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A few words about...™ Vertigo -- in Blu-ray

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#161 of 404 Vertigo in SF

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Posted March 10 2013 - 12:10 PM

Neither, although the 1996 is closer in many sequences. The film requires a modern digital restoration. RAH

I see. Thanks for the answer, Mr. Harris. I wish Vertigo would get the full restoration it deserves; it's being called the best movie ever made nowadays after all! :) Mr. Gilmore, thanks for pointing out that screening. I wouldn't have heard about it if not for you. I'll definitely make it a goal to go...

#162 of 404 Robert Harris

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Posted March 10 2013 - 12:31 PM

Originally Posted by John Gilmore 

Another question for Mr. Harris:

The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA. is having a Hitchcock festival and will be screening "Vertigo" in what they bill as an "IB Tech Print....courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Lowell Peterson." Can I presume that the colors on this print will be accurate?

You cannot. It all depends upon the vintage of the print, and where in the run of matrices it was produced.


RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#163 of 404 JoshZ

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Posted March 14 2013 - 12:18 PM

Interesting interview with James White about film restoration in the digital age here: http://somecamerunni...ames-white.html He mentions Vertigo briefly: "Likewise, I've heard it recently remarked that with Vistavision films such as Vertigo we’re now seeing a level of detail on Blu-ray that was never intended for the cinema, as theatrical prints would have been made from separate matrices reduced for printing. So how does one approach situations like these? It’s an interesting dilemma." RAH, thoughts?

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#164 of 404 Robert Harris

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Posted March 14 2013 - 01:32 PM

Originally Posted by JoshZ 

Interesting interview with James White about film restoration in the digital age here:

http://somecamerunni...ames-white.html

He mentions Vertigo briefly:

"Likewise, I've heard it recently remarked that with Vistavision films such as Vertigo we’re now seeing a level of detail on Blu-ray that was never intended for the cinema, as theatrical prints would have been made from separate matrices reduced for printing. So how does one approach situations like these? It’s an interesting dilemma."

RAH, thoughts?

I'm only seeing a dilemma if scans expose information not meant to be exposed.  In a general sense, follow the original release print.


Nice interview by the way.  James White is an extremely talented and passionate archivist.  My presumption is that anything that he supervises will be superb.


I believe my favorite Black Narcissus / Jack Cardiff story has been told here in another thread.  And, yes, every (re)print that I had seen of BN had a lavender tint to it.  Apparently, just a bit heavy on magenta.


RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#165 of 404 AstonMartin007

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Posted May 18 2013 - 01:49 PM

RAH,

 

I noticed the Egyptian Theatre is having a 70MM showing of Vertigo next week...never having seen Vertigo in the theatre, I'm really anxious to attend, but what are the chances that they will use the newer DTS 5.1 mix on the Bluray? I'm not really looking forward to being bombarded with foley footsteps.

 

Also regarding the flashback, could you elaborate on the condition of the footage? I read your statement that the original negatives can't be found...have they been destroyed or are they perhaps still sitting somewhere? Why would that scene be separated from the rest of the film? I know Hitchcock originally cut it out, but it was reinstated before the premiere, so presumably 1958 audiences saw it in its original quality.

 

Also, given that there are still 1958 IB Tech prints in existence, could they serve as a backup source for that scene? Or is that what we're already seeing?

 

It's just frustrating having the rest of the film looking gorgeous and that scene looking blurry and degraded...

 

Thanks.



#166 of 404 Robert Harris

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Posted May 18 2013 - 02:10 PM

RAH,

 

I noticed the Egyptian Theatre is having a 70MM showing of Vertigo next week...never having seen Vertigo in the theatre, I'm really anxious to attend, but what are the chances that they will use the newer DTS 5.1 mix on the Bluray? I'm not really looking forward to being bombarded with foley footsteps.

 

Also regarding the flashback, could you elaborate on the condition of the footage? I read your statement that the original negatives can't be found...have they been destroyed or are they perhaps still sitting somewhere? Why would that scene be separated from the rest of the film? I know Hitchcock originally cut it out, but it was reinstated before the premiere, so presumably 1958 audiences saw it in its original quality.

 

Also, given that there are still 1958 IB Tech prints in existence, could they serve as a backup source for that scene? Or is that what we're already seeing?

 

It's just frustrating having the rest of the film looking gorgeous and that scene looking blurry and degraded...

 

Thanks.

 

You'll be bombarded by "Foley footsteps."  Accept that as a given, and enjoy.

 

The original negative for the flashback would have been junked after the opticals were created.  Other shots, seen earlier in the film are duped into the flashback.  With a faded dupe, we were stuck with using the sep masters, which were in fact dupe sep masters.  Which means that our element began at fourth gen and went on from there.

 

Don't need dye transfer prints.  Simply a complete and proper digital restoration.  A pity, as Universal could have done this, but never pulled the trigger.  They need to start all over again.

 

Don't allow any of this to deter you from going to the 70mm screening.  You'll see imagery that you'll never forget, along with sequences that still look far better in what we did 17 years ago than they do in their current digital incarnation.

 

Could we make it look precisely as it did in 1958?  Yes.  And better.

 

For now, just go and enjoy.

 

RAH


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"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#167 of 404 Peter Hayes

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Posted May 19 2013 - 10:26 PM

RAH,

 

I noticed the Egyptian Theatre is having a 70MM showing of Vertigo next week...never having seen Vertigo in the theatre, I'm really anxious to attend

 

As one newbie to another, let me tell you that I'd be going if I had the opportunity.  If you do, please report on what you saw and heard. 

 

But be sure and read my article first ...

 

http://brightlightsf...dited-hayes.php



#168 of 404 Robert Harris

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Posted May 20 2013 - 04:40 AM

As one newbie to another, let me tell you that I'd be going if I had the opportunity.  If you do, please report on what you saw and heard. 

 

But be sure and read my article first ...

 

http://brightlightsf...dited-hayes.php

 

Mr. Hayes,

 

I enjoyed reading your notes on Vertigo, and can offer the following:

 

Printer functions for motion pictures are very specific.  Fades and dissolves, come in varying lengths and occasionally speeds and formats.

 

I work in a very specific way, that may be slightly different than some others, but generally with the same intent.

 

Original lab cards, along with scribe marks along the edge of the original negative, tell you precisely how long any function is, and precisely where it is to begin and end.

 

No guessing here.

 

In the analogue days, I would cut a work picture, and every function would be annotated in tape and marker.

 

To the frame.

 

It is after than that occasionally things can change a bit.

 

In order not to lose an additional generation, all 70mm prints of Vertigo were struck by deluxe from our original A & B rolls.  This meant that every fade and dissolve was original to the print.  Is it possible that a piece of hardware could hiccup and make a subtle change?

 

Certainly.  As no one is measuring every print.

 

Once into the digital world, the same research and annotations apply, but now, especially in creating a set of data files toward a DCP and HD master, control is absolute.  Below is a page from one of my working continuities, and you can see the precision involved, as allowed by digital conformation:

 

 

 

 

THE GODFATHER

 

 

Reel 2A

Page Six

 

 

678-7               708-1               29-11               45        LS Ext. Day - Photographer BTC arranges family

                                                                                    for photo - pan R with Pacino to inc. Keaton -

                                                                                    pan back to inc. family - Dissolve

A-ROLL ENDS 678-6

 

B-ROLL 678-7

 

                        4 Foot Dissolve                                  Start Dissolve: 706-2

                                                                                    End Dissolve: 710-1

 

A-ROLL 705-14

 

B-ROLL ENDS 710-5

 

 

NOTCHES ON BOTH A-ROLL & B-ROLL

GLUE RESIDUE ON A-ROLL

 

 

708-2               740-11             32-10               46        MLDS Ext. Day - Brando and Shire

                                                                                    walk L through crowd to dance floor

 

 

740-12             763-12             23-1                 47        LDS Brando and Shire dance - people BG -

                                                                                    Fade Out (DX TO B-ROLL)

 

A-ROLL ENDS 763-12

 

B-ROLL 763-13

 

                        3 Foot Fade Out                                Start Fade Out: 760-13

                                                                                    End Fade Out: 763-12

 

 

 

 

For Vertigo, our work in 1996 was fully analogue.  Here are some specifics.

 

The main titles were all of a single unit, ie. they were not original, and all fades and dissolves were built-in, and have been since 1958.  Ours were unchanged.

 

The fade out at the end of the MT was built in.  However, the fade in to the Men up ladder should be precisely 3 feet.  The fade begins at 279-11 (feet-frames) and ends at 282-10.  Similarly, the fades from the alley to Ms Bel Geddes studio is also 3 feet.

 

The fade in in reel 4B, in which you discuss Ms Bel Geddes moving away from her painting is also 3 feet.  It begins on the first frame of the unit, and ends precisely at 0002-15.  This is the precise way in which dye transfer matrices were exposed in 1958.

 

Another interesting one, and visually a problem in the analogue world, the shot of Ms Bel Geddes walking down the hospital corridor, which begins 432-8 into reel 5B.  It ends at 471-10, and the 6 foot fade out is built into this dupe.  While someone creating a video master can play with it, there is no reason to.  It is precisely as it was designed to be -- a built-in 6 footer beginning at 465-11 and ending at 471-10.  That dupe shot then dissolves into original, the long shot pan of San Francisco.  Another 6 foot fade in, which then dissolves into the pan down the street, which is a 3 foot dissolve.

 

The iconic final shot of the film runs from 737-9 to 780-7, ending in what should be a 6 foot fade out.

 

Here's where things can get interesting.  One might ask, "what is a 6 foot fade?"

 

The answer is that it can be several different things, dependent upon how it is encoded, and this is also one place in which things can get set out of sync.

 

An example.  At the very end of Lawrence of Arabia, the final shot is of Lawrence, his face obscured by the dusty windscreen.  That shot begins at 1443-0 of reel 13B, and ends at 1455-15.  It was designed to end with a relatively fast 4 foot fade out.  Our final 70mm print from the reconstructed negative was encoded properly, but somewhere between that approved print, and the interpositive, from which future prints would be struck, what was designed to be a gradual 4 foot dissolve, somehow turned into a 2 foot dissolve with 2 feet of black.  Wrong, but it happens.

 

If whomever, and it is people not machines encoding these functions, isn't aware of the proper placement of functions, or encodes them incorrectly, you get differences, which can be more than those routinely found when dealing with printers, which are machines.  In that case, one must give a bit of leeway, but in the digital work, everything can, and should be precise.

 

People make mistakes.

 

If you happened to see a 25th Anniversary print of The Godfather, you would have seen a dissolve that was never meant to be in the film.  It was there because someone apparently noticed scribe marks (in this case old scribe marks, that had been partially obscured) and added an errant dissolve.  When we prepare a film for restoration, we begin with as many of the original lab cards as we can find, and check those against an original print.  From those sources we create our continuity, which is inclusive of printer functions.

 

As has been noted in the garment trade.  "Measure twice.  Cut once."

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#169 of 404 Dr Griffin

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Posted May 20 2013 - 08:45 AM

As one newbie to another, let me tell you that I'd be going if I had the opportunity.  If you do, please report on what you saw and heard. 

 

But be sure and read my article first ...

 

http://brightlightsf...dited-hayes.php

 

 

All the other fades of the film pale in comparison to the final fade. The abruptness of the Blu-ray fade is artistically significant when compared side by side to the slower fade. Thanks for the link to your interesting article.



#170 of 404 AstonMartin007

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Posted May 20 2013 - 10:54 AM

As one newbie to another, let me tell you that I'd be going if I had the opportunity.  If you do, please report on what you saw and heard. 

 

But be sure and read my article first ...

 

http://brightlightsf...dited-hayes.php

 

I have read your article before actually, I was aware of the fade differences, but you're the first to lay out the data like that. I do remember the final fade; the first time I saw Vertigo was on a faded, cropped VHS, hardly the ideal experience, but the final twist is the most shocking film moment in my memory, literally feeling my brain drop out as Scottie stood on the precipice. I know it's cliche that "No good film is long enough", but I don't think I've ever pleaded with a film's uncompromising ending before...

 

I'm definitely going, a 70mm presentation of Vertigo is not to be missed. I'm just indignant at the convoluted way Vertigo is presented...as best as I know, this is the current situation:

 

Most accurate picture: 1958 IB Tech print, BUT still not guaranteed

Highest resolution picture: 1996 70mm Restoration, BUT older Foley soundtrack

Best surround sound mix: 2012 Bluray, BUT color and light levels all over the place and can't be bought separately

Want to hear original Mono mix: Bluray, BUT US Bluray, not UK

 

It's a ridiculous conundrum. We just passed the 55th anniversary of the premiere...how long will this charade keep up?

 

A bit off topic, but I also wrote a piece on Vertigo, after the Sight&Sound poll declared it #1, the whole internet was ablaze with dismissal and contempt, and I couldn't take everyone declaring it overrated and full of holes. The plot is actually far more watertight than even I originally thought; if you have any questions or interest about the plot and history behind the film and Kim Novak's casting, take a look:

 

http://www.reddit.co...f/vertigo_1958/

 

And thanks to RAH for his work and honesty regarding the restoration process.



#171 of 404 Robert Harris

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Posted May 20 2013 - 12:13 PM

I have read your article before actually, I was aware of the fade differences, but you're the first to lay out the data like that. I do remember the final fade; the first time I saw Vertigo was on a faded, cropped VHS, hardly the ideal experience, but the final twist is the most shocking film moment in my memory, literally feeling my brain drop out as Scottie stood on the precipice. I know it's cliche that "No good film is long enough", but I don't think I've ever pleaded with a film's uncompromising ending before...

 

I'm definitely going, a 70mm presentation of Vertigo is not to be missed. I'm just indignant at the convoluted way Vertigo is presented...as best as I know, this is the current situation:

 

Most accurate picture: 1958 IB Tech print, BUT still not guaranteed

Highest resolution picture: 1996 70mm Restoration, BUT older Foley soundtrack

Best surround sound mix: 2012 Bluray, BUT color and light levels all over the place and can't be bought separately

Want to hear original Mono mix: Bluray, BUT US Bluray, not UK

 

It's a ridiculous conundrum. We just passed the 55th anniversary of the premiere...how long will this charade keep up?

 

A bit off topic, but I also wrote a piece on Vertigo, after the Sight&Sound poll declared it #1, the whole internet was ablaze with dismissal and contempt, and I couldn't take everyone declaring it overrated and full of holes. The plot is actually far more watertight than even I originally thought; if you have any questions or interest about the plot and history behind the film and Kim Novak's casting, take a look:

 

http://www.reddit.co...f/vertigo_1958/

 

And thanks to RAH for his work and honesty regarding the restoration process.

 

You're welcome.

 

Wonderfully written piece.  The flashback was actually in and out of the original negative conformation at certain times during testing, and then finally cut in for good, albeit all as a dupe section.

 

As to Ms Novak's acting, I believe that it's her transparency to the character that may make things seem as though there is less going on behind the mask.  After having the chance to discuss the production and the role with her, it becomes obvious that what casual viewers may see as transparency is both heavily layered and detailed, as well as beautifully acted.  She simply makes it appear easy.

 

Great actress and a wonderful woman.

 

RAH


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"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#172 of 404 Peter Hayes

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Posted May 21 2013 - 02:49 AM

Mr Harris, you have given me a lot to think about here. 

 

If I’m reading you right, you’re saying amongst other things that your restoration recreated all (or at least some) of the dissolves.  I wouldn’t have guessed that was still possible, ie that the elements were still available.  Is that correct or have I misread you?

 

More pressing questions on my mind for the moment are: if we were watching Vertigo on first release in 1958, would we have seen Midge take her hand away from the easel and step back with both legs?  And would we have seen her saying the third ‘stupid’ a few minutes later right there on screen in front of us, her mouth visibly forming the word?  (Do we see either or both of these things if we attend a 70mm screening of Vertigo in 2013?  Let us know, Aston!)  We certainly see them on the 1984 laserdisc, and certainly don’t on any of the DVDs or the Signature Collection laserdisc (or the Bluray).

 

There are two possibilities here: either someone put them in between 1958 and 1984 and they shouldn’t have; or someone left them out between 1984 and 1997 (the year of the SC laserdisc) and they shouldn’t have.

 

Even without knowing all the technicalities of how transfers are made, it’s obvious to me that the 1984 laserdisc is taken pretty much straight off a print of the film that didn’t have much at all done to it.  (I base that mostly on the fact that you see the reel change markers in the corner from time to time.)  For various reasons I find it hard to believe – and when I was writing my article barely even considered the possibility, having (I thought) put it behind me – that the ‘extra’ frames were not present in 1958.  Not impossible, just hard.

 

From what Mr Harris says (again if I’m reading him right) maybe they were not there in ’58 – but if so, how and where and when did they get into the movie?  And why?

 

The example from LOA is more what I’d expect mistakes to produce at fades: deletion of visible content rather than addition.  That’s the natural direction for entropy to follow: it takes more work to put things into a movie than to take them out.

 

So I seem to have asked a question rather than delivered the definitive answer.  Beyond that lies further investigation – and further comment, of course.



#173 of 404 Robert Harris

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Posted May 21 2013 - 03:51 AM

Mr Harris, you have given me a lot to think about here. 
 
If I’m reading you right, you’re saying amongst other things that your restoration recreated all (or at least some) of the dissolves.  I wouldn’t have guessed that was still possible, ie that the elements were still available.  Is that correct or have I misread you?
 
More pressing questions on my mind for the moment are: if we were watching Vertigo on first release in 1958, would we have seen Midge take her hand away from the easel and step back with both legs?  And would we have seen her saying the third ‘stupid’ a few minutes later right there on screen in front of us, her mouth visibly forming the word?  (Do we see either or both of these things if we attend a 70mm screening of Vertigo in 2013?  Let us know, Aston!)  We certainly see them on the 1984 laserdisc, and certainly don’t on any of the DVDs or the Signature Collection laserdisc (or the Bluray).
 
There are two possibilities here: either someone put them in between 1958 and 1984 and they shouldn’t have; or someone left them out between 1984 and 1997 (the year of the SC laserdisc) and they shouldn’t have.
 
Even without knowing all the technicalities of how transfers are made, it’s obvious to me that the 1984 laserdisc is taken pretty much straight off a print of the film that didn’t have much at all done to it.  (I base that mostly on the fact that you see the reel change markers in the corner from time to time.)  For various reasons I find it hard to believe – and when I was writing my article barely even considered the possibility, having (I thought) put it behind me – that the ‘extra’ frames were not present in 1958.  Not impossible, just hard.
 
From what Mr Harris says (again if I’m reading him right) maybe they were not there in ’58 – but if so, how and where and when did they get into the movie?  And why?
 
The example from LOA is more what I’d expect mistakes to produce at fades: deletion of visible content rather than addition.  That’s the natural direction for entropy to follow: it takes more work to put things into a movie than to take them out.
 
So I seem to have asked a question rather than delivered the definitive answer.  Beyond that lies further investigation – and further comment, of course.


If one is working from an IP or dupe to create a video master, printer functions will be baked in, ie locked into the element.

If one is doing a restoration, or even an image harvest from an OCN, of a production cut for printing in auto-select or A / B rolls, there will be no functions, and all must be created.

In certain situations, dupes or opticals will be inclusive of functions.

if one tracks video incarnations back far enough, the element being used will generally be either a 4 perf IP or a dupe struck from the IP. Functions would have been a part of the IP, which might not perfectly match the original printing matrices c. 1958. The original functions in 1958 would have been programmed normally. By that I mean that a 6 foot fade would normally be out in 5, with a bit of black at the tail.

When fades were not programmed optically, they could be produced with a physical fade matte, as part of a B roll. Auto-select functions were original TO EACH PRINT. For example, every 70mm print of Lawrence until we re-cut the neg in 1988, had been struck from the 65 original, with every fade and dissolve printed in separately.

Hopefully, I'm making things cleaner and not more murky.

 

NOTE: Recalling how we made the 70mm Vertigo, prints...

 

As we were already a couple generations away from original, we decided to strike all 70mm prints from cut A / B rolls, which means that all functions in 70mm prints are original, and might change very slightly from print to print.

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#174 of 404 haineshisway

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Posted May 21 2013 - 11:39 AM

You cannot. It all depends upon the vintage of the print, and where in the run of matrices it was produced.


RAH

Sounds like Lowell (Nick) Peterson has ended up with my print.  It's gorgeous.  That said, it will not look like it did in theaters unless they project it with a carbon arc light source.



#175 of 404 John Gilmore

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Posted May 22 2013 - 10:21 PM

You cannot. It all depends upon the vintage of the print, and where in the run of matrices it was produced.


RAH

 

 

Sounds like Lowell (Nick) Peterson has ended up with my print.  It's gorgeous.  That said, it will not look like it did in theaters unless they project it with a carbon arc light source.

 

I attended that showing at the Pacific Film Archive. The color was very rich, and I was surprised that a good portion of the color matched  closely to the way I recall the colors in the Harris/Katz restoration. What struck me was that the sharpness was not as I expected. The 70mm restoration prints were incredibly sharp and detailed. The IB print seemed almost out of focus in comparison. Could this be due to not projecting it with carbon arc?


Edited by John Gilmore, May 22 2013 - 10:22 PM.

John

#176 of 404 Peter Hayes

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Posted May 23 2013 - 01:03 AM

I attended that showing at the Pacific Film Archive.

 

Half your luck!  I'm starting to think that I am going to have to come to the States the next time an IB print is screened to get my own Vertigo questions answered once and for all.

 

In the meantime it's probably asking too much of you to try and answer them for me.  But I'll ask anyway: did the fades seem slower and longer than they do on DVD?  In particular, did the final fade out seem like the slow and stately fading out of a dream, or was it (as it is on the various DVDs) so fast (to quote a recent scholarly article - published in the latest issue of Bright Lights Film Journal online) as to be practically a cut to black rather than a fade?

 

And (while I'm asking - not that I expect you to be able to answer) when Midge said "stupid" for the third time, was she a disembodied voice by then ... or merely fading out as she said it?

 

Ah, well, there's no harm in asking.



#177 of 404 Robert Harris

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Posted May 23 2013 - 03:54 AM

I attended that showing at the Pacific Film Archive. The color was very rich, and I was surprised that a good portion of the color matched  closely to the way I recall the colors in the Harris/Katz restoration. What struck me was that the sharpness was not as I expected. The 70mm restoration prints were incredibly sharp and detailed. The IB print seemed almost out of focus in comparison. Could this be due to not projecting it with carbon arc?


Dye transfer prints were never as sharp as direct positives. They gave their perception of sharpness via higher contrast. If they had 14 foot lamberts on screen it should have looked beautiful.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#178 of 404 AstonMartin007

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Posted May 23 2013 - 02:26 PM

You're welcome.

Wonderfully written piece. The flashback was actually in and out of the original negative conformation at certain times during testing, and then finally cut in for good, albeit all as a dupe section.

As to Ms Novak's acting, I believe that it's her transparency to the character that may make things seem as though there is less going on behind the mask. After having the chance to discuss the production and the role with her, it becomes obvious that what casual viewers may see as transparency is both heavily layered and detailed, as well as beautifully acted. She simply makes it appear easy.

Great actress and a wonderful woman.

RAH


Ah, well you would know about the flashback. My source was primarily Herbert Coleman's memoirs. Thanks for reading it!

I think Kim Novak really does not get enough credit for her work. I never had any reservations about her, the first time I saw Vertigo I had never heard of her and by the end she had totally won me over. I remember one reviewer comparing the unexpected power of her entrance in Vertigo to the Pearl Harbor surprise attack...strange analogy, but it works somehow. It was only after I looked her up online that I found so much criticism of her; I've never understood it. I went back and saw Picnic and The Man with the Golden Arm, and while I'm not sure about the movies themselves, her performances in both still stand out amid the dated and exaggerated acting styles of the cast. She could project an honest sincerity and vulnerability I've never seen elsewhere, it's clear her performance in Vertigo was no fluke. That's primarily why I wrote that whole section on her casting, because at the end of the day, I find myself in the uncomfortable position of defending Hitchcock's film while at the same time wondering how much credit he really deserves for it. Vertigo wouldn't exist without Hitchcock, but would it be what it is without Kim Novak? That he couldn't understand her value and kept sniping at her through the years speaks more to his limitations than Novak's, I feel.

I feel a twinge of sadness watching Vertigo now, unconnected with the tragedy of the film. I don't know how well her career would've gone, but it's clear she didn't deserve the dismissal she received back then, which still continues to a certain extant today. Vertigo should have been a landmark film in an illustrious career, instead it fizzled and no one saw it for 30 years. Instead of the praise that she deserved, all I can find are Hitchcock's quips and headlines like this. At least she's getting some recognition now, albeit 50 years late...it would be nice to see her with Stewart on the cover of the fully restored Bluray release, which will hopefully happen sometime before the Apocalypse.

Peter, I'll look for the fades; I certainly won't be using a stopwatch, but in any case, it should be easy to check Midge's scene and the final fade.


Edited by AstonMartin007, May 23 2013 - 02:36 PM.


#179 of 404 Peter Hayes

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Posted May 24 2013 - 03:13 AM

Vertigo wouldn't exist without Hitchcock, but would it be what it is without Kim Novak? That he couldn't understand her value and kept sniping at her through the years speaks more to his limitations than Novak's, I feel.

I feel a twinge of sadness watching Vertigo now, unconnected with the tragedy of the film. I don't know how well her career would've gone, but it's clear she didn't deserve the dismissal she received back then, which still continues to a certain extant today. Vertigo should have been a landmark film in an illustrious career, instead it fizzled and no one saw it for 30 years. Instead of the praise that she deserved, all I can find are Hitchcock's quips and headlines like this. At least she's getting some recognition now, albeit 50 years late...it would be nice to see her with Stewart on the cover of the fully restored Bluray release, which will hopefully happen sometime before the Apocalypse.

 

 

 

Very few actresses manage to have lifelong careers; there's a saying in the English theatre that "there's nothing between Juliet and her nurse" - meaning women get to play a pretty girl or an old lady, and that's it.  In other words, there are no parts for middle-aged women.  There are exceptions of course, but that's the rule.

 

Enjoy the movie, Aston.

 

And in the meantime, here's a frame capture from the 1984 laserdisc.  You'll see my reason for posting it in the upper right hand corner.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 84 ld reel change marker 2.jpg

Edited by Peter Hayes, May 24 2013 - 03:23 AM.


#180 of 404 Douglas R

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Posted May 24 2013 - 04:45 AM

The first time I saw VERTIGO theatrically was at the Plaza, Regent Street when it was re-released in 1983, along with THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, REAR WINDOW, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY and ROPE, a few years after Hitchcock's death when those films became available again. Did anyone else see VERTIGO then? I recall being disappointed by the quality of the print considering it must have been newly struck. It was certainly far inferior to the print of NORTH BY NORTHWEST which was also re-released some years earlier at the Ritz, Leicester Square and was one of the sharpest, brightest prints I'd ever seen - which is why I've never been very happy with the Blu-ray which I'm sure is softer and darker than the print I saw. 


Edited by Douglas R, May 24 2013 - 04:47 AM.






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