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Could Seven Samurai be fully restored? (1 Viewer)

Matt Pelham

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Don't get me wrong, I love my Criterion DVD, but it looks like crap compared to other movies from the same time period or even before (Citizen Kane, Third Man, Notorious, Snow White) Massive scratches, blemishes, fuzzy and soft picture that persist for 90% of the movie. Would it even be possible to somehow "restore" this movie to the level of quality of some of these other films mentioned? You don't want to know how much I'd pay for a decent looking version of the 7S.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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It would depend on the state of the original elements - if they even exist anymore. If there aren't film elements, then the best they could do is a restoration on the last video transfer, which could be cleaner, but would probably get mucked up by the amount of processing they'd have to do.
 

Jeff Kleist

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That would require Toho taking their head out of their ass and letting Criterion have access to the negatives

Not happening.

Since Citizen Kane and Snow White were restored for video only, it's not a fair comparison. Criterion is very very careful to preserve the FILM aspect. Not that those don't look incredible mind you, but there's been a LOT of processing
 

Kevin M

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Since in another thread it was mentioned that a "newly struck print" would be making the rounds theatrically it seems that new prints can presumably be made and distributed. That being the case I hope the people at TOHO & Criterion get together in order to take advantage of these "new prints" and offer them to fans worldwide on DVD.
 

Bjorn Olav Nyberg

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Since we are talking about Kurosawa and Criterion here - Does anybody know what was done to clean up Rashomon? There are a lot of scratches on the image, in amount somewhat comparable to Seven samurai, but they simply does not stand out much compared to Seven samurai. Criterions website mentions too that Rashomon's transfer was digitally cleaned, and I think it does look better than Seven samurai. I don't know to which extent I am comparing apples and oranges here, since the production companies were different and so on, but the DVD transfer was done by the same company, so in my mind it should at least be possible to give Seven samurai the Rashomon treatment, or am I completely off base again?
 

Robert Harris

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This is not a matter of "restoration."

Rather it is simply selecting and being allowed access to
a proper element.

About 1982 a few prints were struck which were superlative. They may have been from the Oneg. Rather than "restoration," I believe the word here is "cooperation."

RAH
 

Patrick McCart

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Actually, Snow White was restored twice for film.

The first time was by YCM Labs and was basically a recompositing of the original sucessive exposure negatives (Kudos to Disney for keeping them in such great condition over the years!). That version left in all the print damage (mostly just specks and possibly lines) and also the massive amount of cel dust, reflections, and scrapes. (These were invisible in the soft Technicolor prints of the 1930's) Then, a digital-to-film restoration was done by Kodak (Cineon division) which removed all that stuff and also color corrected somewhat. The only problem that it was still quite grainy and looks a little to soft.
 

Jeff Kleist

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I hope these new prints stand up. I for one can't wait to see Kurosawa in 35mm :) I saw RAN and Kagemusha, those were fantastic!
 

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