Questions on the Wizard of Oz, and a little question on Citizen Kane...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron Garman, Aug 27, 2002.

  1. Aaron Garman

    Aaron Garman Second Unit

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    Hello all. This semester I have a Film History class and we are going to be watching both The Wizard of Oz and Citizen Kane. After doing some research on Oz, I'm still confused as what is the best version to view at home. It sounds as if the Warner Bros. DVD has the sepia to color transition, but no mono and missing dialouge? From everything else I hear, the MGM DVD sounds like it would be more definitive, am I wrong? Also, how about the laserdisc versions of the film: how do they compare to the DVD? As for Kane, I have the DVD and think it looks impeccable. My question is how do the old Criterion laserdisc versions compare? Just want our class to watch both films in the best possible way. At least we have about a 100" screen with a LCD projector. Not too shabby I must say.

    Thanks,

    AJ Garman
     
  2. Aaron Garman

    Aaron Garman Second Unit

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    No responses? Come on home theater philes, lets chime in!

    AJ Garman
     
  3. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I have the 50th anniversary release of Citizen Kane on laserdisc and also the dvd. The LD is a lot darker, and no where near as clean as the dvd. I prefer the mono soundtrack on the LD to the dvd. So which is better? If I were going to screen it for friends, I would choose the dvd. The image quality of the ld just doesn't compare. Although some feel it is too bright and too clean. Still, you can make out details on the dvd that are lost on the LD.

    for Wizard of Oz, I have the MGM DVD and thought it was very well done. I have not seen the Warner so I can't compare them as far as image quality. The reason I got the MGM was due to the fact that it has the original mono. I just don't care to hear an old mono track spiffed up into a dolby digital 5.1. I'm one of those who prefers the original track.
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The 5.1 track on the WB SE is extremely well done. The sound is mostly 1.0, but the other 4 speakers serve for sound effects and music. Up until the cyclone, the sound is largely subtle (with some full surround score coming in at 5.1).

    The MGM edition is from Eastmancolor elements, while the WB edition is digitally restored and the Technicolor bulk is from the color separations. The color literally leaps out of the screen!

    As for Citizen Kane...the DVD features the first-ever transfer of Kane from a nitrate element and is from an interpositive with the closest duplication "relation" to the original negative (Rest in peace). All other DVD's are safety film, so that means they're dupes or farther related prints.
     
  5. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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  6. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    during the "rain" scene in Kane...what's the deal with the window frame that momentarily jumps out and then back into place behind bernstein???
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  8. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    yes it does...right before the ending of the scene on the dvd when berstein is seated, the widow frame behind him jumps forward and then back into place..it isn't there on the vhs....it is there...promise...[​IMG]
     
  9. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I specifically looked for the alleged "jumping window frame"...ran the scene a few times...couldn't find it.

    Anyone know the exact time point this supposedly occurs?
     
  10. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    the glitch with the window happens in chapter 10 at 32:53, right as bernstein is saying the line "he was with mr. kane and me" ...watch the window right above bernstein's head...for a moment the two bars and the window between them "hop" out of place...very short, but weird digital glitch..doesn't occur on the vhs.
     
  11. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    I own the Warner DVD and from the reviews I've read the MGM transfer is overall better but Warner DVD has much better representation of the colors, and because it was shot in Technicolor it's great to have. I don't own Citizen Kane yet.
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The new Warner DVD of Oz is fine. As far as I'm aware, although work was done to the black and white sequences, there has been no restoration done to Oz, and none seems to be needed. Warner did produce new preservation elements for the film in multiple copies several years ago.

    There is no such thing as a Technicolor "restoration" unless one is producing prints in Technicolor.

    Since Oz was photographed in Technicolor, all DVD releases, as well as laser and VHS are based upon original three strip elements at some point in their history, which have been converted to Eastmancolor.

    Technicolor does not transfer well to video as the contrast is too high.

    While the new DVD of Kane is quite beautiful, it is overly digitally processed, giving it a look that does not represent the film. The screening room scene at the opening is much to bright, exposing the fact that Welles had his actors standing in for unknown "extras."

    With minor tweaking Kane could be quite nice on DVD, but if one is looking for a closer representation, the laserdisc is more accurate.

    For a film class, the proper way to see Kane is to project it -- not from video -- but from a 35mm print. That way the students can view Welles' version.

    RAH
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Mr. Harris, I recently saw Kane in 35mm and agree with your accessment for the most part. I do agree that the DVD has lost the texture that the print lacked. I do enjoy the nice clean picture, and the oh-so-dry windowsill [​IMG]
     
  14. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    The Warner Brothers version has both the Dolby Surround 5.1 and the original mono version.
     
  15. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    Nope, it just has the 5.1 remix.
     
  16. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    On the back of the packaging it states that it has both the 5.1 version and the mono version but I never checked the actual disc. Is this incorrect?
     
  17. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's a misprint.
     
  18. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Yes, the packaging does state that, but it's not accurate. You should see the packaging for the original MGM DVD of Gone With the Wind. The menu screen shot on the back cover shows that it contains footage from the premiere -- this was never on the disc, though it was planned at one point.
     
  19. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  20. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    North by Northwest is another DVD like this...stunning in it's clarity and "stability" of the image on the one hand...but NEVER looks like film even when projected on a large-screen. In fact, it looks more like live-direct-video than film.

    Not necessarily a terrible thing...there's something wonderful about watching an image so pure and stable on the screen. But to be sure it's hard to imagine it faithfully representing the look that the director intended.

    In any case, If I have to choose, I'd rather have detail and depth preserved even it it means a bit more film-grain or some film-process artifacts.

    Another DVD worth mentioning like this is Snow White. Although it's beautiful in it's own way...it just doesn't look like film even when projected.

    -dave
     

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