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BARRY LYNDON : an appeal to WHV for restoration


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#1 of 41 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted August 03 2007 - 01:38 AM

Many fans of Stanley Kubrick are expressing their disappointment that BARRY LYNDON has not been remastered in the forthcoming collection.

There are many reasons why this film merits special attention by Warner Home Video, but let's mention the single most important reason. Remember, it is shot using NASA space lenses mounted on a modified camera to capture natural light in a way that had never been done before. Now, many films are shot in natural light, but not with these lenses or with this camera. All perceived light is reflected light off the surface of things, but the light in BARRY LYNDON is genuinely unique. Traditional lenses don't normally see this much or this way. Most films are shot between f8. to f11. in normal light situations, either artificial or natural. But the outer space lens has an opening of f0.7 to look through the dark at distant planets from a satellite, and Zeiss grinds it extra fine to facilitate the sharpest image possible. Kubrick mounts this ultra-fast, wide-open, fine-grain lens on a specially modified Mitchell camera, and augments the sunlight with reflectors and the night time with actual candles instead of artificial. The combination of space lens and organic light endows the landscape and the human face with a perspective, a texture, and an aesthetic quality that is different from every other movie. Something wonderful is on display in BARRY LYNDON that can't be seen anywhere else, not even in DAYS OF HEAVEN.

Who else but Stanley Kubrick would even attempt such a thing.

BARRY LYNDON is one of the great experiments in the history of cinema, an experiment that is 100% successful creatively, technically, and dramatically. It is different from other costume epics in the Warner Brothers catalog. It deserves special consideration and special treatment, regardless of whether or not it's the least profitable of Kubrick's films. It was profitable. Warner Home Video can afford to work from the raw elements to bring out the best in BARRY LYNDON so that people can see how uniquely beautiful it is. WHV can also afford to promote the DVD / HD in carefully chosen language that makes Kubrick's approach more accessible to the masses. A technical commentary, one that talks about lensmanship, how this film is lit and photographed, and why Kubrick stages scenes the way he does, is called for. True, the film speaks for itself, but sometimes audiences need a little explanation when confronted by an artist who operates on a different set of rules.

If BARRY LYNDON is remastered and properly marketed, I'm sure it would be a profitable home video. Perhaps other members of HTF will join me in this recommendation and give their own reasons why BARRY LYNDON merits a remastered edition.

#2 of 41 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted August 03 2007 - 02:51 AM

I'll be honest, "Barry Lyndon" is one of two Kubrick films I've never seen but I would buy an restored HD version in a heartbeat.

#3 of 41 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted August 03 2007 - 05:22 AM

Count me in for wanting a special edition. Beautiful film, but also just as interesting and entertaining as his other films. The duel near the end is one of the greatest scenes in film history. I know it's not as popular as others, but it has enough release strength if just for the 4 Oscars it won.

#4 of 41 OFFLINE   PatrickDA

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Posted August 03 2007 - 05:26 AM

A new version is a MUST! Warner Bros. has really dropped the ball on this one.

#5 of 41 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted August 03 2007 - 05:32 AM

Count me among those who would buy a remastered, anamorphic re-release in a heartbeat!

#6 of 41 OFFLINE   PattyFraser

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Posted August 03 2007 - 08:10 AM

I, too, would buy this restored or in high def. The copy I have isn't great, and this is a beautifully filmed story worthy of the best treatment. A commentary would definitely be icing on the cake.

#7 of 41 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted August 03 2007 - 08:20 AM

Warner, PLEASE release a remastered Barry Lyndon (and Lolita) on DVD/HD-DVD/BD in the near future.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#8 of 41 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted August 03 2007 - 12:58 PM

I thought an anamorphic remastered Barry Lyndon was in the offing. Not part of the latest incarnation of The Kubrick Collection, but forthcoming nonetheless. Is there no new release of Barry Lyndon this year? Are you guys saying WB is re-releasing the same old version again?

#9 of 41 OFFLINE   Anthony Neilson

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Posted August 03 2007 - 01:36 PM

Much as though I'd like to see an extras-packed edition of BARRY LYNDON, I'd have been very happy with just a remastered Blu-Ray in the interim.

Actually, I fully believe Warner will release this (and LOLITA) but a clear statement of intent would tide me over as I shell out literally hundreds of pounds on their discs over the next few months.
I've been going to bed early . . .

#10 of 41 Guest_Chris*Liberti_*

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Posted August 03 2007 - 02:07 PM

I would love to see a full restoration of this for Blu-ray. I watched it when it was on HD Net a while ago and although it is not my favorite Kubrick film it is a lot more beautiful in HD, even if not a full restoration, than it is on SD

#11 of 41 OFFLINE   JonJJ

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Posted August 03 2007 - 03:20 PM

So has it been confirmed that the Barry Lyndon and Lolita discs coming out in October are the same as the ones we already own? That would be a shame. They could have at least given us an anamorphic transfer...

#12 of 41 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted August 04 2007 - 03:24 AM

Just to clarify:

The boxed set is SD only? There will be no Blu-Ray or HD-DVD boxed sets?

There will be no Blu-Ray or HD-DVD editions of Lolita or Barry Lyndon?

All of the extras that the SD editions have will be on the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD editions?

#13 of 41 OFFLINE   ErichH

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Posted August 04 2007 - 05:56 AM

Certainly an important part of the collection - I'd Buy.
An amazing excercise on how to be still (by today's standards at least)

#14 of 41 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted August 04 2007 - 08:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
Just to clarify:

The boxed set is SD only? There will be no Blu-Ray or HD-DVD boxed sets?

No BD/HD box set. However, five of the films are getting BD/HD releases (A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
There will be no Blu-Ray or HD-DVD editions of Lolita or Barry Lyndon?

Nope. Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
All of the extras that the SD editions have will be on the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD editions?

Yep! Posted Image

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#15 of 41 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted August 04 2007 - 01:04 PM

Let's stay on topic. The two posts above belong in the Kubric SE edition thread.

This thread is an appeal to WHV to restore and remaster BARRY LYNDON for all formats. Do Brandon Conway and Gordon McMurphy support this idea? Will they buy it?

I can't see WHV paying much attention if more members don't voice their support

#16 of 41 OFFLINE   Jarod M

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Posted August 04 2007 - 04:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard--W
Let's stay on topic. The two posts above belong in the Kubric SE edition thread.

This thread is an appeal to WHV to restore and remaster BARRY LYNDON for all formats. Do Brandon Conway and Gordon McMurphy support this idea? Will they buy it?

I can't see WHV paying much attention if more members don't voice their support
I'm a little confused-are you saying that Barry Lyndon needs a restoration because the current master is inadequate, or are you saying that the most recent DVD release is inadequate? The high def version on HDNET Movies was very good, though I am not enough of an expert on the film to say that it couldn't have looked better.

#17 of 41 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted August 04 2007 - 05:53 PM

I think people are getting remastered and restored switched around.

#18 of 41 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted August 04 2007 - 07:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard--W
Let's stay on topic. The two posts above belong in the Kubric SE edition thread.

This thread is an appeal to WHV to restore and remaster BARRY LYNDON for all formats. Do Brandon Conway and Gordon McMurphy support this idea? Will they buy it?

I can't see WHV paying much attention if more members don't voice their support

As I posted earlier, I certainly support the idea of a remastered Barry Lyndon. I also felt there was nothing wrong with answering another person's questions - particularly when one was specifically seeking clarification about Barry Lyndon in the context of this Fall's Kubrick releases - and tried to keep it as simple as possible in order to allow the conversation to take it's proper course.

I don't see the need to be ever-so-slightly snippy about it by calling us out by name, especially since with the questions answered we had thus moved on anyway.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#19 of 41 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted August 05 2007 - 12:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarod M
I'm a little confused-are you saying that Barry Lyndon needs a restoration because the current master is inadequate, or are you saying that the most recent DVD release is inadequate?

I'm saying there's room to improve the current master and the current DVD.

There's infinitely more detail and clarity to be brought out of the image that would better reflect the theatrical experience. I saw BARRY LYNDON projected many times in 1975, and a couple of times at repertory screenings in the 1990s. The current DVD is a fine transfer up to WHV's usual high standard, and more than acceptable for the casual viewer. But it is not a casual film. The light doesn't breathe on the DVD the way it did when the film was projected new on the big screen. The transfer could be improved dramatically if WHV works from the actual camera negatives. Of course, that doesn't mean it should be given the Linoleum Treatment.

BARRY LYNDON looks different than every other film ever made because of the unique optical and lighting methods Kubrick used to capture the image. The image has got something in it other movies don't have. This presents WHV video with a unique challenge. The technologists at WHV need to get their heads together with the lab and come up with an approach that's right for BARRY LYNDON, beginning with a new photo-chemical (not digital) transfer of the actual negatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarod M
The high def version on HDNET Movies was very good, though I am not enough of an expert on the film to say that it couldn't have looked better.
I had no idea HDNET Movies aired a high-definition version. Wish I'd seen it. Was it a significant upgrade from the standard DVD ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
As I posted earlier, I certainly support the idea of a remastered Barry Lyndon. I also felt there was nothing wrong with answering another person's questions - particularly when one was specifically seeking clarification about Barry Lyndon in the context of this Fall's Kubrick releases - and tried to keep it as simple as possible in order to allow the conversation to take it's proper course.

I don't see the need to be ever-so-slightly snippy about it by calling us out by name, especially since with the questions answered we had thus moved on anyway.
A thousand pardons. I did not intend to be snippy.

#20 of 41 OFFLINE   rich_d

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Posted August 05 2007 - 02:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard--W
I can't see WHV paying much attention if more members don't voice their support

Fair Point.

Warner Home Video,

A lot of us have considered you the class act of the studio video producers.

Don't let us down by second class treatment for a Kubrick (of all people) video release.


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