759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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pro-bassoonist
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:26 am

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#26 Post by pro-bassoonist » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:05 am

Minkin wrote:This whole thing does seem somewhat silly. I'm willing to accept director revisionism of color grading, when it is their wishes (thus this isn't really similar to Wild River). In this case, it seems odd to claim better knowledge of how the film should look than the director, who has approved the damn thing.

I do find you (Svet) to be one of the best reviewers out there. (one of our other oft-mentioned reviewers has essentially abandoned reviewing, and just tries to make a mathematical equation out of bitrates and "warm skintones"). That said, some of your color complaints have seemed slightly odd. For example - giving the 4K Playtime a 3.5 vs the older transfer's 4.5 - where I'd imagine it would be more difficult to promote the older release, given the vast improvements in detail the 4k option offers (I don't recall any other reviewer having issue with the color). But so are the difficulties with reviews - as you have to consider the totality of the image. Things are more difficult when you try to give it a score. A question might be: is that score based off a universal ideal on how a blu-ray should look, or is it based off of "the best the image could ever hope to look for each individual film?" I'd prefer the latter option - as you can't hold everything to the same standard. Anyone else tired of all of the small detail finagling ? :P God help us if Ultra High-def discs become a standard.
Hi Minkin,

Thank you for the very good question.

Some quick comments:

1. When the box set came out, I had already seen all of the restorations via Canal. So, Play Time wasn't the first disc I picked to view.

2. Play Time: Detail is fantastic, but this is hardly surprising -- the scan is of very high quality. However, if you take a closer look at the grading of all of the color films in the box set, you should see that on all of them there is a very similar warm push -- it is present on Mon Oncle, Trafic, and on the shorts. What is really unusual is that it is also present on Parade, which was shot on video, 16mm and 35mm. I can see a number of similarities which tell me that these films had similar settings for the color identities. The fact that Parade looks so similar to Trafic is a big red flag for me. It appears that when these films were graded, someone decided that they should share the same/similar warm color settings.

3. Also, Minkin, it has become quite obvious that many, many restorations of color films coming out of France favor the same color tonalities. This is another very big red flag for me.

For example, Canal's big 4K restoration of Purple Noon has a number of similarities with Play Time (the second half, in particular is very interesting to analyze), but it was quickly dismissed because it was heavily filtered. And as you know, Criterion's 2K restoration looks very different.

It is suspicious, to say the least, that so many French restorations of color films look so similar. Take a look at Gaumont's regular 2K restorations and you should quickly notice that the color grading on the overwhelming majority of them appears to have been done with preset identities.

4. State of Siege - Detail there can be outstanding, especially when there is plenty of natural light. But there are purely digital effects there. When you get your disc, pay attention to the footage from the church in the beginning of the film.

I will see you on the forums :)

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Minkin
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#27 Post by Minkin » Mon May 04, 2015 4:50 pm

Thanks for the write-up Svet. I suppose one shouldn't focus too much on the scores - and instead just read the AV review section - as you'll at least cover the entirety of the transfer and its positives/negatives - thus we can decide for ourselves about the color / aspect ratio /other possible controversies - but the basics of the transfer are still highlighted.

Anyway,

Here is Blu-ray.com's review of The Confession

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Fred Holywell
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#28 Post by Fred Holywell » Mon May 25, 2015 3:22 pm

FWIW, I saw some of State of Siege on French TV 10-plus years ago, and remember it looking pretty crummy. Soft, faded-looking, weak detail. The bluish tint was there, but not a lot else color-wise. Based on that, I'm thinking the source material may be in lousy shape and the restorers didn't have much to work with. I won't say it's the best they could do (too much "orange/teal" and other signs of digital manipulation for me), but it's a lot better than what I saw years ago.

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criterionoop
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:46 am

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#29 Post by criterionoop » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:36 pm

THE CONFESSION is listed as "Out of Print" on Criterion's website.

Robespierre
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:31 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#30 Post by Robespierre » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:09 am

I wonder how soon State of Siege will also be listed as OOP? It's from the same licensor.

KJones77
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:35 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#31 Post by KJones77 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:17 pm

criterionoop wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:36 pm
THE CONFESSION is listed as "Out of Print" on Criterion's website.
It appears as though they lost the rights to The Confession.

No word on State of Siege.

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Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#32 Post by Brian C » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:44 pm

Fortunately, my local Barnes and Noble had one CONFESSION left. No STATE OF SIEGE but since that one isn’t OOP, I’ll cross that bridge, etc.

If there had been two, I’d have been willing to help someone out, but alas.

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domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#33 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:37 am

You know what would be really cool? If everyone picking up these titles in the out of print frenzy watched them and then posted about them in this thread.

connor
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:03 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#34 Post by connor » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:30 am

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:37 am
You know what would be really cool? If everyone picking up these titles in the out of print frenzy watched them and then posted about them in this thread.
I go back to both regularly. Sometimes I worry that CG is sidelined as a "political director" and thus his cinematic brilliance gets overlooked. Because these two films are just astonishing in every sense and yet rarely make any kind of "great movies" list. The Confession more and more is the stand out for me. The cowardice, cruelty, zeal and opportunism that haunt all movements promising to create a better world are illustrated so painfully here. How a film that takes place mostly in dim basement cells can be so thoroughly engaging says a lot about the filmmaker's genius.

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ng4996
the Wizard of Ozu
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Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#35 Post by ng4996 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:32 pm

Never gotten to see a CG film. How do these compare to films like The Battle of Algiers, or Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion?

connor
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:03 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#36 Post by connor » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:39 am

ng4996 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:32 pm
Never gotten to see a CG film. How do these compare to films like The Battle of Algiers, or Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion?
Right up there with the former, superior to the latter.

Glowingwabbit
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 1:27 pm

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#37 Post by Glowingwabbit » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:37 pm

ng4996 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:32 pm
Never gotten to see a CG film. How do these compare to films like The Battle of Algiers, or Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion?
I mean CG's films are about as different from those two films as The Battle of Algiers and Investigation are to each other. But if you like politically minded films done well, then these would be right up your alley.

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DeprongMori
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:59 am
Location: San Francisco

Re: 759-760 The Confession and State of Siege

#38 Post by DeprongMori » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:17 pm

If anyone is hoping to get a copy of “The Confession” in the Barnes and Noble sale, act quickly — there was only one copy left in each of Washington, Utah, and Arizona and I just had the copy in Utah shipped to me. So, two copies left in the US B&N stores (or maybe just the West Coast stores).

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