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CITIZEN KANE second pressing - fact or myth?


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#1 of 21 Doug D

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Posted January 04 2002 - 04:26 AM

I could swear I saw something about this on the HTF a while back. I can't seem to locate it now, however.

So is there any truth that CITIZEN KANE has been/will be repressed to rectify the (g)rain problem?
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#2 of 21 Rain

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Posted January 04 2002 - 04:53 AM

I certainly would love it if this was true...but I sincerely doubt it is. I haven't heard anything.
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#3 of 21 Steve Tannehill

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Posted January 04 2002 - 04:55 AM

What's wrong with the picture quality of Citizen Kane???

- Steve

#4 of 21 Doug D

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Posted January 04 2002 - 05:00 AM

Steve,

In one of the scenes, the computer that was supposed to remove the grain accidentally removed the rain from the scene as well, and nobody caught this until after release. Hence, my calling it the (g)rain problem.
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#5 of 21 Steve Tannehill

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Posted January 04 2002 - 05:40 AM

I'd like to see that. Do you have a time/chapter reference?

Thanks - Steve

#6 of 21 Doug D

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Posted January 04 2002 - 05:49 AM

I don't, because I don't own the DVD, but here's a thread from MHVF with more info on the problem:

http://www.mhvf.net/.../124220266.html
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#7 of 21 Adam Tyner

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Posted January 04 2002 - 05:50 AM

Steve -- from http://www.thebigpic....i/Citizen_Kane :

Quote:
However, note the rain coming down on the window in Bernstein's office in chapter ten of this DVD. In the original version of the film, the rain is clearly visible all the way down the window. On the DVD, the rain is only visible in the top 1/3 of the window and looks rather unnatural at that. My guess is that LDI's automated cleaning program mistook the rainfall for grain or some other form of "noise" and "cleaned" it up.

I could've sworn one of the threads here had screen shots showing this, but a search for "Kane" and "grain" didn't seem to turn it up.

#8 of 21 Craig Beam

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Posted January 04 2002 - 06:00 AM

I just now compared my (icky and blurry) VHS copy with my (yummy and sharp) DVD, and was suprised to see that the rain looks pretty much the same in BOTH (the rain appears to sorta end in midair, outside the window). In all honesty, the lower half of the window DOES look wetter on VHS, but that's kinda subjective since the whole damn image looks wet. The seemingly "incomplete rain" is more startlingly evident on the DVD, but I attribute it more to the image's razor sharpness than to the possibility of a critical error in the transfer/digital restoration. Either way, I don't detect a signicant difference... certainly nothing to detract my enjoyment of the film and its glorious presentation on dvd.

This is an interesting topic, however... has there been any official confirmation that it's indeed a mistake?

#9 of 21 ScottR

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Posted January 04 2002 - 06:59 AM

The only thing, in my opinion, that keeps this from being a 100% perfect transfer is the tiny glitch on the window pane in the same seen as Berstein is sitting in the chair. The window frame momentarily jumps out of place. Other than that, and the rain issue, this is the best that Kane has ever looked.

#10 of 21 Jack Briggs

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Posted January 04 2002 - 07:13 AM

I agree, Scott.

And, get this, I missed a chance just two weeks ago to see a 35mm print of Kane at one of L.A.'s few remaining revival houses. That would have been an excellent reference point from which to assess the new DVD.

#11 of 21 Tim RH

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Posted January 04 2002 - 07:15 AM

Quote:
The only thing, in my opinion, that keeps this from being a 100% perfect transfer is the tiny glitch on the window pane in the same seen as Berstein is sitting in the chair. The window frame momentarily jumps out of place.
Do you have a timecode for this one?

#12 of 21 ScottR

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Posted January 04 2002 - 07:59 AM

The glitch occurs somewhere between 32:52 and 32:54 in Chapter 10, I believe. (I could be wrong about the chapter number.) It happens during the line spoken by Bernstein "He was with Mr. Kane and me..."

#13 of 21 Patrick McCart

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Posted January 04 2002 - 08:23 AM

I can see rain in the window, but it's faint. (Thanks to Toshiba's zoom function.)

I think the reason you can see it in less-than-optimal prints is because of contrast differences. The print WB used for TCM and the Turner VHS is pretty dark, so the rain would show up better on a darker print.

Rain is difficult to register on film in the first place. Welles probably didn't have milk added to the rain to make it show up better...

It's sort of like how during a fade to black, some detail in the picture looks "cleaner" due to less light going through. The picture on the Kane DVD is a lot brighter than any previous video or even print due to it being an early generation fine-grain master. The fact that the DVD used a nitrate element instead of safety film also adds to the differences. In fact, this is the first time a nitrate source of Kane has ever been on video. (Note how silvery the film looks on the DVD.)

#14 of 21 Nigel McN

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Posted January 04 2002 - 03:31 PM

I'd rather have the terrible edge enhancement removed, but I realise that is even more unlikely

#15 of 21 Doug D

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Posted January 06 2002 - 06:47 AM

So I think "myth" appears to be the consensus, then?
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#16 of 21 Jeff McNeal

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Posted January 06 2002 - 03:28 PM

Jack,

I did in fact attend the 60th Anniversary screening of the "restored" CITIZEN KANE print at the El Capitan in Hollywood and my direct observation of the rain falling outside Bernstein's office during the film is what prompted my comments in my review which was quoted above.

I also was present at a roundtable interview the next day with Warner DVD production staff and Lowry Digital Image's John Lowry (who did the outstanding digital cleanup in all other respects) and called him on this. As I recall, his comments didn't seem to hold much water (pardon the pun) in that he was basically saying that DVD didn't have high enough resolution to correctly reproduce the rainfall.

I also asked him about the hair that appears in the lower left for several frames (sorry, I can't recall exactly where at the moment) in an interview I had with him published at TheBIGPictureDVD.com and asked how that slipped by him. He was adamant that the defect didn't slip by him but that it was evidently a matter of budget and/or time constraints.

My job is to look for flaws in the transfers, but I'd like to stress that I think LDI does fantastic work and the overall experience of the KANE disc on DVD is overwhelmingly good. Remarkable, really. You may want to read the interview sometime. It's interesting and under the "special reports" heading of our menus.

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#17 of 21 Nate Anderson

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Posted January 06 2002 - 06:07 PM

I am also incredibly impressed by the presentation of "Kane." Absolutely the best it's ever looked.
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#18 of 21 Rain

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Posted January 07 2002 - 04:34 AM

As for that alleged "hair," I looked for it and didn't see it. Are you sure you aren't talking about that piece of confetti that appears in the lower part of the frame?
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#19 of 21 Mitchell Kaufman

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Posted January 07 2002 - 05:15 AM

Well, if what we're talking about is the post-election scene where the confetti appears, the "hair" is there in the 2nd Criterion LD issue of the film (and it looks like hair based on its color and the way it moves--sorry for the graphic description...).

Also evident on this "lower resolution" LD is the rain falling on the lower part of the window in the Bernstein office scene. On the "higher resolution" DVD it is just as clearly missing.

While I agree that Lowry has generally done a splendid job with these old films (except for the edge enhancement, "Doctor Zhivago" is gorgeous), I do have some reservations: the picture tends to be devoid of all film grain--it ends up looking more like (admittedly high-quality) video rather than film; there are what look like occasional DNR artifacts (vibrating of fine details); their transfers tend to be soft; and they sometimes exhibit what look to be poorly-calibrated black levels (notably in "Now, Voyager," where the contrast is poor throughout, and in "Citizen Kane," which tends to be too light in the blacks--e.g., the projection room scene).

Anyway, they're certainly "clean."

Just my personal observations. YMMV, of course.

MK
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#20 of 21 Eric Huffstutler

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Posted January 07 2002 - 12:55 PM

First off, tell me what is the BIG deal about having a window full of rain or now in a scene?

To me, the bigger issue is the "hair/lint" problem in several scene corners.

But with the cost factor involved to fix these few flaws, I doubt they will repress the movie anytime soon. Many of the classics are still being pumped out by major studios in less than pristine condition!

Warner just released this week The Prince and the Showgirl 1957. By now you would think someone like Warner would be able to quickly clean up a print, especially in the dark or black areas, but they didn't. Not only that, they made it Pan & Scam instead of the original ratio.





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