Kubrick

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew_Sch, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Okay, I'm new to Kubrick (just watched Full Metal Jacket) and I need someone to explain to me why all his DVD's are fullscreen. I know this has probably been discussed to death before I got here, but I'm a little behind, so it would be real helpful if somebody could explain this situation to me.
     
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I read somewhere recently that, toward the end, Kubrick preferred the "Academy Ratio" format (roughly 4:3) to the widescreen format, and filmed all of his movies that way.

    My question is, HOW WERE THEY SHOW IN THE THEATER? Was, for instance, Eyes Wide Shut shown Widescreen or Flat or Academy?
     
  3. Mick Wright

    Mick Wright Second Unit

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  4. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    I believe that Kubrick

    a.) Wanted the best presentation of his film in the theater and also at home... this was also why he used mono, the man wanted controlled conditions so everyone could enjoy his movies the same

    b.) Kubrick loved:

    h

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    g

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    ... most of his movies after the beginning of VHS (after The Shining) had a '1.85 safety zone' in which they would look good in both 4:3 and 1.85.
     
  5. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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  6. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Most 1.85:1 movies are actually recorded on film that has an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. When they're shown in the theater, the top and bottom is cropped off to create the widescreen image. For home video, the widescreen release retains this composition, while the "full screen" version generally opens up the mattes — you'll see a bit more at the top and bottom of the frame, while no picture is lost on the sides. This is a very simplified explanation, but that's basically what happens.
    Kubrick was a brilliant filmmaker (2001 and Eyes Wide Shut are two of my personal favorites), but he's always struck me as a bit of an oddball. Many of his films were shot just as I described above. Apparently, however, 1.85:1 was not his preferred aspect ratio; it was just a compromise he accepted for theatrical release, knowing that the full 1.37:1 image would be seen on home video.
    It's a very confusing issue, and there's never really been any definitive word. Personally, I don't entirely agree with the reasoning, and I'd like to see all of Kubrick's films presented in both aspect ratios on DVD.
    With regards to Eyes Wide Shut, I'll let this picture speak for itself. I didn't create the image, so I can't really answer any questions about it. Just some food for thought.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jussi Tarvainen

    Jussi Tarvainen Second Unit

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    If I remember that scene correctly, the camera was slowly zooming towards the actors, so it could very well be that for a short period of time the actors remained almost completely stationary (i.e. Cruise kept his hand on Kidman's back while she used only her fingers to remove the earring) while the zooming is done.

    This could be one explanation.
     
  8. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Look closely at the pictures. Both images are definitely from the same frame of film.
     
  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  10. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Just watch the movie, David. They don't stand so still.

    Or just look closely at the pictures. Look at the position of Nicole Kidman's hands in the mirror. Look at the position of Tom Cruise's face, especially the position of his mouth and chin behind Kidman's shoulder in the mirrow, and the way it lines up agains the picture frame. Look at the edge of the lamp shade peeking out from behind Cruise's arm. Look at the way the top edge of the lower picture in the mirror meets right were Kidman's shoulder covers the reflection of Cruise's shoulder.

    People can stand still, but they cannot stand THAT still. Additionally, objects in the background and foreground do no stay so perfectly aligned during a zoom.
     
  11. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

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    Uh...wha...hum...ahh...yeah I agree with all of you...Kidman is hot.
     
  12. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Kubrick prepared the ShoWest clip long before the film ever hit the theaters. Perhaps Kubrick changed the framing himself. The only true comparison is comparing the DVD to the presentation shown in theaters.
     
  13. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

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  14. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  15. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    Kubrick decided to use the shoot to protect style after 2001: A Space Odyssey was butchered on network TV.

    About Eyes Wide Shut. I have to agree that the image was probably cropped for the DVD. In The Shining and Full Metal Jacket, there was alot of headroom when shown open matte, but shots seemed tighter in EWS. I also used my artificial mattes to compose them to 1:85:1. TS and FMJ's composition looked right in that AR, but didn't look right in EWS. There were lots of heads being cut off.
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    What Richard Kim said--specifically, the phrase "shoot-to-protect." In the era before widescreen presentations on home video, Mr. Kubrick first tried 1.66:1 (Barry Lyndon), then reverted to the Academy Ratio. He had been horrified by what NBC did in panning and scanning 2001--and he was disturbed by the inept way the BBC letterboxed the film during its presentation.
     
  17. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Perhaps he meant "better composition." Even so, Mr. Kubrick composed for both 1.37:1 and 1.85:1 in this case.
     
  19. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  20. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The 1.85:1 presentations will undoubtedly have "tighter" compositions since they were the more restrictive of the two ratios due to the geometry of the situation. The fact that Kubrick was fond of compositions that were centered and balanced both horizontally and vertically is one of the reasons that the 4:3 presentations do not look too bad.
    I recall an anecdote having to do with the Criterion laserdisc of Dr. Strangelove and its multi-aspect approach. Kubrick liked that the full exposed frame showed off more of his sets, especially the elaborate war room set. That is one of the reasons that he wanted the full exposed frame with only the (variable) camera hard mattes creating black bars on the top and bottom.
    One way you can usually spot a film that is open matte is by looking for deep focus shots that get spoiled by the matte opening. One example would be the opening credits shot of the hat in the woods from the Coen brother's "Miller's Crossing". Matted, foreground and background objects are all in focus. When the mattes are removed such as on the 4:3 video or 1st laserdisc release, the leaves in the foreground at the bottom of the screen are out of focus. I don't recall many examples of this in the last three Kubrick films, which suggests that he is either choosing lenses and camera positions to accomodate 4:3 or that I haven't looked closely enough. [​IMG]
    Regards,
     

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