Last Emperor uncropped

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Peter Neski, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Supporting Actor

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  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Peter,

     

    Are you suggesting there's a new BD release of TLE in OAR? OR are those images just taken from the UK PAL DVD? Those tiny images look very washed out to me, but that could be partly due to the awful LCD I'm using at work...

     

    _Man_
     
  3. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Supporting Actor

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    No,Sorry its late but want to show some other fine designed shots that prove the film is cropped ,I captured these

    in pretty small files from the French Pal dvd box,which is also 5.1
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Ah... Ok.

     

    Yeah, it's pretty obvious that the film was not originally shot for 2:1 AR, and many shots/scenes now look too tight (or even have people/objects awkwardly, partially cropped) in the current Criterion release.

     

    Really a shame. Hopefully, someone will get it right someday whether it involves Storaro or not. Really wish it was Criterion that got it right though...

     

    _Man_
     
  5. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Hey, Lionsgate overruled Storaro for the upcoming "Apocalypse Now" blu-ray and is presenting it in its OAR for the first time on home video. Maybe there's hope for TLE yet.
     
  6. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    As I understand it, "Lions Gate" didn't 'overrule' anybody. Coppola himself supervised the new transfer at the original aspect ratio. The only thing that will "save" THE LAST EMPEROR would be for Bertolucci to overrule Storaro's wishes.

     

    Vincent
     

     
  7. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Exactly. People like to throw blame at Criterion when they were simply following the director's wishes, as they always do. The blame is completely with Storaro and Bertolucci.
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Nope. I lay the blame partially on Criterion. Just because they're just doing what they always do, which is usually a good thing, doesn't mean that blindly following an established, well-intentioned policy is always right or good.

     

    This particular case is pretty clear, and if Criterion would ever choose to do otherwise, this should probably be one such exceptional instance.

     

    Yes, I understand that perhaps part of the rationale is to not offend/turnaway filmmakers in general (not just a particular one like Storaro in this case) in order to maintain good relationships for future/ongoing collaborations. But IMHO, Criterion could've also simply opted to *NOT* release TLE at all under the circumstance in order to take some sort of well thought-out, respectful stance while minimizing potential future problems w/ other filmmakers.

     

    _Man_
     
  9. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Indeed. That might have been the time to call the bluff on the, um, emperor's new clothes.
     
  10. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    How is Criterion "blindly" doing anything? They're not the production company of the film, they're the distributor, and are therefore legally bound (the whole point of licensing) to adhere to what the producers demands of the film. If the cinematographer wants a certain framing, and the director goes along with it, then chances are essentially zero that the production company would give the distributor the ability to disregard those wishes. Criterion's financial ability and opportunity to license films is limited enough as is. Why would you want them to spend what would likely be millions of dollars in legal fees, irrevocably damage their reputation, and/or almost certainly be blacklisted by major studios and filmmakers over one film with a limited audience?
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  12. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Criterion will have strengthened their reputation for uncompromising presentation quality, even in the face of poor decisions by revisionist filmmakers.
     
  13. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    And in the process been sued (possibly into bankruptcy), and be unable to license films from many, if not all major studios and filmmakers. In the meantime, as Michael points out, Storaro and Bertolucci (or more likely the production company) simply give it to another distributor who doesn't care about anything but getting it out the door.

     

    So, in the end, the extremist "give me the best no matter what it costs anyone else" viewpoint gets you the same AR, minimal (or no) extras, probably worse video quality, and last but not least destroys a company and its employees in the middle of a recession. All in the name of one film. Would that make you happy? I'm a fan of the original presentation as much as the next guy, but for heaven's sake, at least think about from at least one other point of view before taking an uncompromising stand.
     
  14. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    If they are indeed legally bound w/ no feasible alternatives, then that makes more sense. Nobody ever brought up that aspect of the issue here before though near as I can tell.

     

    I don't know what kind of options they had both before making the overall agreement that you mentioned and w/in allowances of that agreement, but did their overall licensing agreement really stipulate that they must abide by each filmmaker's wishes on such matters? Seems somewhat odd to hear that because many studios don't seem all *THAT* keen on abiding by filmmakers' wishes for such things -- and to the point of doing so in an overall licensing agreement no less rather than simply on a case-by-case basis.

     

    As for the other aspect of it, no, I must disagree w/ you on that. Taking a stance on principle should not only (or probably ever) be predicated w/ expected instant gratification. If you think doing so only matters in cases where you'll very likely get what you want immediately as a direct result, then that's really not taking much of a stance at all. Now, I'm not suggesting everyone should take the same stance in every such case, but if a certain case matters enough to you, then you *should* be prepared to accept the consequences of taking a stance whatever they may be...

     

    _Man_
     
  15. Jarod M

    Jarod M Stunt Coordinator

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    Sure, I think we all remember all those lawsuits that were filed back in the 1980s and 1990s because of director's objections that their films not be shown in the 4:3 ratio on home video and tv. Companies all over the place went bankrupt.

     

    And, of course, Criterion is also legally bound to release a film on Blu-ray when the distributor supplies them with inferior elements. Otherwise they would be sued into bankruptcy.

     

     
  16. Jarod M

    Jarod M Stunt Coordinator

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    And everyone knows how powerful Storaro and Bertolucci are in Hollywood nowadays. After that $10 in profits that their films have generated over the last 20 years for the major studios, the studio heads quiver with fear when "Bertolucci" displays on their caller id.
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Ah, we can relax. The reassuring thing is that a position like Carl laid out is strictly a debating point. Anyone actually responsible for getting something done (run a company, make a film, produce a Blu-ray) learns to deal with reality and compromise.
     
  18. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    I strongly disagree. That's not part of the rationale, that IS the rationale (and a contractual obligation assuredly). Criterion is done as a company if they don't follow the filmmaker's wishes. That's their entire foundation. Better to release one compromised release because of filmmaker's wishes than lose out on dozens of other releases because they backstab the filmmakers they previously listened to.
     
  19. cafink

    cafink Producer

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  20. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    There's a vast - VAST - difference between a studio releasing a product they OWN outright, and a company LICENSING a film for distribution that I can GUARANTEE stipulates in the contractual agreement that the filmmakers have final approval of the released product. The situations are night and day.

     

    But, you know, breaching a contract should be something Criterion doesn't give two seconds thought about...
     
     

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