Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji temple: transfer is awful!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul_Sjordal, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. Paul_Sjordal

    Paul_Sjordal Supporting Actor

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    I just watched the Criterion DVD of the second movie in the Samurai trilogy and was appalled at the quality of the transfer. They would have been better off if they just transferred the VHS directly to DVD. Most of the movie was so dark you couldn't tell what was going on.

    The bad sound quality I can overlook given the age of the film, but it wouldn't have taken that much effort to clean up the images in the computer.
     
  2. Emilio_M

    Emilio_M Auditioning

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    Is it the transfer or the state of the film? With a repackaging of all three films to be released this May, I was hoping that new transfers would be done. But I guess not, oh well.
     
  3. Jeff Swearingen

    Jeff Swearingen Second Unit

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    If I remember what I have read correctly, the Japanese really didn't protect their film well from this period (especially Toho).
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    This may be mildly inaccurate, as I’m working from memory, but I think that there are several reasons for the quality of this film. First, I am pretty sure that Jeff is right in that Toho did not take particulary good care of these (and many other) films. Of course they are not nearly the only studio guilty of this—we have plenty of examples right here in this country.

    Next, the film was shot in Eastmancolor—we get so used to seeing Technicolor films from this period, that other stocks seem incorrect as to color balance. Plus I am reasonable certain that a 3-strip (Technicolor-style) process was not used, making things even more difficult.

    The night scenes are heavy on green and blue, which is actually appropriate for night vision. It takes some getting used to.

    The grain is very heavy—I’m not sure of the ASA values of that film, but no doubt it was pretty low. All contributing to the grain.

    Put all of these things together and I think that the transfer may not be where the blame lies. I saw these films in Japan in the early 60s, but I don’t remember the prints well enough to state that the DVD is how the film was meant to look. But, to restate, the transfer might not be the problem.
     

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