International Sergio Leone Blu-ray thread

OliverK

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Damn, I would love to see the 4K regraded by Mr Kaiser!
I think that the vast majority would prefer the outcome to what we currently have

The good thing about the movies of the dollar trilogy is that they have a rather complicated rights situation on disc which allows for a lot of regional releases so there is a chance that one of these releases will have a changed look that finally pleases the majority of fans, until then the MGM version trumps the Kino version imo.
 

UHDvision

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Is there any way to reconstruct the international cut using existing Blu-ray discs? BTW I checked out the gunshop owner shot with the sign in his mouth on the original FR3 airing from 1985 (first Leone movie shown on French TV, teal skies all over the master), and it's funnily as short as it is on the Kino disc.
 
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Jordan Krug

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Is there any way to reconstruct the international cut using existing Blu-ray discs? BTW I checked out the gunshop owner shot with the sign in his mouth on the original FR3 airing from 1985 (first Leone movie shown on French TV, teal skies all over the master), and it's funnily as short as it is on the Kino disc.
Good to know...yeah the gunshot owner shot is right at the reel change, so there's evidence for both lengths...the last two seconds would also have a reel change marker on it, so maybe that was trimmed off because of that. Maybe I'll remove that particular difference from the list.

As for the teal skies...you can't really trust a broadcast tv master...but I will say the skies are not meant to be purple like they are on the mondo either. From my experience if you 50% the mondo with 50% MGM 4k for the majority of the film you get an idea of the look of the prints. However when you do that comparison you also have to note that both the mondo and the 4k started from negative and thus both were re-color corrected from scratch.
 

Danny_N

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Dozens of pics from the technicolor dye-transfer safety print owned by Cineteca di Bologna can be found here: http://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/galleries/il-buono-il-brutto-il-cattivo-1966/

I guess they might have used this as their reference for their restoration.

Hmm, dare I say it, it looks even more yellow in a lot of scenes than the MGM BD. The variation in colour from scene to scene is puzzling.
 

dpippel

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I've got the Kino release and have screened some of it. To me it looks like the gamma level is too high on it, but it's certainly not yellow in comparison to the MGM.
 
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haineshisway

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Well, well, well - everyone should look at the link above - NOT the caps-a-holic link, but the one with the dye transfer clips. Y'all remember that after this whole brouhaha I actually took the time to look at my former IB 35mm print and I said then that it wasn't far off from the MGM BD. Now another person has posted clips from HIS dye transfer prints that interestingly look nothing like these clips - he tells me he adjusted for carbon arc but a simple look at these clips will tell you he did not. These clips look very similar to the MGM BD, just as my old print did. These clips actually resemble what I see on my screen when I run the MGM Blu-ray - in other words all those green skies that everyone posts are not in evidence when I watch it (which makes you wonder what people have done to their "calibrated" settings) - they look very close to these clips, which are a very accurate representation of the dye transfer prints of this film. Plenty of yellow you'll notice, skin tones are pretty accurate to the MGM Blu, too - I've always thought these green sky things must be the result of my computer monitor (iMac 27" - not even seven months old) but now I know they're just wrong. Thank you Danny N for posting that link - it really clarifies things so simply - and you should post it to that other site. Oh, what a howling there will be :) Kino, in trying to appease these folks, did no one a service. They should have left it alone.
 

OliverK

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Do we know how these photographs were taken and were they properly adjusted to allow correction for any bias the camera may have had in one direction or the other? Were they adjusted for carbon arc? Can we all now take pictures of our screens to show how a Blu-ray looks? Ok, I am kidding but lots of questions remain compared to the rather straightforward way in which one can make captures of a Blu-ray disc.

As Danny_N says there are at times massive changes in color and density so it is puzzling that this is supposed to be a single print. To me it looks like at least two prints pieced together.

I also had a quick look and the colors of the Vertigo Blu-ray do not look like the photographs of the print they have on that site and I am happy that it doesn't.
 

Danny_N

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Do we know how these photographs were taken and were they properly adjusted to allow correction for any bias the camera may have had in one direction or the other? Were they adjusted for carbon arc? Can we all now take pictures of our screens to show how a Blu-ray looks? Ok, I am kidding but lots of questions remain compared to the rather straightforward way in which one can make captures of a Blu-ray disc.

As Danny_N says there are at times massive changes in color and density so it is puzzling that this is supposed to be a single print. To me it looks like at least two prints pieced together.
Hey Oliver, if you or anyone want answers to these questions you could ask them Ms or Mrs Flueckiger yourself as she posts on "The Colorist & Color Grading Forum". See: http://www.liftgammagain.com/forum/...e-bad-and-the-ugly-by-sergio-leone-1966.9264/

Personally I don't care much.
 

Danny_N

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Thank you Danny N for posting that link - it really clarifies things so simply - and you should post it to that other site.
You're welcome. I'm not a member of the other site, I don't even read the forum there. Can't be bothered.

I actually posted the link to illustrate once again what Robert Harris posted about the myth of dye transfer printing. Some of the pics look awfully close to what we have on the MGM BD ... and some don't.
 

haineshisway

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But the yellow is there, clearly - that's my point and these are the first caps of any print that actually resemble what I see on the Blu-ray (MGM). Of course Robert Harris is right about dye transfer. At one point I had five 16mm IB prints of To Catch a Thief - each slightly different.
 

Lil Brutto

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Do we know how these photographs were taken and were they properly adjusted to allow correction for any bias the camera may have had in one direction or the other? Were they adjusted for carbon arc? Can we all now take pictures of our screens to show how a Blu-ray looks? Ok, I am kidding but lots of questions remain compared to the rather straightforward way in which one can make captures of a Blu-ray disc.

As Danny_N says there are at times massive changes in color and density so it is puzzling that this is supposed to be a single print. To me it looks like at least two prints pieced together.

I also had a quick look and the colors of the Vertigo Blu-ray do not look like the photographs of the print they have on that site and I am happy that it doesn't.
I came across these images a few weeks ago. I tried contacting Barbara Fluekiger for more info regarding any color corrections applied but have not heard back. Until she replies I have to assume there has been no color correction based on what I see. The colors are all over the map. For example, the sky is magenta in several frames. Even so the overall look is not that different from our IB TECH prints. Sure, the IB tech prints vary somewat but it's not extreme. This new information certainly does not change our understanding of how the film "looked" on its first theatrical run.

It's clearly 2 (or more) prints pieced together. Check out the frames of Blondie about to gun down the 3 bounty hunters at end of R1. Stark color difference there and the optical track is 1 channel vs. the 2 channel track of rest of print. Also, the substituted frames are FERRANIA stock whereas the rest of print is marked SAFETY.
 
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UHDvision

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The MGM 4K has a "painting" quality that IMHO is how a Leone film should look (and not like it was shot with a digital camera to look exactly like reality) and many of those grabs represent that exactly.

It's obvious some of those prints have shifted a bit, and those are photographs, not scans, but again, as I said, on the 1984 telecine that Leone gave to french TV, many of those skys are teal too and I believe this is probably the way they were shot or the film stock negative used that produced this.

The 1984 telecine ressemble the MGM 4K only more rudimentary and raw.

Either way, the MGM 4K despite it's flaws, is the way the film should look more or less, whereas the Kino is akin to a "fanfix", made by a fan who doesn't know how film should look. Let's not even talk how the bonuses were massacred.
 
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OliverK

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Either way, the MGM 4K despite it's flaws, is the way the film should look more or less, whereas the Kino is akin to a "fanfix", made by a fan who doesn't know how film should look. Let's not even talk how the bonuses were massacred.
Let's say that Kino wanted to make the fans happy with the color timing but unfortunately they failed. That does not automatically make the MGM Blu-ray from the 4k master the correct version, just the preferable one.

An argument could be made that the film should look similar to the previous two and the following western by Leone which all are timed quite similar on Blu-ray. To me there is so far no convincing argument that the movie should not have a more natural look and that is also what the cinematographer chose as a timing that mondo supposedly tried to follow with their release even though they also fell short of that goal.

I think that shooting for the look of the IB tech prints that were produced when the movie came out is the best way to go in the absence of definitive info from involved parties that are now all deceased. Still so far we have a lot of captures from a lot of prints but we cannot say what that look was, at least on average.

Regarding the Italian print that has been photographed and put on that site has it been confimed to be a reference with regard to color timing by Leone or his cinematographer or is it just the most complete print that remains of the Italian cut?
 

Danny_N

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Regarding the Italian print that has been photographed and put on that site has it been confimed to be a reference with regard to color timing by Leone or his cinematographer or is it just the most complete print that remains of the Italian cut?
You should ask professor Flueckiger that. Or contact Cineteca di Bologna who own the print and are responsible for the 4K restoration that we have on the MGM BD. I doubt you'll get answers to your questions here.

Btw, you have every right to contact the professor because ...
The database with pics of colour movies she maintains is part of a research project. That project received a grant of 2.9 million euro from the EU :eek:. So as European tax payers we have actually contributed to those pics appearing on her site :lol:.

From her blog:
Barbara Flueckiger’s research explores the influence of technological innovations on the aesthetics and narrative of films, with the digitization of film over the last decade playing an increasingly central role. In her ERC project, Barbara Flückiger and her research team will systematically investigate the relationship between technological processes and the aesthetics of film colors through a new interdisciplinary approach.

The project will develop new software to analyze a large number of color films from each decade since the invention of film. Aesthetic analyses in film history will be supplemented with measurement methods from the natural sciences to investigate the chemical and physical characteristics of film colors. Fields of application for the aesthetic and technical analyses include digitizations and restorations of historic films that will be part of the research project. In addition, research findings will be contributed on an ongoing basis to a web platform developed by Barbara Flückiger, the Timeline of Historical Film Colors , providing access to other researchers, students and interested lay persons.

The EU will support the project with a grant of 2.9 million Euro for five years from 2015 to 2020.
 
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Lil Brutto

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Regarding the Italian print that has been photographed and put on that site has it been confimed to be a reference with regard to color timing by Leone or his cinematographer or is it just the most complete print that remains of the Italian cut?
This is a different print. The one you're thinking of is in the hands of Cineteca Nazionale in Rome.
 

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