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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Bird with the Crystal Plumage -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Scott Merryfield

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I'm scared to think what Suspiria is going to cost but the screencaps that Synapse has shown look incredible.

I would guess that it will be about the same price as Tenebrae and Phenomena -- $45 for a limited steel book edition. Personally, I do not care about the steel book case, but I also do not want to risk being unable to pick these up when they go out of stock.
 

haineshisway

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Here's the dilemma of the Blu-ray critic: how to rate something as it is vs. how it could be.

If I write up "Bird" and say "it's pristine", I look like a dope, because it isn't. There are clearly lines and marks during the opening credits.

If I write up "Bird" and say "it has print flaws", I get criticized as being ignorant to what's unavoidable because it's "baked in".

I really try my best to balance the 2. I understand some films are going to look worse than others and grade on a curve, but I also don't feel comfortable giving something an "A" grade if it has objective defects - unavoidable or not...

Here's the real dilemma - as a critic it's your job to understand film and in turn what a transfer really is and does. Therefore, IMO anyway, if there are these light random whatevers in the opening credits and you understand what an optical is and how those dupes are created, then you know it's not a fault of the transfer - at all. So, it's part of the film and always has been because that's the nature of the optical (mind you, I still have to see what you're actually talking about, which I will shortly). So, if it's part of the film then the transfer IS pristine - that is the point. You can say, wow, the film elements do have a few marks in the optical titles - that would be fine. But to call the transfer less than pristine is a serious mistake, IMO.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Here's the real dilemma - as a critic it's your job to understand film and in turn what a transfer really is and does. Therefore, IMO anyway, if there are these light random whatevers in the opening credits and you understand what an optical is and how those dupes are created, then you know it's not a fault of the transfer - at all. So, it's part of the film and always has been because that's the nature of the optical (mind you, I still have to see what you're actually talking about, which I will shortly). So, if it's part of the film then the transfer IS pristine - that is the point. You can say, wow, the film elements do have a few marks in the optical titles - that would be fine. But to call the transfer less than pristine is a serious mistake, IMO.

I know more about film than most but less than some - including many here. I do my best to report honestly on what I see and give potential buyers a clear idea what to expect - that's my main goal. Whether I achieve it is up to others to decide, I guess...
 

Mike Frezon

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Genttlemen, we are straying afield from conversation about the release itself into, instead, a conversation about the qualifications of those who are commenting here about the release.

I think we'd be better off talking about the release.

Thanks.
 

JoshZ

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Ah, but even if what you saw is there, it's STILL pristine - this is the problem with calling out this stuff - IF there are these lines you speak of then they're baked into the optical, which is dupe. So, nothing to be done about it, but, you know, I'll go watch it again.

Even if dirt and scratches were baked into the optical, they can often be digitally erased with today's technology.

A purist may argue that this shouldn't be done, and any physical damage inflicted on the film during its production should remain there forever. The other argument is that the filmmakers obviously never intended the dirt and scratches to be part of the movie, so erasing them brings it closer to the actual original artistic intent.

This is an ongoing debate. Regardless, to say there's "nothing to be done about it" is not quite correct.
 

Robert Harris

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Here's the dilemma of the Blu-ray critic: how to rate something as it is vs. how it could be.

If I write up "Bird" and say "it's pristine", I look like a dope, because it isn't. There are clearly lines and marks during the opening credits.

If I write up "Bird" and say "it has print flaws", I get criticized as being ignorant to what's unavoidable because it's "baked in".

I really try my best to balance the 2. I understand some films are going to look worse than others and grade on a curve, but I also don't feel comfortable giving something an "A" grade if it has objective defects - unavoidable or not...

Many dupes, up into the '90s, were done dry, and defects printed in.

During the work on GF 3, which I do not consider a restoration, one dupe printer function was so problematic, that I searched out the original elements, and remade the function digitally. I would have liked to redo them all, but there was a lack of time, as well as budget.

The removal of the tramlines from Bird would have been an expensive affair.
 

PMF

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My knowledge and expertise on all things films had come to a humbling halt upon my discovery of HTF.
And that's a good thing; because now I am learning more and more.
Sometimes we can confuse words and definitions.
"Passion", for example, is felt so strongly that it can often be confused with such words as "Knowledge" or "Expertise".
Calibrations of self are not easily arrived at.
So thank you, HTF, for clarifying and maintaining my passion on all things film.:)
 
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haineshisway

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I have looked at the opening sequence four times now and I'm just not seeing what Colin is seeing. Is he seeing the "tramlines" that Mr. Harris mentioned? If so, what exactly ARE tramlines, because it's not a term I've heard before. Just want to know what I'm looking for in the opening optical titles sequence where Colin said there are marks and scratches.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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I assumed "tramlines" are thin vertical scratches. I would call them "fire roller marks" or "pad roller scratches" if I saw them on a release print.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I have looked at the opening sequence four times now and I'm just not seeing what Colin is seeing. Is he seeing the "tramlines" that Mr. Harris mentioned? If so, what exactly ARE tramlines, because it's not a term I've heard before. Just want to know what I'm looking for in the opening optical titles sequence where Colin said there are marks and scratches.

No, I never said "scratches" - I said "thin vertical lines". They pop up a couple times during the opening credits...
 

Colin Jacobson

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Many dupes, up into the '90s, were done dry, and defects printed in.

During the work on GF 3, which I do not consider a restoration, one dupe printer function was so problematic, that I searched out the original elements, and remade the function digitally. I would have liked to redo them all, but there was a lack of time, as well as budget.

The removal of the tramlines from Bird would have been an expensive affair.

Sure, and I'm not arguing it should've been done or would've been worth it. They ARE minor and they're just during the credits.

I was just pointing out that the lines are there - for good, bad or indifferent, they do exist! :D
 

nyguy2046

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Sure, and I'm not arguing it should've been done or would've been worth it. They ARE minor and they're just during the credits.

I was just pointing out that the lines are there - for good, bad or indifferent, they do exist! :D

There ARE tramlines as well as minute scratches throughout both the credits and the later sequence at the racetrack - both sequences heavy on opticals, obviously, with the "viewfinder" effects of the supposed binoculars.

As a more casual user of this site it's a bit jarring to see a select few being so vociferously dismissive of the opinions of others, in a way that conveys innate superiority. Aside from Mr. Harris, there is probably not one internet commenter (on this site or others) that has direct film restoration experience (or any film handling experience, at all). Does that mean we should all go away? That the internet should dry up of all commentary, except for the select few chosen to speak (that kind of goes against the entire premise of the internet, doesn't it? Whether we like it or not, it's a democratic platform for ALL to share in).
 
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nyguy2046

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I have looked at the opening sequence four times now and I'm just not seeing what Colin is seeing. Is he seeing the "tramlines" that Mr. Harris mentioned? If so, what exactly ARE tramlines, because it's not a term I've heard before. Just want to know what I'm looking for in the opening optical titles sequence where Colin said there are marks and scratches.

This page should give you some background on tramlines.
 

Mike Frezon

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it's a bit jarring to see a select few being so vociferously dismissive of the opinions of others, in a way that conveys innate superiority.

Oh...I wouldn't say that's totally uncommon here! :laugh: But, to be fair, on nearly any internet forum.

Aside from Mr. Harris, there is probably not one internet commenter (on this site or others) that has direct film restoration experience (or any film handling experience, at all).

That's not even close to being correct. We have many members who have had extensive careers in the film and entertainment industry. We also have a number of professional projectionists who are members. And, specifically to your point, there are other well-known restorationists (restorers?) counted among our members. They might not post with the frequency of RAH, but they are here and are heard from on a regular basis.

But one of the beautiful aspects of the HTF is that we welcome all comers to the forums...from the obsessed film expert (or industry insider) to the most casual of fans. It makes for some extremely interesting discussion and "teachable moments." I know this, because I have learned quite a lot about film over my years here (things I would never have known otherwise).
 

nyguy2046

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Oh...I wouldn't say that's totally uncommon here! :laugh: But, to be fair, on nearly any internet forum.



That's not even close to being correct. We have many members who have had extensive careers in the film and entertainment industry. We also have a number of professional projectionists who are members. And, specifically to your point, there are other well-known restorationists (restorers?) counted among our members. They might not post with the frequency of RAH, but they are here and are heard from on a regular basis.

But one of the beautiful aspects of the HTF is that we welcome all comers to the forums...from the obsessed film expert (or industry insider) to the most casual of fans. It makes for some extremely interesting discussion and "teachable moments." I know this, because I have learned quite a lot about film over my years here (things I would never have known otherwise).

Thanks for your thoughtful response, Mike. And I have to draw a distinction - I've worked in the film and entertainment world and have never (apart from film school) handled film. I'm assuming that goes for the great majority of people in these fields. The larger point I was making, which still stands, is that few people have direct expertise in how film looks and how it ages and how it's restored - that doesn't make the learned (or less learned) viewpoints of others valueless.

I understand that this goes for the whole internet, and not just for this forum, obviously. But I was moved to push back based on the very aggressive opinions I saw on this thread put forth by one particular member. I think it's worth pushing back at times like these, and I appreciate your understanding.
 

haineshisway

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I really shouldn't respond, but... :)

Since I'm the one being discussed here, my "aggressive" opinions were not "aggressive" in my opinion. I simply stated my opinion. And what was that opinion? That to call in question a few marks on an optical and in so doing make it seem like a transfer problem (whether that was intended or not I don't know - I'm just saying how it seemed), is wrong. Because the transfer itself is stellar. That was my point. I've been working in the film and entertainment world for over forty-seven years now. I had one of the biggest collections of 16mm and 35mm films anywhere - I've handled it, run it, smelled it, made films, been in the editing room with films, been around Mr. Harris when he does his brilliant thing, and over those years I've learned a few things. Am I an expert? Nope. I've never heard the term tramlines before, for example, nor would I have ever thought to call light scratches tramlines, but I know everything now has to have a name. I'm only surprised it's not initials, like TL (you know, like 0-Neg) :)
 

Mike Frezon

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The larger point I was making, which still stands, is that few people have direct expertise in how film looks and how it ages and how it's restored - that doesn't make the learned (or less learned) viewpoints of others valueless.

Completely correct, Chris. And I was just making the point that the HTF is not just RAH-centric. We do have a wide variety of members with informed opinions here--including others active in film restoration as well as those who are very knowledgeable about film stock and all the various processes that have been used by film makers over the years...and others with expertise in other technical aspects of movie-making/restoration/projection/distribution/owning/etc.

And while your point that the opinions of the less-informed (amongst whom I count myself) are also valid is quite true, the moderating team here works very hard to make sure that any notions of dismissiveness and superiority are saved for other forums. :D
 

nyguy2046

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Completely correct, Chris. And I was just making the point that the HTF is not just RAH-centric. We do have a wide variety of members with informed opinions here--including others active in film restoration as well as those who are very knowledgeable about film stock and all the various processes that have been used by film makers over the years...and others with expertise in other technical aspects of movie-making/restoration/projection/distribution/owning/etc.

And while your point that the opinions of the less-informed (amongst whom I count myself) are also valid is quite true, the moderating team here works very hard to make sure that any notions of dismissiveness and superiority are saved for other forums. :D

Many thanks, Mike. I appreciate your update (and value Home Theater Forum very much). And I didn't mean to suggest that RAH is the absolute only expert here - but, being who he is, he certainly is the rockstar of the restoration world. :D
 

Mike Frezon

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he certainly is the rockstar of the restoration world.

You'll get no argument from me!

giphy.gif
 

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