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A Few Words About A few words about...™ My Fair Lady -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 2, 2011.

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  1. Frankie_A

    Frankie_A Member

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    More and more studios are abandoning their classic film departments -- 20th Cen Fox, which closed it's classics department decades ago, at least up until now let their older library be booked out to art houses thru a sublicensing arrangement with Criterion Films. Seems like Fox didn't want to have to deal with any titles older than 2 years (so much for their respect for the studio's history, which they only seem to gush over at the Academy Awards....but try to get a print out of the bastards). Well, just recently they ended that long-standing arrangement with Criterion, so now there is NO PLACE for an art house or a museum or a film society to rent Fox titles on 35mm film. I am still investigating this to find out if some other arrangements are being or have been made so that art houses and non-theatricals can book Fox titles and 2) what is/has happened to all the 35mm prints Criterion had in the warehouse. My fear is that Fox is not going to want the prints back because, well, hey, they HATE film, plus, they have no classics Department to book them and the entire industry has they attitude that of: "film is over; all we want to deal with is a hard drive, and actually we want to get rid of that too and just beam 1s and 0s to the theatre -- shipping a hard drive costs $5.50 USP...why even spend that?" Seems Hollywood now has nothing but contempt for the very medium on which the creative output of our entire motion picture heritage has been viewed for a century billions of people. AND if Fox is true to the collective TWISTED and OBSCENE mind-set of the rest of Hollywood, my worst fear is that they will order Criterion to BANDSAW the Fox prints rather than sending them back. I am not saying this is what is going to happen, but it certainly could be the worst cast scenario. Bandsawing perfectly run-able prints has been the studio's modus operandi of choice when it comes to disposing of release prints. The bandsaw is to studio execs as a flame thrower is to pyromanias. They seem to take degenerate pleasure out of murdering their own. They order perfectly run-able prints to be destroyed -- sawed into quarters even though there are art house and museums and many other organizations that would be happy to store and preserve them AND WANT TO SHOW THEM; even private collectors who would be thrilled to preserve the physical prints and who historically have saved many a title that the studios have lost, are rebuffed in favor of having those prints hacked into pieces. If a studio finds they can't store older prints of titles that their bean-counters deem is not making them enough rental revenue vs. storage costs, then NO ONE will get to store them. It's the ole, "If I can't have her, no one will have her" said the boyfriend after he murdered his ex, syndrome. Sorry guys, I didn't mean to hijack the thread, but when it comes to physical prints and the way Hollywood has shirked it's responsibility to protect the medium on which our film legacy has been recorded, is criminal. The FBI should be throwing studio CEOs and their henchmen in jail for five years and $250,000 fine for EACH print they bandsawed. And if they can't produce a pristine, run-able 35mm print or 70mm print of a work to be shown to a theatre audience, then they should LOOSE THE COPYRIGHT, Philistine pigs that they are. And the Library of Congress too. They were supposed to collect TWO of the BEST representation of the works for an "author" to get a copyright and they waived that provision decades ago. That means TWO 35mm prints or TWO 70mm prints if that was the way it was shown to the PUBLIC, which of course is what the copyright law is supposed to be protecting. Gonads need to be whacked with a hammer as punishment for THAT collusion with the studios by our public "servants" as well. But then, how the studios have manipulated the copyright law to distort and corrupt its intent is the another topic.
     
  2. David Weicker

    David Weicker Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Harris, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you. Both Funny Face and Charade have credits for Technicolor. Now, you may have another 'definition' of Technicolor, but the films themselves list it. (Charade just says "Technicolor®", Funny Face, while also a VistaVision film says "color by Technicolor®") David
     
  3. noel aguirre

    noel aguirre Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't War & Peace (1956) photographed in Technicolor? Says right here on the one sheet. (sorry for the previous pigeon English- it was late) [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Well-Known Member

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    A book by Leo Tolstoy?
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Both of these films were photographed in Eastman Color. Funny Face on 5248, and Charade most likely on 5251. Most contemporary original release prints were struck by Technicolor in their dye transfer process. Newer prints Eastman Color. All home video releases are derived from Eastman Color elements. Credits and credit blocks may tell us something about printing histories, but are generally not helpful at best, and confusing at worst. Generally, if one is seeking the "Technicolor" look, a credit should normally read "Technicolor," which is seemingly a misnomer on Charade, which is Eastman Color, processed by a Technicolor lab, and originally printed in dye transfer. The words "Color by Technicolor," generally denotes an Eastman Color production, with film processed by a laboratory owned by Technicolor. Same as "Color by Pathe.". Prints are not necessarily even dye transfer, as few have been since 1977. To complicate matters even more, certain films, photographed in Eastman Color, and processed by labs other than Technicolor, have a short run of dye transfer prints, struck from matrices at a Technicolor lab. One such example is Dr. Zhivago. Many of the early Fox scope titles had dye transfer prints produced by Technicolor, while photographed in Eastman with processing by deluxe. How confusing can we make this? RAH
     
  6. Frankie_A

    Frankie_A Member

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    Brilliant statement to make at a screening where ostensibly the theatre is running this screening in 70mm BECAUSE it is FILM and not digital. That's like saying, some idiot at MOMA tears a Monet painting and the curator says, "Well, there's an argument for lithograph copies instead of the real thing." No...there's an argument of never giving this theatre a 70mm print. On the 35mmforum blog someone chastised me because I pointed out all the problems with the Walter Reade theatre's 70mm presentation of ITS A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and he said he was a member for years and they had always had excellent presentation yet I had found great issue with the focus and sound and overall general sloppy projection, he said mine was a trade against the WR and a wild exaggeration. I pointed out that I wasn't commenting on all the supposedly perfect shows he had seen there, but the ONE I had seen and that I had to give a C- or even a D if I were grading myself, I'd give myself a D for a show like that. Someone else pointed out that the audience loved it. So I guess lowest common denominator is the yardstick at Lincoln Center. You don't have to put on a A+ presentation as long as no one complains. While I then questioned myself that perhaps maybe I was being too much of my old anal retentive self and perhaps the projectionist WAS just having an off day as someone suggested -- we've all had them -- and who knows what catastrophes could have been going on in the booth and he was having all he could do just to keep the show on the screen. Every projectionist will tell you he's had THOSE days as well. But then comes your post and it seems, no, this guy BURNS film...70MM film. RARE 70MM film. Film doesn't just "suddenly jam" spontaniously on its own, there is always a cause and effect, especially 70mm which because of its size is very robust compared to the smaller 35mm print. But even with 35mm, film "jams" because of a projectionist mis-threads it or there are broken perforations that were OVERLOOKED by the projectionist when he did his all-important print inspection prior to the show, or there are physical problems with the projector mechanism, all of which should have been spotted and corrected prior to the show -- that is, if someone were competent enough to spot them and are competent enought fo correct them . That no one did and the film tore and burned (which means it could be many frames that were damaged before and possibly after the burn, not just that single frame might need to be removed), this is a big red flag that tells me the Walter Reade has projection personnel issues that really need to be addressed before any other rare prints are entrusted to this place. Just a few frames...no big deal? Image if a few frames were removed by EVERY theatre that played the print!
     
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  7. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

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    You rant enthusiastically but you seem to have missed the main point. The old studios do not want high quality prints lying around unused because they fear that organised crime - and sometimes disorganised crime - will get hold of them and use them to produce bootleg DVDs. You can argue that such prints should not be unused but as long as the copyright holders do not believe there is a profitable market in film societies and re-run theaters, they will not send out their prints. Incidentally, no-one should lose their rights merely because you dislike the way run their business.
     
  8. Techman707

    Techman707 Well-Known Member

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    I think the argument you make about the studios not wanting “prints lying around” because of pirates (or organized crime) making DVDs from them rings hollow when you consider that they (the film companies) have already put all these films on DVD, or better yet, Blu-ray. So if such a “business” does exist, the film companies have ALREADY done half the job for them. I personally don’t believe such a business would be viable today as a result of the incredibly LARGE library of DVDs, some of which sell for less then organized crime could even produce them. Further, the statement that “no-one should lose their rights merely because you dislike the way run their business” is already a common practice with many franchises. A theatre’s contracts to run a film has many of the same elements of a franchise. Whether you believe it’s right or wrong, good arguments can be made for either position.
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'll add to that, as I have no problem with the destruction of generic prints after their run. It all comes down to a simple question. What does one do with 5,000 prints, when all that might be ever needed are 25? RAH
     
  10. Techman707

    Techman707 Well-Known Member

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    I guess if you're referring to a 3 strip Technicolor camera that might be true. However, what immediately comes to mind is a film like "The African Queen", which I ran an IB print, then it wouldn't be. [​IMG]
     
  11. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I agree with this. I think it's an enormous stretch to believe that the mob is just dying to put out high-quality DVDs of some movie from 1958!
     
  12. performing arts

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    on the other hand so many fifth grade bad films got better treatment then Me fair lady , . What a pity , what a pity
     
  13. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Well-Known Member

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    Re 'The African Queen' .. I'm sure that was true three-strip Technicolor, and a beautiful job it was too. And yes, Technicolor did capture Hepburn on that occasion -- but a far different Hepburn than little Audrey....... I think the confusion about Technicolor versus 'Color by Technicolor' is understandable, but what we mean by 'true' Technicolor is the historic three-strip process!
     
  14. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised that a regular contributor to this forum should be unaware of the large number of films that have not yet been released on disc and are eagerly awaited by their admirers. The idea that "all these films" are "on DVD, or better yet, Blu-ray" is astonishing.
    No, it isn't.
    A theater's contract to run a film has nothing in common with a copyright owner's right to control his or her property. The two things are totally different.
     
  15. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    okay, if I erred, I apologize.
     
  16. benbess

    benbess Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I'm confused, but I think you were right. Katherine Hepburn was in the 3-strip Technicolor production of The African Queen.
     
  17. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    Yes, but the subject was *Audrey* Hepburn. Her first two color films were the VistaVision productions of "War and Peace" and "Funny Face".
     
  18. benbess

    benbess Well-Known Member

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    I was confused. Thanks for the correction. *Audrey* Hepburn looks great in those two VistaVision films! I'm watching Funny Face tonight....
     
  19. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Well-Known Member

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    Getting back to MY FAIR LADY, has there been any indication from CBS that we would see a 50th anniversary blu ray this year to replace the awful current disc?
     
  20. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Don't think there's been any news about a MFL redo.
     
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