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Old 7th January 2013, 07:24 PM
Mentasm Mentasm is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bristol

Originally Posted by Gojirosan View Post
One genuinely interesting point that keeps arising here, one that possibly deserve a thread of its own, is that many want things to look "real", and that something is not "correct" unless it looks "natural".

Now, ignoring that these terms are not absolutes in the first place, it makes me wonder how old colour films fare with modern audiences. I have met plenty of people who hate black & white films, I wonder if there will be an increase in people hating old colour films because the saturated, blooming colour doesn't look" real"?

And where does this leave Hollywood's current obsession with Blue/Orange?

All interesting to ponder if one has a few minutes, I suppose.
I don't believe it's the only interesting point, but to address it I'd like to clarify that I'm not suggesting the green filter be removed from The Matrix, or that Schindler's List be colourised or anything daft like that. I could do without the current fascination with O&T, as it seems almost every other film that's released uses it nowadays, but neither am I suggesting that those films should be revised to bring them more in line with reality because that wasn't the intent. Where it gets tricky is with older films when we really have to rely on memory, and even then there's no guarantee what we saw was an accurate reflection of the original artistic intent because the prints we saw in the cinema would generally have been many generations removed from the original. However, films that were shot in the era before digital colour grading tend to have a more 'natural' appearance than today's films, even those that push their colours (Lawrence of Arabia doesn't look 'natural', but it is representative of the visual style of the time). Using ZFE as an example, I can't see that the original intent would have been to push the reds so far in some scenes but not in others like they are on the BU disc (especially when BU's DVD release looks more like Arrow's BD than it does their own BD). The grading on the Arrow disc is just more consistent and there's also a lot of crushing on the BU version. 'Natural' also encompasses the grain structure, and in that department the BU disc is clearly flawed.

At the end of the day I suppose you're correct in that it is largely subjective, and I can see why some might think that Arrow's disc has gone too far the other way. Even so, when looking at the two images it's clear which looks more filmic. Perhaps that would have been a better word to use than natural, because ultimately what we're (presumably) looking for is the best possible (most faithful) presentation of any given film.

Anyway, point is that when I wrote 'natural' I meant that as long as something is (reasonably) representative of its original intended look then we should be thankful. After years of living with muddy, pink SD video masters seeing some of these films restored is a joy, even if the odd error does creep in from time to time.
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