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ManW_TheUncool

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I love grain as well... but of course, not just for its own sake regardless of (original) filmmaker intent (or suitability/appropriateness to the actual content/imagery/storytelling).

Yeah, some releases are probably overdoing it in presenting grain (or artifacts that aren't necessarily the original film grain... or perhaps in this case, the intended/targeted film grain of theatrical release prints) while others are clearly doing the opposite by removing (or smearing) grain they probably shouldn't...

_Man_
 

Noel Aguirre

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I've heard from a colorist representing the post facility that did the work on Night, and am told that the image was not sharpened, either during or after the scan.

I'll take him at his word, and presume that this is simply a grainy film - whether via stock or processing. Point here is that what viewers should be seeing is not the negative with reversed polarity, but a representation of an original print.

NotH looks fine from a normal seating distance. Getting to close, however can be problematic, depending upon one's sensitive to grain.

And for the record, I love grain.
Is the DOP to be blamed for poor stock or the processing chosen or the director or the studio?
To me this looks like many of the B&W films from the 1950’s which don’t particularly look that great perhaps due to budget constraints and I’m not discounting the DOP’s résumé.
 

Noel Aguirre

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I've heard from a colorist representing the post facility that did the work on Night, and am told that the image was not sharpened, either during or after the scan.

I'll take him at his word, and presume that this is simply a grainy film - whether via stock or processing. Point here is that what viewers should be seeing is not the negative with reversed polarity, but a representation of an original print.

NotH looks fine from a normal seating distance. Getting to close, however can be problematic, depending upon one's sensitive to grain.

And for the record, I love grain.
Is the DOP to be blamed for poor stock or processing chosen or the director or the studio?
To me this looks like many of the B&W films from the 1950’s which don’t particularly look that great and I’m not discounting the DOP’s résumé.
 

haineshisway

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I absolutely love heavy film grain so feel free to laugh at me. I'm 36 so old enough to have seen both 35 and 16mm screenings. The grainiest movie a can recall seeing on film was the premier screening of F*cking Åmål aka Show Me Love. I believe the last time a saw an actual analog film projection was Roy Andersson's You, the Living in 2007.
Well, that's peachy. I have no idea what movies you're going on about, but perhaps that was the intention of those two films. Thirty-six? That puts your birth year at 1987, so you came of age in the late 90s. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about films from much earlier and how films were shot back then and as I and others have said, unless it was to make a point (see The Miracle Workers dream sequences), there was no HEAVY grain. There was natural film grain, which varied from stock to stock over the years.
 

mskaye

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Is the DOP to be blamed for poor stock or processing chosen or the director or the studio?
To me this looks like many of the B&W films from the 1950’s which don’t particularly look that great and I’m not discounting the DOP’s résumé.
I'm not sure what your standards are for films "not looking great from the 50s." I don't think there is any blame here for the original elements on TNOTH contributing to its current 4k look. If it is a rhetorical question - RAH can answer. Sometimes lab work was out of the DPs hands. But not here as it's one of the most lauded examples of expressive cinematography in the history of cinema. Blame the DP for that! Lighting styles, slower film stocks, less than state of the art technology contributed to many films of the 50s/60s/70s"not looking great" but there is SO MUCH from that era that looks as amazing as anything ever made in the history of cinema. The work of Sirk, Hitchcock, Dassin, Ray, Lang, Ford, Hawks, Welles, Wilder, Wyler, etc. and DOPs too numerous to mention by name. Stanley Cortez, the DOP on TNOTH, was capable of brilliance. I'll take the look of most 50s films over much of the over processed digitized dreck (an old Italian expression) shot today. PS-TNOTH was hardly Ben Hur on a budget level. The fact that such a singular film as TNOTH was even made is a miracle to be celebrated.
 
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Douglas R

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I think the problem is that video now is so sharp and so stable that grain can start to look like noise. Compression also probably doesn’t help. But removing all the grain just looks wrong. Whatever the Warner Archive is doing seems to strike the right balance. It’s not overly grainy, but there’s a hint of it still there.

35mm prints tended to smooth over the grain, as did projection gate-weave, giving it more of a texture. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one, but I remember 70mm blow-ups being very grainy. Ghostbusters has horribly grainy in 70mm, but the 35mm print I saw a few years ago wasn’t grainy at all.
I’m surprised that you remember 70mm blow ups as being very grainy. That’s not how I remember most of them. Many blow ups weren’t even advertised as such and for years I assumed Doctor Zhivago was shot on 65mm because the picture quality was so good and I don’t remember much grain. Same with The Great Race and Logan’s Run for example.
 

plektret

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Well, that's peachy. I have no idea what movies you're going on about, but perhaps that was the intention of those two films. Thirty-six? That puts your birth year at 1987, so you came of age in the late 90s. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about films from much earlier and how films were shot back then and as I and others have said, unless it was to make a point (see The Miracle Workers dream sequences), there was no HEAVY grain. There was natural film grain, which varied from stock to stock over the years.
Ah ok. Those two movies are regarded as arthouse-essentials and internationally well-known so I guess you're a Hollywood-only guy then. I'm disappointed by the fact that grainy releases gets hate while restoration disasters The Godfather films gets love and rewarded with tons of praise and awards.
Still love film grain though...
 

Robert Harris

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Well, that's peachy. I have no idea what movies you're going on about, but perhaps that was the intention of those two films. Thirty-six? That puts your birth year at 1987, so you came of age in the late 90s. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about films from much earlier and how films were shot back then and as I and others have said, unless it was to make a point (see The Miracle Workers dream sequences), there was no HEAVY grain. There was natural film grain, which varied from stock to stock over the years.
Correct!

And film was NOT grainy per se. Look at the frames of Johnstown, a 4k scan from an original nitrate print. Very fine grain.
 

Worth

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I’m surprised that you remember 70mm blow ups as being very grainy. That’s not how I remember most of them. Many blow ups weren’t even advertised as such and for years I assumed Doctor Zhivago was shot on 65mm because the picture quality was so good and I don’t remember much grain. Same with The Great Race and Logan’s Run for example.
I‘m thinking more of 80s movies. Aside from Ghostbusters, I remember Blue Thunder, Platoon, Predator and Aliens as all being very grainy in 70mm, but not in standard 35.
 

Stephen_J_H

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I‘m thinking more of 80s movies. Aside from Ghostbusters, I remember Blue Thunder, Platoon, Predator and Aliens as all being very grainy in 70mm, but not in standard 35.
And I believe most of those were Super35 or 1.85:1.
 

tatifan

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At the current low price, I am mildly tempted by the idea of having the isolated score track. I’d be curious to hear reports of what that’s like. There’s also a very nice CD issue of the LP that came out with Charles Laughton’s narration, and very nice sound for the score itself. Running at around 30 minutes. I’m not sure it’s every bit of the score but it’s still very pleasing listen. Never in a million years would I consider getting rid of my Criterion issue with all the wonderful extras.
 

haineshisway

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Isolated score track? I hope they're being honest about it because there is no music-only track that I nor anyone I know are aware of. And believe me, we'd be aware of it.
 

haineshisway

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Oh, that’s strange… I thought sure that was listed in the features in the pre-release info. Yep, here it is…https://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=32303
No, it's a music and effects track, not music-only - the latter does not exist. The former is okay for what it is but not the way I enjoy listening to music with all manner of sound effects throughout.
 

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