62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

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TheBeast
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#151 Post by TheBeast » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:30 am

The MoC restoration looks great, they posted a restoration demonstration on youtube

rattlebag
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#152 Post by rattlebag » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:35 am

I saw the restoration over the weekend at the Leeds International Film Festival and it looks incredible. Can't wait for this release to fall through the letterbox in the next couple of weeks.

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#153 Post by Lowry_Sam » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:57 pm

TheBeast wrote:The MoC restoration looks great, they posted a restoration demonstration on youtube
Yes & no. The DVDBeaver comparisons have stopped me from running out & buying it. Not that it looks like it's a hatchet-job like Children Of Paradise, however some of the comparisons clearly have less detail in the MoC blu-ray vs. the Criterion dvd. In the frame of the priest through the door hole, you can see the texture of the paint on the door in the Criterion dvd, while in the MoC grab, it looks blown up, brightened & the detail in the door is completely hazed-out. On the flipside, you notice the felt of the priest's cap, which is too dark to see in the Criterion and it doesn't have a green tinge. The grabs of Jeanne w/ crown also look like things have been smoothed out, almost waxy but not quite. On the other hand, the solo grabs from the blu look like they have much more detail in the entire frame.

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MichaelB
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#154 Post by MichaelB » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:06 am

I've seen both discs in motion. Trust me, there is no comparison.

It was good of you not to call it a "hatchet job", though. I'm sure MoC must be relieved.

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tenia
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#155 Post by tenia » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:55 am

I've seen the MoC Blu last week, and details is never a problem. In fact, some shots are extremely detailed.
My concern is much more coming from the extreme constant flickering (causing some banding on the borders of the picture) and the overall un-cleaness of the transfer (close to no dirt, but lots of scratches, and a few hair on the border on some shots).

From a definition point of view, it's plain excellent. But this greatness is hidden behind this flickering and tidiness.

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MichaelB
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#156 Post by MichaelB » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:11 am

tenia wrote:My concern is much more coming from the extreme constant flickering (causing some banding on the borders of the picture) and the overall un-cleaness of the transfer (close to no dirt, but lots of scratches, and a few hair on the border on some shots).
The reason for that is that if there was the slightest chance that digitally cleaning up visible damage would have unwanted side-effects, they erred on the side of caution. Occasional spots of dirt are much easier to remove than scratches without affecting other aspects of the picture.

Personally, I'd far rather have authentic print damage than digital fuzz - and with this film above all.

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Drucker
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#157 Post by Drucker » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:45 am

I've only sampled the damn thing, but there is no comparison. MoC was working with the best available material for their restoration, and very clearly did a brilliant job.

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triodelover
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#158 Post by triodelover » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:02 am

Lowry_Sam wrote:In the frame of the priest through the door hole, you can see the texture of the paint on the door in the Criterion dvd, while in the MoC grab, it looks blown up, brightened & the detail in the door is completely hazed-out.
Exactly how do you know for certain that you are looking at a painted wood door frame, which is what you imply? From the articles and photos here (sadly, the one appearing most relevant is only in Danish) and those in the booklet accompanying the MoC release, it's not at all clear that your assumption is correct. The text at the link states that the sets were built of concrete and heavy lumber and the interior shots throughout the film show interiors with smooth surfaces that appear more like concrete or plaster than painted wood (or painted anything, for that matter). Given what we know of Dreyer's methods, that close-up might not involve an actual door at all. Isn't it possible that what appears to be textured paint is actually dirt and damage that has been removed to reveal a smoother, more plaster-like surface? That aperture through which the priest seems to be peering might have been specially constructed for the close-up out of fiberboard or something similar. The film stock of the period wouldn't necessarily have enoigh native contrast that you would know the difference. Let's not make the perfect the enemy of the exceedingly good.

ADDENDUM: If you go here, click on The Passion stills and then on Content Sheets, you will see that the eighth shot is the shot in question. There's no evidence of paint or paint texture in this shot.

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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#159 Post by Brianruns10 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:52 pm

The Passion of Joan of Arc was the first Criterion blu-ray I owned. It is my favorite film, and I've watched it countless times. I know it in and out. And I also now own the MoC blu-ray. The Criterion DVD is what it is, for a release dating all the way back to 1999 (a single layer DVD no less) so I will not cast aspersion. But the MoC is marvelous. Simply marvelous. It is like a layer has been lifted, and I've seen the film for the first time with a clarity near that of the precious few scenes from the film that are in Godard's "Vivre sa Vie."

MoC did an amazing job, and I only hope (though I have little reason to doubt) that Criterion's eventual blu-ray of this release is so great. the only thing that worries me is, since Criterion will presumably use the forthcoming Gaumont restoration, will that restoration suffer the same DNR horror that has afflicted other recent restorations under their stewardship?

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MichaelB
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#160 Post by MichaelB » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:57 pm

Brianruns10 wrote:The Passion of Joan of Arc was the first Criterion blu-ray I owned. It is my favorite film, and I've watched it countless times. I know it in and out. And I also now own the MoC blu-ray. The Criterion DVD is what it is, for a release dating all the way back to 1999 (a single layer DVD no less) so I will not cast aspersion.
Neither would I. For 1999, it's a very impressive piece of work, and I remember being wowed by it at the time - in fact, it was one of the first DVDs that I ever imported. The fact that it doesn't measure up to a state-of-the-art 1080p transfer made thirteen years later is hardly a criticism of what was then sterling work on Criterion's part.
MoC did an amazing job, and I only hope (though I have little reason to doubt) that Criterion's eventual blu-ray of this release is so great. the only thing that worries me is, since Criterion will presumably use the forthcoming Gaumont restoration, will that restoration suffer the same DNR horror that has afflicted other recent restorations under their stewardship?
If that really is the case, the sensible thing for Criterion to do would be to license MoC's master - which I wouldn't have thought would be too difficult, since MoC has licensed Criterion's masters in the past.

At least they have a fallback, just as MoC themselves did - rather than wait for Gaumont to finish their restoration while the rights clock was ticking, they decided to work directly from the Oslo print, which the Danish Film Institute was happy to let them borrow. (They'd cleared the UK distribution rights to the film with Gaumont, but presumably weren't contractually obliged to use their materials - normally, the rightsholder is the only viable source, but not in this case.)

And the DFI in turn got two things on the MoC disc that they couldn't guarantee from the Gaumont restoration: Dreyer's original intertitles and a 20fps playback speed. Whatever speed the Gaumont version ends up being presented at, I reckon it's a very safe bet that the intertitles will be in French.
Last edited by MichaelB on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Drucker
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#161 Post by Drucker » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:00 pm

Michael, this probably deserves a thread-split, but can you provide any insight about where along the lines an agreement would be made about what a label would be required to release? It certainly seems plausible that Criterion's hands were tied with Children of Paradise, for example, and forced to release a sub-standard quality disc. But of course, they haven't released Le Samourai...so is it frequently the case that a label agrees to use an encode/release before getting to QC it? Just wondering how this overall process would work...

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MichaelB
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#162 Post by MichaelB » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:06 pm

Drucker wrote:Michael, this probably deserves a thread-split, but can you provide any insight about where along the lines an agreement would be made about what a label would be required to release? It certainly seems plausible that Criterion's hands were tied with Children of Paradise, for example, and forced to release a sub-standard quality disc. But of course, they haven't released Le Samourai...so is it frequently the case that a label agrees to use an encode/release before getting to QC it? Just wondering how this overall process would work...
Obviously I'm not privy to any of the negotiations you mention, but in the case of the projects I produced for the BFI I remember that there was a clause allowing us to back out of the project if materials weren't considered suitable - and I think this is standard practice.

In my experience, though, it's rarely invoked because money has usually been spent when this stage is reached - and rightsholders may well prefer to create a better master instead of writing off the deal altogether, as they might well lose more money that way. For instance, the BFI's Privilege was delayed because the original master were rejected on technical grounds, but it did eventually emerge a few months later when a replacement was supplied.

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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#163 Post by Brianruns10 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:53 pm

I think CC in several cases has delayed or backed off film because of lack of quality materials. Grand Illusion was a famous example, delayed despite being Spine # 1, in the hopes that better elements would turn. They did. I also recall reading that despite La Notte being one of the most requested titles to CC, they've held off, again, for lack of quality materials.

I should hope that CC will consider MoC's master. I have trouble imagining how Gaumont's restoration could be better, unless they are able to access the original Oslo print and create a 4K DI (which in and of itself wouldn't be a bad idea, given that state of the technology, versus when the Oslo print was first duplicated to preservation negative).

I also have hopes that CC will include the 20FPS version as well, because I too feel having seen it that it is the more accurate presentation of the film. Given that they're presenting "On the Waterfront" in no less than three aspect ratios bodes well for giving viewers different options. I will still be glad for the 24FPS version, because that is the one for which Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light score syncs to, and at least for me, the two are inseparable. It's the greatest score I've ever heard. I wish the MoC had been able to include Einhorn's score as an option, but I can always play the audio from one, and sync it to the other :)

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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#164 Post by Lowry_Sam » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:14 pm

triodelover wrote:Exactly how do you know for certain that you are looking at a painted wood door frame, which is what you imply?
I have no idea what the door is made of, I only noticed from the grabs that the DVDs depicted texture in the door which is not in the blu-ray. Because that texture is not also present in the priest's face or the cut-out portion of the portal, I assumed it was part of the door, not damage to the print. All of the remaining close-ups do look excellent & there is more detail in the portion of the frame inside the portal, it's just the door itself that looks smoothed out. Same is the case for Jeanne's face in the shot with the crown. Not being familiar with what was done for the restoration, I was only conjecturing if more (ie. more detail) would be possible (for a Criterion release).
tenia wrote:My concern is much more coming from the extreme constant flickering (causing some banding on the borders of the picture) and the overall un-cleaness of the transfer (close to no dirt, but lots of scratches, and a few hair on the border on some shots).
I've been noticing a lot of flickering in my recent blu-ray purchases & have been wondering why so many blu-rays of late have it, as I'm hard-pressed to remember a dvd with it. In the David Lean set, it could probably be attributed to the flicker of flames from burning fireplaces, but I've been noticing it in color, as well as black & white releases quite a bit lately & wonder if it's an issue of a bad transfer or another downside of greater detail.

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triodelover
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#165 Post by triodelover » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:53 pm

After I replied to your post, I found the time to sit down and watch the 20fps version. It's not a door, but a slit in a smooth wall, as the frame grab I linked to at the DFI site also shows.

But a bigger problem is the assumption that the grab from the nearly 15-year-old Criterion SD is "correct" without any evidence to support that assumption. It seems it's getting to be a common assumption - the grab with more "information" (texture, detail, contrast, whatever) must be the correct one and the cleaner (smoother) grab must therefore have been digitally fucked with. Sometimes that's true, often it isn't.

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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#166 Post by htom » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:23 pm

triodelover wrote:After I replied to your post, I found the time to sit down and watch the 20fps version. It's not a door, but a slit in a smooth wall, as the frame grab I linked to at the DFI site also shows.

But a bigger problem is the assumption that the grab from the nearly 15-year-old Criterion SD is "correct" without any evidence to support that assumption. It seems it's getting to be a common assumption - the grab with more "information" (texture, detail, contrast, whatever) must be the correct one and the cleaner (smoother) grab must therefore have been digitally fucked with. Sometimes that's true, often it isn't.
It may have been a consequence of the method involved in the capture, but some of the patterning in the white areas has color in it. Very hard to believe that this was inherent in any print used, but easy to believe that these are digital compression artifacts or video noise.

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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#167 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:30 pm

The new Janus poster....
Image
....and potential art work for upgrade.

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jsteffe
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#168 Post by jsteffe » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:00 am

That really looks nice. I may end up buying the poster, if it goes on sale.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#169 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:31 am

Well, the restoration is going to blow folks away. I saw it yesterday. It looks amazing. Detail is sharp, lovely grain and solid contrast. The detail on the facial close ups are so strikingly beautiful. Baring any compression issues the blu ray should look outstanding.

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Roscoe
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#170 Post by Roscoe » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:39 am

I saw the restoration the other day, too, and was most impressed also. The movie really packs a wallop.

Does anyone know anything about the production of the film? I was noticing this time, on the pretty good-sized Film Forum screen, what looked like some shadows passing over Falconetti's face. Not random shadows, but more like someone was standing out of camera range adjusting a filter or a cookie or even the position of the lights in order to create some shadowy highlights. It's hard to pin down, and it might just be a by-product of the DCP, or frame rate, or something like that, and for all I know a second viewing will have me wondering that the hell I was thinking. I didn't spot it happening with any of the other actors, just Falconetti.

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Drucker
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#171 Post by Drucker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:06 am

Not sure specifically about what you are talking about, but it was an Ufa production, Dreyer and Falconetti worked tirelessly to get scenes perfect (watching rushes together and re-doing what they didn't like), and large-scale sets were built to be as realistic as possible.

It's important to remember that the surviving element is a print, not a negative or anything, so the sorts of on-set details that get revealed, in say, a new restoration of Wizard of Oz aren't as likely to be exposed here.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#172 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:27 pm

I took a class with Paolo Cherchi Usai that focused on this film (and I believe Danish cinema in the silent era) during one particular session. From what I can recall, he mentioned that Danish films were known at the time for the incredible quality of their photography, which one can see from the close-ups of this film. Even though it's sourced from a 35mm print (and I believe the famous print they found in that insane asylum is the best one available in terms of picture quality - at least it was when it was found), it should look ridiculously good just from the way it was photographed.

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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#173 Post by Brianruns10 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:57 pm

Roscoe wrote:I saw the restoration the other day, too, and was most impressed also. The movie really packs a wallop.

Does anyone know anything about the production of the film? I was noticing this time, on the pretty good-sized Film Forum screen, what looked like some shadows passing over Falconetti's face. Not random shadows, but more like someone was standing out of camera range adjusting a filter or a cookie or even the position of the lights in order to create some shadowy highlights. It's hard to pin down, and it might just be a by-product of the DCP, or frame rate, or something like that, and for all I know a second viewing will have me wondering that the hell I was thinking. I didn't spot it happening with any of the other actors, just Falconetti.
Things like that can be a byproduct of an age when you didn't have the ability to review your take on set, nor could you even see what you were capturing through the viewfinder (AKA reflex viewing). It relied upon educated guesses...that the people working that film were HIGHLY educated, among the best, but still not perfect.

But I am dying to see this restoration, because short of having the original negative, the source for this restoration is the next best thing. The Oslo print original had Danish intertitles and was likely one of two prints struck for the premiere in April 1928. It may even be THE premiere print. Its origins are unclear. Nor is it certain how the print wound up in the Oslo hospital where it remained. It may have been given as a favor to the doctor, who was a known fan of the cinema. Or it may have been in payment of a debt. What is known is that the print saw very little use, and because it was struck from the original camera negative, by virtue of its lack of wear and tear it effectively is like having a master interpositive, a first generation, reference quality element.

It is a miraculous film.

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Drucker
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#174 Post by Drucker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:00 pm

Brianruns10 wrote:
Roscoe wrote:I saw the restoration the other day, too, and was most impressed also. The movie really packs a wallop.

Does anyone know anything about the production of the film? I was noticing this time, on the pretty good-sized Film Forum screen, what looked like some shadows passing over Falconetti's face. Not random shadows, but more like someone was standing out of camera range adjusting a filter or a cookie or even the position of the lights in order to create some shadowy highlights. It's hard to pin down, and it might just be a by-product of the DCP, or frame rate, or something like that, and for all I know a second viewing will have me wondering that the hell I was thinking. I didn't spot it happening with any of the other actors, just Falconetti.
Things like that can be a byproduct of an age when you didn't have the ability to review your take on set, nor could you even see what you were capturing through the viewfinder (AKA reflex viewing). It relied upon educated guesses...that the people working that film were HIGHLY educated, among the best, but still not perfect.

But I am dying to see this restoration, because short of having the original negative, the source for this restoration is the next best thing. The Oslo print original had Danish intertitles and was likely one of two prints struck for the premiere in April 1928. It may even be THE premiere print. Its origins are unclear. Nor is it certain how the print wound up in the Oslo hospital where it remained. It may have been given as a favor to the doctor, who was a known fan of the cinema. Or it may have been in payment of a debt. What is known is that the print saw very little use, and because it was struck from the original camera negative, by virtue of its lack of wear and tear it effectively is like having a master interpositive, a first generation, reference quality element.

It is a miraculous film.
I thought the person from the hospital was a Joan of Arc scholar? Did I make that up?

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senseabove
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Re: 62 The Passion of Joan of Arc

#175 Post by senseabove » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:01 pm

Anyone know whether the alternate score mentioned in the Janus press book was composed for the film running at 24fps or 20fps? According to the press booklet, it was composed in 2010 and this recording was done in 2016 for a showing at the Globe in London, but I can't find any info on the source used for the Globe screening.

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