about the detail is that it's clearly still there - still available - or it wouldn't exist on the Italian release. Any future release should address this issue, as well as the colour.

    We shouldn't be accepting second best when it comes to either, and we shouldn't be having to make a choice of one or the other.

    I agree with previous comments about the film being on one disc - judging by other releases you really should be able to get this title on to one Blu-ray Disc without compression issues. But if push came to shove, I wouldn't mind it being spread over two discs.

    Steve W
     
  20. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I hope it happens and we get a really fabulous release of this film, till then i'm happy enough to wait as i have seen it many times in the past, put it on two discs, this is a 1.85:1 shot film and that makes it harder to do the encode, with Gone With The Wind or Lawrence Of Arabia there is a lot of black bar area and that makes the encoding job easier, not so with this particular movie, i'd like to see it split over two discs and have optimal quality.

    It's a great movie. i hope it gets re-released with a superior transfer by Warner.
     

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