Is Criterion's transfer of "Black Orpheus" pan and scan from 2.35:1 CinemaScope?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gordon McMurphy, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    http://www.criterionco.com/asp/release.asp?id=48

    But I have heard that the film may have been shot in CinemaScope at 2.35:1
    http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/cslist.htm
    (scroll down to the listing for 1959)

    Meanwhile... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053146/technical

    70mm blow-ups? When were those made?

    Does anyone actually own the Criterion DVD? Does it look panned and scanned? Alternatively, does it have headroom for 1.66:1 framing? Framing aside, how does the transfer look? Is it clean, sharp and colourful?

    Any info would be much appreciated.
     
  2. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    There have been 70mm blowups of 1.85:1 spherical prints before. They are normally pillarboxed (black bars on the sides). I am not sure of the history of this title. However, both IMDB and Maltin say it's spherical, ie not Scope.

    Ted
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Black Orpheus was shot for 1.37:1 and shown that way. Various guides have presented incorrect specs...

    There are people who saw theatrical showings of the film and they were presented in Academy Ratio. It's possible that a 70mm release happened, with a blowup, but it's NOT a 2.35:1 film.
     
  4. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    That's what I thought, guys.

    Cheers. I'll order it now.
     
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Gordon,

    I e-mailed Martin Hart of the American Widescreen Museum about this issue and this was his response (with my emphasis):


    I e-mailed Leonard Maltin through his website for confirmation of this but got no response.
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...0embla.unik.no

    Also, do a search on Google for the various posters. While a lot of of them are kind of small, CinemaScope doesn't seem to be mentioned on any of them. In 1959, a widescreen process would have been VERY well featured on a poster... especially a French film.
     
  7. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    If you look at BLACK ORPHEUS in its past and current video incarnations, it's difficult to believe that it was shot in scope and P&S'd because the compositions fit too perfectly within the non-scope frame.

    In the 50's, scope films made full use of the widescreen, as opposed to later films that were shot to accommodate the eventual P&S that would be "required" for television broadcast. BLACK ORPHEUS doesn't exhibit any of "empty" middle of the screen shots that one would expect from most scope films from those days.

    I'd say it's a good guess that it wasn't shot in scope but may have been shown at 2:1 or Megascope (2.35:1 anamorphic conversions made from Academy ratio films in Europe) which could have created the confusion.
     
  8. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    "Black Orpheus" stars have both died.

    I'm not going to start a new thread for this, in a group mostly interested in Star Wars, Star Trek and Hobbits, it would just be lost.
    ____________________________________________

    From nytimes.com


    "Marpessa Dawn, who played the beautiful, melancholic and doomed Eurydice in the classic 1959 Brazilian movie “Black Orpheus,” died on Aug. 25 at her home in Paris. She was 74.

    The cause was a heart attack, her daughter Dhyana Kluth said.

    Ms. Dawn’s death followed by 41 days that of her “Black Orpheus” co-star, Bruno Melo, who played the title role. The family did not publicly announce the death until this week.

    Directed by Marcel Camus and based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, “Orfeu Negro,” as it is called in Portuguese, brings together an innocent country girl, played by Ms. Dawn, and a trolley car motorman and gifted guitarist, portrayed by Mr. Melo. They meet amid the frenzy of Rio’s carnival and are soon swaying to a provocative samba among the crowds. But Eurydice is stalked by a man in a skeleton costume. Eventually, Orpheus finds her in the morgue. In the end, bearing her body in his arms, he falls to his death from a cliff."
     
  9. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    Blowing up to 70mm was done so you could take advantage of the mag audio tracks.
     
  10. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    In70mm.com lists Black Orpheus getting a brief US 70mm run in 1978. The prints were "tilt-and-scanned" similar to the infamous 70mm blow-ups of Gone With the Wind used a decade earlier.
     
  11. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Correct. Kino International did the blow ups in '77 (or '78... I'm relying from memory here). Soundtrack on them was mono.

    The blow-up was a 2.2:1 crop job from the original Academy ratio film.
     

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