Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

A few words about...™ Heaven's Gate -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
292 replies to this topic

#41 of 293 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted November 27 2012 - 07:54 PM

Do you have THE LONG GOODBYE (1973) DVD? Another Vilmos Zsigmond shoot. There's a short but instructive featurette on flashing a negative, if I recall correctly. On second thought maybe it's a reproduction of the American Cinematographer article? The DVD is hard to get to at the moment or I'd check it out.

#42 of 293 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

Billy Batson

    Screenwriter



  • 1,491 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 19 2008
  • Real Name:Alan
  • LocationLondon

Posted November 28 2012 - 02:40 AM

Yeah, flashing the stock, you pre-expose it, apart from the look, it also makes the stock a lot faster, so you can shoot in a lower light (I can't remember any fast stocks around then, & if there was you can bet your life they were as grainy as hell). Flashing the print stock sounds bonkers, it might work very well, but how many prints are going to get flashed? Remember they're making prints world wide, but it's the old story of directors & cameramen never looking at their movies at the local cinema.

#43 of 293 OFFLINE   theonemacduff

theonemacduff

    Second Unit



  • 325 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 10 2010
  • Real Name:Jon Paul
  • Locationthe wet coast

Posted November 28 2012 - 06:51 AM

Do you have THE LONG GOODBYE (1973) DVD? Another Vilmos Zsigmond shoot. There's a short but instructive featurette on flashing a negative, if I recall correctly. On second thought maybe it's a reproduction of the American Cinematographer article? The DVD is hard to get to at the moment or I'd check it out.

Absolutely correct; I got the DVD of Long Goodbye a couple of years ago because I love Chandler's books. The featurette is from whence I derived my information. Not a great film, definitely lesser Altman, but not bad. Another one of those "not as interesting as the novel" movies.

#44 of 293 OFFLINE   John Hodson

John Hodson

    Producer



  • 4,464 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 14 2003
  • Real Name:John
  • LocationBolton, Lancashire

Posted November 28 2012 - 08:01 AM

I think 'great' is a word that can easily be applied to Altman's film, but I accept these things are subjective...
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#45 of 293 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

Stephen_J_H

    All Things Film Junkie



  • 4,073 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 30 2003
  • Real Name:Stephen J. Hill
  • LocationNorth of the 49th

Posted November 28 2012 - 10:39 AM

A lot of the American Cinematographer articles are available online. I didn't specifically look for the one on The Long Goodbye, but a Google search of pre-flashing American Cinematographer turned up several articles describing flashing and its effects on film stock.


"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#46 of 293 OFFLINE   JoshZ

JoshZ

    Second Unit



  • 419 posts
  • Join Date: May 26 2012
  • LocationBoston

Posted December 02 2012 - 04:18 AM

I'm not sure that I'm down with this transfer. It seems revisionist to me, especially if Zsigmond originally intended a dusty, "sepia" appearance (as shown in the "before" clips of the restoration featurette). The colors and contrast on the Blu-ray both look artificially boosted. Flesh tones are often orange. The green grass is almost flourescent. I would expect something much more delicate. Perhaps the original browns and yellows became monotonous, but the vivid colors here, while superficially prettier, feel inappropriate for the tone of the story. In some ways, this reminds me of Friedkin's "pastel" French Connection fiasco (though not nearly as much an eye sore). I don't blame Criterion. I'm sure this is all Cimino rethinking the movie. And I don't say this as some sort of Heaven's Gate purist. I hadn't seen the movie in ages and went into this viewing with no expectations for how it should look. Nonetheless, the colors struck me as "off" pretty quickly. It's not a travesty by any means, but I can't heap the praise on it that others have.

Writer / Blogmaster

High-Def Digest


#47 of 293 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

Vincent_P

    Screenwriter



  • 1,746 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 13 2003

Posted December 02 2012 - 06:30 AM

I disagree that the flesh tones look "orange", in fact the flesh tones in particular struck me as looking very "right" and "natural" both when viewing this via 2K projection at the NY Film Festival in October, and on the Blu-ray. I also disagree that this "new look" is so radically different. It actually looks pretty close to the look of the European DVD of the short version, and the original Image Entertainment LaserDisc of the long cut. Neither of those look as oppressively brown as the streaming HD version and are actually quite colorful. Not quite as colorful as this new restoration, mind you, but certainly a lot more vibrant than the broadcast/streaming HD master supervised by Zsigmond. Perhaps that brownish/pastel look was Zsigmond's intention, but in the end he was hired to do a job by Cimino and Cimino should have final word on the look of the film, and that final look on this Blu-ray is quite stunning IMO. Vincent

#48 of 293 OFFLINE   JoshZ

JoshZ

    Second Unit



  • 419 posts
  • Join Date: May 26 2012
  • LocationBoston

Posted December 02 2012 - 08:18 AM

It actually looks pretty close to the look of the European DVD of the short version, and the original Image Entertainment LaserDisc of the long cut.

How do we know whether either of those is accurate ot the original photographic intention? You can't use an old DVD or Laserdisc as a reference source.

Neither of those look as oppressively brown as the streaming HD version and are actually quite colorful. Not quite as colorful as this new restoration, mind you, but certainly a lot more vibrant than the broadcast/streaming HD master supervised by Zsigmond. Perhaps that brownish/pastel look was Zsigmond's intention, but in the end he was hired to do a job by Cimino and Cimino should have final word on the look of the film,

My question is when did Cimino decide that the movie should have such vibrant colors - when he made it, or only recently? Filmmakers go in with their digital toolkits and radically alter the look of their old movies all the time these days. I'll give it this: I didn't spot any goddamned teal in this transfer. That was a relief. Still, the other colors frequently look electronically boosted to me, not like natural photochemical colors.

Writer / Blogmaster

High-Def Digest


#49 of 293 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

Vincent_P

    Screenwriter



  • 1,746 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 13 2003

Posted December 02 2012 - 08:54 AM

I never argued that they represented "the original photographic intent", I was simply pointing out that this "new look" isn't quite as new as some might think. Re: the rich colors, my own impression is that they remind me of I.B. Technicolor, as opposed to an electronic look. Vincent

#50 of 293 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted December 02 2012 - 08:55 AM

Do you have THE LONG GOODBYE (1973) DVD? Another Vilmos Zsigmond shoot. There's a short but instructive featurette on flashing a negative, if I recall correctly. On second thought maybe it's a reproduction of the American Cinematographer article? The DVD is hard to get to at the moment or I'd check it out.

Absolutely correct; I got the DVD of Long Goodbye a couple of years ago because I love Chandler's books. The featurette is from whence I derived my information. Not a great film, definitely lesser Altman, but not bad. Another one of those "not as interesting as the novel" movies.

As an adaptation of the novel THE LONG GOODBYE is a slap in the face. The film is really about Altman's contempt for Chandler and old private eye movies. Too, the constant self-references to Hollywood instantly take me out of the film. However, I find it visually and aesthetically fascinating. The deep focus, constantly drifting camera, the peering through glass with reflections, the night time ambiance, the color pallet, the sense of spontaneity. Impossible to take your eyes off it. Zsigmond and Altman experiment in similar fashion in McCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971). What they do with exposure has never been explained that I know of, outside of a workshop I once took at the AFI. The film starts out dark and then gradually brightens from one scene to the next until the snow comes. Altman and Zsigmond prompt a viewer to keep peering into the frame. These are two films that scream out for hi-def treatment and blu-ray release. I expect they would be very tricky to get right. In comparison to the above, HEAVEN'S GATE seems fairly straightforward.

#51 of 293 OFFLINE   John Hodson

John Hodson

    Producer



  • 4,464 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 14 2003
  • Real Name:John
  • LocationBolton, Lancashire

Posted December 02 2012 - 11:46 PM

The film is really about Altman's contempt for Chandler and old private eye movies.

I'm sorry, but no it's not. There's not a hint of 'contempt' - Altman just didn't want to do a traditional take on the private eye movie; and it's alright with me...
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#52 of 293 OFFLINE   AdrianTurner

AdrianTurner

    Second Unit



  • 398 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 05 2007

Posted December 03 2012 - 01:54 AM

The Long Goodbye has always been a particular favourite of mine and I totally agree with Mr Hodson above. The film seems to me completely saturated in film noir lore and full of love for the genre and for Hollywood in general. That said, Mr Altman always struck me as someone who cultivated an image of being a bit aloof from the 'plebs'. Anyway, is another Altman movie, Gosford Park, full of contempt for Merchant-Ivory? Or is M*A*S*H a stark rebuke to all those war movies by Fuller, Aldrich & Co. And is Buffalo Bill and the Indians a . . . . well, maybe not, but that's OK with me.

#53 of 293 OFFLINE   John Hodson

John Hodson

    Producer



  • 4,464 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 14 2003
  • Real Name:John
  • LocationBolton, Lancashire

Posted December 03 2012 - 02:03 AM

Yes, 'OK' - as every fule kno... :)
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#54 of 293 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted December 03 2012 - 02:22 AM

You guys are entitled to your opinions but the facts state otherwise. Robert Altman did not hesitate to express his contempt for Chandler's idealism and character in all the press and interviews at the time. He was straightforward and in-your-face that Phillip Marlow is a joke, and the film reflects his attitude. If you think the film's pre-occupation with Hollywood lore and film noir is love you're missing the point and misinterpreting the film. What are movie references even doing in the film? The novel isn't about private eye movies or film noir. It's an epic crime and mystery novel, character driven, full of shattered dreams, unrequited love and broken hopes. It's tragedy. Altman rejects the idealism that causes Marlowe's disillusionment. He ridicules it. At best, THE LONG GOODBYE satirizes the novel -- which never broke the fourth wall by saturating itself with old movie references. A lot of Chandler buffs would have preferred a straightforward adaptation. I know I would. I wish somebody would go back to the novel and film a proper version. But again, the Altman film fascinates me for other reasons.

#55 of 293 OFFLINE   John Hodson

John Hodson

    Producer



  • 4,464 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 14 2003
  • Real Name:John
  • LocationBolton, Lancashire

Posted December 03 2012 - 04:29 AM

You guys are entitled to your opinions.

That's *extraordinarily* kind. Altman: Originally I didn't want to do it. I've enjoyed reading Chandler, though I never did finish The Long Goodbye, and I liked those 1940s movies, but I just didn't want to play around with them. I was sent the script by the producers and at first I said, "I don't want to do Raymond Chandler. If you say 'Philip Marlowe', people just think of Humphrey Bogart. Robert Mitchum was being proposed for it. But I just didn't want to do another Philip Marlowe film and have it wrap up the same way all the other films did. I think it was David Picker, the production chief at United Artists, who suggested Elliott Gould for Marlowe - and then I was interested. So I read Leigh Brackett's script – she wrote the script of The Big Sleep for Hawks - and in her version, in the last scene, Marlowe pulled out his gun and killed his best friend, Terry Lennox. It was so out of character for Marlowe, I said, 'I'll do the picture, but you cannot change that ending! It must be in the contract." They all agreed, which was very surprising. If she hadn't written that ending, I guarantee I wouldn't have done it. It said, 'This is just a movie.' After that, we had him do his funny little dance down the road and you hear 'Hooray for Hollywood', and that's what it's really about – 'Hooray for Hollywood'. It even looked like a road made in a Hollywood studio. And with Eileen Wade driving past, it's like the final scene in The Third Man! I decided that we were going to call him Rip Van Marlowe, as if he'd been asleep for twenty years, had woken up and was wandering through this landscape of the early 1970s, but trying to invoke the morals of a previous era. I put him in that dark suit, white shirt and tie, while everyone else was smelling incense and smoking pot and going topless; everything was health food and exercise and cool. So we just satirized that whole time. And that's why that line of Elliott's – 'It's OK with me' – became his key line throughout the film.” This is just a movie...it's fun, it's 'hip' and it's very Robert Altman.
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#56 of 293 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted December 03 2012 - 04:48 AM

I decided that we were going to call him Rip Van Marlowe, as if he'd been asleep for twenty years, had woken up and was wandering through this landscape of the early 1970s, but trying to invoke the morals of a previous era. I put him in that dark suit, white shirt and tie, while everyone else was smelling incense and smoking pot and going topless; everything was health food and exercise and cool. So we just satirized that whole time. And that's why that line of Elliott's – 'It's OK with me' – became his key line throughout the film.”

Thanks for making my point. I've read that before, and other statements he's made as well.

This is just a movie...it's fun, it's 'hip' and it's very Robert Altman.

Well, people have been debating this controversy since THE LONG GOODBYE was released. I agree it's very Robert Altman. But it's not the story Raymond Chandler told with such brilliance. If only Howard Hawks had directed it instead.

#57 of 293 OFFLINE   John Hodson

John Hodson

    Producer



  • 4,464 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 14 2003
  • Real Name:John
  • LocationBolton, Lancashire

Posted December 03 2012 - 05:07 AM

Sorry Richard, I still don't see 'contempt', I see one directors brilliant, quirky, take on a genre and I see much love there. Hawks did what he did and Altman did what he did; thank God for a world in which we can luxuriate in both.
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#58 of 293 OFFLINE   JoshZ

JoshZ

    Second Unit



  • 419 posts
  • Join Date: May 26 2012
  • LocationBoston

Posted December 03 2012 - 07:01 AM

Sorry Richard, I still don't see 'contempt', I see one directors brilliant, quirky, take on a genre and I see much love there. Hawks did what he did and Altman did what he did; thank God for a world in which we can luxuriate in both.

I agree. I don't see any contempt in the statement quoted above. I just see a filmmaker who wasn't particularly interested in making a traditional film noir, because he felt that it had been done before. Instead, he chose to use the opportunity to bring his own sensibility to the material.

Writer / Blogmaster

High-Def Digest


#59 of 293 OFFLINE   Richard--W

Richard--W

    Producer



  • 3,527 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2004

Posted December 03 2012 - 10:50 AM

Again, you are entitled to your views, but Altman himself stated otherwise and made no secret of his contempt for Chandler's idealism and the private eye genre. He was pretty vocal about it. The matter was hotly discussed in reviews and interviews at the time. John's quote is not the only source, but you will have to find the other sources for yourselves. Knowing what I know, I don't need to prove the proof and I'm reluctant to derail a thread about HEAVEN'S GATE with a debate on THE LONG GOODBYE. To return to the point, when McCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971) and THE LONG GOODBYE (1973) are brought to blu-ray, I hope that Vilmos Zsigmond himself supervises the transfers. There was a lot of manipulation in these films before principle photography and in post. His camerawork and lighting are so different from what everyone else was doing at the time it shouldn't be entrusted to just anyone; many people who do color and density timing today have no idea how photochemistry is supposed to look. A film shot by Vilmos Zsigmond is a very special thing.

#60 of 293 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

Vincent_P

    Screenwriter



  • 1,746 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 13 2003

Posted December 03 2012 - 02:11 PM

... A film shot by Vilmos Zsigmond is a very special thing.

One of the greatest days of my life was the day in 2002 when I was privileged to spend an afternoon picking the brilliant Mr. Zsigmond's brain while he was in New York doing location scouting for JERSEY GIRL. What an incredibly warm and gracious man he was (is)! Vincent





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: A Few Words About

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users