Perkins Cobb wrote:
It's really a shame that every viable label has already taken their shot at The Red and the White (still Jancso's best-known film, I'd say) and blown it.
In all cases, we're talking silk purses and sow's ears. None of these labels had access to a decent 35mm print, and none of them were able to do their own telecine. If the source master is in good shape - for instance Cantata
, My Way Home
and Red Psalm
- the resulting DVD is terrific. If it isn't - for instance The Red and the White, Silence and Cry
- there's very little that the DVD label can usefully do except try to clean it up as much as possible.
I've seen "before" and "after" versions of Second Run's The Round-Up
and I think they did an amazing job considering that they simply didn't have access to usable 35mm materials at any stage (those who saw the big-screen showings of The Round-Up
will readily confirm that that print was in no way suitable for DVD mastering) and were wholly reliant on the Hungarian National Archives' deeply substandard telecine.
And, as rs98762001 rightly points out, the cost of a proper 35mm restoration and digital clean-up is WAY outside the budget of a label like Second Run - because there's very little chance that they could recoup those costs given the minuscule market for this kind of material. I remember someone claiming that a particular transfer would "only" cost £20,000, as though Second Run were being cheapskates for not stretching to it (in addition to rights clearance fees, production and marketing costs, etc.) - but we're dealing with a commercial environment where unit sales in the low four figures is considered a success.