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4K UHD Le Cercle Rouge (1 Viewer)

titch

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Have to say I'm baffled by that nitwit Dr. Whatever over at the other site about his review he posted yesterday. He gave the picture a 2.5, which is about the worst he can ever bring himself to award, over there. (Remember: he gave the film This Is Spinal Tap 2.5). He said the colour grading was all wrong. The Criterion, on my projection set-up looks rather yellow, as if it was shot through urine. But the StudioCanal colour grading looks a lot more convincing to my eyes. This film is exceedingly drab though - three-strip Technicolor it most certainly is not.

No doubt, the hard-working chaps over at Caps-a-holic will soon post far more accurate and professional screen captures than I can. But it will interesting to hear back from others what they think.

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commander richardson

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Thanks for your comments. I really wanted this to be a good 4k release but so far it hasn't said 'buy me'. Will wait for further reviews.

The 'colour ' of this film has been altered very dramatically from what the Director intended . A lot of people today simply love to alter and in some cases completely change what was originally intended to suit their own agenda whether it be a 'movie' or something else from the past.
The film is exceptionally good but this new [ and I mean ' new ' ] release is total garbage.
Avoid.
 

Angelo Colombus

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One of my favorites from the director and have the Criterion dvd and the Studio Canal Blu-ray. Like the Studio Canal color grading more so i might get the 4k disc.
 

lark144

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mark gross
One of my favorites from the director and have the Criterion dvd and the Studio Canal Blu-ray. Like the Studio Canal color grading more so i might get the 4k disc.
I also have both the Criterion & Studio Canal discs. I saw this many times when it finally opened theatrically at Film Forum. The film was distributed by Janus films, Criterion's theatrical adjunct, so one would think the Criterion disc would match the prints, but it's dark and grimy looking. The Studio Canal is way more accurate. The way to test is by looking at the scene where the police unleash dogs to follow Gian-Maria Volonte. In the theatrical prints, the green grass was highly saturated and almost trippy, and the autumn leaves were bursting with color. The Studio Canal Blu matches that, but the Criterion looks as if it's the middle of the night. The grass is brownish, and you can't make out the color on any leaves.
 

titch

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Yes - and the felt on the billiard tables is green on the StudioCanal, blue on the Criterion. People describing the 4K disc as "total garbage" have no idea what they are talking about.
 

Angelo Colombus

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Looks like a few places have it as "out of stock" for now. Amazon UK has it for sale but at a high price and i don't think third party sellers will ship to the USA?
 

lark144

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Yes - and the felt on the billiard tables is green on the StudioCanal, blue on the Criterion. People describing the 4K disc as "total garbage" have no idea what they are talking about.
They probably never saw a theatrical print, and are basing their judgements on the Criterion, which is anything but accurate. For example, I can well imagine a certain reviewer on another site who appears to feel that all Criterion releases in terms of color reproduction are inviolate, accusing Studio Canal of "sweetening" the color in that chase sequence in the forest near Nuits St. Georges, when in fact, that's the way it's always looked on release prints.
 

titch

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They probably never saw a theatrical print, and are basing their judgements on the Criterion, which is anything but accurate. For example, I can well imagine a certain reviewer on another site who appears to feel that all Criterion releases in terms of color reproduction are inviolate, accusing Studio Canal of "sweetening" the color in that chase sequence in the forest near Nuits St. Georges, when in fact, that's the way it's always looked on release prints.
The same reviewer listed several titles, that he meant StudioCanal had ruined with their restorations: Belle de Jour, Purple Noon and The Horseman On The Roof. I have both the StudioCanal and Criterion Belle de Jour discs and to my eyes, it doesn't look like the colour grading on the StudioCanal is off. But again, I've never seen a theatrical print. The StudioCanal 4K UHD release of The Ladykillers looks absolutely superb. In the booklet packaged with that particular release, it's described in detail how the restoration was performed - it was obviously a big deal restoring the last three-strip Technicolor film in the UK. A 35 mm Technicolor print was used as a reference for the colour grading. No information on the restoration of Le Cercle Rouge is provided.

According to the very short biography on the other site, Dr. Svet Atanasov worked in film distribution in the 1990s. I found a paper he had written, “A description of selected aspects of three approaches to college-level bassoon instruction,” (DM Document, Indiana University, Fall, 2004". Hardly a background that convinces me that he is able to declare what a release print of Le Cercle Rouge looked like in 1970.

However, there isn't much doubt that StudioCanal botched their restoration of La Strada - easy to see how superior the Criterion disc looks, without having seen theatrical release prints.

On this forum, there are several contributors who have actually worked in the film business and in film restoration. So I put much more stock in pronouncements that come from them.
 

commander richardson

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Yes - and the felt on the billiard tables is green on the StudioCanal, blue on the Criterion. People describing the 4K disc as "total garbage" have no idea what they are talking about.
In UK there is a Box Set of J-PM films on BD . The correct print as intended by the Director is included . I am sorry to say I stand by comment of ' total garbage ' totally .
 

lark144

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The same reviewer listed several titles, that he meant StudioCanal had ruined with their restorations: Belle de Jour, Purple Noon and The Horseman On The Roof. I have both the StudioCanal and Criterion Belle de Jour discs and to my eyes, it doesn't look like the colour grading on the StudioCanal is off. But again, I've never seen a theatrical print. The StudioCanal 4K UHD release of The Ladykillers looks absolutely superb. In the booklet packaged with that particular release, it's described in detail how the restoration was performed - it was obviously a big deal restoring the last three-strip Technicolor film in the UK. A 35 mm Technicolor print was used as a reference for the colour grading. No information on the restoration of Le Cercle Rouge is provided.

According to the very short biography on the other site, Dr. Svet Atanasov worked in film distribution in the 1990s. I found a paper he had written, “A description of selected aspects of three approaches to college-level bassoon instruction,” (DM Document, Indiana University, Fall, 2004". Hardly a background that convinces me that he is able to declare what a release print of Le Cercle Rouge looked like in 1970.

However, there isn't much doubt that StudioCanal botched their restoration of La Strada - easy to see how superior the Criterion disc looks, without having seen theatrical release prints.

On this forum, there are several contributors who have actually worked in the film business and in film restoration. So I put much more stock in pronouncements that come from them.
While Dr. Svet is often mistaken in his views on color timing, especially where it involves Hollywood films of the 1950's and 60's, he's correct about the 4K of Belle de Jour. The color timing of individual scenes change drastically, for no reason. One scene has way too much yellow and the next has too much blue. The color timing and values change so drastically, it takes you out of the film. It never looked that way before. Just compare the opening scene in a forest, with the scene in the ski resort. Especially check out the transitions, and you'll find wide, not to mention wild, variations in color temperature.

As far as Le Cercle Rouge is concerned, my prior comments concerned the Criterion and Studio Canal Blu-Rays, not the Studio Canal 4k, which I haven't seen.
 

titch

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While Dr. Svet is often mistaken in his views on color timing, especially where it involves Hollywood films of the 1950's and 60's, he's correct about the 4K of Belle de Jour. The color timing of individual scenes change drastically, for no reason. One scene has way too much yellow and the next has too much blue. The color timing and values change so drastically, it takes you out of the film. It never looked that way before. Just compare the opening scene in a forest, with the scene in the ski resort. Especially check out the transitions, and you'll find wide, not to mention wild, variations in color temperature.

As far as Le Cercle Rouge is concerned, my prior comments concerned the Criterion and Studio Canal Blu-Rays, not the Studio Canal 4k, which I haven't seen.
Will definitely have see Belle de Jour again soon, then.
 

JoshZ

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However, there isn't much doubt that StudioCanal botched their restoration of La Strada - easy to see how superior the Criterion disc looks, without having seen theatrical release prints.

I'm no fan of the reviewer in question, and I have no opinion on Le Cercle Rouge (having never seen a theatrical print of it). However, I think it's worth noting that Studio Canal has botched a lot of "restorations" beyond La Strada. Off the top of my head, Ran, Contempt, The Third Man (first release, later redone), and The Man Who Fell to Earth were all disasters. Honestly, it's only in the last year or so that Studio Canal has seemed to get its act together.
 

Robin9

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In UK there is a Box Set of J-PM films on BD . The correct print as intended by the Director is included . I am sorry to say I stand by comment of ' total garbage ' totally .
I have that box-set and the Le Cercle Rouge disc seems OK to me. I saw a dubbed print of the film when it first came out. Is the 4K disc very different?
 

Derrick King

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Lee Kline discussed the color timing on their release on the Team Deakins podcast, and he basically said that he tried to match it to the only reference they had, but when he got to work with Raoul Coutard on a release, Coutard pointed out that it wasn't what Mellvile and Decaë were going for with their color films. I believe he said Coutard told him their release the colors were too saturated.
 

JoshZ

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Yes - and the felt on the billiard tables is green on the StudioCanal, blue on the Criterion. People describing the 4K disc as "total garbage" have no idea what they are talking about.

Could this be the same problem Scorsese ran into when filming The Color of Money? The pool table felt registered as blue on film due to the fluorescent lighting in the locations. A few years back, Thelma Schoonmaker supervised a new master for that film and made a conscious decision not to alter the color, only for Paramount to ignore her and reuse an older DVD-era master that "corrected" the pool tables to green.

Could the blue billiard tables in the Criterion Le Cercle Rouge actually be correct, while Studio Canal decided to "fix" the color with digital grading?
 

titch

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Could this be the same problem Scorsese ran into when filming The Color of Money? The pool table felt registered as blue on film due to the fluorescent lighting in the locations. A few years back, Thelma Schoonmaker supervised a new master for that film and made a conscious decision not to alter the color, only for Paramount to ignore her and reuse an older DVD-era master that "corrected" the pool tables to green.

Could the blue billiard tables in the Criterion Le Cercle Rouge actually be correct, while Studio Canal decided to "fix" the color with digital grading?
Could be. Unlike on the StudioCanal 4K UHD of The Ladykillers, there is no information on how the restoration was performed, or what reference was used for the colour grading. This is meticulously detailed in The Ladykillers booklet. I still think the Criterion has an unnatural, yellowish tint.
 

Worth

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Green is more common, but I've seen pool tables with blue felt.
 

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