Transfer problems with Bergman Boxset causes MGM to delay Release!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gary Tooze, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    This deserves a second post:

    In the forthcoming Bergman MGM Boxset - we showed recently that they have either zoomed in or cropped away about 11.5% from their Persona DVD presentation.

    Unfortunately the news is getting even worse. MGM have taken 2 other films from the Boxset - Hour of the Wolf and Shame and cropped them from their original 1.37 ratio to 1.66 making them widescreen... when they are not widescreen films. The original theatrical presentation was NOT Open-matte - these films were made at 1.37:1.

    This is how the film should look (taken from French DVD):

    [​IMG]

    This is how MGM is presenting them to Region 1:

    [​IMG]

    Continuously in the film, people's heads are chopped off the top of the screen. An example from Shame is below.

    [​IMG]


    Last time I saw someone frame a picture like this, it was my uncle Des at the family Christmas get-together.

    Both DVDBeaver and Masters of Cinema are encouraging individuals, who still can, to cancel their pre-orders.

    More of this information is being documented here:
    http://www.new.dvdbeaver.com/

    Regards,
     
  2. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    its MGM.
    they've been screwing up great films since 1999.

    a real shame as otherwise the transfer appears to be pretty nice otherwise (according to your screenshot)
     
  3. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Welcome to the future!

    It was only a matter of time for Academy ratio films to be cropped or matted for the wide screen TV crowd. Well, at least they didn't redo the mono soundtrack for 5.1 surround sound.

    Still, it's curious that MGM releases a P&S release of a wide screen Panavision film like Summer Lovers yet mats a 1.37 film for wide screen. Go figure.
     
  4. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    And the poor treatment of foreign films on DVD continues.

    So far in 2004, I've cancelled my Bergman boxset and Cyrano de Bergerac orders.

    Way to go MGM!! Keep it up, and I'll save a buttload of money... or just give my business to other studios.

    You suck!

    ADD:

    Let's hope they do the right thing and license out Fanny & Alexander to Criterion.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Whatever the reason for MGM's handling of these films, it clearly wasn't done "for the widescreen TV crowd". If that were the case:
    • Persona would also have been matted for widescreen, whereas the problem Gary has identified is a zoom on the 1.33:1 image;
    • The other films would have been matted to 1.78:1 (instead they're 1.66:1); and
    • The matted films would have been enhanced for widescreen TVs (they're not).
    M.
     
  6. Sebastian_A

    Sebastian_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Argh, not AGAIN!

    I will call these people - what's the number?

    I am seriously PISSED about this!

    S
     
  7. WillardK

    WillardK Second Unit

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    Thanks for yet another useful tip, Gary. This stinks.
     
  8. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Michael's points make a lot of sense, so does anyone have any idea why MGM would have done this?
     
  9. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    The screenshot from Shame is very poor. I am now 100% convinced that it was composed in 1.37:1 and was not supposed to be matted to ANY other ratio.

    I'm going to cancel my order now. I bet $50 that MGM does absolutely nothing about this error.
     
  10. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    Crazy framing of a movie image. Not good.

    Be Seeing You,
    David Blackwell
     
  11. Thomas Koeberl

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    Camille Claudel is another example, where MGM has partly cropped the picture. Here is a comparison between the German Arthaus transfer (16/9) and the MGM version (non anamorphic and watch the framing of the first screenshot)

    http://www.mwehr.de/Koeberl/camilleclaudel/index.htm
     
  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Damn, the German Arthaus edition of Camille Claudel doesn't have English subtitles! No! [​IMG]

    This is one of the most beautiful films ever shot and I NEED a DVD edition with a transfer as good as the German Arthaus edition - but with subtitles.

    Life's can be a real bitch sometimes!
    #

    EDIT: Does the French edition have subs: http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/tg/...183435-7095452
     
  13. ShaunS

    ShaunS Stunt Coordinator

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    Add me to the list of those canceling their pre-orders on this (not that anyone is actually keeping such a list). I think this thread should really be kept at the top of this HTF forum. Yes, this is THAT imporant (I think). If enough people were to cancel their orders.... who knows? It probably is too late at this point.

    I've never been one for online petitions or even complaining to companies through email, but in this case I think I might actually consider doing the latter. Any suggestions on where at MGM I should send a short email?

    ShaunS
     
  14. Jerry Gerber

    Jerry Gerber Extra

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    I cancelled my order
     
  15. Drew Reiber

    Drew Reiber Supporting Actor

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    Wow, how sad. This set was on my "to buy eventually list". Not anymore....

    The worst part is how many fantastic foreign films these idiots have released that harder working folks like Criterion would have loved to give a better treatment, and paid MGM to license it....
     
  16. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Guess what - my order has already shipped! [​IMG]

    Someone at MGM is gonna die...
     
  17. Dorian Gray

    Dorian Gray Stunt Coordinator

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    According to dvdfr.com database, the French R2 release of Camille Claudel seems to have no subtitle...

    (but I don't know if this source is 100% reliable)
     
  18. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    do French R2 disc ever have English subs?
    [​IMG] i don't even bother looking into French etailers anymore, as i've never found a French movie there with English subs
     
  19. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    So does anybody have any idea why MGM would have done this? As Michael Rueben pointed out up-thread, it's not with 16X9 users in mind, since the transfers aren't anamorphic. With Columbia's Annie SE, for example, the pan and scan was likely with "family viewers" in mind, or something lame like that. Utterly indefensible, of course, but that's probably what they were thinking. But this problem with the MGM Bergmans just doesn't seem to make any sense on any level.
     
  20. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    This had been on my list of titles to get, but not anymore. Thanks for saving me some money!
     

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