David Lean's Summertime Blu Ray available at Amazon Japan

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by gonda, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. gonda

    gonda Extra

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    Before switching to epics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and A Passage to India, David Lean in 1955 directed Summertime with Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi and Isa Miranda. The movie was entirely shot in Venice, Italy, mostly outdoors showing the breathtaking beauty of Venice. For the first time on Blu Ray, it is available at Amazon Japan. The picture quality is excellent, the audio is 2-channel PCM and the Japanese subtitle is removable.
     
  2. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    Hmm- a Paramount release. I wonder what portion of global rights they hold. I'm hoping to see Criterion upgrade their North American release, but any release in North America would be great.
     
  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    What aspect ratio is the film presented in?
     
  4. gonda

    gonda Extra

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    In it's original aspect ratio 4:3 (1,33:1).
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Thank you, Bob. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be 1.85:1 or 1.66:1, but I just knew 1.37:1 wasn't right.
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    You're welcome, Matt. I don't have the Variety review handy but would like to check that one as well.
    It began shooting mid-July 1954 in Venice. It would definitely not be composed for 1.37:1.
     
  9. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    One look at the Beaver's screen caps (which I'm sure don't resemble what's actually on the disc in terms of quality and/or color) and you can see how wrong Academy ratio is. WRONG. Criterion was wrong, and this is wrong and it would be so nice if someone would get it right!
     
  10. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone have any knowledge of the current North American rights situation (specifically as regards a Blu-ray release)?
     
  11. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I ran a 35mm IB tech print of Summertime at a private show a few years ago (it was actually Katharine Hepburn's print, which was sold off by her estate to a local collector) and ran it 1.37 at the insistence of its owner. Seeing all that excess headroom was maddening!
     
  12. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    Don't union projectionists have the authority to refuse inappropriate presentation requests? ;)
     
  13. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    I was a union projectionists and I know of no such principle.
    Union projectionists have basically vanished BTW.
    I happen to like Summertime at 133 and would have run it that way had I had the opportunity to do so. Indeed, generally speaking we ran any print in such a way as to present the most image from the film. If the print had 166, we ran 166. The exception would have been if you saw a boom or something.
     
  14. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    To hell with the intended composition of the filmmakers...
     
  15. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    Yes, that was a joke.
    And your preference is your preference, but I'm glad you're not my projectionist (no offense intended).
     
  16. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Robert, I'm just curious about something. Which composition of these two ratios do you prefer? The 1.85:1 framing on the top image is to see a person entering the cockpit.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    "Intended composition" is something of a misnomer.
    Many of these films were shot to in fact be ambiguous WRT the intended aspect ratio. The film makers knew that they were dealing with a multi-variate and unstable situation WRT theatrical exhibition. The promos may have said 185, but that wasn't intended to be hard and fast. In 1953, after TV and just after the premiere of Cinerama, no studio had a clue about what was happening. Studios were under conflicting requirements from exhibs: give us something new and innovative, but don't ask us to buy new equipment. Naturally, they hedged their bets.
    The best of the widescreen processes, VistaVision, even made a formal feature of this ambiguity by telling exhibs that there was a wide range for which the compositions would work. There were ads in the trades showing scenes from White Christmas projected at different AR's, and the framing marks in the upper right hand corner for different AR"s. I am a big fan of VV, and do sometimes have my preferred AR, about 166 to 170. I find that pressing VV into 178 (now the common practice on Blu-ray) loses a bit of information. Of course, VV was supposed to work all the way to 200.
    I always felt that CinemaScope compositions were truly made for the intended AR and respected those religiously BTW.
    I can remember films that we changed the AR during the run because we felt it worked better one way. We went up to 200 for one film that played quite a while, which is certainly a stretch. Unlike most theaters even then, we could go from 133 to 200 for wide screen at two of the houses I worked at (indie of course, chains never cared).
     
  18. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    Well, I am used to Ed Wood at 133. Is that a boom in the first shot, it looks like it might be.
    I happen to really like Ed Wood, his films have some kind of enthusiasm that is catching. I last saw this at the Castro in San Francisco in an excellent 35mm print, a great place for a cult classic. Not sure that Mr. Wood's work is the sort of thing that one worries too much about fine points like composition.
     
  19. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    That headroom includes scenes of Venice!
    The only 35mm print I saw was shown at 166 (probably 2 viewings in 1962). All other viewings have been at 133 from LD. I prefer the 133 personally. Waiting for a nice Blu-ray, hopefully not in 178!
    Wonderful photography by Jack Hildyard, a master of all aspect ratios. Incidently, he photographed Kwai, originally in 255 but all original prints were 235 after the change in CinemaScope. It is a revelation to see Kwai in 255, obviously the correct AR for the film.
     
  20. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

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    Well, there's a difference between ambiguity and flexibility, the latter of which being the descriptor I would generally apply to films of this period. I think the evidence is clear that, by and large, filmmakers did compose for a single preferred ratio, regardless of the number of ratios (and the area of exposed negative) they protected for. Certainly, there are many cases in which ignoring these preferences will not get you into that much trouble, but when you have an official guideline, why approach presentation any other way?
     

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