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Will Woody Allen's movies ever make HD?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Guy_K, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Not exactly true. An early laser disc of BANANAS (I think from CBS/Fox) had a true stereo track. The title sequence with Marvin Hamlisch's music and the "bullet" shots really played with the separation in a most entertaining way.
     
  2. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Thye haven't even corrected the subtitle snafu. did they?" That's what we're supposed to see what the characters are thinking, rather than saying. An abomination!
     
  3. JulianK

    JulianK Supporting Actor

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    Oddly, some prints of Mighty Aphrodite carry a credit for - IIRC - a "Dolby Stereo Consultant".

    I've also seen prints where this has been blacked out with a superimposed box.
     
  4. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Allen's films don't generally cry out for high-def image quality. They are mostly intimate comedies or comedy/dramas with little concern for memorable camera work other than what is necessary to tell the story. One exception to this, IMHO, is MANHATTAN, which I would love to see on Blu-ray. Allen is not an aficionado of stereo, but the source of his Gershwin score was recorded in stereo (i.e. the Columbia soundtrack album) and this, again, would be the Blu-ray movie I'd hope would receive a bit of unusual attention from Allen, who notoriously does not care to revisit his old films. Woody: just say "Okay," and the sound editors and mixers will do all the work for you!
     
  5. Bryant Frazer

    Bryant Frazer Stunt Coordinator

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    Gordon Willis? Sven Nykvist? If you ask me, any movie worth seeing is worth seeing in HD. But movies shot by these guys especially.

    I know there's this commonly held idea that "intimate" movies don't necessarily need HD, but I disagree. In fact, I'd argue that the opposite is true. We need HD especially badly in movies that are all about economy of image, subtleties of performance, and the qualities of the human face. Let's face it, everything that's important in Die Hard With a Vengeance is going to be clear whether you're watching it on an airplane or on an iPhone. That twinkle in Michael Caine's eye during Hannah and Her Sisters? Not so much.
     
  6. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Mono...
    even for the new Scarlett Johansson flick?
    That's crazy; its '08.
    Does he still shoot in B&W all the time?
    NO!
    Does he still shoot academy ratio (4:3) all the time?
    NO!
    The guy cheats on his GF, sleeps w/& marries her daughter; yet its a sin to use multi-channel sound?!?!?
    Give me a break!!!

    [for the record: I'd watch Scarett with NO sound on at all!!! ;-) ]
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Director

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    Right on. Then again, it has becoming depressingly clear that such subtleties of storytelling are of less interest to the movie-viewing public with each passing year. The very fact that someone could pronounce films such as Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Zelig, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories or even such recent (and lesser) films as Cassandra's Dream to have "little concern for memorable camera work" is indicative of how coarse cinematic tastes have become.

    That guy Bergman didn't move the camera much either, did he? [​IMG]

    M.
     
  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    SD DVDs handle multichannel sound quite well, with the chief audio advantage of Blu-Ray for most films being improved fidelity. As such, a well recorded mono film will benefit from lossless audio just about as much as a well recorded stereo/multichannel film. Also, it's not like Allen just turns on an 8mm camera and shoots actors in real locations in their street clothes with available light. Just about any of his films would benefit from a high definition presentation. We will certainly see his films on Blu-Ray when the demographics of the Blu-Ray player owner converge with the demographics of the Woody Allen film fan base.

    Regards,
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    An interesting double feature is Crimes and Misdemeanors and Cries and Whispers. Sven Nykvist and Sven Nykvist.
     
  10. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Don't forget Interiors even though it isn't a comedy and seems so different from the rest of his works. And I sure would like to see how it fairs in HD w/ a transfer that's faithful to Allen's original intentions.

    _Man_
     
  11. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    JJ
    Hope you get the joke!
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Director

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    Filmmakers have their quirks. Spielberg insists that his films be edited on a Moviola instead of an Avid or other digital system. Yet no one would call him "anti-modern". And Allen had no problem adopting Dolby's noise reduction techniques and digital delivery systems as soon as they came along. He just isn't interested in multi-channel sound, because it doesn't fit with his personal vision of movie-making.

    So what? Just because a tool exists doesn't require a filmmaker to use it. I love the fact that there are still directors who want people staring straight at the screen, with nothing to distract them left, right or behind.

    M.
     
  13. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I sure hope so. I always felt Allen's work was a good fit for Criterion. And since the studios seem to not care enough, I can't see why they wouldn't license the films out to Criterion. There may be an issue securing the rights to his more recent films, but something like "Annie Hall", arguably Allen's most beloved movie, is still only represented on disc by that miserable release from the dark ages of DVD. If they won't even remaster an Oscar winner and one of the greatest comedies ever, maybe they'd do well to let another company have a stab at it.
     
  14. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    I know Woody's feelings on the subject.
    Just there's no way "Manhattan" 'feels' like Manhattan when your looking a fantastically shot street scene & the sound is coming only from directly in front of you. It "looks" like Manhattan; it sure don't "sound" like Manhattan.
    And Woody above all, should know that.

    Nuff said!
    (literally!!!)
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Director

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    But Woody Allen's Manhattan has never been the real thing. It's a poetic vision of the place, one that changes from film to film, but that always has a large component of imagination and longing.

    In fact, nothing better illustrates the artistry of the camera work in Woody Allen's films than visiting the New York locations he's used (those that still are here). When you see them in real life, you start to realize how artfully they've been transformed into an idealized cityscape that only fully exists in the cinema of Woody Allen.

    M.
     
  16. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I thought that the buildings Woody chose for Sleeper were very effective for creating a future mood. The cars, well they looked "B' movie-ish. The Orgasmatron, now that was convincing. I'm sure Woody had to rehease relentlessly for that scene too! The trillions of zillions sold McDonald's sign was the crowning touch. Bravo!

    He seems to have an eye for finding the right locales for his films, sometimes, even, even, if there not in New York City.
     
  17. Bryant Frazer

    Bryant Frazer Stunt Coordinator

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    Just saw Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Lovely movie. Should make a fine Blu-ray release (assuming TWC has its act together and puts it out), but I can't imagine wanting to sit through it in standard-def after seeing a nice theatrical presentation.

    (And for what it's worth I didn't once even think about the sound being mono — or essentially mono, as the press kit says it's in Dolby Digital — until I came home and opened this thread!)
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Ed, I thought your crack was genius.

    Michael, I thought your response about director's intent was also genius.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. WinstonCely

    WinstonCely Stunt Coordinator

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    On a side note to audio, Stanley Kubrick released all his films with the exception of Eyes Wide Shut in mono because he knew how deficient most theater audio systems were at the time. Releasing in mono meant the best way for everyone to hear everything Kubrick deemed necessary to enjoy his films. This isn't to say he didn't record multi-channle sound. It's there, and thankfully, that's why most of his films from 2001 on have been remastered in multi-channle audio. It could be that Woody Allen feels the same way, but I doubt it. Most likely it's just his way of working.
     
  20. Andy_G

    Andy_G Stunt Coordinator

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    IIRC, lots of his stuff was UA, and now lives with MGM. Good luck getting them to find the cash for HD transfers these days. . .
     

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