1084 Mirror

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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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 1084 Mirror

#26 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:27 am

Perhaps because my visual acuity is no longer all that great, I tend to prize color over things like film grain. And I just don't like the color of the Criterion release (compared to almost all preceding versions).

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Rayon Vert
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Re: 1084 Mirror

#27 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:27 am

AE has an overly pronounced, less natural green hue, apparently even in the faces. I'll take the Criterion easily, with offers more natural colours and pronounced detail, even though yeah clouds disappearing is a bit of a problem.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#28 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:04 pm

I'm betting the mk2 DVD may have been closest to right -- at least for the sky scene ... (No proof, of course)

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#29 Post by swo17 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:16 pm

For what it's worth, remember this from earlier in the thread:
Trond Trondsen wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 4:18 pm
Andrei Tarkovsky Jr. is involved [with the new Criterion release], contact has been made with the original color grader (who's still alive), the original 'color passport' still exists, what I have seen so far looks absolutely stunning. There will be some killer bonus materials, too. I think the pink in the poster will be toned down. Everybody agrees it's a bit over the top and not what AT intended.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#30 Post by RIP Film » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:51 pm

I just don’t get how that shot goes from being the poster image for the restoration to being bleached out.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#31 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:56 pm

swo -- that's why I would place my bet on that early DVD -- the color is there but "subtle"...

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#32 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:03 pm

I find it interesting that the AE seems to reflect the color palette of Criterion's Stalker, as far as the grading of the vegetation and lighting is concerned, at least to my eyes. I'm not an expert on what's right or wrong, but some of the changes feel subjectively unfortunate- like the burning barn

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#33 Post by jsteffe » Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:35 pm

I'm looking forward to seeing the new Blu-ray in its entirety. It looks to me as if they went for more contrast and less color saturation overall. Not everyone may like it, but it appears to be a conscious decision. It looks as if they also tried to preserve the effect of printing black and white on color film stock and took some care to give the sepia shots a particular look as well. It is true that the cloud detail is clipped out of the shot of Margareta Terekhova at the beginning. That seems unfortunate, but I can accept some problematic shots here and there if the restoration overall is an improvement, which I suspect it will be. I think the key will be seeing how it plays from beginning to end in a darkened room.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#34 Post by yoshimori » Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:36 pm

Rayon Vert wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:27 am
AE has an overly pronounced, less natural green hue, apparently even in the faces.
Yes. And it looks to me like the overall color saturation in the AE has been artificially pushed as well.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#35 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:46 pm

Also, I don't how Tarkovsky photographed Da Vinci's Portrait of Ginevra de Benchi (capture no 4) so if there's any value in this comparison really, but when you compare images of it available on the internet the AE & IVC strong, dark green-yellow colours are the farthest from it.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#36 Post by _shadow_ » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:45 am

The colors are intensely manipulated in the AE/IVC - to the point where the burning house has violet smoke. In the Criterion, the smoke appears grey/white. Like actual smoke would.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#37 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:13 am

This is true, but the film is also visually poetic, featuring several things that don’t appear as they would in real life (levitating bodies included), and I doubt Tarkovsky was prioritizing realism on this project!

Still, I believe everyone here is right, and only have experience with the weak Kino DVD so I’ll be picking this up day one

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#38 Post by jsteffe » Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:22 am

yoshimori wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:36 pm
Rayon Vert wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:27 am
AE has an overly pronounced, less natural green hue, apparently even in the faces.
Yes. And it looks to me like the overall color saturation in the AE has been artificially pushed as well.
_shadow_ wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:45 am
The colors are intensely manipulated in the AE/IVC - to the point where the burning house has violet smoke. In the Criterion, the smoke appears grey/white. Like actual smoke would.
I agree with both of you on this. I *never* liked the color on the previous restoration, and the various home video editions over the years all had significant limitations, too. I am eager to delve into the Criterion Blu-ray and would like to see the restoration on DCP, too.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#39 Post by jsteffe » Wed Jul 07, 2021 12:00 am

I received the Criterion Blu-ray today, watched a large chunk of it and sampled the rest. Not surprisingly, the new 2K scan has a richly dimensional texture that pops out in many scenes. I found myself appreciating subtleties in the lighting that I hadn't noticed before - especially highlights in people's eyes. I even picked up some subtleties in facial expressions that I hadn't seen before this. The grading looks carefully balanced. The color footage does tend to be less saturated than what I have seen in other video presentations, but it is also not oversaturated. The overall white balance is more convincing than the older restoration, I think. The grading also maintains a careful distinction between the different pieces of sepia and black-and-white footage. The mono soundtrack is also nice and clear - once again, I heard some details that I missed out on previously. I'm looking forward to watching the whole thing from beginning to end.

I haven't seen this film as many times as THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES, but it's probably #2...

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#40 Post by barbarella satyricon » Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:57 am

Thanks for the rundown, jsteffe. This one’s long been a Tarkovsky blind spot for me after I first watched it in less than ideal circumstances, in a 35mm print that had very sporadic English subtitles. The manager apologized and informed the audience of this before the screening, and everyone got to sitting through it like dutiful arthouse patrons, but then a guy in the seat next to me pulled out a camcorder and started recording the screen during certain scenes, maybe for a project he had going on. I should have reported him or called him out, but just sat there, radiating negative energy. File that under movie theater experiences, and I’ll plan to pick this one up while the sale’s still on.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#41 Post by JanPB » Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:45 am

Maltic wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:23 pm
I'm not a fan of documentaries in general and film/art docs in particular. Not an efficient way to convey information, it seems to me. Docs about artists and their works tend to be impressionistic and free-associative. This film might've benefited from a treatment like the one Criterion gave The Color of Pomegranates, where Tony Rayns in the commentary and Steffen in a video essay broke down the film, matter-of-factly. But of course, one could just go read a book...
"Mirror" is not a documentary.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#42 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:51 am

Don't tell me I've been paying for levitating lessons for nothing!

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#43 Post by Maltic » Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:57 am

:lol:

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#44 Post by jsteffe » Fri Jul 16, 2021 6:07 pm

Caps-a-Holic and ScreenshotComparison.com comparisons between the Criterion and the Lumiere (NL) Blu-rays. I assumed they were from the same restoration, but it looks as if the Criterion edition has had further work done on the color grading. It seems to confirm my initial impression that the Criterion edition is consciously going for a more desaturated look. In particular the greens have been toned down in many shots, to the extent that foliage doesn't stand out as much.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#45 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:45 pm

jsteffe wrote:
Fri Jul 16, 2021 6:07 pm
Caps-a-Holic and ScreenshotComparison.com comparisons between the Criterion and the Lumiere (NL) Blu-rays. I assumed they were from the same restoration, but it looks as if the Criterion edition has had further work done on the color grading. It seems to confirm my initial impression that the Criterion edition is consciously going for a more desaturated look. In particular the greens have been toned down in many shots, to the extent that foliage doesn't stand out as much.
when I saw the Criterion trailer/restoration I was confident, because I own the Lumiere (NL) restoration, and although the color grading was controversial for me, this looked to me like a great restoration (with film grain, no DNR (the Artificial Eye BR looked a bit too "video-ish") warm colors (the fire sequence, the interiors), great grain-film like with the black and white sequence (my favorite scene) in the "printshop" scene)
Now, Moscofilms logo appears, but the transfer is sourced from the same restauration than the Lumiere Blu-Ray.
That said, although the Criterion is a beautiful digipack box set, Criterion "tweaked" the color-grading of Lumiere and butchered the whole thing. Too bad, it comes with a great book and nice supplements (especially the beautiful, poetic visual essay/documentary on BR 1 (we have some great excepts of the video footage of stage play in theatre ("Hamlet"'s rehearsal) with Margarita Terekhova- too bad it's not available in its entirety).

What happened: they seem to have desaturated the color grading of the restoration to the point that the sky is white and the green which would remind Stalker movie when the wind comes is totally fucked up.
The grass is not green anymore. Almost like a desaturated color which could be like a flashback/memory of faded color in almost black & white. (Thus, we are million far away from the "dream-like" strange atmosphere of the pink'ish sky which will still could see in the documentary I mentioned above on BR 1 of the Criterion).
Margarita Terekhova- her skin, the green grass (even if we are not expecting "The Quiet One" green grass) in this opening scene, looked so beautiful- it was great on the Lumiere restoration; but with the desaturated color one of my favorite scene is totally ruined.
The rest of the interior scenes (appartements) looks warm like the Lumiere LR but with Criterion color-grading the black are not black (not greenish fortunately) - I suppose that Criterion wanted to show us more details.
Fortunately the fire scene is still warm; (the specificity of the Lumiere blu-ray was the warm tone of the whole movie)
Now, the "printing" scene has still some film-grain and great HD details (fortunately not DNR here) but this is pure black & white whereas the Lumiere; although not sepia, was better.
I have tried to watch the Criterion in Warm 2 settings, but I did not want to go and eject the disk.
I will try later.
I'm highly disappointed.

A duplicate of the Lumiere restoration- although controversial in terms of color-grading - was OK and was a significant HD improvement.
Criterion went too far (you can not tell this is as different with Caps-A-Holic; you have to watch both BR : Criterion, then Lumiere). I have both blu-ray.
Last edited by Rupert Pupkin on Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#46 Post by tenia » Sat Jul 24, 2021 2:57 am

Based on those caps, it just looks for most of them like a difference in gamma (except for the sepia/B&W scenes of course). Cap 7 is almost identical for instance. Only cap 9 looks more consciously re-graded, while cap 12 seems different only by the color of the shirt.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#47 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:56 am

So -- what is the best English-subbed Bluray option -- or is there no good one?

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#48 Post by dwk » Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:26 pm

Since Criterion was in contact with the film's original colorist and had access to his documents about the color timing, why the assumption that they got this wrong?

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#49 Post by Big Ben » Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:27 pm

I would certainly argue that the original colorist and his documents are more authoritative than anyone else on the matter. But this appears to be a personal preference thing again which is where we always seem to run into trouble here.

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Re: 1084 Mirror

#50 Post by Finch » Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:43 pm

What Ben said, and the grain is more visible in the Criterion. I prefer the Criterion to the Lumiere, especially for the monochrome images.

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