I read on avsforum.com that 2001: A Space Oddessey had a recent limited theatrical re-release in it's original analog film format (created from interpositive made from the original negative in 1999) and shown without any image digital restoration (the soundtrack was remastered to DTS 5.1) and shown with dust and scratches intact. http://www.avsforum.com/2001-space-odyssey-new-release-70mm-film-5-1-sound
The picture was reported to be much warmer than the current Blu-Ray release and lacked the dynamic range required for an upcoming UHD released. The author speculates that the colors will be retained, but the dynamic range may have to digitally expanded.
Which leads to my topic post: When does video restoration go too far?
I've posted in other threads my firm belief that (to paraphrase Martin Scorsese) "Movies should be seen as they were meant to be seen" (can't find the actual quote right now) and believe that changing movies (and television) to suit the capabilities and preferences of some modern audiences is wrong. I'm all for removing scratches and other minor defects, but don't agree with expanding a films dynamic range (assuming it really isn't there, not just because of a transfer error) artificially.
I recently started a thread on a retrogames forum about "Defuzzing our memories". The point being that our expectations due to modern technological advances aren't true to what the original creators intended them to be.
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Last edited by lingyi; 20th May 2018 at 20:29. Reason: Completed posting
Did the original director and producer "mean" to have the movie shown with dirt, projectionist reel-change marks, scratches, gate weave, and all the other degradation that happens after a film gets shown more than once?
Did the people who made the movie want it shown with the colors faded?
You seem to want to romanticize the "dust and scratches" that infect film as it gets shown multiple times. Why? Clearly this was not something that the movie studio added, and therefore it is most definitely NOT how the movie was "meant to be seen."
So, I think your post is internally inconsistent, at the very least.
In addition, when I look at movies on the TCM channel (Turner Classic Movies) 98% of them have had all the things removed that I listed in the first paragraph. And, as a result, the movie is infinitely more pleasurable to watch.
I think you are confused about what Scorsese, Woody Allen, and other directors have talked about for years, namely the destruction of their vision when their movies are pan/scanned (for the old 4:3 TV); when they are colorized; and when they are cut or sped up to fit a given time slot. Those things actually alter what is shown. By contrast, restoration simply gives the viewer the most pristine version possible.
That is a good thing, and I am quite certain Martin Scorsese would approve. In fact, if you Google
"film restoration" scorsese
the first hit takes you to a page where Scorsese, Allen, and other famous directors show the results of all sorts of film restoration projects that they have mentored, all of which involve the things I described above.
So, I think you misunderstand what Scorsese was actually saying.
As I stated, I'm fine with the removal of artificial artifacts (dust, scratches, gate weave, etc.). What I'm opposed to is "enhancing" the film (different color grading, enhancing dynamic range, etc) just because it can be done, especially if it's for greater mass appeal. I'm even opposed to the correction of focus in the case of 2001 "In addition, the far sides of the image often looked darker and softer—in some cases, even out of focus—compared with the center. I went with a friend who had worked on the 1999 interpositive, and he thought that was due to the lenses used to shoot the footage." - Scott Wilkinson, if that was truly because of the lens.
Yes, I acknowledge that no director could possibly view their creation screened in every theater, but I like to think a properly mastered or remastered movie on video is close to what he/she saw and approved (color, aspect ratio, editing, etc) at the final screening before release.
I won't even watch an IMAX movie at home because I know there's no way to even approximate the IMAX theater experience. And while I realize watching any movie at home on my 55" HDTV isn't "what was intended" for most movies, I'm willing to accept the compromise of what I'm able to achieve. Yes, I'm aware that even with UHD HDR, there must be compromises in the color grading and possibly dynamic range as mentioned in the article, but again, it's fine as long as it's true to the original intent of the creator.
In an ideal world, I'd be able to watch first generation prints of movies in my own CinemaScope or IMAX theater. *SIGH*
Last edited by lingyi; 20th May 2018 at 22:30.
The term "restoration" gets thrown around a lot in this forum when what's really being talked about is "enhancement" or "remastering." A video recording that is too purple cannot be "restored" to anything except too purple. Correcting it to a proper color balance is remastering.
Here's an old thread https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/356549-Recoloring-the-last-scene-in-Taxi-Driver that illustrates the type of "restoration" and "enhancement" I'm opposed to. I don't mind people "enhancing" their videos for home viewing, but heaven forbid someone releases a version of Taxi Driver with "Digitally enhanced shootout scene the way it was originally shot!"
Thank you JVRaines, I'll be more diligent in my choice of words.
Originally Posted by lingyi
- Was it already viewed by millions of people, who have fond memories of it ... like Star Wars (1977). Don't mess with that..
- Maybe it was a less popular title, and the technology didn't exist at the time, and the director/editors have always hated the color rendition. I'd be more open to it.
- If badly shot home movie, that only 10 people have seen, fix it. Get in there and correct the white balance errors.
I like to say that restoration goes too far when it becomes forensic work.
I really doubt that any sane director intention is movie with technological flaws inherently related to technology limitation that exist in unavoidable way 30 - 40 - 50 - 60 years ago. I can imagine some niche movies created intentionally without care for such things but i seriously doubt that Kubrick intention was to produce such piece of art as 2001: A Space Odyssey with technology flaws - attention to details and effort to create convincing scenery was enormous...
George Lucas and Star Wars Star Wars fans are still hoping for a remastered release of the original untouched version.
Lucas has argued that the changes he made were always what he wanted, but the technology at the time didn't allow it. I hope I'm taking his point the correct way, but lordsmurf said it best in his post above "Was it already viewed by millions of people, who have fond memories of it ... like Star Wars (1977). Don't mess with that.." I would argue that if he was so unhappy with his work in 1977, he should never have released it and waited until technology progressed to where he could do it properly..
Lucas (I believe purposely) pushed fans buttons by insisting that his revised Star Wars was the ONLY version that was going be available. Imagine if Turner had his way and allowed only his colorized version of MGM's movie library to be made available.
The case of the release of a remastered 2001 is going to be an interesting case. Kubrick is no longer available to comment on how satisfied he is with his work in 2018 and whether being the perfectionist he was, he wasn't aware of the color grading or possible lack of focus (as the article's author Scott Wilikinson pointed out) on the edges of some scenes. Now that millions have viewed the movie with the color grading of the current Blu-Ray, IF as Wilkinson posits, the new UHD release remains faithful to the original colors of the film, how many will be in a uproar about it.
All of this STILL boils down to one thing:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Making Michelangelo's sky bluer in The Last Judgment because the paint has faded over the years is restoration. Making it bluer because you think that's what he would have done if he'd had better dyes is not.
"Archive" vs. "restore" is a common mistake in video, and I think you're making it.
Archive is as-is at worst, some or even full restoration at best.
Restoration is not archiving, never left as-is.