44 The Red Shoes

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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nsps
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#51 Post by nsps » Wed May 20, 2009 4:21 am

swo17 wrote:
Matt wrote:Janus Films was a partner in the restoration. I can't imagine that would be the case if there were no plans for Criterion to follow through with a re-release.
Yeah well, what about this?

Granted, it's a little vague, but I would think that a newly restored Red Shoes transfer would result in a re-release and probably a Blu-ray, but not just a Blu-ray.
I don't know if it's the same restoration or what, but a few months back MGM HD aired Red Shoes…cropped to 16x9. ](*,) They or HDNet Movies (who usually get these things right) also aired Colonel Blimp—correctly—and it looked excellent, so at least there was that. I don't know if it's possible that two separate entities made different HD transfers or if they're the same as the one Janus collaborated on.

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ellipsis7
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#52 Post by ellipsis7 » Wed May 20, 2009 4:32 am

BLIMP hasn't yet been restored this time round - is next up according to Schoonmaker... While this is a major restoration of THE RED SHOES, it's debatable whether it is absolutely definitive, in that it does not involve any of the original filmmakers, and is basically Scorsese's memory of the original technicolor palette... Nevertheless it is sure to be lovely...

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david hare
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#53 Post by david hare » Wed May 20, 2009 5:19 pm

While it seems a shame Jack Cardiff apparently didn't have any input into this restoration (although is this even certain?) I think I would trust a combination of Scorsese's memory, and an IB answer print for reference in this case. The three brief grabs on the IV with Thelma convinced me.

There's also the example of Scorsese's personally supervised telecine for the old Laserdisc of Tales of Hoffman which definitely resonates with my memory of that gorgeous 16mm IB print in NYC years ago, and which is still definitively correct in its renditions of of blues, and turquoises, against the totally wrongly color graded Studio Canal DVD.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#54 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed May 20, 2009 6:46 pm

Dave's right. There seems to be no question that Scorsese not only fully understands but fanatically craves in the same way that we here do the deep, artificial-world-all-of-it's-own, vintage orgasm of real luminous technicolor. I think the project is probably in great hands.

One thing Scorcese doesn't have vis this stuff is a big ego of your standard modern day corporate entertainment exec... doesn't want to leave his own stamp or interfere because he's an insufferable know it all... he's a humble supplicant at the throne of this material, and desperately wants, like us, to be transported back to those glorious experiences of his youth... wants to see what he saw back then-- such a rare experience nowadays when watching Technicolor films-- no matter WHO produced them. That goes for home vid and cinema.

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ellipsis7
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#55 Post by ellipsis7 » Thu May 21, 2009 2:45 am

True, there's no doubt whatsoever of the integrity of Scorsese's intentions. But there's always an element of subjectivity - remember when Scorsese proudly showed Powell MEAN STREETS, the latter's comment was, "Too much Red!" Still the glimpses of this restoration do look marvellous.

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Florinaldo
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#56 Post by Florinaldo » Fri May 22, 2009 10:53 pm

I heard a report from Cannes this morning on the radio and the young reporter, who had never seen the film before and knew little about Powell before, said the image quality was stunning, as fresh looking as if it had been shot last year he said.

With the release of the Blu-Ray and DVD, and I suppose some distribution through whatever art houses theaters are still in existence, this might be just the right vehicle to introduce a whole new generation of viewers to that unique cinema partnership.

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Antoine Doinel
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#57 Post by Antoine Doinel » Fri May 29, 2009 8:15 am

Here are the details of the R2 extras. There is no commentary, and a roundup of fairly bland featurettes so if/when Criterion get to it, it's something they can certainly improve upon.

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ellipsis7
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#58 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:03 am

The ITV extras are actually slightly more interesting, as posted on hmv.com...
Special Features:
1. Re-mastered film feature
2. Behind the scenes documentary
3. Stills gallery; cast and crew on location
4. Deleted scenes
5. Sketches and story boards
6. Theatrical Trailer
7. Profile of The Red Shoes
8. Biographies of cast and crew
9. Original publicity, travel itinerary, letters and memos
10. Production diary
11. Film posters including foreign language versions
Still no commentary, but deleted scenes, sketches & storyboards, original letters & memos etc, and production diary capture my interest...

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Sloper
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#59 Post by Sloper » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:13 am

'Deleted scenes' sounds hard to resist, especially since one sequence cut from the film - showing a bit more of Lermontov's creative role in the ballet company, which I think is seriously lacking in the current version - was reputedly one of Powell's favourites. I hope this means they have actual footage, and not just photo-reconstructions...

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Person
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#60 Post by Person » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:03 pm

Sloper wrote:I hope this means they have actual footage, and not just photo-reconstructions...
It's quite possible that when the did they were resourcing the restoration that they found O-neg trims or good quality workprint trims.

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Antoine Doinel
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#61 Post by Antoine Doinel » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:22 pm

Sight & Sound gets into the nitty gritty of the restoration process.

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david hare
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#62 Post by david hare » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:30 pm

Interesting to me here, Ian Christie describes the process basically as a digital restoration rather than a photochemical one. I assume there was an element of the former if only because they had on board none other than Ned Price from Warner who obviously has enormous experience dealing with IB sep elements, and shrinkage and as I said about the whole project everyone here deserves the Big Prize for the care that's gone into it. Charistie also doesnt mention but the three strip neg scanning and alignement was done at Warner presumably with their previously-called Ultra Rez process. Christie also doesnt mention but Maria Palazzola is also listed in the final resto credits - these read like a role call of the whos who of Top Film Resto Folks today.

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Highway 61
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#63 Post by Highway 61 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:56 am

david hare wrote:Maria Palazzola is also listed in the final resto credits - these read like a role call of the whos who of Top Film Resto Folks today.
I pray that she is handling the Criterion transfer instead of Kline. Had she been the company's primary technical director, it would have saved this forum years of bitching.

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Jeff
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#64 Post by Jeff » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:00 am

Highway 61 wrote:I pray that she is handling the Criterion transfer instead of Kline. Had she been the company's primary technical director, it would have saved this forum years of bitching.
I've always thought that Lee Kline was a pretty great technical director. It seems like most of the major bitchfests have resulted from directors who requested that the presentation of their film (color timing, aspect ratio, whatever) be altered.

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Highway 61
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#65 Post by Highway 61 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:41 am

No doubt Kline does remarkable work. It just seems to me that the early transfers handled by Palazzola exhibit less tinkering. I can't recall any Vengeance is Mine or Le Cercle Rouge color alteration from her, for instance. But who knows, maybe that's just symptomatic of the early days of DVD, less advanced restoration tools, etc.

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david hare
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#66 Post by david hare » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:13 am

There's one - only one - issue I have with the telecine/transfer/disc which I am assuming will be indentical for the Criterion when it comes out. That is the relatively slight apparent "softness" of wides and long shots when they come immediatelyt after medium CUs or closer shots.

I've probably been ruined by the transfers on how the West was Won and South Pacific but both these were shot in processes with extremyl refined lenses with virtually infinite depth of field, so the wide shots and panoramas etc looks as clear as imagineable. But when you go back to an IB reconstruction from three strip and Technicolor lighting like this or Americna in Paris there is a slightly thicker look or perhaps a higher grain level in the wides and the sharpness is not quite there. It's not a case of registration - these titles both have perfect three strip alignment. But I have to add it's a really small thing, and perhaps Im asking for something that's impossible to achieve now that actual IB printing doesn't exist any more. I have to say however the color rendition and depth of blacks on both is astounding.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#67 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:28 am

Palazzola was Kline's sensei... and it shows. Though Kline has been capable of some incredible work,. particularly in the black & white world.

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Person
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#68 Post by Person » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:07 pm

Highway 61 wrote:No doubt Kline does remarkable work. It just seems to me that the early transfers handled by Palazzola exhibit less tinkering. I can't recall any Vengeance is Mine or Le Cercle Rouge color alteration from her, for instance. But who knows, maybe that's just symptomatic of the early days of DVD, less advanced restoration tools, etc.
This is a thought that has passed through my mind over the past two years - that the increasing availability of digital software within the transfer suite has been a double-edged sword. When I look at the early, ie. 1997-2001 Warner transfers, it seems that as long as the 35mm elements were in excellent shape, the transfer came about beautifully with minimal color-correction. In those days, Zabriskie Point would have had natural, vibrant colors, I fear. I'm not saying anything novel when I say that too much work can be done on a transfer. The primary undertaking is acquiring an optimal film element and transfering at a minimum of 2k on a tried-and-tested telecine. Everything after that is complimentary fine-tuning and in the wrong hands, ie. someone wholly unfamiliar with the aesthetics of the film such fiddlings can be ruinous.

Thankfully, the recent restoration is exemplary and maintains the fiedlity of the film's intended visual splendour.

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david hare
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#69 Post by david hare » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:15 pm

Gordon do you have any even minor issue with the sharpness on the wides?

I should have said days ago of course I am looking at it on a projected 120 inch diameter image.

And I agree there is no question of the wrong sort of manipulation in this - if anything it looks even better than Technnicolor!

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Person
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#70 Post by Person » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:09 pm

david hare wrote:Gordon do you have any even minor issue with the sharpness on the wides?
By this, do you mean wide shots where most objects are in background? You'll have a better idea than me as I only have a 42" screen. It has a wireless remote control and everything, don't you know! :wink: Nah, The Blu of The Red Shoes looks eerily gorgeous. I actually postal rented the Blu of Narcissus the night before and was hugely impressed by the detail and color fidelity in that transfer. But I'll hold off on buying either disc until I know what Criterion have brewing.

On a tenuously related note, what is the DVD status of the Film Foundation's restoration of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman? Has anyone seen a print? I have never seen the film and barely heard of it over the years but I read an online article on underrated fantasy films which partially compared it to The Archers work and I'm a huge James Mason fan and Ava was to die for in her 50s color films. The old Kino DVD (from a BFI IB print?) seems a bit drab judging by screencaps as does the French DVD. I'd imagine that the new restoration is a marked improvement.

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david hare
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#71 Post by david hare » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:17 pm

I think but not sure Pandora has been the subject of a restoration. But maybe I'm confusing it with another three strip resto by Fox of Leave her to Heaven which Glenn Kenny reviewed from Film Forum in Manhattan a few months ago. He raved BTW.

G certainly the Shoes looks spectacular on the 43 inch Plaz, wide shots and all. My impression on a projected image is the overall viewing image, not just the backgrounds are less apparently sharp in wide than CUs which just leap out at you with fine detail. I am wondering if such things are the result of a 25 or 27 gig encode for the ITV Blu and if say a 40 gig encode might not straighten them out.

Quien sabe??

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Person
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#72 Post by Person » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:27 pm

Hi, David. In my opinion, all Blu-rays of feature films should be 40 gig. It's pretty weird when a 40 gig disc is used for film and the total content is around 25-30 gig. I just don't undertstand the reasoning behind that. Maximum bitrate for video and audio!

As for Pandora and the Flying Dutchman:
The Film Foundation website in 2008 wrote:New York Film Festival (September 26 – October 12)
On October 10th, the 46th New York Film Festival unveiled the World Restoration Premiere of PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951, d. Albert Lewin) at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center. Martin Scorsese, Founder and Chair of The Film Foundation introduced the film alongside Kent Jones from the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

The film was restored by George Eastman House, in cooperation with The Douris Corporation, at Cineric, Inc. in New York City. After an exhaustive worldwide search, no original negatives could be found. Working from separation master positives created in 1951, the film was restored photochemicallyusing the Cineric Single Pass System to re-register the color records and manufacture timed separation negatives. Sections of the film were scanned 4K resolution to perform digital dirt and scratch removal. Additionally, the soundtrack was fully restored by Audio Mechanics in Burbank, California. Funding was provided by The Film Foundation, the Franco-American Cultural Fund, and the Rome Film Festival. LINK
Sickening to hear that the O-neg is lost, but amazing to know that such all-out, expensive work was done to create an optimal digital master and preservation 35mm negative. I'm surprised that this news slipped us by. I just hope that Kino release a new DVD of this soon, as I'd love to finally see this film.

eerik
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#73 Post by eerik » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:59 pm

Talking about bitrates.. Criterion has done a very good job at maximizing the video bitrate and using lossless or uncompressed audio on their Blu-ray releases.

About the ITV Blu-ray release... It was a low bitrate encode (around 20Mbps) and they used only 2,6GB of the second 25GB layer.

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Person
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#74 Post by Person » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:32 pm

eerik wrote:About the ITV Blu-ray release... It was a low bitrate encode (around 20Mbps) and they used only 2,6GB of the second 25GB layer.
Really? That's a bit knuckleheaded.

eerik
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#75 Post by eerik » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:40 pm

I don't own the Blu-ray release myself, yet, but according to DVDBeaver:
Disc Size: 27,605,861,540 bytes
Feature: 23,430,383,040 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.02 Mbps
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdcompare/redshoes.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Actually, I believe that big studios like Warner and others have released many Blu-ray discs that are dual layer but only around 30GB. And then they complain how BD50 production lines are overloaded.

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