Did anyone see DELIVERANCE in its original release? As I recall the first run prints were in desaturated color... almost black and white. This was a short lived trend in the early 70's. Two other examples were FAT CITY and THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Does anyone else remember this? I doubt we'd see the color timed this way for dvd, but as I recall, that was the intent for some films of that period. (Lester had reportedly wanted to shot MUSKETEERS in black and white and the muted prints were the compromise.)
Hm. Interesting :-)
Imdb trivia: 'Much of the film had to have its color desaturated as the river simply looked too pretty.'
"The film's downbeat mood is sustained in its cinematography as well as its dramaturgy. Seeking to lend what he called an "ominous quality" to the "pleasant and restful" greens and blues of sky, river and trees, Boorman (in conjunction with Technicolor) developed a new color desaturation technique for Deliverance. The result is a film shot in threatening grey-greens, not so much washed-out as evacuated of conventionally pretty nature imagery. Although the big Panavision images of river, cliffs, and forest are impressive enough (there are some breath-taking moving compositions of the two canoes, exploiting both the format and the long lens's flattened perspective) the desaturated color always ensures that they do not become merely picturesque. As befits a story of liberal complacency confronted by brutal antagonism, it is the struggle to survive that predominates, the big screen used more to document that in close-up than to celebrate the pictorial splendours of the setting.
Read more: http://www.filmrefer...l#ixzz2cnwdXRrC
As was 'the ending of Taxi Driver"; color desaturation as a compromise in bloodiness apparently (audio commmentary).
Later, the brown-discolored look of 70's movies was due to deterioration - need for restoration. Digital times have a great future (4 and 8k..) !
Also, perhaps 'independent cinema' used faster film and cheaper production - i'd expect a difference with Technicolor studio productions :-)