There was a lot of contentious posting about the aspect ratio of Lord of the Flies - Criterion's transfer being full frame and supervised by one of the film's camera operators who was also one of the film's editors. Now, we all know that the film was not ever shown full frame, at least in the United States of America, and most likely anywhere else because the majority of theaters no longer had the ability to show full frame. It played here in 1.85 - what it played in in England is anyone's guess, but what's not a guess is it wasn't full frame - so 1.66 or 1.75 or 1.85 would be the other options. So, what are we to surmise when one of the film's operators and one of its editors make this decision on a film that is fifty years old. Would Peter Brook, even making a low-budget independent film, purposely shoot his film in a format that wouldn't be shown anywhere except TV? Would the film's producer allow the film to be made in a ratio that could not be shown? I saw this film twelve times back in 1963 in my local theater that showed these kinds of films back then - in 1.85, which is all they could show aside from scope.
But now having watched it, the evidence is clearly on the screen - there is no shot on view that wouldn't frame nicely at 1.66, 1.75 or 1.85, whereas mostly every shot in the film looks unbalanced in full frame. The real convincer comes early on when the camera does the long tracking shot showing each of the boys on the beach. You'll note how the operator keeps adjusting the height of the frame to be consistent. That says everything you need it to say. In full frame those moves make no sense. Matted, they make perfect sense. I'm sorry, but if they can do three versions of On the Waterfront (none of which are correct, BTW, since the image was zoomed), why can't they present Lord of the Flies the way it was shown in theaters and then this other thing?
Edited by haineshisway, July 17 2013 - 07:42 PM.