Hi Minkin,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 ? God help us if Ultra High-def discs become a standard.
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