422 The Last Emperor

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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dadaistnun
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#26 Post by dadaistnun » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:22 pm

Blue Underground's Bird with the Crystal Plumage isn't cropped and he was involved with that release (well, he was interviewed; don't know if he had a hand in the actual transfer).

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Cronenfly
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#27 Post by Cronenfly » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:01 pm

Would Storaro be against including both 2:1 and 2.35:1 versions/ releasing alternate versions? It would be a ridiculous waste of space (not to mention be extremely fatuous), but still...always wanted to see Criterion's equivalent of (cinematographer-approved) P&S. My love for Storaro is nearly up.

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domino harvey
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#28 Post by domino harvey » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:04 pm

I am really curious as to whether or not Criterion will release this in the cropped, stupid 2:1 ratio or the original aspect ratio. I know they want cinematographer approval, but that dude's nuts and at a certain point the studio releasing the film has got to draw the line with this revisionist stuff

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Cronenfly
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#29 Post by Cronenfly » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:05 pm

Here here: I too await the outcome.

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Dylan
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#30 Post by Dylan » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:40 pm

Although I'm unable to locate the source at the moment, both Storaro and Bertolucci intended "The Last Emperor" to be presented in 2.00:1 from the get go, so if you're against the new framing Bertolucci is every bit as much to blame as Storaro.

Personally, the framing looks just fine to me, and the transfer itself looks gorgeous.

The only unfortunate thing will be TV overscan for those of us without widescreen monitors, which will further crop their new framing. Aside from that you won't hear any bitching from this Storaro/Bertolucci advocate. I look incredibly forward to this release.
Blue Underground's Bird with the Crystal Plumage isn't cropped and he was involved with that release (well, he was interviewed; don't know if he had a hand in the actual transfer).
No, he supervised the transfer as well. "Bird" is presented in 2.35:1 because that's Storaro's intended OAR. Storaro didn't start utilizing 2.00:1 until "Apocalypse Now," nearly 10 years after "Bird."
Would Storaro be against including both 2:1 and 2.35:1 versions/ releasing alternate versions?
These films are presented in 2.00 because that's the way Storaro composed them while filming and thus, the way he wants them to be seen, despite the camera ratio being wider. I personally don't see the problem with this.
Last edited by Dylan on Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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denti alligator
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#31 Post by denti alligator » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:50 pm

This should be the title with which Criterion goes HD. It would be a stunner.

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domino harvey
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#32 Post by domino harvey » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:57 pm

Is there any evidence from the time of filming these works that 2:1 was his initial, intended ratio and that he shot the films in 2.35 only to recut them later, after their theatrical debuts... because read what I just wrote and tell me that makes any sense

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Jeff
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#33 Post by Jeff » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:31 am

domino harvey wrote:Is there any evidence from the time of filming these works that 2:1 was his initial, intended ratio and that he shot the films in 2.35 only to recut them later, after their theatrical debuts... because read what I just wrote and tell me that makes any sense
There's not really any evidence of that, other than Storaro saying that he always thought it would look better. Here, from Filmmaker Magazine, is a pretty definitive comment from Storaro on the subject:
Filmmaker: Apocalypse Now. Theatrically, it was amazing to see it in its Scope aspect ratio, in 2001. I know that at this point you're preferential to 2:1, but some people were upset to see it on DVD cropped from the 35mm 2.35.

Storaro: Well, I always connected with one painting that Leonardo did, The Last Supper. The Last Supper is 2:1. At the time of shooting Apocalypse Now, I was not aware. I don't really remember when I became conscious of the 2:1. Definitely when I started to originally transfer Apocalypse Now (to video). In my opinion, it wasn't working in 2.35 -- at that time, we were forced to do a pan-and-scan. That was the worst. So we had to find a common ground between film and television. The aspect ratio for 65mm is 1:2.21, and the new video aspect ratio is 1.78. If you remove 0.21 from the 65mm, and then you have high definition which is supposed to be the future film/television format, you'll find the perfect balance between the two is 2:1. So any transfer I do is at 2:1. I remember with Bertolucci when we did The Last Emperor and we watched it on the television screen, we didn't like it at 2.35. We found it was much better at 2:1. Now, I only shoot 2:1. I refuse to not shoot 2:1. And I only transfer with this, even the old films, because I know it's the only solution for the future. It's the only meeting point that we have. The DALSA at 4k gives me some encouragement to continue in this way.

Now, there's this rumor they're going to retransfer Apocalypse Now at 1:2.35 -- I will not do it. I will not do it. Because on a television it doesn't work.
Storaro may have liked the idea of 2:1 as far back as Apocalypse Now, but there is no evidence that he actually composed for it before 1998's Tango. That's when he cooked up the name and the technology. If you want to read his treatise on the subject, here is a PDF. I will be shocked The Last Emperor is not transferred in the Univisium format.

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domino harvey
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#34 Post by domino harvey » Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:18 am

I'd say the article you excerpted is all the evidence I or any other sane person needs for not allowing him to 2:1 this release. What a horrible revisionist position, keep him away from his own movies, he clearly has no business anywhere near them.

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Steven H
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#35 Post by Steven H » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:20 am

I remember with Bertolucci when we did The Last Emperor and we watched it on the television screen, we didn't like it at 2.35. We found it was much better at 2:1.
God, he's right. From now on I'm going to like my scope OAR DVDs less, for no particular reason. No, wait, its because HD is the future, right? That's a good enough reason to crop a film, because technology is getting better, therefore you want to make the movie look worse. Ridiculous.

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skuhn8
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#36 Post by skuhn8 » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:07 am

Yet another example of expert craftsmen turning to complete assholes with age.

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Cinephrenic
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#37 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:45 pm

This should make a interesting extra (directed by Alex Cox!) for the upcoming release.

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Ashirg
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#38 Post by Ashirg » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:02 pm

Wouldn't it be a better extra for one of Kurosawa's films? Preferably Madadayo (I can dream, can't I?).

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Cinephrenic
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#39 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:06 pm

I know, i was just fucking with you. :lol: But it does suprise me that they haven't used it for any Kurosawa discs.

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#40 Post by Cinesimilitude » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:13 pm

I got the soundtrack to this on vinyl today, It's amazing. I can't wait for the criterion.

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#41 Post by eez28 » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:20 pm

So the word over at .com is that this is going to be one of the Feburary titles. The poster who supplied the info has been right many times about other releases.

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Cinephrenic
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#42 Post by Cinephrenic » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:26 pm

Great. I'm expecting a 3-disc digipack.

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denti alligator
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#43 Post by denti alligator » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:20 pm

eez28 wrote:So the word over at .com is that this is going to be one of the Feburary titles. The poster who supplied the info has been right many times about other releases.
Well, we should know for sure by Friday, maybe even earlier.

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Jeff
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#44 Post by Jeff » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:46 pm

What a set! It's listed as 2.35 for now, yet it's "supervised and approved by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro." Hmmm... It's a shame that they no longer put the detailed transfer information for each film.

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Cronenfly
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#45 Post by Cronenfly » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:28 pm

Jeff wrote:Specs in the first post. Listed as 2.35 for now! It's a shame that they no longer put the detailed transfer info.
It is indeed a shame, and I hope that the transfer is indeed 2.35:1. However, the Criterion blog post about Storaro and the transfer seemed to make it pretty certain that it's going to be 2.00:1, and, as you yourself said, Jeff, it's very unlikely that it'll end up 2.35:1 given Storaro's influence.

2.35:1 or not, this still looks like an excellent package overall, more than I was expecting, even given the film's prestige.

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#46 Post by eez28 » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:30 pm

I'm pretty sure someone is typing up an email right now to confirm.

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Mr Pixies
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#47 Post by Mr Pixies » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:58 pm

I think I saw this film when i was a kid, but I'm not sure if this is it. Are there scenes where
SpoilerShow
when the emperor is a kid that he poops in a bowl and the monks sniff and worship it? And then later on when he is a man, he needs glasses? And he throws a fit for needing "spectacles?

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denti alligator
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#48 Post by denti alligator » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:05 pm

Yes, Mr. Pixie, this is the film you remember.

Can anyone tell me why this needs four discs? Ok, so the film will be spread out over two discs. If they spread it unevenly, there should be plenty of room left on the second for some hefty extras. That still leaves two whole (dual-layered) discs to fill. I just don't see the extras taking up that space.

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glaswegian tome
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#49 Post by glaswegian tome » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:08 pm

Is anyone else wondering why its listed as 209 minutes? The old dvd was 218. I'm wondering what's going on with that.

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Jeff
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#50 Post by Jeff » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:20 pm

denti alligator wrote:Yes, Mr. Pixie, this is the film you remember.

Can anyone tell me why this needs four discs? Ok, so the film will be spread out over two discs. If they spread it unevenly, there should be plenty of room left on the second for some hefty extras. That still leaves two whole (dual-layered) discs to fill. I just don't see the extras taking up that space.
There are two complete, separate cuts of the film included, one of which is three and half hours long.
glaswegian tome wrote:Is anyone else wondering why its listed as 209 minutes? The old dvd was 218. I'm wondering what's going on with that.
They said it would be a new cut by Bertolucci. I guess this one just ended up a bit shorter than the previous Artisan disc.
Last edited by Jeff on Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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