A Few Words About While we wait for A few words about...™ Lawrence of Arabia -- in 4k/UHD Blu-ray

Patrick McCart

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Match cut is in 1B. As I recall 2A may have been the flopped reel.
Just checked everything from the match cut through the well scene and nothing appears to be flopped. I'll be transferring the entire thing sometime, though. I will say that the match cut is probably the most incompetent example of panning and scanning I've seen. You don't even see the sun. There's also a shot from within the well that inexplicably pans over halfway through the shot.





Meanwhile, I also received my Criterion CAV laserdisc today. Still has a lovely leaflet inside with reconstruction notes and a little memo about errors on the back cover. Surprisingly, this is the first time I've noticed the "3-pop" in the sound.





 
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Mike2001

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OliverK

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Have my Criterion CAV laserdisc and the Superbit dvd.
View attachment 60245
I have those , too. I think I have it on:

VHS WS
Sony LD WS
Criterion LD
Muse Hi-Vision LD 1035i (analog HiDef)
DVD
SuperBit DVD
HD recording 1080i
Sony Blu-ray big white box
Sony 4k download server

But the last 5 times I watched it was always in a cinema, once in 4k and 4 times in 70mm, there is something to be said for watching it in a really good seat in a theatrical setting. Even with a bigger screen and in 4k it is not the same experience at home.
 
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Robert Harris

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I have those , too. I think I have it on:

VHS WS
Sony LD WS
Criterion LD
Muse Hi-Vision LD 1035i (analog HiDef)
DVD
SuperBit DVD
HD recording 1080i
Sony Blu-ray big white box
Sony 4k download server

But the last 5 times I watched it was always in a cinema, once in 4k and 4 times in 70mm, there is something to be said for watching it in a really good seat in a theatrical setting. Even with a bigger screen and in 4k it is not the same experience at home.
4k, properly projected, is superior to 70mm.
 

Brian Husar

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I believe it was either the SB, or the linen cover that had defective audio.
It was the linen cover that came out in 2001. That’s the one that had those missed musical queues, most obvious when Lawrence is walking on the top of the train in Part 2. Still trying to figure out what happened with that. I remember at the time on Digital Bits, your column, and you said someone at Columbia didn’t want you involved in the transfer because you were “too difficult”. Lol. Glad they saw fit and had you do the Superbit transfer.
 
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Robert Harris

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It was the linen cover that came out in 2001. That’s the one that had those missed musical queues, most obvious when Lawrence is walking on the top of the train in Part 2. Still trying to figure out what happened with that. I remember at the time on Digital Bits, your column, and you said someone at Columbia didn’t want you involved in the transfer because you were “too difficult”. Lol. Glad they saw fit and had you do the Superbit transfer.
The Columbia comment goes back to the original 1989 transfer, which was rejected by DL. The audio problems arrived when someone at Chace thought that they heard audio dropouts on a channel, and “fixed” it by reediting the audio.
 

owen35

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It was the linen cover that came out in 2001. That’s the one that had those missed musical queues, most obvious when Lawrence is walking on the top of the train in Part 2. Still trying to figure out what happened with that. I remember at the time on Digital Bits, your column, and you said someone at Columbia didn’t want you involved in the transfer because you were “too difficult”. Lol. Glad they saw fit and had you do the Superbit transfer.
It was the linen cover version that had the issues. I recall Mr. Harris mentioning the audio snafu on one of the foreign audio tracks and that the titles were "smeared" in the opening. I mentioned this on my davidlean.com website, but it doesn't appear to be archived anywhere. (BTW, I am in the process of updating the site so it is compatible with new devices and has a modern design. If anyone has any additional content or ideas to add into it, I'd welcome it!)
 
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PMF

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[...] I remember at the time on Digital Bits, your column, and you said someone at Columbia didn’t want you involved in the transfer because you were “too difficult”. Lol. Glad they saw fit and had you do the Superbit transfer.
Lol, indeed. It's quite a thing as to how being deemed "too difficult" gets around and; in many unfortunate cases; actually succeeds to the deterrent of many a project. "Too difficult" is usually spoken by those who are too lazy, too insecure and too unqualified. If someone possesses a greater expertise; or is specific, or exacting, or striving for excellence then I, myself, would embrace the challenges of the given opportunity. To my mind, there are more people in so many professions who love the sizzle and aroma, more so than the actual steak, itself. Or, as Stanislavsky once said; and I paraphrase; "Do not love yourself in the arts but, rather, love the art that is in you".
 
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OliverK

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4k, properly projected, is superior to 70mm.
Having seen a contact print of Lawrence of Arabia and the 4k version I am not sure about that. When it is a good projection system and everything is being kept in the analog domain I prefer analog even though as Worth points out a number of parameters may measure better with digital. And not to forget that each analog screening is a much more unique event and one that is not easily repeated. It ads to the aura of watching a movie on film, especially with 70mm prints.
 
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PMF

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Having seen a contact print of Lawrence of Arabia and the 4k version I am not sure about that. When it is a good projection system and everything is being kept in the analog domain I prefer analog even though as Worth points out a number of parameters may measure better with digital. And not to forget that each analog screening is a much more unique event and one that is not easily repeated. It ads to the aura of watching a movie on film, especially with 70mm prints.
Ah, yes, but aren't we lucky to have the options of both. From my 1989 attendance of the 70mm presentation at The Zeigfeld to a recent pitch-perfect 4K projection of "Lawrence", I have found benefits to both formats; but my leanings (pardon the pun) are with the 4K DCP version. Make no mistakes, though, as I wouldn't trade in for a second the bookends or arch of either one of these experiences.
 
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Worth

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At this point, a 35mm or 70mm screening of a film is more likely to get me out of the house, if only because it's increasingly rare and a different experience. On the other hand, I've seen enough faded and torn up prints in my day to appreciate the benefits of digital projection, and there are many films available now as DCPs that have been MIA for years because of a lack of acceptable prints. I look forward to seeing 2001 in 4K the next time it shows up in IMAX.
 
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OliverK

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Ah, yes, but aren't we lucky to have the options of both. From my 1989 attendance of the 70mm presentation at The Zeigfeld to a recent pitch-perfect 4K projection of "Lawrence", I have found benefits to both formats; but my leanings (pardon the pun) are with the 4K DCP version. Make no mistakes, though, as I wouldn't trade in for a second the bookends or arch of either one of these experiences.
Yes we are indeed lucky to have both especially as there are no pristine contact prints left of Lawrence or all the others and I already prefer a 4k DCP to a filmout from 4k.

Still it seems to me that there is a certain analog smoothness to a short and sweet print from the OCN without any intermediary stages that so far I feel I have been missing in the 4k versions of Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia. That being said digital is only getting better in both the acquisition from film and in projection technology and even today we can be very happy that it has come as far as it already has.

And let's not forget that an analog print being a unique experience may make it appear better to us than it really is, while 4k DCP's being so accessible certainly makes seeing them less of a once in a lifetime experience than seeing a rare 70mm print.
 
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Worth

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There's still a bit of harshness to digital - grain can often look more like noise. There's a smoothness and texture to film that makes it appealing.
 

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