Worth

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Only film really looks like film. And very good film projected very well looks fantastic.
Not that one can witness that very often...

From what I have seen in 70mm we will pronbably need to have 8k to make digital look more like 70mm film, at least at viewing distances of 1 screen width and below. 4k DCP's just don't quite look like film. This does not only apply with regards to a lack of scratches, wobbling and other defects but also with regard to grain structure and texture of the image, It just doesn't look analog enough at 4k and the prevalence of DLP does not help matters.
I've seen newish 70mm prints of Lawrence of Arabia and 2001, and neither looked remotely as detailed as their 4K equivalents (on the same IMAX screen in 70mm and digital laser projection). I grew up with film and like the look of film - I'm more likely to go to a film screening than a digital one - but I can't say that digital looks worse at this point. It looks different, and it doesn't matter what resolution it's scanned at, it's never going to look the same as film. The closest analogy I can think of is that it's like reading a book in translation. It's never going to be exactly the same as reading it in its original language.
 
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OliverK

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I've seen newish 70mm prints of Lawrence of Arabia and 2001, and neither looked remotely as detailed as their 4K equivalents (on the same IMAX screen in 70mm and digital laser projection). I grew up with film and like the look of film - I'm more likely to go to a film screening than a digital one - but I can't say that digital looks worse at this point. It looks different, and it doesn't matter what resolution it's scanned at, it's never going to look the same as film. The closest analogy I can think of is that it's like reading a book in translation. It's never going to be exactly the same as reading it in its original language.
Yep, film definitely looks different than digital - i Hope they will manage to come closer.
 

cinemiracle

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By any objective measure, digital has surpassed film projection, with the exception of real 15/70 IMAX. It's sharper, more stable, cleaner, with equal or superior dynamic range and colour, with none of the downsides, like flicker, dust, and gate weave. Every time I see a film print now, I'm struck by how soft and wobbly the image is. You may prefer the look of projected film, but that doesn't make it "better."
If digital has surpassed the quality of film then why are new 70mm and 35mm prints of old films still being printed? Can you explain that? Digital, regardless of whether it is in Imax or not , is lacking in the depth that that film has. The image always looks flat-even more obvious in Imax. Why do so many European film critics also think the same as I do? Today too many cinema goers are busy texting on their mobiles during movies and never notice or even care. what the projected quality is like.The very annoying and distracting people on their mobiles is the reason that I seldom visit a cinema today. The last time that saw a Marvel comics digital film (forgot the name) in Imax,the projected image was without any depth and looked unreal. If properly cared for , a film can last many generations but digital cannot.Why also do some film Directors (Quentin Tarantino for example) prefer film to digital. I understand that Tarantino's cinema in Hollywood shows only film and never digital?Correct me if I am wrong.TENET is showing showing in three suburban cinemas in my city in 70mm with limited sessions in digital. Can you guess which versions the public are flocking to see the film? 70mm of course.
 

Worth

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If digital has surpassed the quality of film then why are new 70mm and 35mm prints of old films still being printed? Can you explain that?
The only reason that a handful of prints continue to be struck is that filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, who are film purists, continue to push for them to be made and have enough clout with the studios to get it done.
...The last time that saw a Marvel comics digital film (forgot the name) in Imax,the projected image was without any depth and looked unreal.
Well, if it was Marvel, it was more than likely a 2K DI of a production shot almost entirely against a green screen and filled in with CGI. Of course it looked flat and unreal. If you have the opportunity to see Lawrence of Arabia in 4K on a large screen, do so. It may change your opinion.
...Why also do some film Directors (Quentin Tarantino for example) prefer film to digital. I understand that Tarantino's cinema in Hollywood shows only film and never digital?
Tarantino is a purist. He grew up watching film and likes the look of film. He'd rather watch a faded, battered 35mm print than a pristine digital presentation. But that's a preference. And even Tarantino uses digital to a great extent. He may shoot on film and have prints made, but his films are still digitized and completed digitally as DIs before being printed.

It's kind of a moot point, anyway. Film projection is effectively dead. Nolan and Tarantino are pretty much the only directors who continue to push for it - even Spielberg and Scorsese have moved on to digital. Outside of cinematheques and the rare repertory theatre, it's almost impossible to see a film print. As with most things, it's less about quality and more about money. Digital is cheaper and easier, and studios and distributors aren't going to go back.
 

TravisR

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It's kind of a moot point, anyway. Film projection is effectively dead. Nolan and Tarantino are pretty much the only directors who continue to push for it
Judd Apatow still shoots on film too. Ironically, The King Of Staten Island went VOD due to the pandemic so if they planned to or made any 35mm prints, no one saw them.
 

Stephen_J_H

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Nolan would be the biggest film fetishist of them all, as he still refuses to use DIs. Tarantino shoots film, but is not averse to DIs, and has been known to shoot digital when the situation calls for it. Digital cameras are simply able to get into tighter spaces. Contrast this with Nolan, who had Hoyte van Hoytema put a VVLA camera in a cockpit upside down for Dunkirk, because it was the only way it would fit.
 

JamesSmith

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Gentlemen, my eyes are bad. And I feel ashamed that I can't tell understand anything about the differences you've been discussing between film and digital. I must go to film school to understand it all.

--jthree
 

Robert Harris

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If digital has surpassed the quality of film then why are new 70mm and 35mm prints of old films still being printed? Can you explain that? Digital, regardless of whether it is in Imax or not , is lacking in the depth that that film has. The image always looks flat-even more obvious in Imax. Why do so many European film critics also think the same as I do? Today too many cinema goers are busy texting on their mobiles during movies and never notice or even care. what the projected quality is like.The very annoying and distracting people on their mobiles is the reason that I seldom visit a cinema today. The last time that saw a Marvel comics digital film (forgot the name) in Imax,the projected image was without any depth and looked unreal. If properly cared for , a film can last many generations but digital cannot.Why also do some film Directors (Quentin Tarantino for example) prefer film to digital. I understand that Tarantino's cinema in Hollywood shows only film and never digital?Correct me if I am wrong.TENET is showing showing in three suburban cinemas in my city in 70mm with limited sessions in digital. Can you guess which versions the public are flocking to see the film? 70mm of course.
New film prints are produced for marketing and to make certain film makers smile. Having sampled 70mm vs 4k - same content, same screen - digital provides a cleaner, more highly resolved image. The two have different souls.
 

cinemiracle

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The only reason that a handful of prints continue to be struck is that filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, who are film purists, continue to push for them to be made and have enough clout with the studios to get it done.

Well, if it was Marvel, it was more than likely a 2K DI of a production shot almost entirely against a green screen and filled in with CGI. Of course it looked flat and unreal. If you have the opportunity to see Lawrence of Arabia in 4K on a large screen, do so. It may change your opinion.

Tarantino is a purist. He grew up watching film and likes the look of film. He'd rather watch a faded, battered 35mm print than a pristine digital presentation. But that's a preference. And even Tarantino uses digital to a great extent. He may shoot on film and have prints made, but his films are still digitized and completed digitally as DIs before being printed.

It's kind of a moot point, anyway. Film projection is effectively dead. Nolan and Tarantino are pretty much the only directors who continue to push for it - even Spielberg and Scorsese have moved on to digital. Outside of cinematheques and the rare repertory theatre, it's almost impossible to see a film print. As with most things, it's less about quality and more about money. Digital is cheaper and easier, and studios and distributors aren't going to go back.
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA only gets shown in 70mm in my city (Sydney)-never had any 4 k digital prints here as far as I am aware. It is showing again in 70mm this week as it often does due to it's popularity. Film is not dead and will never die. Even 3- strip Kinopanorama (the Russian Cinerama) shorts are still being produced in Australia.I was lucky enough to have been on location several times during filming.
 

cinemiracle

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The only reason that a handful of prints continue to be struck is that filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, who are film purists, continue to push for them to be made and have enough clout with the studios to get it done.

Well, if it was Marvel, it was more than likely a 2K DI of a production shot almost entirely against a green screen and filled in with CGI. Of course it looked flat and unreal. If you have the opportunity to see Lawrence of Arabia in 4K on a large screen, do so. It may change your opinion.

Tarantino is a purist. He grew up watching film and likes the look of film. He'd rather watch a faded, battered 35mm print than a pristine digital presentation. But that's a preference. And even Tarantino uses digital to a great extent. He may shoot on film and have prints made, but his films are still digitized and completed digitally as DIs before being printed.

It's kind of a moot point, anyway. Film projection is effectively dead. Nolan and Tarantino are pretty much the only directors who continue to push for it - even Spielberg and Scorsese have moved on to digital. Outside of cinematheques and the rare repertory theatre, it's almost impossible to see a film print. As with most things, it's less about quality and more about money. Digital is cheaper and easier, and studios and distributors aren't going to go back.
They said that about vinyl but is didn't die and records are still being produced as people prefer the sound quality of vinly as against digital.
 

titch

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New film prints are produced for marketing and to make certain film makers smile. Having sampled 70mm vs 4k - same content, same screen - digital provides a cleaner, more highly resolved image. The two have different souls.
I concur; the DCP version of Tenet was clearly superior to the 70 mm version regarding detail. I saw both versions within a week of each other on large screens. We've had this discussion five years ago. I saw The Revenant on DCP and The Hateful Eight in 70 mm on the same evening. Large format digital was clearly superior for picture quality, compared to the 70 mm film. However, the two films were very different productions, so it wasn't exactly comparing apples and apples. But I saw clearly how much better Dunkirk was projected digitally, when I compared it to 70 mm.

Also bear in mind in modern film productions, the use of computer graphics and digital effects are pretty extensive, so what actually is "film" can be a moot point.

I used to have photography as a hobby - developed my own films and enlarged my own prints for 30 years. I love film and the textures. It took a long while before 35 mm digital photography came close to replicating film, but there's no way I'll go back now.
 

titch

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They said that about vinyl but is didn't die and records are still being produced as people prefer the sound quality of vinly as against digital.
Not to get too far off track here, but it's all about the mastering. I have many audiophile digital recordings on SACD, blu-ray audio or DVD-audio that are equal or superior to analog vinyl. It's the same with film. A well-prepared digital master will surpass celluloid today.
 

Stephen_J_H

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New film prints are produced for marketing and to make certain film makers smile. Having sampled 70mm vs 4k - same content, same screen - digital provides a cleaner, more highly resolved image. The two have different souls.
I recall your comments to this effect on Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express and suspect the same will be true when Death on the Nile gets released.
 

cinemel1

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Quite right! While there are are small minority (myself among them) of the "better something than nothing at all" school, Hell hath no fury than a certain segment when a blu ray is released in less than pristine condition. These are the same people angry with Warners for "withholding" Around The World In 80 Days, Raintree County, Ryan's Daughter and High Society when the elements are simply not there. Warners knows this and won't release them until they are ready! Crikey, even Warners superb restoration of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers got taken to task because the dancing feet sounds were "off". Is The Hallelujah Trail blu ray acceptable by 2018 standards? No, it is not. But you know what? I'm happy to have it on blu ray because unless a miracle occurs, this is the best it's going to get. It was a flop at the box office, got poor reviews and very few people actually like it. Which rapidly sends it to the bottom of the restoration pile. I'm surprised Olive bothered at all. :)
Just watching Around the World in 80 Days on TCM. It looks very good. What’s holding up a blu-ray?
 

DVBRD

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Just watching Around the World in 80 Days on TCM. It looks very good. What’s holding up a blu-ray?
It's presumably an old HD master, probably the source for the original DVD release in 2004. Feltenstein presumably doesn't think this master is up to WB's Blu standards and wants to make a new hi-def master. In the meantime, it's available in Digital HD.
 

Stephen_J_H

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Just watching Around the World in 80 Days on TCM. It looks very good. What’s holding up a blu-ray?
It's presumably an old HD master, probably the source for the original DVD release in 2004. Feltenstein presumably doesn't think this master is up to WB's Blu standards and wants to make a new hi-def master. In the meantime, it's available in Digital HD.
I believe the issue is that the current master is from a 35mm reduction element, and WB would like to go back to earliest possible generation elements, which need some work, to give us the best possible image.
 

haineshisway

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Not to get too far off track here, but it's all about the mastering. I have many audiophile digital recordings on SACD, blu-ray audio or DVD-audio that are equal or superior to analog vinyl. It's the same with film. A well-prepared digital master will surpass celluloid today.
People hear what they want to hear and the vinyl people are notorious for this. While the argument about CD sound and LP sound may have been viable in the beginning, as soon as mastering engineers figured out what was what and got better and better, it all changed. It's not about digital vs. analogue, but it IS all in the mastering. But you'll never convince the LP types, ever. For fun once, I issued Casino Royale on CD. All the CD releases prior had used the screwed up master that Varese Sarabande ruined by stripping the oxide off the album master tape. We worked for weeks compensating for that and got it sounding like it should have - incredible. Then, for grins, I had five sealed stereo copies of the LP - we transferred them flat - no EQ no nothing - and put it on the CD, matching precisely the exact sound of the LP. There was no question that our version was better-sounding. The original LPs had dropouts, distortion (built into the recording, BTW), and while it seemed audiophile (whatever that means) in its day, today is a different story.

Another fun story is when we did Poltergeist II - it was recorded digitally but had analogue tapes done at the same time, as a back-up. After hearing all the lousy CD releases, I pulled the analogue tapes and used those instead. The difference was astounding - warmth, level, everything was improved. The label that had done it most recently previous to us berated us publicly for not using the digital recording - over and over again - I just smiled and waited until it came out. Everyone was amazed by it and the berating label finally sheepishly admitted that it was the definitive release, sound-wise.

If a CD is mastered properly from analogue sources, it will sound as good and most likely a 100 times better than vinyl ever could because the vinyl itself has too many anomalies and the limiting that has to be done is nutty. I mean, if you love inner groove distortion and ticks and pops, have at it. I'll take the music any old day.
 

haineshisway

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I believe the issue is that the current master is from a 35mm reduction element, and WB would like to go back to earliest possible generation elements, which need some work, to give us the best possible image.
The DVD master for Around the World is a joke. I don't know what they're showing for streaming, but the DVD master shouldn't be used for anything at all.
 

Brian Husar

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People hear what they want to hear and the vinyl people are notorious for this. While the argument about CD sound and LP sound may have been viable in the beginning, as soon as mastering engineers figured out what was what and got better and better, it all changed. It's not about digital vs. analogue, but it IS all in the mastering. But you'll never convince the LP types, ever. For fun once, I issued Casino Royale on CD. All the CD releases prior had used the screwed up master that Varese Sarabande ruined by stripping the oxide off the album master tape. We worked for weeks compensating for that and got it sounding like it should have - incredible. Then, for grins, I had five sealed stereo copies of the LP - we transferred them flat - no EQ no nothing - and put it on the CD, matching precisely the exact sound of the LP. There was no question that our version was better-sounding. The original LPs had dropouts, distortion (built into the recording, BTW), and while it seemed audiophile (whatever that means) in its day, today is a different story.

Another fun story is when we did Poltergeist II - it was recorded digitally but had analogue tapes done at the same time, as a back-up. After hearing all the lousy CD releases, I pulled the analogue tapes and used those instead. The difference was astounding - warmth, level, everything was improved. The label that had done it most recently previous to us berated us publicly for not using the digital recording - over and over again - I just smiled and waited until it came out. Everyone was amazed by it and the berating label finally sheepishly admitted that it was the definitive release, sound-wise.

If a CD is mastered properly from analogue sources, it will sound as good and most likely a 100 times better than vinyl ever could because the vinyl itself has too many anomalies and the limiting that has to be done is nutty. I mean, if you love inner groove distortion and ticks and pops, have at it. I'll take the music any old day.
So true. I love vinyl but I still love CDs. Especially when a lot of vinyl reissues nowadays use the digital master anyway.
 

titch

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If a CD is mastered properly from analogue sources, it will sound as good and most likely a 100 times better than vinyl ever could because the vinyl itself has too many anomalies and the limiting that has to be done is nutty. I mean, if you love inner groove distortion and ticks and pops, have at it. I'll take the music any old day.
And high-resolution digital can go far beyond that as well. I purchased the SACD of Bill Evan's Conversations With Myself, after you said it was so much better than the CD. Indeed it was. High resolution film viewing will only improve in the future, as the technology develops. I just wish HDR wasn't applied so indiscriminately and amateurishly to current 4K releases. It's like the DNR wars from the dawn of blu-ray.
 
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