Again, though, this is no different than Star Trek VI or The Recruit. Either you're okay with the cropping because it's approved by the filmmakers, or you aren't. It's really that simple. Some people just have diffeent points where they draw the line in the sand, is all.
However, it's kind of the opposite -- Star Trek VI and The Recruit were both Super 35, and were both "opened up" for home video -- extra detail at the top and bottom of the image not seen in theatres was added (with the exception of effects shots in Star Trek VI, which were cropped).
Presenting Apocalypse Now on video in 2.35:1 would actually be the same as this -- adding some unintended information at the sides instead of top and bottom. 2:1 is too tight, yes, but the film should be presented in 2.2:1, it's 70mm aspect ratio.
I'm not arguing that the current presentation is incorrect -- I am just trying to remind everyone of what the correct presentation should be.
Was 2.2:1 the intended ratio? It was shot in 'scope, and most people would see it that way, not in 70mm, right? Many films were shot in 'scope and blown up to 70mm, but 2.2:1 isn't necessarily the OAR.
Seems to me that this 2:1 cropping is done after the fact and the film wasn't composed for this ratio.
Watching ANR on a beautiful dye transfer print a few years ago was marvelous. I can only imagine what the 70mm was like. This is one of those films like Lawrence of Arabia or 2001: A Space Odyssey that absolutely needs to be seen on the big screen.
The concept for the film revolved a lot around the sound -- the 70mm 6 track presentation was the ideal, the thing they were working towards. They'd have to be idiots to make it so that it would look right one way but sound right the other way.
Juan -- who is that directed at? We're all aware of why the film has been reformatted. What we are discussing is what the correct aspect ratio really is. Signing petitions and writing letters requesting a release of the film in a different, also incorrect aspect ratio helps no one.
I have the 2-disc SE. It's a flipper with the special features on a separate disc. The single disc is a flipper and it's full frame.
There is a R3 four-disc edition that has all DVD 9s. Out of stock, of course.
By the way, I could care less that it's is not 2.35:1. My hope is that both cuts will look and sound great and I can't wait to dig into those special features. Besides an SE of Blade Runner or True Lies, this is a great DVD to look forward to.
Or they were just two unrelated issues, intent-wise. Maybe Coppola and Storaro figured that, if they felt it necessary in the final product, they could letterbox the 70mm prints to maintain the 2.35:1 AR. Maybe Walter Murch even imagined, correctly, that some day 6-track sound could be combined with 2.35:1 35mm anamorphic projection.
Given that I don't recall seeing much about Murch experimenting with Dolby's new split-surround format on set during principal photography, I'm inclined to think the two artistic threads aren't very intertwined. Even if the 70mm presentation was to be the ideal one in many, if not most, respects, I'm sure there was never any doubt that the most widely-seen version would be the 2.35:1 35mm one. Further, given these venue-depedent variables, it's probably not even appropriate to reduce any particular aspect of the presentation to a single combination of picture and sound. Although the trend among many fans is to attain some manner of grand unifying theory for any given film that sets one, and only one, presentation down in stone, it's rarely that simple.
Clever! But in one of the Ondaatje interviews, either in the book "The Conversations" or in one of the radio interviews that led to the book, Murch specifically spoke about pre-production and the decision to use a multitrack sound mix as one of the characters in the film.
I'll have a look at the book in the next few days and see if I can find a relevant passage.
(And anyone who is a fan of Walter Murch's work and hasn't read The Conversations by Michael Ondaatje, GO GET IT RIGHT NOW.)
Edit: I think the 2.2:1 framing may also be an attainable goal with Storaro, another reason I keep bringing it up.
I have no doubt that Murch was working on ideas for the sound for AN at the very earliest stages of when Coppola secured himself as director for the project, but that still doesn't provide a necessary connection to what Coppolla and Storaro were doing vis a vis framing during principal photography. I don't think it's as easy as saying that since Murch wanted 6-track split-surround sound, all other elements of the production were to conform to the requirements of a 70mm presentation. And I definitely don't think it makes anyone involved in the production an idiot for having sonic and visual ideals that couldn't necessarily be presented simultaneously at any given venue of the day.
Was Redux ever blown-up to 70mm? I actually don't care too much about this, but if Redux was never printed to 70mm, wouldn't the Redux OAR be 2.35:1?
Anyway, I'll take those 2:1 transfers for now. I'm more concerned about how a 202 minute feature, a 153 minute feature, and a bunch of supplements are going to fit comfortably onto a 2-disc set. Some of you probably know a lot more about media compression and disc capacity than I do... Should we be worried? I'm assuming the extras will all be packed onto the same disc as the original cut, which is the one I'll be watching most often.
I don't think any blowups were done, although Redux did have the honor of getting beautiful Technicolor dye-transfer prints.
As far as determining OAR for 35mm-originating films that do have both 70mm and 35mm runs, I don't think it's so simple as a race for whichever comes first getting the designation as the original. In many cases (notable examples include the soundtracks for Star Wars and Alien), the 70mm version is something of a rush job that is completed for the purposes of the engagement(s), while the 35mm general release version is more of the polished final product (and, for the ease of streamlining the discussion, let's avoid whether "final product" applied to the 35mm general release version of SW
). Alternatively, neither may be particularly more original or official than the other.
In those situations, for my money, whatever the relevant creative crewmembers say is what I go with.
Fair enough. I just meant to say that Redux definitely doesn't have an OAR of 2.2:1. On the other hand, I think Aaron makes a good case for the original cut being screened at its 70mm ratio.
Maybe someday we'll have a high-resolution video format which allows for multiple aspect ratios on a single feature... not to facilitate needless tampering, of course, but so that legitimate variations can be included. (For instance, it would be nice to at least have the option of viewing the open matte Kubricks in HD.)
Until then, I'll be sure to mention AN's three aspect ratios, next time I'm ranting and raving about the subject to friends.
I would like to divert from the aspect ratio issue for a moment because the disc space doesn't make sense to me.
Since Redux was a completely new edit of the film the original cut cannot be extracted through seamless branching. Therefore, both cuts should theoretically be on separate discs. But how much space does that leave? Redux is almost 3.5 hours long and will fill the entire disc. The original cut itself is almost 2.5 hours. Will the remaining space on the original cut disc be sufficient for all of these extras they have planned? And will Coppola's commentary be on the original film or the Redux film?
Ideally, this should be a 3 disc release (even a 4 disc release if they were nice enough to include Hearts of Darkness).
I have the workprint and I could easily envision them adding about 20-30 minutes of raw footage deleted scenes.
I guess I just don't see how they expect to fit it all.
What exactly is the ownership of Hearts of Darkness? Does Coppola actually have ownership rights over the film? I know it was able to be released on video, so is there a reason why it couldn't be released on DVD, even if seperate from the AN box?