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. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I never assumed nor suggested that indie filmmakers "were idiots and didn't care about how their films were shown" at all. If you could point out where I said such a thing I'd like to see it.

    BTW, I love how when you are questioned it suddently does not "warrant further discussion".

    Vincent
     
  2. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Vince, I'm actually sympathetic to the points you are making. I do think that even into the 1960s 1.37:1 composition wasn't quite as obsolete as Mr. Furmanek and Mr. Kimmel believe it was. I know Disney for one was still filming stuff in Academy that was originally intended for TV but wound up in theaters instead. My instinct is that Criterion has sufficient knowledge of Lord of the Flies to asses that 1.37:1 is the correct ratio. Even Robert Harris says that trade papers and studio edicts are not absolute, but examining what is actually on the camera negative will tell the whole story. Warner Archives examined original elements of Private Eyes (Bowery Boys), and Hammer examined original elements of Curse of Frankenstein, and in each case it was determined that 1.37:1 was correct in spite of all documentation stating otherwise.
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    It's one thing to have doubts regarding a small budget, hugely independent project; you could even be uncertain about a movie that comes from a larger commercial studio during the very early period of transition.

    But a film from a larger commercial studio like Hammer several years into the widescreen era? Not a chance; CoF was shot wide.

    As for LoTF, my initial thoughts were that, made on a shoestring, with a largely rookie crew, and no great hopes of commercial success (indeed he told investors that it was unlikely they'd get their money back), it's possible that Brook shot it full frame. It still is possible, but I'm swaying towards the position that it's unlikely that he didn't at least pay lip service to widescreen projection. It may look better full frame, it might be how the film makers involved now prefer it to be seen - but that's a whole different kettle of fish.
     
  4. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    John, I think it's pretty clear from an article Bob has published regarding UK films that all directors and cinematographers were told to frame their films so that no vital action took place outside the 1.85:1 area, even if they were shooting for 1.37:1.

    How much they listened is open to conjecture, but I doubt anyone would film with portions deliberately in the potentially cropped area knowing that it would almost certainly be cropped.

    I think pretty much anything filmed from '53 onwards - including titles filmed best at 1.37:1 - will still look acceptable cropped to 1.85:1. But that's not to say that's how they should be shown, of course.

    Interestingly, another article Bob uncovered said that all UK widescreen films should ensure their titles are all uncropped at 2.00:1, which is most certainly not the case with CoF. But that's another film for another thread.

    Steve W
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Mark: I can see there being some question on PRIVATE EYES as they were midway through filming when Allied Artists announced their widescreen policy. Production began on June 24 and Allied announced widescreen on July 4. The bread and butter bookings for the Bowery Boys films were the small-town theaters so I can understand why this may have started for 1.37:1.

    But COF? Exclusive went fully widescreen three years before production on this film.

    More details can be found here: http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/widescreen-documentation
     
  6. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I have responded to every post you've made that has involved this film. What doesn't warrant further discussion is when you get antagonistic, start with the exclamation points, etc.
     
  7. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Bob, I have no doubt that Curse of Frankenstein played everywhere in the world in widescreen and looked just as badly cropped as Shane did in its theatrical run. The proof is that to appease fans Hammer released it with a static widescreen extraction and lots of people complained about the horrible framing that produced. Warner also had the exact same problem when producing their earlier widescreen DVD of CoF, because for that, they did a scene by scene reframing (exactly what was proposed for Shane) to get the best composition. So two studios found Curse of Frankenstein to be problematic in widescreen. That speaks volumes about it's original composition.
     
  8. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    So, your 'proof' that it was originally framed in Academy is that the Warner DVD wasn't particularly good, and as for Hammer's efforts, well, the least said about them the better. In fact, your whole reasoning appears to be (a) because Hammer say so, and (b) based solely on the evidence of video masters?

    It's no coincidence, BTW, that (a) and (b) are connected.
     
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  9. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I agree with Mr. Hodson completely about Curse of Frankenstein.
     
  10. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Petition to ban discussion of aspect ratios ever again. Any takers?
     
  11. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Count me in!
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    NNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Oh come on Lord Vader, the one thing people DON'T complain about your film is OAR.
     
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  14. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I second (third?) the motion.
     
  15. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Lord Dalek: it's been a while but weren't you the one who said that none of Ed Wood's films were composed for widescreen?
     

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