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Last Emperor uncropped


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#1 of 52 Peter Neski

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Posted August 11 2010 - 06:35 AM

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/



#2 of 52 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted August 11 2010 - 11:19 AM

/img/vbsmilies/htf/confused.gif

 

Peter,

 

Are you suggesting there's a new BD release of TLE in OAR?  OR are those images just taken from the UK PAL DVD?  Those tiny images look very washed out to me, but that could be partly due to the awful LCD I'm using at work...

 

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#3 of 52 Peter Neski

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Posted August 12 2010 - 06:39 AM

No,Sorry its late but want to show some other fine designed shots that prove the film is cropped ,I captured these

in pretty small files from the French Pal dvd box,which is also 5.1



#4 of 52 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted August 12 2010 - 07:18 AM

Ah... Ok.

 

Yeah, it's pretty obvious that the film was not originally shot for 2:1 AR, and many shots/scenes now look too tight (or even have people/objects awkwardly, partially cropped) in the current Criterion release. /img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsdown.gif

 

Really a shame.  Hopefully, someone will get it right someday whether it involves Storaro or not.  Really wish it was Criterion that got it right though...

 

_Man_


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#5 of 52 Mark-P

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Posted August 12 2010 - 02:56 PM

Hey, Lionsgate overruled Storaro for the upcoming "Apocalypse Now" blu-ray and is presenting it in its OAR for the first time on home video. Maybe there's hope for TLE yet.



#6 of 52 Vincent_P

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Posted August 12 2010 - 05:41 PM

As I understand it, "Lions Gate" didn't 'overrule' anybody.  Coppola himself supervised the new transfer at the original aspect ratio.  The only thing that will "save" THE LAST EMPEROR would be for Bertolucci to overrule Storaro's wishes.

 

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Originally Posted by Mark-P 

Hey, Lionsgate overruled Storaro for the upcoming "Apocalypse Now" blu-ray and is presenting it in its OAR for the first time on home video. Maybe there's hope for TLE yet.





#7 of 52 Brandon Conway

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Posted August 12 2010 - 05:42 PM

Exactly. People like to throw blame at Criterion when they were simply following the director's wishes, as they always do. The blame is completely with Storaro and Bertolucci.


"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 52 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted August 12 2010 - 07:46 PM

Nope.  I lay the blame partially on Criterion.  Just because they're just doing what they always do, which is usually a good thing, doesn't mean that blindly following an established, well-intentioned policy is always right or good.

 

This particular case is pretty clear, and if Criterion would ever choose to do otherwise, this should probably be one such exceptional instance.

 

Yes, I understand that perhaps part of the rationale is to not offend/turnaway filmmakers in general (not just a particular one like Storaro in this case) in order to maintain good relationships for future/ongoing collaborations.  But IMHO, Criterion could've also simply opted to *NOT* release TLE at all under the circumstance in order to take some sort of well thought-out, respectful stance while minimizing potential future problems w/ other filmmakers.

 

_Man_


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#9 of 52 Charles Smith

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Posted August 13 2010 - 03:10 AM

Indeed.  That might have been the time to call the bluff on the, um, emperor's new clothes.



#10 of 52 Jesse Blacklow

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Posted August 13 2010 - 03:16 AM

How is Criterion "blindly" doing anything? They're not the production company of the film, they're the distributor, and are therefore legally bound (the whole point of licensing) to adhere to what the producers demands of the film. If the cinematographer wants a certain framing, and the director goes along with it, then chances are essentially zero that the production company would give the distributor the ability to disregard those wishes. Criterion's financial ability and opportunity to license films is limited enough as is. Why would you want them to spend what would likely be millions of dollars in legal fees, irrevocably damage their reputation, and/or almost certainly be blacklisted by major studios and filmmakers over one film with a limited audience?


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#11 of 52 Michael Reuben

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Posted August 13 2010 - 03:52 AM

 

Originally Posted by Man-Fai Wong 
 

Yes, I understand that perhaps part of the rationale is to not offend/turnaway filmmakers in general (not just a particular one like Storaro in this case) in order to maintain good relationships for future/ongoing collaborations.  But IMHO, Criterion could've also simply opted to *NOT* release TLE at all under the circumstance in order to take some sort of well thought-out, respectful stance while minimizing potential future problems w/ other filmmakers.

 


 

Originally Posted by Chas in CT 

Indeed.  That might have been the time to call the bluff on the, um, emperor's new clothes.


Let's follow that thinking to its logical conclusion. Criterion takes the "principled" stance recommended by you gentlemen and draws a line in the sand. Bertolucci and Storaro say, "Screw you!" and release the film on home video through another distributor that will implement their wishes (and probably not be as fastidious with supplements and other details).

 

And what exactly has been accomplished? /img/vbsmilies/htf/confused.gif


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#12 of 52 cafink

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Posted August 13 2010 - 04:07 AM

Criterion will have strengthened their reputation for uncompromising presentation quality, even in the face of poor decisions by revisionist filmmakers.


 

 


#13 of 52 Jesse Blacklow

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Posted August 13 2010 - 05:00 AM

Originally Posted by cafink 

Criterion will have strengthened their reputation for uncompromising presentation quality, even in the face of poor decisions by revisionist filmmakers.

And in the process been sued (possibly into bankruptcy), and be unable to license films from many, if not all major studios and filmmakers. In the meantime, as Michael points out, Storaro and Bertolucci (or more likely the production company) simply give it to another distributor who doesn't care about anything but getting it out the door.

 

So, in the end, the extremist "give me the best no matter what it costs anyone else" viewpoint gets you the same AR, minimal (or no) extras, probably worse video quality, and last but not least destroys a company and its employees in the middle of a recession. All in the name of one film. Would that make you happy? I'm a fan of the original presentation as much as the next guy, but for heaven's sake, at least think about from at least one other point of view before taking an uncompromising stand.


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#14 of 52 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted August 13 2010 - 06:04 AM

Originally Posted by Jesse Blacklow ../../..

How is Criterion "blindly" doing anything? They're not the production company of the film, they're the distributor, and are therefore legally bound (the whole point of licensing) to adhere to what the producers demands of the film. If the cinematographer wants a certain framing, and the director goes along with it, then chances are essentially zero that the production company would give the distributor the ability to disregard those wishes. Criterion's financial ability and opportunity to license films is limited enough as is. Why would you want them to spend what would likely be millions of dollars in legal fees, irrevocably damage their reputation, and/or almost certainly be blacklisted by major studios and filmmakers over one film with a limited audience?

 

Originally Posted by Jesse Blacklow 

And in the process been sued (possibly into bankruptcy), and be unable to license films from many, if not all major studios and filmmakers. In the meantime, as Michael points out, Storaro and Bertolucci (or more likely the production company) simply give it to another distributor who doesn't care about anything but getting it out the door.

Â
So, in the end, the extremist "give me the best no matter what it costs anyone else" viewpoint gets you the same AR, minimal (or no) extras, probably worse video quality, and last but not least destroys a company and its employees in the middle of a recession. All in the name of one film. Would that make you happy? I'm a fan of the original presentation as much as the next guy, but for heaven's sake, at least think about from at least one other point of view before taking an uncompromising stand.


If they are indeed legally bound w/ no feasible alternatives, then that makes more sense.  Nobody ever brought up that aspect of the issue here before though near as I can tell.

 

I don't know what kind of options they had both before making the overall agreement that you mentioned and w/in allowances of that agreement, but did their overall licensing agreement really stipulate that they must abide by each filmmaker's wishes on such matters?  Seems somewhat odd to hear that because many studios don't seem all *THAT* keen on abiding by filmmakers' wishes for such things -- and to the point of doing so in an overall licensing agreement no less rather than simply on a case-by-case basis.

 

As for the other aspect of it, no, I must disagree w/ you on that.  Taking a stance on principle should not only (or probably ever) be predicated w/ expected instant gratification.  If you think doing so only matters in cases where you'll very likely get what you want immediately as a direct result, then that's really not taking much of a stance at all.  Now, I'm not suggesting everyone should take the same stance in every such case, but if a certain case matters enough to you, then you *should* be prepared to accept the consequences of taking a stance whatever they may be...

 

_Man_


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#15 of 52 Jarod M

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Posted August 13 2010 - 06:09 AM


Sure, I think we all remember all those lawsuits that were filed back in the 1980s and 1990s because of director's objections that their films not be shown in the 4:3 ratio on home video and tv.  Companies all over the place went bankrupt.

 

And, of course, Criterion is also legally bound to release a film on Blu-ray when the distributor supplies them with inferior elements.  Otherwise they would be sued into bankruptcy.

 

Originally Posted by Jesse Blacklow 

And in the process been sued (possibly into bankruptcy), and be unable to license films from many, if not all major studios and filmmakers. In the meantime, as Michael points out, Storaro and Bertolucci (or more likely the production company) simply give it to another distributor who doesn't care about anything but getting it out the door.

Â
So, in the end, the extremist "give me the best no matter what it costs anyone else" viewpoint gets you the same AR, minimal (or no) extras, probably worse video quality, and last but not least destroys a company and its employees in the middle of a recession. All in the name of one film. Would that make you happy? I'm a fan of the original presentation as much as the next guy, but for heaven's sake, at least think about from at least one other point of view before taking an uncompromising stand.
 



#16 of 52 Jarod M

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Posted August 13 2010 - 06:18 AM


 

Originally Posted by Jesse Blacklow 

 Why would you want them to spend what would likely be millions of dollars in legal fees, irrevocably damage their reputation, and/or almost certainly be blacklisted by major studios and filmmakers over one film with a limited audience?


And everyone knows how powerful Storaro and Bertolucci are in Hollywood nowadays.  After that $10 in profits that their films have generated over the last 20 years for the major studios, the studio heads quiver with fear when "Bertolucci" displays on their caller id.



#17 of 52 Michael Reuben

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Posted August 13 2010 - 06:21 AM

 

Originally Posted by Jesse Blacklow 

I'm a fan of the original presentation as much as the next guy, but for heaven's sake, at least think about from at least one other point of view before taking an uncompromising stand.


Ah, we can relax. The reassuring thing is that a position like Carl laid out is strictly a debating point. Anyone actually responsible for getting something done (run a company, make a film, produce a Blu-ray) learns to deal with reality and compromise.


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#18 of 52 Brandon Conway

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Posted August 13 2010 - 06:34 AM



Originally Posted by Man-Fai Wong 

Nope.  I lay the blame partially on Criterion.  Just because they're just doing what they always do, which is usually a good thing, doesn't mean that blindly following an established, well-intentioned policy is always right or good.

 

This particular case is pretty clear, and if Criterion would ever choose to do otherwise, this should probably be one such exceptional instance.

 

Yes, I understand that perhaps part of the rationale is to not offend/turnaway filmmakers in general (not just a particular one like Storaro in this case) in order to maintain good relationships for future/ongoing collaborations.  But IMHO, Criterion could've also simply opted to *NOT* release TLE at all under the circumstance in order to take some sort of well thought-out, respectful stance while minimizing potential future problems w/ other filmmakers.

 

_Man_



I strongly disagree. That's not part of the rationale, that IS the rationale (and a contractual obligation assuredly). Criterion is done as a company if they don't follow the filmmaker's wishes. That's their entire foundation. Better to release one compromised release because of filmmaker's wishes than lose out on dozens of other releases because they backstab the filmmakers they previously listened to.


"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 52 cafink

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Posted August 13 2010 - 06:34 AM

 

Originally Posted by Jesse Blacklow 

 

So, in the end, the extremist "give me the best no matter what it costs anyone else" viewpoint ... destroys a company and its employees in the middle of a recession.


/img/vbsmilies/htf/rolleyes.gif


 

 


#20 of 52 Brandon Conway

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Posted August 13 2010 - 06:38 AM



Originally Posted by Jarod M 


Sure, I think we all remember all those lawsuits that were filed back in the 1980s and 1990s because of director's objections that their films not be shown in the 4:3 ratio on home video and tv.  Companies all over the place went bankrupt.

 

There's a vast - VAST - difference between a studio releasing a product they OWN outright, and a company LICENSING a film for distribution that I can GUARANTEE stipulates in the contractual agreement that the filmmakers have final approval of the released product. The situations are night and day.

 

But, you know, breaching a contract should be something Criterion doesn't give two seconds thought about...
 


"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





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