125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

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jsteffe
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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#201 Post by jsteffe » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:53 pm

MichaelB wrote:James White discusses his work as a restoration supervisor in this AV Forums podcast (which starts about 30 mins in) - he mostly talks about Zombie Flesh Eaters, but does bring up The Passion of Joan of Arc quite a bit, and a lot of the technical points he makes apply to restorations in general.
Thanks - it was a genuinely interesting interview, and makes me want to pick up the Arrow edition of Zombie Flesh Eaters as well! What other projects has James White worked on?

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#202 Post by TMDaines » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:01 pm

Zot! wrote:I love the transfer and think what cannot be stressed enough is how revelatory the 20fps speed is. I can never watch it at 24fps again.
Indeed, playing silents at the correct speed cannot be understated. They are a number of reasons why I would never not have an HTPC and adjusting the speed of silents is one of them.
Last edited by TMDaines on Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#203 Post by MichaelB » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:29 pm

jsteffe wrote:
MichaelB wrote:James White discusses his work as a restoration supervisor in this AV Forums podcast (which starts about 30 mins in) - he mostly talks about Zombie Flesh Eaters, but does bring up The Passion of Joan of Arc quite a bit, and a lot of the technical points he makes apply to restorations in general.
Thanks - it was a genuinely interesting interview, and makes me want to pick up the Arrow edition of Zombie Flesh Eaters as well! What other projects has James White worked on?
Loads! The vast majority of BFI DVD and BD releases up to 2011, for starters, and since then he's been freelancing for people like MoC and Arrow.

But "worked on" can vary from project to project - for instance, he worked on Arrow's The Conformist, but had to work from an existing HD master created by someone else instead of getting the chance to work his own magic from original 35mm materials. On the other hand, the BFI's Alice was another project like Joan of Arc or Zombie Flesh Eaters over which he had total control from the outset (he had access to the original camera negative and the original interpos - an absolute dream scenario), and I practically yelped with delight when I saw the end result.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#204 Post by pro-bassoonist » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:03 pm

Le Samouraï wrote:
pro-bassoonist wrote: However, it is my opinion that while removing damage marks/debris some grain was indeed toned down.
So you are basically calling James White a liar or what, Svet?
Zot has already replied to you and his post actually sums up precisely what I meant.

I also listened to the ZFE interview, where there is a small bit about this resto. What is said there is quite true - you use a combination of techniques with your best judgment. So, you address some issues, others you don't. In this case, as I said earlier, you don't have to have intentional blanket "DNR" application to affect something else. Which is why there are some inconsistencies. I saw them, I commented on them. I also made it perfectly clear that the grain so many people are concerned with these days is retained.

Furthermore, I've seen enough releases now where James White is cited as technical producer so it is pretty obvious to me that he would not just turn the knob to make something look 'modern'. All of the Schroeder films, for example, which use recent restos are a prime example.

But you have to understand that with The Passion... what you begin with is far, far less (that grain for example). And what would not show on ZFE, for instance, if you use a combination of techniques to address a certain issue has a good chance of showing here.

I hope this make sense.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#205 Post by antnield » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:18 am


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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#206 Post by triodelover » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:36 am

Informative read, Anthony. Thanks for the link.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#207 Post by Brianruns10 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:11 am

I've discovered something rather interesting with the MoC blu-ray. I think a shot was inadvertently cut short. I discovered this one night, while attempting to do a crude sync up, playing the blu-ray of the 24FPS version on my HD monitor, and the criterion edition soundtrack "Voices of Light" as the accompaniment. And at roughly 17 minutes in, just after the chapter break, a tracking shot is cut off by one of the inter-titles. I checked both the 24FPS and the 20FPS versions and they are identical in this issue. Can anyone verify this?

I've made a short video which you may view here, to see what I'm talking about:

https://vimeo.com/54645823

I've written MoC about it, but with no reply. Anyone know who'd be best to alert about this?

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#208 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:57 am

Whoah....that looks kinda like a big deal....

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#209 Post by MichaelB » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:01 am

Response from James White:
I looked into this issue this morning and have confirmed that the shot as it appears in the MOC release is exactly as it appears in the source material supplied by the DFI, that is, the preservation negative struck from the original 1928 Oslo print.

In restoring JOAN, we made no cuts or edits to any frames of the scanned material and retained all film frames in the final presentation, regardless of condition. The shot in question appeared heavily damaged with a definite splice mark printed in so in all probability this section of the shot was excised at some point long ago due to excess damage.

As I wasn't involved in the Gaumont restoration from over a decade ago I can't say with any certainty what they used. But it's quite possible that Gaumont relied on supplemental prints or other materials in addition to the original materials to include this shot in full.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#210 Post by Brianruns10 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:28 am

Fascinating! So that would mean that at least a portion of another print from Dreyer's first cut has survived, since the two shots are identical and must have come from a shared negative.

I had thought that the Oslo print comprised the only extant material from the first negative.

This just made things a whole lot more interesting for sure! Thanks all for checking up on this.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#211 Post by neilist » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:11 pm

Brianruns10 wrote:Fascinating! So that would mean that at least a portion of another print from Dreyer's first cut has survived, since the two shots are identical and must have come from a shared negative.
I'm not sure I understand why you suggest this extra footage is certain to have come from Dreyer's first cut. Surely it could have come from one of the other versions made up from footage cut from the original? Is this shot present in the Lo Duco cut; has it been imported in from that? As the James White quote above suggests, it seems more likely to have been added into the Gaumont restoration from an additional source rather than have been lost from the DFI's copy of the Oslo print.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#212 Post by Brianruns10 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:22 pm

neilist wrote:
Brianruns10 wrote:Fascinating! So that would mean that at least a portion of another print from Dreyer's first cut has survived, since the two shots are identical and must have come from a shared negative.
I'm not sure I understand why you suggest this extra footage is certain to have come from Dreyer's first cut. Surely it could have come from one of the other versions made up from footage cut from the original? Is this shot present in the Lo Duco cut; has it been imported in from that? As the James White quote above suggests, it seems more likely to have been added into the Gaumont restoration from an additional source rather than have been lost from the DFI's copy of the Oslo print.
It has to have come from the first cut, because the shots are identical takes, as my side-by-side comparison demonstrates. The Gaumont version differs in that the shot carries on for longer, and as Mr. White points out, there was evidence of damage in the Oslo print, suggesting some loss of material which Gaumont was able to fill in.

The other versions to which you refer derive from the 2nd negative Dreyer assembled after the loss of the first, using unused and alternate takes. There might be a similar shot in the Lo Duca version but it would not be a precise match.

the shot in question from both the Oslo and Gaumont versions share a common ancestor in the first negative, which would mean that there is evidently more surviving material that corresponds to the first cut. I suspect perhaps they leveraged material from an incomplete print, as all versions of the film that I have seen have the same noticeable jump cut in the first shot after the title card for "The Torture Sequence," and if Gaumont had had the material to fill this gap, I think they would've, like they apparently did to complete the shot in question that I have pointed out.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#213 Post by AK » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:07 pm

neilist wrote:
Brianruns10 wrote:Fascinating! So that would mean that at least a portion of another print from Dreyer's first cut has survived, since the two shots are identical and must have come from a shared negative.
I'm not sure I understand why you suggest this extra footage is certain to have come from Dreyer's first cut. Surely it could have come from one of the other versions made up from footage cut from the original? Is this shot present in the Lo Duco cut; has it been imported in from that? As the James White quote above suggests, it seems more likely to have been added into the Gaumont restoration from an additional source rather than have been lost from the DFI's copy of the Oslo print.
Checked the Lo Duca, and the longer tracking shot is there (starts at 16:55). In the 20fps version that sequence starts at 20:17. The most striking difference - apart from the length of the tracking shot - is that in the Lo Duca the cropping is so extreme that the man's head is cut off, at worst, at eye-level.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#214 Post by Zot! » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:21 pm

AK wrote:
neilist wrote:
Brianruns10 wrote:Fascinating! So that would mean that at least a portion of another print from Dreyer's first cut has survived, since the two shots are identical and must have come from a shared negative.
I'm not sure I understand why you suggest this extra footage is certain to have come from Dreyer's first cut. Surely it could have come from one of the other versions made up from footage cut from the original? Is this shot present in the Lo Duco cut; has it been imported in from that? As the James White quote above suggests, it seems more likely to have been added into the Gaumont restoration from an additional source rather than have been lost from the DFI's copy of the Oslo print.
Checked the Lo Duca, and the longer tracking shot is there (starts at 16:55). In the 20fps version that sequence starts at 20:17. The most striking difference - apart from the length of the tracking shot - is that in the Lo Duca the cropping is so extreme that the man's head is cut off, at worst, at eye-level.
But is it the same take in the Lo Duca?

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#215 Post by Brianruns10 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:28 pm

It CANNOT be the same take as in the Lo Duca, because the Lo Duca comes from an entirely different negative, than the Oslo print. Because the shot I am talking about are identical in the Gaumont/CC version and the MoC, meaning they share a common ancestor, the same negative, i.e. the FIRST negative, which was destroyed. The Lo Duca is from the 2nd negative, made later from unused takes.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#216 Post by Zot! » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:34 pm

Brianruns10 wrote:It CANNOT be the same take as in the Lo Duca, because the Lo Duca comes from an entirely different negative, than the Oslo print. Because the shot I am talking about are identical in the Gaumont/CC version and the MoC, meaning they share a common ancestor, the same negative, i.e. the FIRST negative, which was destroyed. The Lo Duca is from the 2nd negative, made later from unused takes.
Right, I was under the same impression, but the Lo Duca was further edited, so it's not unthinkable that a scrap of an original surviving print might have been included somehow.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#217 Post by AK » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:50 pm

But is it the same take in the Lo Duca?
In my opinion they are not the same. It is difficult to distinguish, since the nature of the shot has the man moving with that same stern expression on his face. There is a difference, however. Both shots start the same way, except in the Lo Duca version there's a shadow on the wall - apparently of a man - that isn't there in the Oslo print. This is before the man we're following in the sequence passes the first pillar.

EDIT: Here's a link to the Lo Duca screencap. Here's the Oslo version.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#218 Post by zedz » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:24 pm

Brianruns10 wrote:Fascinating! So that would mean that at least a portion of another print from Dreyer's first cut has survived, since the two shots are identical and must have come from a shared negative.

I had thought that the Oslo print comprised the only extant material from the first negative.
As I recall, in the accompanying book it points out that the surviving American prints from the time are also derived from the original negative (having being taken from a surviving original French print), which was quite a surprise for me (if I didn't misread that bit!) Not so romantic as the 'sole surviving print hidden away in a madhouse for decades' story, but still nice and messy!

I was also interested to see that that explanatory essay also calls into question the old story that the second negative was created only after, and because, the first one was destroyed, positing the more mundane idea that it was simply the same old domestic / export negative deal that was a common industry practice at the time. Actually, it should be easy enough to support this with textual evidence - if the two versions contain a lot of dual camera material - i.e. the same action filmed from slightly different camera positions - rather than different takes from the same camera position, it would support the argument that there were always two negatives intended.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#219 Post by Zot! » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:24 pm

I took another look at Brian's video comparison and realized that both segments are of the identical length, but the MoC simply holds the title card longer. This would have to mean that either the Gaumont version includes extra footage unintended to make the original cut and was shoehorned in to that restoration and the title card cut short, or that there was an intentional effort made to pad the title card of the Oslo version to maintain sync with a soundtrack.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#220 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:26 pm

Zot! wrote:or that there was an intentional effort made to pad the title card of the Oslo version to maintain sync with a soundtrack.
I suspect you can categorically rule that option out. As far as I'm aware, the restoration team at MoC had no idea what soundtrack would be featured (or rather soundtracks, since the same transfer is presented twice at different speeds) at the time they were working on it.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#221 Post by Zot! » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:32 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Zot! wrote:or that there was an intentional effort made to pad the title card of the Oslo version to maintain sync with a soundtrack.
I suspect you can categorically rule that option out. As far as I'm aware, the restoration team at MoC had no idea what soundtrack would be featured (or rather soundtracks, since the same transfer is presented twice at different speeds) at the time they were working on it.
That makes sense, but you have to admit that there was an effort by somebody to preserve the running time...to the exact frame. There would be no need to extend or cut short a title card otherwise.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#222 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:54 pm

Zot! wrote:That makes sense, but you have to admit that there was an effort by somebody to preserve the running time...to the exact frame. There would be no need to extend or cut short a title card otherwise.
I don't know what Criterion (or, more likely, Gaumont) did to it, but there's no question that the MoC transfer presents the Oslo print exactly as it was found.

James White has just emailed me on the subject:
There was no concerted effort by anyone, as far as I know, to make the original Oslo print materials run in synch with the Gaumont restoration or any other version. The film appears on the MOC disc exactly as it does on the preserved film materials.

A proper film restoration would never be subservient to matching up with any particular score. The music would and must always follow the picture, unedited and untampered with.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#223 Post by Zot! » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:21 pm

So if we can consider the MOC to be a definitive representation of the Oslo material, then the Criterion was tampered with. The fact remains that this change was made with an obvious consideration to preserve running time, which could only be important for the purposes of conforming to a soundtrack.

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#224 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:47 pm

A proper film restoration would never be subservient to matching up with any particular score. The music would and must always follow the picture, unedited and untampered with.
*cough*Napoleon*cough*

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Re: 125 / BD 50 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#225 Post by Brianruns10 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:36 pm

I can clear things up. I extended the title card on the MOC to fill the gap where the missing footage was. The intent was so the shots that buttress the title card would be in sync, to demonstrate they come from the same negative.

In hindsight, I realize this was misleading, and I should've inserted black leader where the missing footage occurs.

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