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All that Jazz ( 4K Blu-Ray Restoration)


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Noach Kowalski

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Posted August 24 2013 - 07:13 PM


The Association of Moving Image Archivists opens its annual “Reel Thing” conference Wednesday evening with the premiere of a new version of Bob Fosse’s 1979 musical All That Jazz that has been restored in 4K resolution.


The conference, which runs through Friday at the Motion Picture Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theatre, will examine at some recent restoration projects, and the challenges of preserving our motion picture history in the digital age.

Schawn Belston, senior vp of library and technical services at Fox Filmed Entertainment, related that the decision to do the 4K restoration of All That Jazz was a Fox collaboration with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Film Archive, which share technical and artistic knowledge and help identify films for restoration. This might be driven by market need, the artistic merits of the production, and/or whether the preservation of the title is in jeopardy.


All That Jazz,  Fosse’s semi-autobiographic classic, was nominated for nine Oscars including best picture and best director, and won the categories for art direction, costumes, editing and music.

It has actually had restoration work done—both photochemical and digital—over the course of the past 15 years. “All that Jazz was in a bit of trouble because all of the optical sections were done with CRI, a reversal negative that Kodak made that was very chic in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Depending on how they were processed, they could fade very quickly,” Schawn Belston, senior vp of library and technical services at Fox Filmed Entertainment, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Another key aspect of the restoration is preserving the original artistic intent of the filmmakers--something that Belston said he learned from All That Jazz’ Oscar nominated cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno when they were working on an earlier film-based restoration of the Fosse movie more than a decade ago. “The first time we showed him what we were working on, we got to the casting scene, 'On Broadway,' and there were shots of the theater where the producers were sitting. It was beautifully lit and you could see every seat it the theater," Belston related.

“[Rotunno] looked at me shaking his head and said ‘just because I shot the movie so you could see all of these seats doesn’t mean anyone intended you to actually see them.’ We ended up retiming the movie with him. Now that scene is much much darker; you can barely see the seats.”

To create the new 4K version, a print of the previous Rotunno-supervised version was used as a blueprint by digital colorist John Persichetti at Colorworks, who worked to precisely match the cinematographer's intent.


The use of 4K--roughly four times the resolution of today's more commonly used 2K for cinema--is getting a lot of attention in the restoration community. Explained Belston: “Now the economics work out that is it not extremely more expensive to do things in 4K, so why not try to get the highest possible resolution?"

He added, however, that the optimal resolution for a restoration project depends on the source material, for instance one might scan a 65mm Panavision negative in 8K. Film elements on other projects, he added, might not contain 4K information.

The 4K restoration of All That Jazz will be used as the master for an upcoming Blu-Ray release, and 4K Digital Cinema Package (the digital equivalent of a film print) will be created for repertory cinemas.






#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Mark Walker

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Posted August 24 2013 - 07:57 PM

Great news!  I went through a period when I was pruning my DVD collection and I sold ALL THAT JAZZ.  I have been tempted to repurchase the DVD from time to time, but no longer!


Here is to looking forward to a stunning Blu-ray to play as a double feature with Cabaret.

Edited by Mark Walker, August 24 2013 - 07:58 PM.

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray




Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   AnthonyClarke



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Posted August 24 2013 - 10:22 PM

It's a favourite movie of mine too ... I'd double it with The Pyjama Game when that eventually makes it to Blu ray (hopefully in Academy ratio....)

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 24 2013 - 10:58 PM

It's rather interesting for me to read this article.


I don't get the opportunity to talk to Schawn Belston

that often and was very happy to have bumped into

him last October while on the Fox lot.


Schawn is a great guy, and he knows how much I 

love ALL THAT JAZZ, so it's no surprise that our

conversation turned to the upcoming Blu-ray release.


Schawn relayed to me that exact story that was printed

in the Hollywood Reporter article.


When he explained to me how the restoration showed a

more detailed view of the theater, my face lit up with a smile.

When he went on to say that the cinematographer felt that those

extra seats and surrounding information was not meant to be seen

and that a decision was made to darken the sequence, I felt a bit

disappointed.  However, I accepted that this is exactly what Mr.

Rotunno had intended to show.


I never shared this story, as it was a personal conversation that I

was not certain Mr. Belston wanted repeated -- especially for the

controversy that might have resulted with fans not being happy with

the cinematographer's decision.  I am quite happy that see Schawn

talks openly about it now for the article.


I had expected ALL THAT JAZZ would have been released this

year on Blu-ray, but now that I think about it more, the studio may

have felt it was better to time the release with the film's 35th Anniversary

which is next year.  No doubt, this is going to be a huge catalog release

for Fox in 2014.  It's so pleasing to know that they are putting great care

into these transfers to make certain it looks stellar on Blu-ray.  


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted August 25 2013 - 04:48 AM

Didn't All That Jazz win the Palme d'Or at Cannes? For some reason, it never seems to get mentioned when the movie is being discussed.


I'll never forget after seeing the opening number "On Broadway" that I thought that they might as well forget doing A Chorus Line on the screen because Fosse did it in that five minutes that was so breathtaking I didn't think it could ever be matched. When Attenborough's movie came out some years later, I found I was right!

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Cremildo


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Posted August 25 2013 - 06:48 AM

I weep of joy; my wallet weeps of sorrow.

#7 of 8 ONLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted August 25 2013 - 07:19 AM

It's show time, folks.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   atcolomb


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Posted August 25 2013 - 05:48 PM

Roy Scheider is one of my favorite actors and two of his films are getting a restoration this year.. All That Jazz and Sorcerer which William Friedkin will help restore and release on blu-ray at the end of the year.  Great News!

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