The Leopard

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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TMDaines
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Re: The Leopard

#151 Post by TMDaines » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:19 pm

triodelover wrote:I wonder if you'd care to address the specific points in my last two posts rather than keep insisting that the Pathé and Medusa discs are inarguably superior? Again, I'm not saying that they are not, but until one has seen them in motion on the same system that the Crit or BFI is viewed, how can you possibly be so certain?
Why are you interesting in getting me to argue about something I wasn't addressing? I was never talking about the total package as I keep saying nor the aspect ratio. I was talking about the quality and clarity of the image.

Sure, as I don't have the Italian/French disk I'm not a primary source of evidence but I'm not trying to influence anyone here. From the screenshots the level of detail on one disk is clearly superior to the other. I'm not saying those disks are perfect either for what it's worth.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The Leopard

#152 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:24 pm

You are trying to claim that the one is inarguably superior to the other- inarguable to the degree that you are censuring Criterion for attempting to argue it- on the basis of a couple of screenhots which may not be representative. The new resto may well be superior, but I have no idea of why you think it inappropriate for Criterion to present their case for why they did not use it, particularly as you have such scanty evidence for what the new-resto disc actually looks like.

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TMDaines
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Re: The Leopard

#153 Post by TMDaines » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:34 pm

I didn't ask them to present any case, I just found one comment bizarre. Nevermind, no more, you can win.

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swo17
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Re: The Leopard

#154 Post by swo17 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:39 pm

Image

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triodelover
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Re: The Leopard

#155 Post by triodelover » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:51 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:You are trying to claim that the one is inarguably superior to the other- inarguable to the degree that you are censuring Criterion for attempting to argue it- on the basis of a couple of screenhots which may not be representative. The new resto may well be superior, but I have no idea of why you think it inappropriate for Criterion to present their case for why they did not use it, particularly as you have such scanty evidence for what the new-resto disc actually looks like.
Thank you.
TMDaines wrote:Why are you interesting in getting me to argue about something I wasn't addressing? I was never talking about the total package as I keep saying nor the aspect ratio. I was talking about the quality and clarity of the image.
I'm not trying to get you to argue. I'm trying to get you to present evidence for your repeated assertions of superiority. Matrix is correct . And again, I'm not talking about the total package either, but surely in any discussion of image AR is relevant since it defines exactly how much image you see.
TMDaines wrote:Sure, as I don't have the Italian/French disk I'm not a primary source of evidence but I'm not trying to influence anyone here.
Continued assertions of inarguable superiority certainly come across as attempts to influence.
TMDaines wrote: From the screenshots the level of detail on one disk is clearly superior to the other.
To you, grasshopper, to you. Once again I will remind you that there is dissension in the ranks about the red saturation on the Pathé disc and even the advocates of the Medusa disc admit to the crushed blacks and contrast issues. Both of these things are obvious from the screen caps you have been looking at. How can you say the detail of the Medusa is superior (look again at the cap of Angelica in close-up compared to the Crit) if you don't even have the disc to correct the contrast on your system? From the screen caps, the Crit appears to have loads more detail - look at her hair. What about the yellow tinge to her skin on the Medusa (being in mind my previous caveats)?

To repeat - it is entirely within the realm of possibility that both the Pathé and the Medusa discs contain superior visual presentations, even with the noted problems. I'm certainly open to that eventuality and that's why I'm recording the TCM viewing to give me a better idea about that and the irrelevant AR (pace) before paying the prohibitive shipping costs from Amazon.it. That's not ideal - I'd rather be able to compare the discs, but it's a damn site better that asserting that static screen caps that may have not be achieved using the same process/software viewed on a computer monitor with all the noted calibration issues attached to computer systems prove that one version is clearly superior to the other.

(BTW, I know you deny this but your continued comments sure make it sound as if you have an ax to grind with Criterion. Ypu might want to take a look at how you've worded things if that's not the impression you'd like to convey.)

If anyone else has bothered to plow through my verbiage to this point, what is the rationale for the 2.55:1 AR used in the Film Foundation/Scorsese resto? Scorsese is a fanatical restorer (to his credit) and since it seems clear that Visconti and Rotunno intended 2.21:1, what necessitated the change?

(Thanks, swo. Love the shot.)

Reviewing this exchange brings me to inescapable conclusion that a 140 character limit would be the death of me.

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pro-bassoonist
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Re: The Leopard

#156 Post by pro-bassoonist » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:58 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:You are trying to claim that the one is inarguably superior to the other- inarguable to the degree that you are censuring Criterion for attempting to argue it- on the basis of a couple of screenhots which may not be representative. The new resto may well be superior, but I have no idea of why you think it inappropriate for Criterion to present their case for why they did not use it, particularly as you have such scanty evidence for what the new-resto disc actually looks like.
I agree. I have actually seen the Pathe disc (but not the Italian disc), and while the grain structure is clearly stronger (due to the higher res scan) it is not to the extent some (familiar) people make it out to be, implying that the Criterion transfer has an "electronic" look, etc. It is the new line: The Criterion has an older scan so it must be horrendous. It is not. By the way, the same non-sense addressing 12 Angry Men is currently in circulation as well.

The real problem with the Pathe release, however, is the color-scheme. The variety of yellows and browns, and especially the harsh orange, are completely off the chart.

In other words, a "newer scan" with a slightly superior detail and a tighter grain structure does not automatically equate "superior".

oneshotmonkey
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Re: The Leopard

#157 Post by oneshotmonkey » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:33 am

MichaelB wrote:I have no plans to replace my perfectly good BFI Blu-ray of The Leopard
The restoration displays a tighter grain structure and a significant amount of extra detail, suggesting that the BFI/Criterion wasn't taken from an 8-Perf negative or print (ie. similar to Criterion's Playtime balldropper). Whilst there is a problem with the black levels on the Italian release, Nabob is the first person to complain about 'murky interiors' on the French and, as this comparison shows, it is actually the Criterion/BFI which seems to be lacking shadow detail:

Image

Imho the BFI could do the English-speaking world a great service by re-issuing The Leopard at some point down the line. At the very least, you should review the French edition for yourselves.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: The Leopard

#158 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:59 am

oneshotmonkey wrote:Whilst there is a problem with the black levels on the Italian release, Nabob is the first person to complain about 'murky interiors' on the French and, as this comparison shows, it is actually the Criterion/BFI which seems to be lacking shadow detail:
I didn't use the phrase murky interiors but spoke only of the density of the blacks in the interior villa scenes which I find too 'sat down' for my liking and I did not draw a more favourable comparison on this matter from any other sources. I will state again that I find the transfer "sublime" and am quite at ease with the fleshtones etc in the interiors which I believe others might have had an issue with. So please do not mangle my statements into a negative or nay-saying vote for the French issue. I made a little intervention in a tortuously highjacked Kino thread speculating about the plethora of Leopard releases as someone who had a copy of the Pathé in their possession, that's all. If you want to find a review of the Pathé which is unequivocally rhapsodic and a bit sniffy about Criterion then check out Sandy Gillet's review on ecranlarge. BTW -The same guy who buried the Pathé Samourai blu.

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Fred Holywell
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Re: The Leopard

#159 Post by Fred Holywell » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:35 am

If anyone else has bothered to plow through my verbiage to this point, what is the rationale for the 2.55:1 AR used in the Film Foundation/Scorsese resto? Scorsese is a fanatical restorer (to his credit) and since it seems clear that Visconti and Rotunno intended 2.21:1, what necessitated the change?
No, Visconti and Rotunno 'intended' a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, but protected for, at least, 2.21, 1.85, and 2.66:1 framing. At the time, 35mm Cinemascope compatible Technirama prints had a 2.35:1 frame. Full-frame Technirama was, indeed, 2.21:1, but the top of the frame was essentially 'dead space' easily cropped without affecting the compostition. In other words, the image is on the negative, but not on 35mm anamorphic prints. If 70mm 2.21:1 prints had been run, the image at the top of the neg would be printed up.

The reason for the 2.55:1 ar on The Film Foundation restoration is unclear, but it is a valid Technirama aspect ratio. The image appears to be (without seeing the original neg) 2.35:1 framing with some cropping at the top and bottom of the frame. The wider ar does allow for CRT monitor overscan, I suppose, and the picture info is basically more 'dead space' that would be cropped on some prints, anyway. FYI, new theatrical prints made from this restoration should have an ar of 2.39:1, in keeping with current specs.

What's often forgotten today is that Technirama was a multi-format, various ar system, similar to VistaVision. Initially, the Technicolor company hoped the process would be a 'one-size-fits-all solution' for all compatibility concerns. By the early 1960s, Technirama (or SuperTechnirama) prints were available in 70mm (SuperPanavision & UltraPanavision compatible); 35mm anamorphic; 35mm flat; and 16mm anamorphic. Since framing had to be protected for several different aspect ratios, camera movement and staging were often carefully, but necessarily, limited.
Last edited by Fred Holywell on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Fred Holywell
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Re: The Leopard

#160 Post by Fred Holywell » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:48 am

as this comparison shows, it is actually the Criterion/BFI which seems to be lacking shadow detail:
Those two screen caps are originally from the French DVD Classik site, I believe. Top is the old Gaumont Pathe DVD released several years ago. Bottom is their new DVD (or BluRay) of The Film Foundation restoration. Neither image is the Criterion or BFI version. The older GP disc is, indeed, a rather murky affair made from what appear to be multiple sources -- some better looking than others.

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triodelover
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Re: The Leopard

#161 Post by triodelover » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:53 am

Fred Holywell wrote:
triodelover wrote:If anyone else has bothered to plow through my verbiage to this point, what is the rationale for the 2.55:1 AR used in the Film Foundation/Scorsese resto? Scorsese is a fanatical restorer (to his credit) and since it seems clear that Visconti and Rotunno intended 2.21:1, what necessitated the change?
The reason for the 2.55:1 ar on The Film Foundation restoration is unclear, but it is a valid Technirama aspect ratio. The image appears to be (without seeing the original neg) 2.35:1 framing with some cropping at the top and bottom of the frame. The wider ar does allow for CRT monitor overscan, I suppose, and the picture info is basically more 'dead space' that would be cropped on some prints, anyway. FYI, new theatrical prints made from this restoration should have an ar of 2.39:1, in keeping with current specs.
Thank you, Fred. The Medusa is in transit to me as we speak, so we shall see.

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Fred Holywell
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Re: The Leopard

#162 Post by Fred Holywell » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:14 pm

Criterion/BFI screencap (top) added for comparison with old Gaumont Pathe (middle) and new Gaumont Pathe via The Film Foundation restoration (bottom).

Image
Last edited by Fred Holywell on Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Leopard

#163 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:09 pm

Have no idea if those caps are an accurate representation, but the Criterion looks the best in terms of color and picture quality. The other two look surprisingly crappy (crushed blacks, off color and/or mushy detail).

Don't know if the Criterion is (wrongfully) cropping the sides, but I'd still watch it over the others.

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tenia
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Re: The Leopard

#164 Post by tenia » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:21 am

From what I remember, there are still 2 questions left with the new restoration : where the 2.55 ratio and the very hot colors come from ?

Apart from that, the Pathé BD blows away any other BD of the movie so far. When comparing the BFI / Criterion VS the Pathé, it's like comparing a DVD and a BD.

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Re: The Leopard

#165 Post by oneshotmonkey » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:57 am

hearthesilence wrote:Have no idea if those caps are an accurate representation, but the Criterion looks the best in terms of color and picture quality. The other two look surprisingly crappy (crushed blacks, off color and/or mushy detail). Don't know if the Criterion is (wrongfully) cropping the sides, but I'd still watch it over the others.
These compressed SD captures are only useful for broadly assessing the colour correction and composition. Composition-wise, the old Pathe looks best to me, but the restoration runs a close second. The BFI/Criterion is shockingly cropped on the left hand side, just awful. Colour correction: I prefer the restoration too. The darker colours are not crushed, just more muted and subtle. This will really come to life when projected. The BFI/Criterion is artificially boosted to suit consumer television sets.

When you consider also the superior level of detail and tighter grain structure on the Pathe/Restoration, the Criterion/BFI really has been knocked out of the park.

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triodelover
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Re: The Leopard

#166 Post by triodelover » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:43 pm

tenia wrote:From what I remember, there are still 2 questions left with the new restoration : where the 2.55 ratio and the very hot colors come from ?

Apart from that, the Pathé BD blows away any other BD of the movie so far. When comparing the BFI / Criterion VS the Pathé, it's like comparing a DVD and a BD.
I'm not picking on you, tenia, because I've seen a plethora of similar statements on this forum and elsewhere, but what you're saying is like me saying, "Apart from my thinning grey hair, expanding waistline and dark brown eyes, I could be Paul Newman's twin brother." I'm not sure what the vested interests are or even if they are the same, but there seems to be a concerted effort to declare the Film Foundation resto the finest version of Gattopardo while at the same time declaring the Crit/BFI crap. Each and every declaration I've read usually begins by eliminating the problem areas of the FF version (AR, crushed blacks, over-saturated/hot color palette) from consideration and then waxing rhapsodic about the detail and grain structure (largely from looking at screen grabs as far as I can tell). What we seem to have in reality is two flawed presentations each of which excel in certain areas that compliment rather than correspond with each other.
oneshotmonkey wrote:The darker colours are not crushed, just more muted and subtle. This will really come to life when projected. The BFI/Criterion is artificially boosted to suit consumer television sets.
I presume you are able to assert the former because you have actually seen both versions in motion on a calibrated system, either display or projection, and the latter because you have confirmed the artificially boosting and its purpose with both BFI and Criterion.

Once again for the record I don't particularly care which is the "bestest, coolest ever". I own the Crit and the Medusa is in transit. Between the two I expect I'll have - one way or another - the best available now which, as a fan of the film, is what I seek. What I rail against is the breathless hyperbole used in announcing one is superior and the other dreck without even a pretense of applying the scientific method. No listing of the system/software, etc used to view the film(s). Nothing offered on the viewing conditions (ambient light, extraneous noise, etc). Most of the time it's not really clear if the correspondent has actually compared both version side-by-side in motion. Maybe I'm just a grumpy old man, but if you are going to make assertions about the technical superiority of one over the other, shouldn't you be expected to tell what you did to arrive at those conclusions? Otherwise, all the posts belong here.

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TMDaines
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Re: The Leopard

#167 Post by TMDaines » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:48 pm

Relax mate. It's just a Blu-ray, not the Large Hadron Collider. You don't have to go through the scientific method just to have a valid opinion, nor do you have to own both to make a judgement on which you'd prefer to have. That's why there are reviews on the Internet after all.

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triodelover
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Re: The Leopard

#168 Post by triodelover » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:02 pm

You'll pardon me, buddy-boy, but my substandard education as a scientist makes me want to know how people arrive at conclusions. Particularly when those conclusions are delivered like Moses descending from the mount, tablets in hand. And I'm not buying the Medusa because I'm dissatisfied with the Criterion but because the hyperbole piqued my curiosity and because I haven't found any reviews that compare the BFI/Crit to the Pathé/Medusa in a useful way. Finally, because of my past experiences in high end audio, I tend to be skeptical of reviewers unless I have established a track record for them.

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Peacock
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Re: The Leopard

#169 Post by Peacock » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:23 pm

What's wrong with comparing screen captures? Sure it's often not very scientific but it works for 99% of us. I can look at dvdbeaver - despite their compression problems, and despite my macbook monitor, and say that the Criterion has deeper blacks or say that the colours on the Criterion Red Shoes are warmer than on the ITV. Likewise you can look at these screen caps and say that the Pathe has hotter colours and crushed blacks than the BFI/Criterion. No it's not a scientific analysis, but it's enough...

None of The Leopard releases are ideal, I don't see a problem with people trying to work out which is the best, all things considered...

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triodelover
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Re: The Leopard

#170 Post by triodelover » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:45 pm

Peacock wrote:What's wrong with comparing screen captures? Sure it's often not very scientific but it works for 99% of us. I can look at dvdbeaver - despite their compression problems, and despite my macbook monitor, and say that the Criterion has deeper blacks or say that the colours on the Criterion Red Shoes are warmer than on the ITV. Likewise you can look at these screen caps and say that the Pathe has hotter colours and crushed blacks than the BFI/Criterion. No it's not a scientific analysis, but it's enough
You will note that Gary and his other reviewers provide detailed information on their systems and Gary has provided detailed info on how the captures are achieved. He's been taken to task more than once in this forum for his captures.

There's nothing wrong with taking a look at reviews based on screen caps and making a purchasing decision. I presume we all do it. My issue is with proclaiming one BD definitive or obviously far superior and the other crap - strong terms - without sharing how you arrived at that conclusion - and I don't think looking at someone else's screen caps on a computer monitor supports that level of certainty.

(FWIW, I reach exactly the same conclusion as you comparing the screen caps for The Red Shoes and Il Gattopardo which is why I take issue with eliminating the problems and then pronouncing one version superior. It's also why I want to do an actual comparison myself to determine how much difference the flaws affect enjoyment of the film in motion.)

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Re: The Leopard

#171 Post by oneshotmonkey » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:23 am

triodelover wrote:I presume you are able to assert the former because you have actually seen both versions in motion on a calibrated system, either display or projection, and the latter because you have confirmed the artificially boosting and its purpose with both BFI and Criterion.
I have a calibrated broadcast monitor and anyone accustomed to looking at such things should be able to make the same observations. It really doesn't matter whether or not the images are in motion. Certainly, the blacks on the Pathe are not crushed, it just has a more natural, film-like gamma curve. I'm still not seeing how these releases compliment each other.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Leopard

#172 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:50 am

Okay, I just revisited the Criterioncast blog and the caps there were much more revealing. Opened up at 100% resolution (for the caps, I should say), the Criterion captures looked gritter, like it had more and larger grain, while the other Blu-Ray looked cleaner and crisper and sharper and not in a DNR way. Again, don't know if their caps are accurate, but if they are, it's pretty startling.

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HJackson
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Re: The Leopard

#173 Post by HJackson » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:42 am

I recall being mightily impressed by the BFI back when I first got it (so impressed, in fact, that I watched it about four times in one week), but if the caps on Criterioncast are accurate (and the BFI caps do look fairly accurate - although they undermine how good the disc looks in motion) then it seems pretty clear that the new restoration is miles better.

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TMDaines
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Re: The Leopard

#174 Post by TMDaines » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:02 pm


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ellipsis7
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Re: The Leopard

#175 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:11 pm

Subs are pale yellow... although lying outside image frame...

Somehow I've developed a profound dislike of yellow subs, but maybe that's just me!...

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