A Few Words About A few words about...™ Children of Paradise -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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One of the major French classics of any era, Marcel Carne's Children of Paradise is a brilliant film.

Purportedly "restored," I was looking forward to bathing in this film's glow.

It didn't happen.

The image is so drained of grain, that I'm not certain what to make of it.

Somewhere along the great, long line of digital restorative powers, someone, somewhere, turned something, that should not have been turned.

The film is beautifully clean.

The film is beautifully clean.

Image - 1.5

Audio - 3.5

Yours truly is saddened. Especially arriving on the Criterion label.

Fail.

RAH
 

Michel_Hafner

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blu-ray.com agrees:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Children-of-Paradise-Blu-ray/48077/
One can only hope this tampering is limited to the 1080p master and the 4K was treated properly. Otherwise why bother with 4K if there is not even 1080p detail to be seen anywhere.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by Moe Dickstein /t/324100/a-few-words-about-children-of-paradise-in-blu-ray#post_3981643
Since this "restoration" was done in France, is it possible Criterion was given a master already scrubbed?
Criterion would never scrub an image of its originality. Whatever this is, I'm certain this is what they received from the distributor.

With a film of this importance, it really should be recalled. And if the 4k restoration looks anything like this, I'm all of destruction of the data files.

Begin again.

RAH
 

ShellOilJunior

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This is a shame. Also, I know many are now worried about a potential Le Samourai blu-ray from Criterion. Pathe handled the "restoration" on that one as well.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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Criterion should have not released this at all in this manner. I am sure contracts were signed etc, and they probably don't want bad blood with who they negotiate with but I still haven't bought this BLU release and now it looks like I won't at all.

as ShellOilJunior also noted Pathe handled that awful French Le Samourai release and if Criterion releases that same transfer you can bet they will get bad mouth so much from the Blu-Ray community. Maybe that is why still no US release for that title.

Something should be done about Children of Paradise this is a Criterion release and their reputation is on the line with a release like this... the worst BLU release from them ever.
 

Brianruns10

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Robert Harris said:
Criterion would never scrub an image of its originality.  Whatever this is, I'm certain this is what they received from the distributor.
With a film of this importance, it really should be recalled.  And if the 4k restoration looks anything like this, I'm all of destruction of the data files.
Begin again.
RAH
I've not seen the restoration myself, but I've read comments by others who have, and who affirmed that the blu-ray does indeed reflect what the 4K resto looked like in theaters. Pathe botched this restoration. Hard to say how Criterion reacted. Maybe they had no choice in the matter, or I'm sure they would've rather undertaken their own restoration from some other source, an interpositive or something. I don't blame them for this. I think they had this botch job foisted upon them.
 

Eastmancolor

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http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/children-of-paradise-restored-to-4k
This is an article about the archival screening that played in Los Angeles last year. I couldn't stay for the screening, however the folks behind the restoration had a talk earlier that same day where they discussed the project and showed numerous clips from the film, both before and after restoration. What I saw, unfortunately, is similar to what's on the Blu-ray. Perhaps the 4K presentation of the full feature that evening was better, but I doubt they'd be showing different clips at a seminar about the restoration, so likely the available 4K has the same DNR and contrast issues.
Hopefully there are files available that have damage cleanup prior to the grain removal and contrast adjustments. Otherwise they'll have to go back to L'Immagine Ritrovata's raw scans and start over.
 

AnthonyClarke

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'children of paradise' is such a classic of world cinema that it beggars the imagination that Pathe could have treated French cinema history in such a shoddy way.
To have this happen on top of the still-possible disaster of Universal's forthcoming Hitchcock release just compounds the damage caused by giving powerful digital tools to idiots......
 

Lord Dalek

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Blaming Criterion here won't help since they had nothing to do with the master given them. So chalk this up to the "oh well..." pile and live with it.
 

Lord Dalek

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Originally Posted by Moe Dickstein /t/324100/a-few-words-about-children-of-paradise-in-blu-ray#post_3982071
So they couldn't not release it?
I suspect Pathe tied Janus' hands in the matter.
 

JoshZ

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How does the old Criterion DVD hold up? Did Criterion do that master themselves?
 

Lord Dalek

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Its been a while but I'm pretty sure Criterion did the 2002 dvd transfer themselves, albeit with dupe elements.
 

John Weller

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Criterion does recycle transfers, in some times bad ones, such as here or their Karloff releases. Their standard "scratch removal" stuff in their booklets is a bit of a fib in some cases.
 

rich_d

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I saw Children of Paradise at the Film Forum a few months back in what I *think* was a DCP presentation.
I'm not surprised about the comments on the lack of grain as that was really the case as projected.
The other thing of note was the rather gray/London fog image. I have to claim ignorance as this was the first time I saw the film. If the film was always that way ... fine. It just struck me as a very different 'shade of gray' for a black & white film. Those that know the film ... please comment. Is this just the way of the film?
 

Charles Smith

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Criterion's Karloff releases are bad?? I'm really sorry to hear that, as I've had the set here for a long time and was just looking forward to getting into it.
 

John Weller

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Chas in CT said:
Criterion's Karloff releases are bad??  I'm really sorry to hear that, as I've had the set here for a long time and was just looking forward to getting into it.
Definetly for Corridors Of Blood, you need the UK disc. Criterion's is cropped. UK Disc is proper widescreen.
 

andrew markworthy

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Oh, that's just great. I'd looked forward to watching this film (one of my faves) this weekend whilst the rest of the family was going to see Taylor Swift (sorry Swift fans - I can see she's good and all that, but not for me). Now I find the restoration is a dud. At the risk of sounding totally grovelling, I utterly respect your opinion Mr Harris, so if you say it's bad it's bad. Bother, bother, bother (actually, 'bother' is not the word I mean, but knowing the delicate sensibilities of some users of this forum, I've toned down my language).
 

Moe Dickstein

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andrew markworthy said:
Oh, that's just great. I'd looked forward to watching this film (one of my faves) this weekend whilst the rest of the family was going to see Taylor Swift (sorry Swift fans - I can see she's good and all that, but not for me). Now I find the restoration is a dud. At the risk of sounding totally grovelling, I utterly respect your opinion Mr Harris, so if you say it's bad it's bad. Bother, bother, bother (actually, 'bother' is not the word I mean, but knowing the delicate sensibilities of some users of this forum, I've toned down my language).
Silver Lining: Now you can go see Taylor Swift!!!
 

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