Comformist :coming out in 4:3!!!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Peter Neski, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Supporting Actor

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    If it isn't bad enough that they took forever to
    even get to this all time Classic ,From the Interview
    in Widesreen Review with Lou Levension:which he says
    they will release it in 4:3 because they don't know
    any better

    I take it will be matted,but from the interview it
    sounds like its full frame...Ugh!
     
  2. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    Who is releasing this?
     
  3. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I look forward to more info on this article. I can't imagine Paramount (which controls the rights) would even think of cropping this masterpiece, whose camerawork in the eyes of one reviewer represents "[maybe] the apex of color cinematography."

    Some additional info:

    Info about Lou Levinson:


    Paramount Home Entertainment's new director of PR (essentially the job Martin Blythe used to have, as I understand it), Brenda Ciccone, told me by email last week that The Conformist didn't appear on the studio's current production schedule.

    BTW, The Conformist was shot in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1.
     
  4. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    The portion of the interview in question is available for free online at Widescreen Review. I'm afraid what Peter says is true. See page 134, where Levinson says:



    HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE news. We definitely need to carpet-bomb Paramount with [polite but forceful] emails [[email protected]] to get them to change their decision and release it at 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen.
     
  5. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Supporting Actor

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    TCM just showed a wonderful transfer of this matted
    it was dubbed ,till the scene which was cut from the Original which didn't have any sound at all,or titles
    for that matter

    I couldn't be more upset at Paramount!!!!
     
  6. RandallV

    RandallV Second Unit

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    I'm having a difficult time believing Paramount would do this. They have an excellent record with regard to OAR. I do believe politely contacting the studio is best.
     
  7. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    This makes no sense at all - The Conformist is not the kind of DVD title that will be selling at your local WalMart. The people who would actually buy this DVD are film aficionados (or even "film snobs", if you will) who sure as heck want the movie in it's OAR. It makes you wonder what kind of clods are making these decisions at Paramount. Do they even understand who the primary audience is for their film properties?
     
  8. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I have trouble believing this as well.

    Paramount has been decent with OAR and this isn't a title that'll sell to the average consumer (ie. old foreign art-film).

    Plus a 4:3 release would totally butcher one of the greatest achievements in cinematography - which adds even more salt to the wounds of art-film lovers.

    I'm excited that there's some talk about this title on DVD.
     
  9. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    Paramount, to my knowledge, has never issued a title in a pan-scan only release, unlike other studios whose quality has gone down.

    By referring to a 4:3 version, could he maybe mean that it would be at 1.66 but not anamorphically enhanced? A 4:3 letterbox version? Ever since the nude footage was restored to the film, I have never even seen this movie presented in a full-frame transfer: all cable airings, even on channels that normally didn't do letterboxing, have been at the proper ratio. But they have been presented with the image boosted up, not centered, with the subtitles in the black space below. Maybe that's what he means, using the existing master formatted for 4:3 TV screens rather than doing a properly recentered anamorphic presentation.

    Still an unpleasant thought, but not as bad as what we are fearing.
     
  10. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    This information has to be incorrect. Paramount has only released one title FULL FRAME which was JADE by William Friedkin's request (The LD was also FF). The only way I could imagine this not OAR is if Paramount no longer has the rights.
     
  11. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    If that were true, why would he say "you wish somebody could convince them that if you do a movie in its original composition" [emphasis mine]? A non-anamorphic, letterboxed 1.66:1 presentation would preserve the original composition. Besides, I can't imagine anyone in the industry using 4:3 to refer to letterboxed widescreen.

    I suspect that Paramount intends to save money by re-using (and tweaking) the laserdisc master (which was 4:3 pan & scan, and English-dubbed), much as Criterion did when they first started making DVDs. That a major company would even consider that option in 2005 leaves me puzzled.

    The contact person at Paramount is Brenda Ciccone. Her email address can be found here. I encourage anyone who's even remotely interested in this film to dash off a [polite but firm] email.
     
  12. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    The LD tranfer was a abomanation, as it was no different than the old old gateway/paramount vhs, I do hope that this was a case of a misquote, considering even cable channels like cinemax have been running this letterboxed.
     
  13. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I don't think Paramount would really put out something like this in pan & scan, when they put out stuff like "Good Burger" in widescreen. Of course, I never thought Columbia could go as far backwards as they have in the past couple years.

    What happened to Martin Blythe though?
     
  14. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Brian PB, wrote:


    Placing the age of the transfer at 1995/96. That transfer was more than likely non-anamorphic 1.66 and standard definition. Or maybe it was a 1.33:1 open-matte transfer for TV, which wasn't broadcast until this year.

    If Paramount release either an open-matte or cropped 1.33:1 transfer, created in 1996 of Il Conformista after years of nervous waiting on our part, I will declare holy war.
     
  15. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    As I understand it, he has taken on an independent consultant role.
     
  16. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Here we go again. Shouldn't we wait until an official announcement before getting our panties bunched up? Rumors are not facts.
     
  17. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I would hardly consider Lou Levinson a rumormonger. Would you prefer to wait until the flawed final product is on a retailer's shelf before you take action? The way I see it, a small window of opportunity has been casually revealed to consumers, and it is up to us to pressure Paramount to do the right thing.

    Do you really expect to receive a phone call one day from Paramount: "Hey, Tom. This is Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount. By the way, how's the missus? Listen, Tom, we're kicking around the idea of releasing an obscure film by this Italian director--whaz-his-name? Bergalookie? Anyway, it's called The Conformist, ancient stuff, made in 1970. Anywho, Tom, a few of the film snobs in the office wanna get this turkey out on DVD, and I'm thinkin' 'why spend a sh*tload of money on some artsy-fartsy film nobody's ever heard of, anyway?' Are ya with me, Tom? So we're plannin' to use the old laserdisc transfer. At least it's in English, right? So what if the mouths aren't in synch with the words. Cripes, subtitles are the kiss-of-death to our marketing guys. So this DVD will completely fill up the average TV screen like a motherf***er. So whadaya think, Tom? Is it a winner, or what?"

    Recall that in early 2004 'public outcry' (from members of this forum, among others) convinced MGM to withdraw its Bergman box set after it had already been distributed to retailers, so that they could correct the aspect ratio of two of the films. I am hopeful that the suits at Paramount will acquiesce to the same pressure.
     
  18. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Brenda Ciccone is the Head of PR at Paramount. Here is her email:

    [email protected]

    Try to be as civil as possible, you bastards.
     
  19. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I also find this really hard to believe. Paramount (while slow to release films and has those unskippable, annoying menus) normally puts out very good DVDs. They wouldn't do this.

    And the recent TCM airing was letterboxed, and looked great too.

    With this being considered one of the greatest shot films in the past fifty years (and profiled in VISIONS OF LIGHT) doing a full screen transfer sounds impossible.

    I'll wait for an official announcement before I get outraged.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    "A storm in a teacup, Dryden..."

    I read the Widescreen piece which quotes Mr. Levinson. Nowhere did he, in any way, state that Paramount was doing anything with The Conformist for home video.

    He merely stated that he was working on a full-frame transfer. There is nothing wrong with this.

    The element could be for any number of software uses.

    Jumping to conclusions will be a waste of time.

    I see no story and no issue here.

    RAH
     

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