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Robert Harris

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I saw the film in a 35mm nitrate Technicolor print at the Egyptian Theatre in 2003. They had to get the fire department to send a firefighter into the projection booth to ensure its safety. But what projected upon that screen was indescribable. Something no home theater could ever duplicate. This will be the closest to that.
I doubt that it will look close to an original. Should look lovely, but presume it will be very different.
 

Jake Lipson

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This is not strictly related to the Criterion release, but I thought it might be worth mentioning for fans of The Red Shoes. The film has been adapted into a stage production which will be shown on Great Performances on PBS this weekend. See the link below. I'm very interested to see what this is like.

 

haineshisway

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This is not strictly related to the Criterion release, but I thought it might be worth mentioning for fans of The Red Shoes. The film has been adapted into a stage production which will be shown on Great Performances on PBS this weekend. See the link below. I'm very interested to see what this is like.

Are you talking about Matthew Bourne's ballet or something else? And, of course, many years ago in the 1990s it was adapted for Broadway and was a huge flop. Jule Styne wrote the music. Ah, yes, it's the Matthew Bourne ballet and it's wonderful, all set to the music of Bernard Herrmann.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases

 

noel aguirre

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A very interesting proposition.

A film that was never 4k, now in 4k and Dolby Vision.
So The Wizard of Oz was never 4K either and it also got a 4K Dolby Vision release and we saw a noticeable improvement on that (even though I personally prefer the 3D conversion myself for the ultimate Oz experience).
But the lighting effects Cardiff used may cause this 4K less of a noticeable improvement with this upgrade due to the complicated replication of said lighting results? Is that what’s expected?
 
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Robert Harris

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So The Wizard of Oz was never 4K either and it also got a 4K Dolby Vision release and we saw a noticeable improvement on that (even though I personally prefer the 3D conversion myself for the ultimate Oz experience).
But the lighting effects Cardiff used may cause this 4K less of a noticeable improvement with this upgrade due to the complicated replication of said lighting results? Is that what’s expected?
Not referring to “improvements,” but rather a very specific velvety appearance that was a Technicolor trademark, especially in the early years.

With Technicolor, detail is not always the prime attribute.
 

Bad Raptor

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Not referring to “improvements,” but rather a very specific velvety appearance that was a Technicolor trademark, especially in the early years.

With Technicolor, detail is not always the prime attribute.
Hopefully the new 4k version won't have an overall velvety look. The Criterion BD version I have that my Oppo player upscales to 4k has scenes that Cardiff shot in very appealing and stunning crisp focus - particularly the daylight scenes in Monte Carlo when the ballet troupe arrives at the hotel, at the train station when Vicki meets Lermontov at the train, the intense close up Moira Shearer's eyes when she spots Lermontov in the audience for her performance of Swan Lake in Covent Garden. I can understand velvety scenes at the evening birthday party in Monte Carlo and other night scenes or during the ballet of the Red Shoes sequence to make the scenes and special effects more surreal and dreamlike since many of the backdrops are paintings...but an overall velvety look to every scene would be detract from the meticulous care that Cardiff took to shoot those scenes that should be in sharp focus. In my humble opinion, of course.
 

Paul Penna

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Hopefully the new 4k version won't have an overall velvety look. The Criterion BD version I have that my Oppo player upscales to 4k has scenes that Cardiff shot in very appealing and stunning crisp focus - particularly the daylight scenes in Monte Carlo when the ballet troupe arrives at the hotel, at the train station when Vicki meets Lermontov at the train, the intense close up Moira Shearer's eyes when she spots Lermontov in the audience for her performance of Swan Lake in Covent Garden. I can understand velvety scenes at the evening birthday party in Monte Carlo and other night scenes or during the ballet of the Red Shoes sequence to make the scenes and special effects more surreal and dreamlike since many of the backdrops are paintings...but an overall velvety look to every scene would be detract from the meticulous care that Cardiff took to shoot those scenes that should be in sharp focus. In my humble opinion, of course.
He's talking about how the Technicolor prints appeared in projection. The dye transfer process resulted in a softer image than was present in the negatives. Those are what are used for transfer, not any prints.
 
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Bad Raptor

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He's talking about how the Technicolor prints appeared in projection. The dye transfer process resulted in a softer image than was present in the negatives. Those are what are used for transfer, not any prints.
I understand that but Robert also said this in his first comment:
"This should look lovely, but should be softened to replicate the original look.
Unless that isn't the intent, and that's fine, as long as the point is made."
Put me in the sharper-is-more-appealing-than-softer camp. Technicolor theatrical presentations of films like "The Adventures of Robin Hood", "Gone With The Wind" and hundreds of other films were also softer when shown in theaters when they were released. Thankfully, the restoration processes that Mr. Harris helped pioneer has brought out much greater detail of the images that audiences had never seen before like the detail on costumes, sets and props which I would argue make the viewing of the restored film much more pleasurable because audiences can see the attention to detail that the filmmakers insisted upon. So, one has to ask, what is the goal of restoration? To replicate what audiences experienced in theaters prior to digital technology? Or to present a motion picture that comes as close as possible to what the director and cinematographer actually saw when they were shooting it?
 

Bad Raptor

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From an article on Cardiff from American Cinematographer:
Cardiff exploited the use of color for the Technicolor assignment. He photographed the fantasy ballet sequences with diffused lighting and filters on the lenses to create a dreamlike quality and contrasted that approach by filming real-life scenes in deeply saturated, luminous reddish colors.
It appears evident then that Cardiff wanted a softer look for the Red Shoes ballet sequence but didn't want the same diffused look for the real-life sequences, especially the daylight sequences which in the recent BD version are a quite sharp and detailed. My guess is that Cardiff also wanted to use luminous reddish colors and complementary colors to red that would highlight the stunning red color Moira Shearer's hair.
 

ScottHM

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So, one has to ask, what is the goal of restoration? To replicate what audiences experienced in theaters prior to digital technology? Or to present a motion picture that comes as close as possible to what the director and cinematographer actually saw when they were shooting it?

Wouldn't you eliminate much of the artistry of the motion picture if we saw everything the way the director and cinematographer saw it?
---------------
 

Robert Harris

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Wouldn't you eliminate much of the artistry of the motion picture if we saw everything the way the director and cinematographer saw it?
---------------
Precisely. One would be viewing a live performance. An excruciatingly boring and horrific live performance.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Hey guys!

I have heard so many great things about this film from all of you. Some of the best films I have watched were discovered through those recommendations.

I am intrigued by THE RED SHOES, but honestly, I don't like ballet.

Are there other elements to this film that I would enjoy outside of that? I am considering purchasing the 4k when it goes on sale at some point.
 

Bad Raptor

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Precisely. One would be viewing a live performance. An excruciatingly boring and horrific live performance.
This is not at all what I am saying. The cinematographer is not attempting to recreate a live performance. The cinematographer is attempting to create mood, atmosphere with his or her choice of lighting, atmospheric effects, color, selection of lenses, what have you whether in an indoor set piece or an outdoor scene. The director and editor select the cuts they feel best convey what the scriptwriter intended or heighten the sense of drama or choose a cut that was unexpected and surprised them. Why would you think that the cinematographer or the director are simply documenting a live performance?

I'm speaking specifically about the difference of what a theater audience has seen in the pre-digital era - a softer, velvety image - versus what audiences today - many of them at home - can see in a film that has been digitally restored. One can certainly advocate that restored films duplicate what a pre-digital era audience experienced but by doing so, that decision deliberately clouds detail, the same detail that the 3-strip Technicolor obscured because of its technical limitations especially in regard to registration. If one watches the daylight scenes in The Red Shoes, it's evident that Cardiff wasn't trying to create a "velvety" image no matter what the primary attribute or preferences of the Technicolor company may have been.
 
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Angelo Colombus

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Hey guys!

I have heard so many great things about this film from all of you. Some of the best films I have watched were discovered through those recommendations.

I am intrigued by THE RED SHOES, but honestly, I don't like ballet.

Are there other elements to this film that I would enjoy outside of that? I am considering purchasing the 4k when it goes on sale at some point.
The performances by Moira Shearer, Marius Goring and especially Anton Walbrook are great. Also looking at the excellent production design and cinematography by Jack Cardiff.
 

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