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ScottRE

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Cameron did recolor all of his movies teal-and-orange.

Also, before you say "nobody would," I think perhaps you should remember the example of William Friedkin tinting The French Connection purple. Filmmakers lose their marbles and do weird things to their old movies all the time.
Adding a tint doesn't read the same way as "turned orange" which I pictured as the 16mm orange syndrome. Cameron changed the tint for Aliens for Blu Ray and I really didn't notice.

And those on the side that these are good are telling the others they are wrong because this is what the director chose to do.
Well, I never said anyone was wrong for objecting (just the opposite). I was saying this release is exactly what it's "supposed to be" because that's what Cameron wanted people to experience in 4K. Which I see as different from "what it originally was."

This is, obviously, a hot-button topic.
 

sbjork

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And those on the side that these are good are telling the others they are wrong because this is what the director chose to do.
No. They're. Not.

That's the biggest misrepresentation that keeps coming up over and over again, and it's starting to get really irritating. Those who are on the side that these new reimaginings look good are nearly universally agreed that they wish that they'd been mastered differently. Pretty much no one is saying that it's wrong to be disappointed in them. All that they're saying is that even though they would have preferred something different, they still think that they look fine as is.

That's worlds removed from what those who are disappointed have been saying, which has frequently taken the low road and gotten borderline insulting.

Also, that's misrepresenting the point of saying that it's the director's choice. Again, pretty much no one has said that it's "wrong" to be disappointed by Cameron's choices. The point is simply that it is what it is. For good or for ill, it was Cameron's choice to make. And he couldn't care less what anyone else thinks. The fact that most of us wish that he'd made a different choice has been beaten to death at this point. We get it. We even agree. But it's still his choice and there's nothing that any of us can do about it. It is what it is.
 
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jayembee

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The question that needs to be considered is: if this new disc accurately represented what Cameron gave us in 1986, would people object to it? I don't mean if this disc matched the 1986 35mm film speck by speck. I mean, if what we got in 1986 was what the current disc release looks like in terms of color grading, grain management, etc. Would you think "Ah, this movie stinks"?

This is what Cameron wants the movie to look like in 4K video in 2024. And that's our only option. We can take it or leave it. Some of us here have chosen to take it, some of us here would rather leave it. Neither of these choices is right or wrong. The only other option seems to be we don't see it on home video in any better resolution than what we've already gotten. I don't think that anyone here who thinks positively about the new disc wouldn't prefer it if it was an exact match to what the film used to look like, but -- speaking for myself -- what we have is better than nothing. The movie is still the movie, and it's still a great watch, and I'm happy to have it. Is it perfect? No. But it doesn't have to be to be satisfying.

Those of us of a certain age will likely acknowledge that this has been a fact of life since home video became a thing. In order to be able to have personal copies of the movies we love, we -- not counting those who have the money and will to buy black market film prints -- have had to put up with NTSC (or PAL) resolution, full-frame or pan-&-scan, sometimes cheap releases in slow speed videotape, and other nonsense. But we bought our VHS or Betamax copies anyway, because at least we could watch these beloved films whenever we wanted. Again speaking for myself, having "teal & orange" hues and a degrained image is nothing compared to what we used to have to put up with.
 

JoshZ

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HTF strongly believes in its mission statement that filmmakers have a moral right to have their work presented on home video the way they wish. That’s what’s happened here.

I find the use of the phrase "moral right" interesting. I understand what you're saying, but my feeling is that if an artist has a mental breakdown and tries to desecrate their work - and that work is a piece of art that has proven very meaningful to millions of people around the world since its creation - perhaps the correct moral thing to do is to take it away from them.
 

sbjork

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my feeling is that if an artist has a mental breakdown and tries to desecrate their work - and that work is a piece of art that has proven very meaningful to millions of people around the world since its creation - perhaps the correct moral thing to do is to take it away from them.
Hey, I thought that we agreed not to talk about George Lucas anymore in these threads!
 

Keith Cobby

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Cameron seems to be trying to compensate for not filming on large format. I basically agree with Konstantinos and TonyD, but I'm just pleased that they are not among my favourite films (although I like True Lies) and therefore won't be buying the 4k's.
 

tenia

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HTF strongly believes in its mission statement that filmmakers have a moral right to have their work presented on home video the way they wish. That’s what’s happened here.
I might be wrong, but when reading this mission's statement, I always thought the idea was to prevent movies to be altered/revised, in particular without referents' (director, DP, etc) approval, not to allow alterations providing they're coming from a said-referent. That the moral right is not having the movies altered behind their backs (closing doors), not allowing them to actively do so (opening doors).
 

Robert Crawford

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I might be wrong, but when reading this mission's statement, I always thought the idea was to prevent movies to be altered/revised, in particular without referents' (director, DP, etc) approval, not to allow alterations providing they're coming from a said-referent. That the moral right is not having the movies altered behind their backs (closing doors), not allowing them to actively do so (opening doors).
Based on my memory of those internal HTF staff discussions regarding our mission statement, you’re take is not entirely correct.
 

JoshZ

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I guess my question is whether the moral responsibility should be to the artist or to the art. The artist is just a person, and as has become increasingly clear in recent years, all people are fallible and most of them are jerks. The art itself is the thing that should survive and transcend, but doing so may sometimes require that it be protected from the failings of the artist.
 

Keith Cobby

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The extreme scenario is if an artist decides to destroy the art, is this their right, what if they have passed it on. Discs are just effectively certified copies of the original (which has been amended). In this case the artist still appears to 'own' the work. Things would probably be worse if Cameron had been a painter or sculptor!
 

JoshZ

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The extreme scenario is if an artist decides to destroy the art, is this their right, what if they have passed it on. Discs are just effectively certified copies of the original (which has been amended). In this case the artist still appears to 'own' the work. Things would probably be worse if Cameron had been a painter or sculptor!

It's an age-old philosophical question whether an artist really still "owns" the art after it's been released to the public. Does the work not belong just as much to the audience as to the artist at that point?

In any case, unlike painting or sculpting, film is a collaborative medium. Although the director is often considered the "author" of the movie, James Cameron did not make the whole thing by himself (as much as I'm sure he wishes he could have) or even make every artistic decision in it unilaterally.

Unfortunately, Adrian Biddle passed away in 2005, so we'll never know how he'd feel about what Cameron has done to his photography.
 

Stephen_J_H

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I guess my question is whether the moral responsibility should be to the artist or to the art. The artist is just a person, and as has become increasingly clear in recent years, all people are fallible and most of them are jerks. The art itself is the thing that should survive and transcend, but doing so may sometimes require that it be protected from the failings of the artist.
"Puts on lawyer hat"

The rights an artist has in their art are both legal and moral. The generally accepted proposition is that while legal rights can be sold, moral rights cannot. That being said, there is significantly greater statutory protection for moral rights outside of North America, and particularly in Europe. I'm reminded of a case involving the Eaton Centre mall in Toronto, Snow v. Eaton Centre, [1982] OJ No 3645. Michael Snow was commissioned to create a sculpture of Canada Geese which hung in one of the walkways. The mall owners decided they wanted to put red ribbons on the necks of the geese and Snow sued, arguing it violated his artistic intentions and the integrity of the work. His argument was ruled valid. The ultimate result was that the Copyright Act of Canada was amended so that any modification to a painting, sculpture, or engraving is now deemed to prejudice the author.

Applying that logic here, the modification has been done with the approval of the author, so there is no recourse. Moral rights could never vest in the audience.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
 

JoshZ

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"Puts on lawyer hat"

The rights an artist has in their art are both legal and moral. The generally accepted proposition is that while legal rights can be sold, moral rights cannot. That being said, there is significantly greater statutory protection for moral rights outside of North America, and particularly in Europe. I'm reminded of a case involving the Eaton Centre mall in Toronto, Snow v. Eaton Centre, [1982] OJ No 3645. Michael Snow was commissioned to create a sculpture of Canada Geese which hung in one of the walkways. The mall owners decided they wanted to put red ribbons on the necks of the geese and Snow sued, arguing it violated his artistic intentions and the integrity of the work. His argument was ruled valid. The ultimate result was that the Copyright Act of Canada was amended so that any modification to a painting, sculpture, or engraving is now deemed to prejudice the author.

Applying that logic here, the modification has been done with the approval of the author, so there is no recourse. Moral rights could never vest in the audience.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Despite use of the term "moral rights," this is entirely a legal argument and has nothing to do with actual morality. Had Snow decided that his sculpture would be improved by defecating on it, and sued to force the mall to comply with his change, would that also be his moral right as author of the work? As you describe it, that court ruling sure seems to open that door.

Legality and morality are seldom in alignment.
 

tenia

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It's an age-old philosophical question whether an artist really still "owns" the art after it's been released to the public. Does the work not belong just as much to the audience as to the artist at that point?

In any case, unlike painting or sculpting, film is a collaborative medium. Although the director is often considered the "author" of the movie, James Cameron did not make the whole thing by himself (as much as I'm sure he wishes he could have) or even make every artistic decision in it unilaterally.

Unfortunately, Adrian Biddle passed away in 2005, so we'll never know how he'd feel about what Cameron has done to his photography.
More than Biddle on Aliens, I'd love to know how Russell Carpenter (True Lies) feels about what's been done on this movie. To a lesser extent, there's also Mikael Salomon for The Abyss.

Which is also part of what you tackle here and my issues with reducing the idea of protecting "oeuvres" from, let's say, inappropriate alterations to just the director : it's hard not for me to think about HTF's statement as a matter of ensuring movies are provided in proper presentations, not ones slashed with artificial filterings because somebody thought that's what "modern audiences" are "wanting", regardless of who request those, but mostly targeted at "decisions by committees" made by studios and other indirect decision-makers. Like JoshZ, I'd tend to think the matter is to ensure the original vision is what made available as best as possible to the audience, closing doors to future revisionism. So if the director one day decides to strongly alter the look, it's still an issue as it attacks the original vision being made available to the audience. The movie gets actively distorded no matter who requested it... and then, what about the DP ? The production designer ? All the people who worked to make the movie looked like what it looked ?

So yeah : to me, the HTF statement was supposedly protecting the movies, the art, and nothing else. Because if the director wants to slash his movies with DNR and EE 2.0, then how is he any different from those who committed the new To Catch a Thief master ? The first French Connection restoration ? (etc etc).

While I understand that there's no recourse anyway, I also feel that a board like HTF can be the place for such discussion to happen, at least in an only theoretical realm, but so that at least, a board like here (ie the tech topic of a new 4 release) ends up "gate keeping" what is supposed to be "gate kept", and not allowing someone, even if it's the director, to trump all the collective work and advocate for an actively distorded presentation.

Which, I guess, circles back to an early concern of mine : what's the difference between a filtered presentation and a filtered presentation ?
 

Stephen_J_H

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Despite use of the term "moral rights," this is entirely a legal argument and has nothing to do with actual morality. Had Snow decided that his sculpture would be improved by defecating on it, and sued to force the mall to comply with his change, would that also be his moral right as author of the work? As you describe it, that court ruling sure seems to open that door.

Legality and morality are seldom in alignment.
"Moral rights" is actually a legal term in this context. Don't equate it with morality. The use of the ribbons, if memory serves, was for either a Christmas or Canada Day promotion. You're advancing a floodgates argument, most of which are frequently laughed out of court. Public defecation is prosecutable in any event under multiple regulatory regimes.

Again, back to regularly scheduled programming.
 

JoshZ

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"Moral rights" is actually a legal term in this context. Don't equate it with morality.

That's what I'm saying. The phrase "moral right" is basically nonsense designed to sound more meaningful than it really is.

I'm not arguing whether James Cameron has the legal right to do what he did to these movies. He clearly does. Philosophically, however, I wish there were better safeguards to keep these big-ego filmmakers in check when they try to improve their old work.
 

Stephen_J_H

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The phrase "moral right" is basically nonsense designed to sound more meaningful than it really is.
On this we disagree. If an author does not want their work to be used for purposes with which they clearly disagree, that is a moral objection. It's not the same as the common definition of moral, and hardly nonsense.

Time to stop flogging this dead horse. When we start advocating for the way things ought to be for the entire public, we start verging into politics, which are clearly forbidden on this forum.

Again, back to regularly scheduled programming.
 

JoshZ

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On this we disagree. If an author does not want their work to be used for purposes with which they clearly disagree, that is a moral objection.

OK, I get that. But James Cameron objecting to Aliens or True Lies or The Abyss being released in their original theatrical forms, with grain and colors as he himself originally photographed them before changing his mind years after-the-fact, is not a moral objection. It's just Jim Cameron being an a--hole.

Time to stop flogging this dead horse. When we start advocating for the way things ought to be for the entire public, we start verging into politics, which are clearly forbidden on this forum.

Just like a lawyer to bring politics into a discussion about art. :laugh:
 

Jonathan Perregaux

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I just checked in to see how one of my favorite HTF threads is doing (the other one being The Abyss). After reading a thoughtful exploration of the legal morality raised by the recent ALIENS Blu-Ray transfer—as compared and contrasted to taking a dump on some geese sculptures—I can assert being fully satisfied and can sleep soundly now.
 

Robert Harris

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If a moderator is checking this thread, be it known that the image being used is from the wrong (AvP) film.
 

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