593 Belle de jour

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.
Message
Author
JanPB
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:28 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#26 Post by JanPB » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:47 am

PfR73 wrote:The screenshots at Blu-Ray.com also show black bars on the sides. Unless both sites have conspiratorially altered their screenshots or Criterion modified the disc after reviews, it's definitely 1.66:1, not 1.78:1.
Here is what I see:

The film (for example, the opening credits): the aspect ratio is 1.76:1. Yes, I used tape measure. No black bars anywhere.

The fragments included in the supplements: the aspect ratio is 1.63:1. There are black bars on both sides of 4.14cm each (1.63''). My screen is a 50''.

Both are very close to the expected ratios, the small differences obviously come from messing around with the tape measure.

The frame I was measuring (the opening credits) looks different in both cases. In the film, the top and bottom of the frame is cropped compared to the same frame shown in the supplements.

I rest my case.

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#27 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:06 am

I did you one better:

1. (Most important step.) I made sure my TV was set correctly so as to actually display the image contained on disc.

2. I have a tape measure too. On my 50" screen, I come up at roughly 40 3/4" x 24 1/2", or 1.663:1. Though it should be noted that even before measuring, I could recognize the 1.66:1-sized black bars on the sides of my screen.

3. (Actually, this is the most important step.) I used common sense and empirical evidence to confirm my suspicions before calling the disc manufacturers "idiots" and everyone else on the internet wrong.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#28 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:07 am

*applause*

User avatar
cdnchris
Site Admin
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#29 Post by cdnchris » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:21 am

Full grab taken directly from Blu-ray disc with no alterations, other than being compressed to a JPG. The original PNG has the exact same framing, too, as does the image on my TV, meaning it's configured correctly.

User avatar
Jeff
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#30 Post by Jeff » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:28 am

There seems to be a misconception that HDTVs don't overscan. Many (most?) do as their default option. My 46" Panny plasma defaults to 95% of HD picture information ("size 1") in order to eliminate potential "fringing" at the edges of the frame. If you want 100% of pic information, you must select "size 2." Others may overscan more. That could cause a 1.66 image to appear to fill the frame. Is it also possible that the caserester inadvertently has their television justifying, stretching, or zooming to fill the frame?

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#31 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:55 am

Well, it seems as though there are three possibilities:

1. A practical joker at Criterion re-authored the disc at a different aspect ratio and sent a tiny handful out into the wild, and JanPB was one of the unlucky ones;
2. The disc really is framed at 16:9, but everyone from the Beev to posters here are conspiring to suppress this fact because they're shills for Criterion, even to the extent of deliberately doctoring frame grabs;
3. JanPB's equipment is set up incorrectly.

Which is easiest to believe?

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#32 Post by knives » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:01 am

MichaelB wrote: Which is easiest to believe?
That Bunuel would be amused.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#33 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:06 am

knives wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Which is easiest to believe?
That Bunuel would be amused.
Absolutely - the idea that Buñuel would get exercised by a tiny difference in aspect ratio is hilarious. And that's even if the Criterion disc is wrongly framed, and I think the consensus that it isn't is now pretty overwhelming.

Jonathan S
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#34 Post by Jonathan S » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:51 am

I don't have this particular release but I've often had this problem of 1.66:1 DVDs being cropped to approximately 1.78:1 with my DVD/projector set-up (no possibility of overscan). The issue has come up on forums a few times before, if not on this one, then others I visit.

Oddly enough, anamorphic 1.66:1 TV broadcasts always show correctly (even though recorded on a different machine to the one I use for projection) but most DVDs in the ratio do not. My equipment is so simple, in the sense it has very limited adjustable options, there's no question of it being incorrectly set up. So I'd suggest a fourth possibility, a variation on the third and beyond my explanation: some equipment - or combinations of equipment - unavoidably crop 1:66.1 discs... but not all of them!

JanPB
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:28 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#35 Post by JanPB » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:01 am

Jeff wrote:There seems to be a misconception that HDTVs don't overscan. Many (most?) do as their default option. My 46" Panny plasma defaults to 95% of HD picture information ("size 1") in order to eliminate potential "fringing" at the edges of the frame. If you want 100% of pic information, you must select "size 2."
Bingo! My sincere apologies to Criterion. They are nice folks, I visited them way back when they resided on the beach in Santa Monica. Aspect ratio problems aggravate me in general. Here is what happened: few months ago I adjusted my TV using Joe Kane's Video Essentials Blu-ray. I did check the overscan pattern. Somehow the TV reset itself to "Size 1" (which is the default on my TV), no idea how, I suspect power failure did it.

Jonathan S
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#36 Post by Jonathan S » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:21 am

JanPB wrote: Funny thing is they included the correct frame in brief quotes from the film sprinkled throughout the supplements.
I'm glad you solved the problem (wish it were so simple for me!) but how then do you explain the above? Did you watch the supplements earlier or on other equipment? Or are the supplements perhaps in 4:3 with the clips letterboxed?

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#37 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:34 am

I'm glad all that was cleared up, but I suspect the problems with The Hourglass Sanatorium aren't so easily resolved - I now have a copy of the restoration, and it is indeed in 1.85:1 (i.e. thin black bars at the top and bottom within the 16:9 frame).

The curious thing is, at the same time the same team restored the same director's The Saragossa Manuscript (one of Buñuel's all-time favourite films, incidentally - how's that for a pitiful attempt at staying on-topic?), and the aspect ratio is the correct 2.35:1 - so why did they crop The Hourglass Sanatorium? When I saw Sanatorium in the cinema a couple of years ago, it was definitely 2.35:1 - I made a point of checking at the time.

So it must have been deliberate (you don't make a mistake that big during a major restoration, especially not if the 35mm original was anamorphically squished), so who authorised it, and on what grounds? Is it possible that it really was Wojciech Has's preferred ratio? Was cinematographer Witold Sobociński consulted, since he's not only alive but still active?

The strange thing is, on spinning through it on fast-forward I find that it actually looks fine in 1.85:1 - a little claustrophobic, admittedly, but it's an oppressively claustrophobic film to begin with. But the compositions are entirely convincing and there's no visual evidence of any cropping. In other words, if I hadn't personally watched it in 2.35:1 on the big screen, I'd assume that 1.85:1 was correct.

Oh, and it also looks gorgeous - a huge improvement on the earlier DVD. Which makes this situation even more mystifying.

JanPB
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:28 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#38 Post by JanPB » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:56 am

Jonathan S wrote:
JanPB wrote:Funny thing is they included the correct frame in brief quotes from the film sprinkled throughout the supplements.
I'm glad you solved the problem (wish it were so simple for me!) but how then do you explain the above? Did you watch the supplements earlier or on other equipment? Or are the supplements perhaps in 4:3 with the clips letterboxed?
With the overscan fixed, the supplement frames come with a bit of black bars on top and bottom as well, so their content is the same as in the film proper.
MichaelB wrote:I'm glad all that was cleared up, but I suspect the problems with The Hourglass Sanatorium aren't so easily resolved - I now have a copy of the restoration, and it is indeed in 1.85:1 (i.e. thin black bars at the top and bottom within the 16:9 frame).
Yes, exactly.
The curious thing is, at the same time the same team restored the same director's The Saragossa Manuscript (one of Buñuel's all-time favourite films, incidentally - how's that for a pitiful attempt at staying on-topic?), and the aspect ratio is the correct 2.35:1 - so why did they crop The Hourglass Sanatorium? When I saw Sanatorium in the cinema a couple of years ago, it was definitely 2.35:1 - I made a point of checking at the time.

So it must have been deliberate (you don't make a mistake that big during a major restoration, especially not if the 35mm original was anamorphically squished), so who authorised it, and on what grounds? Is it possible that it really was Wojciech Has's preferred ratio? Was cinematographer Witold Sobociński consulted, since he's not only alive but still active?
He in fact supervised the restoration. I also remember it being very wide. But then, notice in the restoration demo the projectionist's cue marks are round. In a CinemaScope print they tend to be elliptical. I also scanned the film for out of focus highlights which would also come out elliptical in an anamorphic film. "Unfortunately", it looks like Sobociński avoided those highlights diligently so there goes this attempt.
Oh, and it also looks gorgeous - a huge improvement on the earlier DVD. Which makes this situation even more mystifying.
So where is that Blu-ray? :-)

Jack Phillips
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:33 am

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#39 Post by Jack Phillips » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:39 am

Anyway, back on topic . . .

No one has commented on the new disc's menu loop? Brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed, I could watch it for hours. (And no, I am not a shoe fetishist).

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#40 Post by zedz » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:27 pm

Jonathan S wrote:
JanPB wrote: Funny thing is they included the correct frame in brief quotes from the film sprinkled throughout the supplements.
I'm glad you solved the problem (wish it were so simple for me!) but how then do you explain the above? Did you watch the supplements earlier or on other equipment? Or are the supplements perhaps in 4:3 with the clips letterboxed?
Isn't it fairly common for Criterion to 'letterbox' film extracts in their extras? I seem to recall this happen in several instances.

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#41 Post by Matt » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:44 pm

Matt wrote:Susie Bright and Linda Williams on Belle de Jour? What is this, a women's studies class from 1990?
I got taken to task for this joking comment when this disc was announced, and I have now seen the short documentary. Linda Williams' contribution is actually very interesting and nuanced and, in some respects, reflects my own views on the film. Susie Bright didn't add much for me, and I was a little put off by her occasionally mocking tone.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#42 Post by Perkins Cobb » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:31 pm

Is this the same Linda Williams who's married to Mark Kermode? I just read her essay on I Walk the Line in this collection, and it's pretty good.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#43 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:36 pm

There are two film scholars named Linda Williams - this one and this one. Confusingly, they've both written books about pornography.

I suspect the former is the one who contributed to Belle de Jour, while the latter (Linda Ruth Williams) is Kermode's missus. (I met her once at a do in honour of Ken Russell: she's very nice).

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#44 Post by Matt » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:37 pm

It's the UC-Berkeley Linda Williams that's on the Belle disc.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#45 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:40 pm

I can confirm first hand that Linda Ruth Williams isn't American. Unless she has a Streep-like facility with accents, of course.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#46 Post by Perkins Cobb » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:42 pm

Which is ironic, because the British Linda Ruth Williams writes very convincingly about Americana in that I Walk the Line piece, all the way up to minutiae like the age of consent in Tennessee. Yeah, funny that both of them specialize in feminism & porn. They must get mistaken for one another more often than David Thomson and David Thompson.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#47 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:45 pm

It took me ages to memorise which David Thom(p)son had the P - even though I've known David Thompson for ages. (We're both Polish cinema buffs, and often bump into each other at the same events).


User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#49 Post by swo17 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:56 pm

MichaelB wrote:It took me ages to memorise which David Thom(p)son had the P - even though I've known David Thompson for ages. (We're both Polish cinema buffs, and often bump into each other at the same events).
P is for Polish. Does that help?

Thomas Dukenfield
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: 593 Belle de jour

#50 Post by Thomas Dukenfield » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Not quite. Amy is the character that Silent Bob used to date, and Alyssa is the name of the character that Joey Lauren Adams plays. Apparently, the speech that Alyssa gives in the film about fisting is something that originated from Susie Bright, and Kevin Smith heard about it and put it in the script (or something along those lines). So, Susie helped inspire some dialogue for the main character in Chasing Amy who isn't named Amy. The Alyssa character was essentially a lesbian version of Joey Lauren Adams, who Kevin used to date.

In case you're wondering, I was a Kevin Smith fan in high school before I started getting into "real" movies.

Post Reply