Europa (Von Trier) - quality of R2 release?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark_vdH, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Does anybody own the recently released Tartan release of Europa (AKA Zentropa)?
    I can't find any reviews. Normally, an anamorphic OAR transfer would be sufficient for me to buy it, but as it is a release by the not so reliable Tartan, I'm doubting.....
    Any thoughts on the disc, or maybe some links to on line reviews?
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    I have it but only watched about 10 minutes so far--I'm way way behind on keeping up with the viewing of new discs. But based on that 10 minutes, the transfer is quite good and recommended. I should be able to watch the entire disc within the next week and will try to report back further, but I'm confident based on what I've seen that no one is going to be disappointed. And yes, it is anamorphic widescreen.
     
  3. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    "...the transfer is quite good and recommended..."
    ...'...quite good...' eh ?... read this and weep...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  4. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info Jay, but I'm not going to buy a 1.78:1 version of a 2.35:1 movie......that's Pan & Scan!
    Thanks for the link/info/warning, Hendrik [​IMG].
     
  5. Al Stuart

    Al Stuart Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh no. I just ordered this from Benson's World two days ago. I saw Zentropa (Europa) in a local revival theater last year and the framing was gorgeous, I hate to think waht it would like slightly cropped. Does anyone know of a way to cancel that part of the order with them? The discs I bought haven't shipped yet. Or should I just wait till it arrives and sell it on Ebay unopened? This movie is kind of a rare commodity in the US.

    And hello to Hendrik, as this is my first post on HTF, but I have talked to him before on dvdfile, where I post as Disco Stu.
     
  6. Al Stuart

    Al Stuart Stunt Coordinator

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    While I'm at it, I might as well ask. The other three disks I orderded were Dead or Alive (also a Tartan release, I should have known better, I have their original Battle Royale, and used to own their horrid version of ROTLD), the HKL of Police Story, and Night on Earth. Is there anything I should watch out for on any of those? I had heard something about problems with Police Story, but I understand the Malata corrects them (currently I own a Sampo, but am getting a Malata 520 in the next few weeks).
     
  7. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    I think you can cancel your order at this e-mail address: [email protected]
    Can't help you with you other question..........
     
  8. Al Stuart

    Al Stuart Stunt Coordinator

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    I just saw that DVDgo has a Spanish version of Europa. Sadly I cannot access the link, when I clicked on the icon it went to a blank page. Does anyone know if this version is correctly letterboxed?

    Oh and Benson's World was very nice about the whole thing, I have already received 5 emails from them regarding my order.
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Didn't Tartan also crop the UK release of von Trier's "THE IDIOTS" to 1.66:1? (Especially infuriating considering the dogme-95 "rule" requiring traditional Academy aperture!)
     
  10. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    Cropping a film from 2:35 to 1:85 or 1:78 is not Pan & Scan. It is...well, it's cropping, which is quite different from Pan & Scan. I unfortunately have still only been able to look at about 10 minutes of EUROPA, but from what I've seen it looks wonderful, very nicely framed, a very good transfer (referring only to the video quality), and if it's been cropped, I really don't care that much (though I would certainly buy the film again if presented at 2:35).

    True, I've only seen ZENTROPA before on a fullscreen laserdisc, never in a theater, so I have nothing else to compare it too. And I did notice that in a couple places the subtitles were slightly cut off (though still readable) on the left side of the screen and were for some reason not centered at all times. But other than the subtitle issue, this film looks stunning and I don't understand why (unless the 2:35 version is available elsewhere) anyone would not want to own this masterpiece in the best available version. RAN, another great film, is also only available 1:85 as far as I know, and here the framing clearly looks off because it was intended to be shown 2:35, but that hasn't stopped me from purchasing the film twice--on laserdisc and DVD--framed at 1:85. EUROPA from what I've seen appears to have been shot in such a way that it would look superb at either 1:85 or 2:35.


    EYES WIDE SHUT is also presented on DVD fullscreen and slightly cropped even though it was shown in theaters at 1:85, and I can tell you that the cropped DVD is better framed from an aesthetic standpoint than the theatrical release. And I'm not just saying this because I'm in awe of Kubrick and because he felt his film should be shown fullscreen; I absolutely don't agree with Kubrick's decision to show THE SHINING fullscreen for home theater viewing instead of OAR--I much prefer the visual balance of the 1:85 framing for this film. I also don't agree with Vittorio Storaro's desire to have all his 2:35 films be shown on home video at 2:00, greatly weakening the magnificent visuals, in my opinion. Now, how many of you reading this won't hesitate a second to buy APOCALYPSE NOW but then turn around and say no to EUROPA?

    I guess that maybe the bottom line here is that I would choose a large number of films not presented OAR on DVD to fight over before I'd fight to correct EUROPA. Though I might be jumping the gun here and once I've seen the entire disc I'll change my tune.

    And now I'll step down from my soapbox because the region 4 BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy is calling.
     
  11. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    1) ZENTROPA was filmed in Panavision, i.e. with anamorphic optics, i.e. for projection with AR 2.35:1...
    ...might as well 'crop' any 1950s CinemaScope movie, or BEN-HUR...
    2) ZENTROPA should/can NOT be compared to, say, TITANIC - which was filmed FLAT using the SUPER 35mm process... (apples & oranges, you know)
    3) ZENTROPA should/can NOT be compared to, say, EYES WIDE SHUT - which was filmed FLAT... (apples & oranges again)
    4) by having been cropped down to AR 1.78:1, the ZENTROPA transfer loses a good 30% of what the Director wanted us to see... that may not bother you,
    but it sure as heck bothers me...
    Q.E.D.
    ...climbs down from his soap box and wanders off, shaking his head and mumbling softly into his scraggly beard...
    (signed) Not a Philistine
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  12. Al Stuart

    Al Stuart Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I won an auction for the Spanish version, I only have to pay the guy $12.50 plus $2 shipping, so even if it wasn't done right, I'm not out that much money. He told me it was 2.35, although he didn't know if it was anamorphic. I'll let eveyone know when it arrives whether it should be purchased in lieu of the Tartan or an R1 version.
     
  13. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Jay:
    - Both The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut were shot open matte. That means home video versions show more than their respective theatrical releases: they are not cropped. (to see your 'prefered' version of the Shining, just use the Zoom button on your WS TV.)
    - I have the 2.00 DVD of Apocalypse Now, but the transfer was improved by the film's DP (as you've already pointed out). So you can't compare it with this release of Europa/Zentropa. If a 1.85:1 transfer was approved by Von Trier, I would buy it.....
    - Why is cropping a film from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1 not Pan & Scan? I know there's probably noy much 'panning' in this kind (2.35 to 1.78) of cropping, but doesn't that make it even worse?
     
  14. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    Read my remarks more carefully, I'm merely saying for EUROPA that for the whopping 10 minutes I watched, the framing looks well-balanced. I haven't looked at this film at 2:35 so can't say I prefer it (though I probably would prefer it at 2:35), but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it at 1:78. What would everyone be saying if someone had said this film was composed in such a way that the director thought it suitable for viewing in theaters at 2:35 but also for viewing on widescreen TVs at 1:78? Do we know anything about this?

    We do however know Kubrick's preferences. The framing for EYES WIDE SHUT looks better balanced fullscreen to my eye, my comments have nothing to do with more or less information being available. I don't like this film better because of more information being available, I like it better because of the composition within the frame. "Composition within the frame" is what it's all about to me, I don't much care for what the filmmakers themselves say. Does this make me an egotistical SOB. Maybe I am, but not because of these comments. I'm only asking for people to open their eyes and think about it, not just take one narrow view of the whole aspect ratio controversy. The director is not God in my eyes, nor is anyone else involved in the filmmaking process, not even myself.

    Another example: I have the PAN & SCANNED Brazil release of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, and still find the film enjoyable this way, but the first time I had seen ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST Panned & Scanned, I found it completely unwatchable. Some films survive such treatment, some don't.

    And how is Storaro impoving the framing of TANGO at 2:00 instead of 2:35 when even the opening credits are being cut off?

    So yeah, you betcha I recommend the British release of EUROPA, till someone can tell me (hopefully soon) something better is out there.
     
  15. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    "...And how is Storaro impoving the framing of TANGO at 2:00 instead of 2:35 when even the opening credits are being cut off?"
    ...ahh, you picked a bad example: "TANGO" was actually filmed using Storaro's preferred UNIVISIUM" process ... and if, as you say, "even the opening credits are being cut off" (as they are on my German DVD of the movie, which, adding insult to injury, is also dubbed into (shudder!) German without giving the viewer the option of choosing the original Spanish, with German subs) it simply means/proves that this title, too, has been transferred at the wrong AR - to wit: the dreaded (and, mark my words, soon-to-be-encountered-more-and-more-often) "friendly-to-proud-owners-of-widescreen-TVs" 1.78:1 - check it out: you'l see I am right! ...
    ...and I feel VERY confident in saying that, NO, Lars von Trier most certainly did NOT have anything to do with approving the cropping of his 2.35:1 "EUROPA" down all the way to the friendly-to-owners-of-widescreen-TVs 1.78:1...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  16. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    "...What would everyone be saying if someone had said this film was composed in such a way that the director thought it suitable for viewing in theaters at 2:35 but also for viewing on widescreen TVs at 1:78? Do we know anything about this?..."
    Michael Brooke wrote: "Europa would be all but incomprehensible in anything other than 2.35:1 - few other relatively recent films make such a point of using the entire width of the frame!"
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  17. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    Though sadly lacking, even the ZENTROPA fullscreen laserdisc is hardly incomprehensible. I think I had a fairly good understanding of the film as cinema after only having been exposed to the laserdisc.

    None of this means I don't want a 2:35 DVD. Maybe it would open my eyes, but thankfully ignorance is bliss in this case since I can enjoy what is available, having seen nothing better. And someone telling me that a film would be imcomprehensible at anything other than 2:35 has no impact, especially since most critics these days are halfwits anyway.

    But seeing is believing.

    Will some distributor please make me a believer...

    Exit stage right...
     

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