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Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast Restored?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Enrique B Chamorro, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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    I went to the Chicago showing of Cocteau's
    Beauty and the Beast playing at the Music Box Theater.
    The movie schedule states;
    "This release represents the first opportunity for US
    audiences to see prints made from the restored French
    negatives. Each frame was meticulously cleaned, missing
    footage was restored ad (sic) the original soundtrack
    has been cleansed using digital audio tools."
    also, "A New 35mm Print".

    I was very pleased by a completely new opening,
    but the rest of the film fell short of the current
    Criterion DVD. I understand that a lot can be done
    with the digital form of the movie and how it is
    presented on DVD. It just sounded that like this
    film print was going to be better than the DVD.
    One clear example that I can remember is when the
    Beast takes a walk along the garden that is lined
    with statues of animals. The Criterion DVD has that
    section shown both before and after the digital
    clean up. They point out the very apparent blemish
    in the center of the frame. I was watching for that
    in the theater and was shocked to see the same
    blemish appear. I was under the assumption that the
    new film negetive would be even better than the
    digitally restored DVD.

    I saw the restored Metropolis two weeks before and
    that turned out to be a revelation! People is the
    audience would jump at completely new scenes and
    you could hear small gasps, like when you could see a
    bead of sweat roll down the face of Josaphat when
    he is being fired.

    That is what I expected from the "new" Beauty and
    the Beast.

    Is there any word concerning just what Criterion
    will do with the new DVD?
    Will it have the Glass score?
    (The theater print did not.)
    The current DVD image is better than the "new" film,
    the only thing you are missing is the alternate opening.

    Cheers
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  3. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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    I was following the original thread and that
    is what built up my expectations so much!

    The digital work done for the original DVD
    was significant and they included a wonderful
    extra displaying the before and after.
    When the new DVD comes out, I just can't see
    it resembling the print I saw the other night.
    I can understand if Criterion gets the French
    negatives and creates an entirely new transfer,
    but that presentation will not look like anything
    I saw in the theater.
    The current film being displayed is being
    advertised as something to behold.
    You could have displayed the DVD blown up on
    a big screen and it would have looked better!
    I would love a better version of B&B and I will
    buy it, IF it is a better, new transfer.
    I will not buy it just for the alternate opening
    and a Philip Glass score.
    (I think the Glass score was a little heavy handed
    for Dracula)

    Another issue is how will Criterion match up the
    audio commentary track from the old disc with the
    new opening?
    Perhaps they will have a moderator talk for the
    duration of the new opening and then lead into
    the old commentary track.
     
  4. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    There are probably things that can be fixed digitally that couldn't be fixed on the actual film.

    I have the utmost confidence that Criterion will do a fine job with the new DVD.

    The Philip Glass score is a non-issue for me, so long as the original audio is also included (which I'm sure it will be). I'm no fan of revisionist musical scores.

    By the way, I emailed Jon Mulvany this morning to find out if they intend to apply some digital repair on the new DVD. I'll let you know what he tells me.
     
  5. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Enrique, I received the following reply from Jon Mulvany:

     
  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I'm quite certain that Criterion wouldn't go to the effort of a new transfer if they didn't believe it would be an improvement.

    That said, it sounds from JM's reply to Rain that Criterion isn't particularly far along in the process. Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but I was expecting the official announcement and release to be just around the corner...
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  8. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Think of how I suffered waiting for Children of Paradise for almost 1.5 years after it was announced as "Coming Soon." As usual, though, well worth the wait!
     
  9. Enrique B Chamorro

    Enrique B Chamorro Supporting Actor

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    Criterion marches to the beat of a different drummer.
    Both for the selection of movies and the pace that
    they take in releasing movies.

    JM's comment sound like typical corporate talk.
    We will do our best to make it the best.
    For Criterion, they tend to make good on their corporate talk.
    I believe that when Criterion gets the negative and
    makes a new transfer, they will use the digital clean up.
    THEN it will be the great presentation that the movie
    is being touted as NOW.
    A DVD of the current film version I saw would be a step back
    from the current DVD.
    I was just under the assumption that all of the clean up
    work was ALREADY done, given the way they are advertising
    the movie in theaters now.
    The Metropolis movie that is currently playing in theaters
    IS a marvel to behold, I was just hoping that B&B would
    have been the same experience.

    I look forward to a new DVD and a new transfer,
    it will just take awhile, quite awhile.

    P.S. Still looking for Tales of Hoffman.
     

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