View Full Version : Correct aspect ratios ?

06-25-2001, 05:54 AM
I was wondering if anybody else have noticed this peculiar thing about Anchor Bay's DVDs of Dario Argento's "Inferno" and "Tenebre" ?. -Like "Deep Red" and "Suspiria", the two films were originally filmed in Technovision (the Italian form of Cinemascope/Panavision), and that aspect ratio is 2.35:1, but "Inferno" and "Tenebre" are both presented in 1.85:1. I happen to know for a fact that "Inferno" IS a Scope production, because I saw a clip from it on TV years ago, and it was clearly 2.35:1. It even says Technovision at the beginning of "Tenebre". Does anyone out there know why the movies were cropped for their DVD release, when "Deep Red" (and the upcoming "Suspiria", I hope) are not ?.

06-25-2001, 06:15 AM
Good question, I'd love to know also

06-26-2001, 03:01 PM
Both Inferno and Tenebre was only shot in 1.85:1 format - It was filmed using Technovision equipment, but the full ratio wasnt used. The Inferno clip you saw must have been overmatted. The Anchor Bay releases contains the correct amount of picture information (although Tenebre has lost a couple of frames due to print damage).

Also the new Nonhosonno uses Techniscope equipment, but it is still only an 1.85:1 movie - still it is much better than Stendhal/Phantoms 1.66:1 format.

06-26-2001, 06:00 PM
Um, I'd like to see a little more evidence that Tenebrae and Inferno are not in the proper aspect ratios.

The film process used is definitely not proof enough, 'cause it's a well known Italian technique to not use the aspect ratio the camera was intended for. I should point out that I don't fully understand how this technique works, but I know it exists.

Argento uses every inch of his aspect ratio, and if you see a pan-and-scan version of one of his films (and I've seen plenty. Yuck.), it's pretty damned obvious. I saw no indication of that in either Tenebrae or Inferno (though to be honest I wasn't looking for it). 1.85:1 seems to be pretty accurate for those films.

06-27-2001, 06:35 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the info. I always used to think the Italians were only into the Scope format, as so many Italian movies in the '60s and '70s, regardless of genre, were shot and presented in Scope. I just thought it seemed odd that Argento would "suddenly" abandon his favorite wider format for that of 1.85:1, but I suppose he had to start sometime. I guess that makes "Opera" his last in 2.35:1, then ?. -Or would that be all the way back with "Suspiria" ?. Questions, questions. Will we ever know the truth ?.

06-27-2001, 06:45 AM
...Or maybe he just got tired of seeing his great movies get mangled on TV. -Like Sydney Pollack, who got so upset about it that he decided never to shoot another movie in Panavision after "Tootsie". (As far as I know.)

06-27-2001, 09:03 AM
Yes, Opera was the last in 2.35:1 - It is very costly to film in scope format, so I believe that is the main reason for Argento being unable to use this format. Hopefully the financial success of Nonhosonno will give him the chance to film his new film "Dark Sunglasses" in a wider format.

Cant wait to see Nonhosonno - out on DVD next week !!

The Chaostar
06-27-2001, 12:53 PM
hello there
First of all, what I'm going to write now is not a rumour, it's not something I read somewhere, it's something I've seen and know about it. :D

Dario's last film in scope was SUSPIRIA.
As part of my job, I get to see every 35mm film unmated. That's how I saw INFERNO and OPERA (TENEBRE was hard matted except for the first 5 minutes). OPERA is NOT a scope film. Even the italian DVD has a 1.85.1 ratio.
Some guy once wrote that ORION had p&s OPERA to 1.85.1 prints cause it was cheaper for them but that cannot be true since the english language OPERA print is NOT matted at all - and to prove my word I must say that I used to OWN a print of OPERA (which was taken away and now plays in an open air cinema for after hours screenings here in Greece). I used to have a lot of prints but now I only have one left (City Of The Living Dead - hard matted at 1.85.1 by the way). ;)

06-27-2001, 02:27 PM
Ahhh. The mind boggles. Here is an older posting by a super Argento fan that normally knows what he is talking about. Hope it sheds some light on this:

...Okay guys, let´s put an end to all the turkey talk regarding the validity of the aspect ratio of Checci Gori´s DVD of OPERA. "Phenomeno" rightly quotes aspect ratio to be 2,35:1, but is indifferent/ignorant to the circumstances under which Ronnie Taylor (director of photography) shot the film. OPERA was shot in the super- 35 format with full aperature (Ref.: Alan Jones´s interview with Ronnie in Cinefantastique at the time) which in layman´s terms simply means that all of the 35 mm film-negative was exposed during shooting and THEN during striking of prints in laboratory for movie theatres a 2,35:1 ratio was imposed, masking the picture to Argento/Taylors liking.

The Cecchi Gori DVD is an improvement over their VHS release (which was a crude pan/scan of fixed 2,35:1 ratio) in that it goes back to the fully exposed original negative and imposes a looser 1,85:1 ratio masking, thus in fact allowing us to see MORE HORISONTAL IMAGE INFORMATION than the cinema prints and probably a sliver more than we´ll ever get to see in Anchor Bay´s upcoming correctly ratioed rendition. So, no, frame is not "tighter" as suggested", it
is a looser, incorrect framing...but, hey, we get to see more of Christina Marsillach than ever before. More than intended really! Just check out the make-out scene between Betty and her stagehand boyfriend: As Christina Marsillach rises from the tryst in opening shot of scene we are in Checchi Gori´s DVD actually allowed a lovely shot of her bright red underwear in lower portion of frame. This is NOT as intended, but a hilarious insight into the safety- precaution on actress´ part to guarantee that this portion of frame is not used and part of actor´s standard nudity clause in most contracts. Poor Christina, she should have known better working with Italians! This is definitely not a sight you´re going to savour on the Anchor Bay DVD and arguably another major reason for investing in the Italian DVD of OPERA

Profondo Rostock

The Chaostar
06-27-2001, 02:56 PM
Sounds reasonable BUT how does that explain the fact that the print I used to own has not matted at all?!:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

This is getting all the more weird!