The Fearless Vampire Killers - October 5th

Discussion in 'Classic' started by Hellbilly, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Technicolor was whatever you wanted it to be based on the original cinematography. If you wanted a sepia look with rich fleshtones but
    avoiding primary colors (as Gordon Willis did in "The Godfather") you
    could go for that look. If you wanted 'enhanced reality' as Freddie
    Young accomplished in "Lawrence of Arabia", that was another look.
    "Reflections in a Golden Eye" and "Moby Dick" went for de-saturated color.
    "Bonnie and Clyde" has warm color and "Serpico" went for the neo-realistic
    look. They were all Technicolor dye transfer prints.

    Of course, Technicolor tended to associated with the vibrant colors of "The Wizard of Oz", "Singin' in the Rain", "Goldfinger" and "Vertigo". I wouldn't call these movies cartoonish. In terms of "Vertigo", it's one of the most artistic and atmospheric use of color in the history of the medium. Ted Moore's cinematography for the Bond films was equally as stylish. It was rare when a Technicolor movie wasn't aethetically pleasing to watch and experience.

    Aside from the superior color dyes used, Technicolor was also the only process that offered mass produced first generation prints for general
    release. The three strip matrices (that the dyes were transfer from) were always derived directly from the camera negative regarldless of whether the film was shot in the 3 strip unit, in Eastmancolor, Panavision or 70mm reduction prints. Of course, it's generally known that the prints didn't fade.
    The contrast was also much better than Eastmancolor. The blacks were really black, not transparent. As a result, dye transfer prints tended to have a three dimensional appearance.

    In contrast, today's Eastmancolor general release prints are three generations removed from the camera negative and look it. They are murky, often grainy and have poor resolution and contrast. Here's how they are made. A fine grain color positive is derived from the camera negative. Then a duplicate color negative is made from that. Then the release copies are struck from that on a high speed printer that opperates at speeds in excess of 2000 ft. per minute. These are quickly processed copies that are disposed of immediately after they leave the megaplexes (with the exception of a few that are salvaged by film collectors). In order to get a good exposure, you need to make contrast changes which you can do in this system. Every copy is made on a 'one lite' setting which means the blacks are transparent and the overall color is muted. These prints are vastly inferior to dye transfer prints of any era. Add to that the underexposed, de-saturated cinematography and you have real junk on display in most megaplexes.
    Of course, you had to have seen films at their zenith (pre-1970's) to know the difference. Technicolor dye transfer printing would've dramatically improved the quality of what you see in cinemas but the industry abandoned it again in 2001. A real tragedy.

    Here are some of my favorite Technicolor films photographed in a variety of styles and formats. The original dye transfer prints were true works of art
    and some of the best looking pictures ever shown. I indicated what format the original negative was in.

    "Adventures of Robin Hood" (3 strip negative)
    "The Wizard of Oz" (3 strip negative)
    "Gone with the Wind" (3 strip negative)
    "Meet Me in St. Louis" (3 strip negative)
    "The Band Wagon" (3 strip negative)
    "Singin' in the Rain" (3 strip negative)
    "Moulin Rouge" (3 strip negative)
    "The Caine Mutiny" (3 strip negative)
    "This is Cinerama" (3 panel Eastmancolor negative)
    "Around the World in 80 Days" (65mm Todd AO Eastmancolor negative)
    "The Ten Commandments" (VistaVision Eastmancolor negative)
    "Rear Window" (Eastmancolor negative)
    "Kiss Me Kate" (dual strip Anscolor negative 3-D)
    "To Catch a Thief" (VistaVision Eastmancolor negative)
    "The Trouble with Harry" (VistaVision Eastmancolor negative)
    "Ben Hur" (65mm anamorphic Eastmancolor negative)
    "Vertigo" (VistaVision Eastmancolor negative)
    "The Music Man" (Technirama Eastmancolor negative)
    "Spartacus" (Technirama Eastmancolor negative)
    "Dr. No" (Eastmancolor negative)
    "From Russia with Love" (Eastmancolor negative)
    "Goldfinger" (Eastmancolor negative)
    "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (65mm anamorphic Eastmancolor negative)
    "Bonnie and Clyde" (Eastmancolor negative)
    "The Great Race" (Panavision Eastmancolor negative)
    "Camelot" (Panavision Eastmancolor negative)
    "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (Techniscope Eastmancolor negative)
    "Thunderball" (Panavision Eastmancolor negative)
    "You Only Live Twice" (Panavision Eastmancolor negative)
    "North by Northwest" (VistaVision Eastmancolor negative)
    "Oliver!" (Panavision Eastmancolor negative)
    "The Wild Bunch" (Panavision Eastmancolor negative)

    All of these movies had different 'looks' but all looked breathtaking in their original dye transfer Technicolor prints. There are no contemporary films that have the same level of quality, at least in their theatrical venues. I list every film in the process in my book if you want a reference list.
    When I sponsored my Technicolor festival back in 1989, I had young people coming up to me saying it was like seeing a movie for the first time.
    The quality of current movies from a color and release print stand point 'underwhelm' me to say the least. I'm networked into film collector circles so I see Tech prints all the time. I guess I'm spoiled.
  2. Alexander

    Alexander Guest

    I have this one. Liked the extras (there´s the cartoon beginning and a documentary on Sharon Tate as an easter egg). Problem is, the image quality of the Brazilian release isn´t that good, compared to the R1 release.

    DVD Beaver has a screenshot comparison of both discs, but to the naked eye the differences are even bigger.

    Please note that, on the R0 edition, a couple of day-for-night scenes have the same error from Blue Underground´s SADOMANIA.

    Oh, and by the way, the "5.1" mix of the R0 edition is totally bogus. It´s just the mono track spread thru all 5 speakers. It gets irritating, just like the chinese edition of Stuart Gordon´s DOLLS.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2004
  3. Alexander

    Alexander Guest

    No, he means this one:


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