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Criterion Press Release: Lord of the Flies (Blu-ray)

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#1 of 55 Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 15 2013 - 01:29 PM

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LORD OF THE FLIES – Blu-ray & DVD Editions

In the hands of the renowned experimental theater director Peter Brook, William Golding’s legendary novel on the primitivism lurking beneath civilization becomes a film as raw and ragged as the lost boys at its center. Taking an innovative documentary-like approach, Brook shot Lord of the Flies with an off-the-cuff naturalism, seeming to record a spontaneous eruption of its characters’ ids. The result is a rattling masterpiece, as provocative as its source material.

 

1963 • 90 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.37:1 aspect ratio

 

 SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES 

• New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

• Audio commentary featuring director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and Feil

• Audio recordings of William Golding reading from his novel Lord of the Flies, accompanied by the corresponding scenes from the film

• Deleted scene, with optional commentary and reading by Golding

• Interview with Brook from 2008

• Collection of behind-the-scenes material, featuring home movies, screen tests, outtakes, and stills

• New interview with Feil

• Excerpt from Feil’s 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showcasing Brook’s theater methods

• Something Queer in the Warehouse, a piece composed of never-before-seen footage shot by the boy actors during production, with new voice-over by Tom Gaman, who played Simon

• Trailer

• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Geoffrey Macnab and an excerpt from Brook’s book The Shifting Point

 

TITLE: Lord of the Flies (BLU-RAY EDITION)                                     

CAT. NO: CC2290BD

UPC: 7-15515-10821-8

ISBN: 978-1-60465-753-1

SRP: $39.95                                                      

PREBOOK: 6/18/13

STREET: 7/16/13

 

 


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#2 of 55 Dick

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Posted April 15 2013 - 03:26 PM

I recall actually speaking to a spokesperson by phone at Criterion , in the days when you acould actually do such a thing, regarding the aspect ratio of the then-forthcoming laser disc release. I was told Criterion juggled releasing this at 1.33 vs. 1.66. Apparently this was filmed at 1.33 and for the eventual laser release (and this Blu-ray), the decision was made not to crop it. But Criterion (if I am not mistaken) provides their Blu-rays with snsmorphic transfers even for 1.33:1, maximizing the PQ. Thanks for this release!


Edited by Dick, April 16 2013 - 02:31 PM.


#3 of 55 haineshisway

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Posted April 15 2013 - 04:09 PM

Well, it certainly wasn't SHOWN in Academy ratio anywhere that I know of.  I saw it many times on its initial release - always 1.85 here in the US.  Probably shown in 1.66 maybe in the UK?  



#4 of 55 Moe Dickstein

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Posted April 15 2013 - 05:35 PM

There's also a non CC DVD of this in 1.66
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#5 of 55 theonemacduff

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Posted April 15 2013 - 06:49 PM

Interesting that the pics on the press release should look so well-framed and composed in a non-1.33 ratio...... Just saying.



#6 of 55 Vincent_P

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Posted April 15 2013 - 07:09 PM

There's no such thing as "anamorphic transfer for Blu-ray".  The native aspect ratio for HD/Blu-ray is 1.78:1 with square pixels.

 

Vincent

 

I recall actually speaking to a spokesperson by phone at Criterion , in the days when you acould actually do such a thing, regarding the aspect ratio of the then-forthcoming laser disc release. I was told Criterion juggled releasing this at 1.33 vs. 1.66. Apparently this was filmed at 1.33 and for the eventual laser release (and this Blu-ray), the decision was made not to crop it. But Criterion (if I am not mistaken) provides their Blu-rays with snsmorphic transfers even for 1.33:1, maximizing the PQ. Thanks for this release!


Edited by Vincent_P, April 15 2013 - 07:12 PM.


#7 of 55 Vincent_P

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Posted April 15 2013 - 07:10 PM

Well, it certainly wasn't SHOWN in Academy ratio anywhere that I know of.  I saw it many times on its initial release - always 1.85 here in the US.  Probably shown in 1.66 maybe in the UK?  

 

"• New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil..."

 

I'll take the cameraman/editor's word on what the proper aspect ratio is.

 

Vincent


Edited by Vincent_P, April 15 2013 - 07:11 PM.


#8 of 55 Will*B

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Posted April 16 2013 - 06:25 AM

Looking forward to this release. I've seen it broadcast on TV in (I think) 1.78:1, and don't recall any obvious vertical cropping.

 

Having said that, if Gerald Feil approves the transfer at 1.33:1, that's good enough for me. (Unless he's been taking lessons from Storaro).

 

Off topic, but interesting to see that one of Feil's other few films he DP'd was Friday the 13th Part III. A slightly different take on the "the primitivism lurking beneath civilization"!


Edited by Will*B, April 16 2013 - 06:27 AM.

 

 


#9 of 55 Russell G

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Posted April 16 2013 - 07:43 AM

I'm in for this one. I ight have to track down the remake as well, I recall it being pretty good to.


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#10 of 55 haineshisway

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Posted April 16 2013 - 08:35 AM

"• New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by cameraman and editor Gerald Feil..."

 

I'll take the cameraman/editor's word on what the proper aspect ratio is.

 

Vincent

As someone already mentioned - two words - Vitttorio Storaro.  While it's entirely possible for the cameraman and director to have shot the film in Academy knowing it would not be shown that way in any cinema in the United States (and only a handful in England and elsewhere), I'd find it compellingly odd.



#11 of 55 Russell G

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Posted April 16 2013 - 08:45 AM

Seeing as the film, as stated in the press release was shot with a natural documentary-like approach by an experimental theater director, I'm not surprised that the 1:37 was chosen. there's lots of low budget films from the 60's that were shot 1:37, and most documentaries were too.
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#12 of 55 Lord Dalek

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Posted April 16 2013 - 08:49 AM

Bringing up Storaro is like comparing apples and oranges. This film was shot in 1.37:1 (whether it was projected that way is anyone's guess). Storaro's Univisium conversions are cropped from 2.40. There's a difference between a loss and a possible gain.



#13 of 55 ahollis

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Posted April 16 2013 - 09:02 AM

Not that this will settle any discussion but the Aug 26, 1963 Boxoffice Magazine lists the aspect ratio as 1.85:1 for the US release.

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#14 of 55 Yorkshire

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Posted April 17 2013 - 01:27 AM

As someone already mentioned - two words - Vitttorio Storaro.  While it's entirely possible for the cameraman and director to have shot the film in Academy knowing it would not be shown that way in any cinema in the United States (and only a handful in England and elsewhere), I'd find it compellingly odd.

 

 

I've said this elsewhere, but we're talking about two different things.

 

VS says "Apocalpse Now was shot for 2.40:1, but I'm cropping it to 2.00:1 because I don't think it loses too much, and will look better on 16:9 TVs".

 

That's quite different to a cameraman saying a film was shot in 1.37:1 so it should get a home video release in 1.37:1.

 

VS admits he's changing things - he's not trying to pretend Apocalypse Now was always intended for 2.00:1.

 

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#15 of 55 Will*B

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Posted April 17 2013 - 03:55 AM

I should clarify that I wasn't making a direct comparison to the 'Storaro-scope' debacle. Rather, I was suggesting that a DP's approval does not necessarily mean the transfer is presented as it was in cinemas.

 

The most likely conclusion seems to be that Lord of the Flies was shot full-aperture, then matted to 1.66:1 or 1.85:1 for cinemas. If Feil has signed-off on a 1.37:1 transfer, I'll be perfectly happy, knowing that we're not losing any picture information.


 

 


#16 of 55 Stephen_J_H

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Posted April 20 2013 - 02:44 PM

If anyone's interested, it's currently playing on TCM in 1.37:1. Curiously, some scenes appear to be composed favouring the lower half of the screen, and zooming to 1.78:1 appears to do no damage initially, but overall, 1.37:1 appears to be the best choice, as many scenes put action into the extreme corners of the frame. I believe Criterion have made the right call here.
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#17 of 55 Steve Tannehill

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Posted April 20 2013 - 02:50 PM

It is also playing on Hulu Plus.



#18 of 55 haineshisway

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Posted April 20 2013 - 06:12 PM

If anyone's interested, it's currently playing on TCM in 1.37:1. Curiously, some scenes appear to be composed favouring the lower half of the screen, and zooming to 1.78:1 appears to do no damage initially, but overall, 1.37:1 appears to be the best choice, as many scenes put action into the extreme corners of the frame. I believe Criterion have made the right call here.

All these posts are well and good except for one small thing: This film was NEVER EVER shown in Academy anywhere.  So, sorry, I don't care who is signing off on what, the film should be 1.66 - these weren't amateurs making a film - they knew how it would be projected.



#19 of 55 Bob Furmanek

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Posted April 20 2013 - 09:55 PM

The UK standard by the time of principal photography was 1.75:1.


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From Daily Variety, four days before the start of principal photography. This listing would remain

for over two months until the film wrapped production in late November 1954.

 

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#20 of 55 Vincent_P

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Posted April 20 2013 - 10:43 PM

All these posts are well and good except for one small thing: This film was NEVER EVER shown in Academy anywhere.  So, sorry, I don't care who is signing off on what, the film should be 1.66 - these weren't amateurs making a film - they knew how it would be projected.

 

You could say that about EVERY independent film ever made, but guess what?  They (the independent filmmakers) didn't always have access to the same equipment with the same ground-glass markings as the studio productions.  These guys were often "winging it", doing the best they could with the resources at hand, regardless of "standards".

 

Vincent


Edited by Vincent_P, April 20 2013 - 10:44 PM.






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