Robert Harris on The Bits - 2/26/03 column - OFFICIAL THREAD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Hunt, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
    Insider

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 1998
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Robert Harris' latest column is now available at The Digital Bits. This time around, Robert discusses the DVD work of Acorn Media, as well as a couple of noteworthy new titles on disc from Paramount.

    Acorns and Duellists

    As always, click on the link to read Robert's comments and then come on back here to this official thread at the HTF to discuss, give feedback, ask questions of Robert and sound off as you will. Enjoy!
     
  2. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,632
    Likes Received:
    1
    thanks again Robert for such an incredibly well detailed background history of Acorn Media. I was not planning to buy more dvds after the last three weeks as my collection grew fast and thick without seeing any of the 10 dvds that had come through the post.

    Two of my favorite Alec Guinness tv series where he is Smiley are at last on dvd.

    I guess i should stop reading your articles, ofcourse I am only joking

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Piers C

    Piers C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Enjoyed reading the background on Acorn, thanks for the piece Robert.

    I don't actually have "Brideshead Revisted" but seem to recall that a few have commented on the third DVD in the package. My understanding was that the last disc had the longest portion of the program and appeared to suffer from compression & motion artifacts.

    Can you shed any light on this potential issue?

    -regards
     
  4. Bill McCamy

    Bill McCamy Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1999
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    1
    Several retailers list Acorn Media's 8-episode Forsyte Saga as a full frame release. Is it really anamorphic widescreen?

    On a related note, a BBC produced 7 disc set with all 26 episodes of the 1968 Forsyte Saga was released this week.
     
  5. richardWI

    richardWI Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    0
    In his column "Lawrence of Arabia" didn't get a star. So he doesn't consider it a worthy DVD?
     
  6. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    4,119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Richard,

    No, he doesn't. He thinks the colors on the DVD are all wrong. He didn't have any say in the production of that DVD.

    Jason
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,198
    Likes Received:
    5,012
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Acorn's new production of The Forsyte Saga is 16:9 anamorphic.

    The third disc of Brideshead does have more material than the other two, but there is nothing that I would consider problematic with it.

    The new release of the black and white BBC version of the original Forsyte Saga has a warning caption on the packaging regarding imperfections in the original elements. While I would not allow this to prevent the purchase of this set, perfection should not be assumed.
     
  8. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,530
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have never seen Lady Jane, but I greatly admire the work of Doug Slocombe. Dead Of Night - awesome. The Blue Max is out soon from Fox. Never seen it iin its original CinemaScope ratio. The ending is great - one of the all-time bummer endings. [​IMG]

    And it has James Mason in it: You have to buy it! [​IMG]


    GCM
     
  9. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    Real Name:
    Scott Shanks
     
  10. Duncan Harvey

    Duncan Harvey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2000
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    With regards to the original elements of The Forsyte Saga - this was shot on 625 line black and white VT with (i think) 16mm film for location inserts. IIRC it was remastered last year at the BBC and hopefully the version on these DVDs is a modern NTSC conversion from the remasters.

    The Forsyte Saga was a true landmark series as it was one of the first major series to be broadcast on BBC2 - in 1966/67 IIRC. We are very lucky that it survives on its original 2 inch Quads and not as a telerecording.

    A superb technique has been developed in the UK however to breathe new life into telerecordings. Called VIDFIRE - this seeks to recreate the 50 field look that telerecording removes, and has successfully been applied to two recent "Doctor Who" DVDs - "The Aztecs" and "The Seeds of Death". The effect is truly remarkable and gives an excellent recreation of what these programmes would have looked like on their original transmission. Anyone who is interested in this should check out the fascinating website "www.restoration-team.co.uk" This site is a resource for the superb and dedicated work carried out by restorers on the long running BBC SF show "Doctor Who"

    With regard to another Acorn release - "The Pallisers" this is based on Anthony Trollopes political novels and is similar in ambition to the Forsyte Saga - packed full of marvellous British actors, it is a true example of BBC values. This isnt available in R2 unfortunately but the PAL to NTSC conversion is pretty good. Its a shame that those of us in the UK who love this series have to make do with a standards conversion. Ditto for the sublime "Six Wives of Henry VIII" which languishes on three DVD5s and screams for a quality release akin to the splendid Elizabeth R set.

    BTW - a fantastic boxed set of I Claudius came out last year in the UK complete with cast interviews and an excellent all new documentary.
     
  11. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks very much for the article Robert. I, like you had become accustomed (resigned) to the PAL/NTSC speedup. Very nice to know that ‘Brideshead’ does not have that problem.
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Another great article. I'm actually citing one of the RAH articles on my term paper on silent cinema.

    Mr. Harris, what are your opinions on the Kino-Transit Film DVD of Metropolis that was recently released?
     
  13. Kevin Matthews

    Kevin Matthews Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2001
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    BTW Mr. Harris, Ridley Scott's The Duelists was released in 1977 not 1988 as your article states. Just the anal-retentive in me.....that didn't sound right.[​IMG]
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,198
    Likes Received:
    5,012
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    One of those darned tpyoes that are going around.

    Probably from a bug over at the Bits.

    And yet better than 1866, which would have placed the film in the extremely early Technicolor era and have made it Scott's first offering.
     
  15. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  16. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,626
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Toronto area, Canada
    Real Name:
    Craig
    The fact that Mr. Harris, whose opinions I enjoy and who I respect, does not give LOA and CK a *...I have to assume that's intentional in the context of this article. I truly can't believe he would consider these unworthy of purchasing, even if not perfect, especially in comparison to the TV series that were *'ed.
     
  17. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Roger Jason Adams
    I believe he doesn't approve of CK is because the transfer has been scrubbed clean of film grain.
     
  18. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,521
    Likes Received:
    121
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
     
  19. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,020
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Messages:
    2,626
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Toronto area, Canada
    Real Name:
    Craig
    I am well aware of Mr. Harris' opinions on those films, but I just happen to disagree with certain aspects, not the color issue with LOA which I take his word for (though even I can tell it's not the same as the film). I am not a film connoisseur at any level, I just want a good image. I do not take with inherent aspects/artifacts of a technology "improving" the experience, though I appreciate the skill of filmakers who worked with it to do the best they could. I have even less use for modern fimakers purposely making films "grainy", as though there is some inherent value in faking what was a technically inferior medium using modern techniques. Yes, I know some people like retro, but not me. The good old days are now. Film is not a digital media, no reason they should look the same, and anybody who thinks they're getting a film experience from their digital projectors is just kidding themselves. Why the hell should it look like a film...it isn't. It is a representation of a film. OK, OK, I'm sure not a purist, but I don't like grain, to me it is like seeing individual pixels on a display, it is an artifact, and IMO get rid of it. BTW, I buy plenty of movies from the 20's, I accept the video image because I understand that was the best they could do. I'm just happy to have them as good as they are, and neither take much with people's minor quibbling about what IMO are trivialities, when they should be happy just to be able to view the films in reasonably well restored formats in their own homes. I do realise though that whatever is done to a film, everybody won't be satisfied.
     

Share This Page