Criterion Press Release: Lord of the Flies (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 15, 2013.

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  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    LORD OF THE FLIES – Blu-ray & DVD Editions
    In the hands of the renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, William Golding’s legendary novel on the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center. Taking an innovative documentary-like approach, Brook shot Lord of the Flies with an off-the-cuff naturalism, seeming to record a spontaneous eruption of its characters’ ids. The result is a rattling masterpiece, as provocative as its source material.
    1963 • 90 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.37:1 aspect ratio
    SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
    • New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
    • Audio commentary featuring director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and Feil
    • Audio recordings of William Golding reading from his novel Lord of the Flies, accompanied by the corresponding scenes from the film
    • Deleted scene, with optional commentary and reading by Golding
    • Interview with Brook from 2008
    • Collection of behind-the-scenes material, featuring home movies, screen tests, outtakes, and stills
    • New interview with Feil
    • Excerpt from Feil’s 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showcasing Brook’s theater methods
    • Something Queer in the Warehouse, a piece composed of never-before-seen footage shot by the boy actors during production, with new voice-over by Tom Gaman, who played Simon
    • Trailer
    • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey Macnab and an excerpt from Brook’s book The Shifting Point
    TITLE: Lord of the Flies (BLU-RAY EDITION)
    CAT. NO: CC2290BD
    UPC: 7-15515-10821-8
    ISBN: 978-1-60465-753-1
    SRP: $39.95
    PREBOOK: 6/18/13
    STREET: 7/16/13
     
  2. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I recall actually speaking to a spokesperson by phone at Criterion , in the days when you acould actually do such a thing, regarding the aspect ratio of the then-forthcoming laser disc release. I was told Criterion juggled releasing this at 1.33 vs. 1.66. Apparently this was filmed at 1.33 and for the eventual laser release (and this Blu-ray), the decision was made not to crop it. But Criterion (if I am not mistaken) provides their Blu-rays with snsmorphic transfers even for 1.33:1, maximizing the PQ. Thanks for this release!
     
  3. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Well, it certainly wasn't SHOWN in Academy ratio anywhere that I know of. I saw it many times on its initial release - always 1.85 here in the US. Probably shown in 1.66 maybe in the UK?
     
  4. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    There's also a non CC DVD of this in 1.66
     
  5. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    Interesting that the pics on the press release should look so well-framed and composed in a non-1.33 ratio...... Just saying.
     
  6. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    There's no such thing as "anamorphic transfer for Blu-ray". The native aspect ratio for HD/Blu-ray is 1.78:1 with square pixels.

    Vincent
     
  7. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    "• New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil..."

    I'll take the cameraman/editor's word on what the proper aspect ratio is.

    Vincent
     
  8. Will*B

    Will*B Supporting Actor

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    Looking forward to this release. I've seen it broadcast on TV in (I think) 1.78:1, and don't recall any obvious vertical cropping.

    Having said that, if Gerald Feil approves the transfer at 1.33:1, that's good enough for me. (Unless he's been taking lessons from Storaro).

    Off topic, but interesting to see that one of Feil's other few films he DP'd was Friday the 13th Part III. A slightly different take on the "the primitivism lurking beneath civilization"!
     
  9. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I'm in for this one. I ight have to track down the remake as well, I recall it being pretty good to.
     
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  10. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    As someone already mentioned - two words - Vitttorio Storaro. While it's entirely possible for the cameraman and director to have shot the film in Academy knowing it would not be shown that way in any cinema in the United States (and only a handful in England and elsewhere), I'd find it compellingly odd.
     
  11. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Seeing as the film, as stated in the press release was shot with a natural documentary-like approach by an experimental theater director, I'm not surprised that the 1:37 was chosen. there's lots of low budget films from the 60's that were shot 1:37, and most documentaries were too.
     
  12. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Bringing up Storaro is like comparing apples and oranges. This film was shot in 1.37:1 (whether it was projected that way is anyone's guess). Storaro's Univisium conversions are cropped from 2.40. There's a difference between a loss and a possible gain.
     
  13. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Not that this will settle any discussion but the Aug 26, 1963 Boxoffice Magazine lists the aspect ratio as 1.85:1 for the US release.
     

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  14. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    I've said this elsewhere, but we're talking about two different things.

    VS says "Apocalpse Now was shot for 2.40:1, but I'm cropping it to 2.00:1 because I don't think it loses too much, and will look better on 16:9 TVs".

    That's quite different to a cameraman saying a film was shot in 1.37:1 so it should get a home video release in 1.37:1.

    VS admits he's changing things - he's not trying to pretend Apocalypse Now was always intended for 2.00:1.

    Steve W
     
  15. Will*B

    Will*B Supporting Actor

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    I should clarify that I wasn't making a direct comparison to the 'Storaro-scope' debacle. Rather, I was suggesting that a DP's approval does not necessarily mean the transfer is presented as it was in cinemas.

    The most likely conclusion seems to be that Lord of the Flies was shot full-aperture, then matted to 1.66:1 or 1.85:1 for cinemas. If Feil has signed-off on a 1.37:1 transfer, I'll be perfectly happy, knowing that we're not losing any picture information.
     
  16. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    If anyone's interested, it's currently playing on TCM in 1.37:1. Curiously, some scenes appear to be composed favouring the lower half of the screen, and zooming to 1.78:1 appears to do no damage initially, but overall, 1.37:1 appears to be the best choice, as many scenes put action into the extreme corners of the frame. I believe Criterion have made the right call here.
     
  17. Steve Tannehill

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    It is also playing on Hulu Plus.
     
  18. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    All these posts are well and good except for one small thing: This film was NEVER EVER shown in Academy anywhere. So, sorry, I don't care who is signing off on what, the film should be 1.66 - these weren't amateurs making a film - they knew how it would be projected.
     
  19. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    The UK standard by the time of principal photography was 1.75:1.
     
  20. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    You could say that about EVERY independent film ever made, but guess what? They (the independent filmmakers) didn't always have access to the same equipment with the same ground-glass markings as the studio productions. These guys were often "winging it", doing the best they could with the resources at hand, regardless of "standards".

    Vincent
     

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