1104 Citizen Kane

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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david hare
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#451 Post by david hare » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:03 pm

schellenbergk wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:27 pm
david hare wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:37 pm
At least the new email option removes the malarkey of mailing and going to the fucking post office to say nothing of the cost.
Sorry, I’ve got to point out - the postage cost me $1.10. Are you seriously complaining about $1.10?
As someone who spends thousands a year on discs I would point out that involving the punter in additional cost for something that’s not of their doing is shit customer shit service. In any case I live in a place far away in another hemisphere and the whole fucking process of using a post office is both time wasting and, in this country, outrageously expensive for even the smallest despatch. Zedz here could probable confirm that.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#452 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:09 pm

Robert Harris really posted this on the HTF, #-o
There seems to be continuing confusion, as the Blu-ray and 4k sets are totally different. I'm unaware of any combined set.

It seems to be either a Blu-ray 3-disc set or a 4k, but not both.

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Saturnome
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#453 Post by Saturnome » Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:33 am

Time to dust my CGI skills and model a broken disc, send a pic of it, keep my faulty Blu-ray and sell it at a premium collector price in years

mteller
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:23 pm

Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#454 Post by mteller » Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:23 am

Granted this isn't an option for everyone (especially apartment dwellers), but I can stick an outgoing envelope in the mailbox and the postal worker will handle it. The only time I ever go to the post office is if I have to send something that doesn't fit in the box.

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tenia
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#455 Post by tenia » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:20 am

I don't understand what is the point of asking the disc ti be destroyed. They never asked for this for their Bronzed discs' replacements and these were unplayable discs (which I'd argue is a bigger issue if it's a question of preventing reselling the bad Kane disc).

I'm saying this because they haven't stated the validity of the replacement programme for international customers, and I'm a bit wary breaking in half my main feature disc only to be told international customers aren't covered by it (though I doubt it won't, but still).
FrauBlucher wrote:Robert Harris really posted this on the HTF, #-o
There seems to be continuing confusion, as the Blu-ray and 4k sets are totally different. I'm unaware of any combined set.

It seems to be either a Blu-ray 3-disc set or a 4k, but not both.
As I often say, Harris really isn't reliable when it comes down to the aspects of a release directly related to video (in opposition to judging things from a photochemical and cinema experience) and seemingly, this now extends to knowing there's a DF release for Citizen Kane.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#456 Post by EddieLarkin » Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:28 am

schellenbergk wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:00 am
EddieLarkin wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:55 am
Yeah, the HDR (or Dolby Vision) pop up will appear whenever the TV switches to that mode.
So - it seems to be the disc. (Heavy sigh)
UHD caps are up at caps-a-holic and the black level is broadly the same as the old Blu-ray, but a bit deeper. So if this is looking washed out and sepia tinted on your set then I suspect something is going wrong. What TV is it, and are you watching in HDR10?

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#457 Post by Glowingwabbit » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:40 am

EddieLarkin wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:28 am
schellenbergk wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:00 am
EddieLarkin wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:55 am
Yeah, the HDR (or Dolby Vision) pop up will appear whenever the TV switches to that mode.
So - it seems to be the disc. (Heavy sigh)
UHD caps are up at caps-a-holic and the black level is broadly the same as the old Blu-ray, but a bit deeper. So if this is looking washed out and sepia tinted on your set then I suspect something is going wrong. What TV is it, and are you watching in HDR10?
I guess I don't know enough about HDR.to.know what your talking about. Is there some setting for that? Perhaps I missed something and that's why I'm seeing what I'm seeing (although my other 4K discs have looked.great)

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Drucker
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#458 Post by Drucker » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:43 am

tenia wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:20 am
I don't understand what is the point of asking the disc ti be destroyed. They never asked for this for their Bronzed discs' replacements and these were unplayable discs (which I'd argue is a bigger issue if it's a question of preventing reselling the bad Kane disc).

I'm saying this because they haven't stated the validity of the replacement programme for international customers, and I'm a bit wary breaking in half my main feature disc only to be told international customers aren't covered by it (though I doubt it won't, but still).
FrauBlucher wrote:Robert Harris really posted this on the HTF, #-o
There seems to be continuing confusion, as the Blu-ray and 4k sets are totally different. I'm unaware of any combined set.

It seems to be either a Blu-ray 3-disc set or a 4k, but not both.
As I often say, Harris really isn't reliable when it comes down to the aspects of a release directly related to video (in opposition to judging things from a photochemical and cinema experience) and seemingly, this now extends to knowing there's a DF release for Citizen Kane.
I would assume they don’t want to run the risk of some bad blu-rays on the secondhand market.I’ve seen used Criterions with photocopied art sold in a local used DVD store before.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#459 Post by EddieLarkin » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:50 am

Glowingwabbit wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:40 am
EddieLarkin wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:28 am
schellenbergk wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:00 am


So - it seems to be the disc. (Heavy sigh)
UHD caps are up at caps-a-holic and the black level is broadly the same as the old Blu-ray, but a bit deeper. So if this is looking washed out and sepia tinted on your set then I suspect something is going wrong. What TV is it, and are you watching in HDR10?
I guess I don't know enough about HDR.to.know what your talking about. Is there some setting for that? Perhaps I missed something and that's why I'm seeing what I'm seeing (although my other 4K discs have looked.great)
I was responding to schellenbergk who reports the opposite you do, that the image is washed out. The caps support what you're seeing, that the blacks are a bit deeper and that there is a bit of crush going on.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#460 Post by Glowingwabbit » Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:11 am

EddieLarkin wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:50 am
Glowingwabbit wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:40 am
EddieLarkin wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:28 am

UHD caps are up at caps-a-holic and the black level is broadly the same as the old Blu-ray, but a bit deeper. So if this is looking washed out and sepia tinted on your set then I suspect something is going wrong. What TV is it, and are you watching in HDR10?
I guess I don't know enough about HDR.to.know what your talking about. Is there some setting for that? Perhaps I missed something and that's why I'm seeing what I'm seeing (although my other 4K discs have looked.great)
I was responding to schellenbergk who reports the opposite you do, that the image is washed out. The caps support what you're seeing, that the blacks are a bit deeper and that there is a bit of crush going on.
Sorry my bad. I'll have to check those screenshots out then (thanks for pointing them out). Like I said it really only stands out to me in scenes that are darker in general. Otherwise it looks great most of the time. I just don't tend to notice stuff like that so it just felt jarring.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#461 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:20 pm


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zedz
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#462 Post by zedz » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:59 pm

david hare wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:03 pm
schellenbergk wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:27 pm
david hare wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:37 pm
At least the new email option removes the malarkey of mailing and going to the fucking post office to say nothing of the cost.
Sorry, I’ve got to point out - the postage cost me $1.10. Are you seriously complaining about $1.10?
As someone who spends thousands a year on discs I would point out that involving the punter in additional cost for something that’s not of their doing is shit customer shit service. In any case I live in a place far away in another hemisphere and the whole fucking process of using a post office is both time wasting and, in this country, outrageously expensive for even the smallest despatch. Zedz here could probable confirm that.
I wish it wasn't true, but it is. For anything up to and including something like this set, the cost of returning a defective item to the USA or Europe is generally more than it cost in the first place.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#463 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:27 pm

tenia wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:20 am
FrauBlucher wrote:Robert Harris really posted this on the HTF, #-o
There seems to be continuing confusion, as the Blu-ray and 4k sets are totally different. I'm unaware of any combined set.

It seems to be either a Blu-ray 3-disc set or a 4k, but not both.
As I often say, Harris really isn't reliable when it comes down to the aspects of a release directly related to video (in opposition to judging things from a photochemical and cinema experience) and seemingly, this now extends to knowing there's a DF release for Citizen Kane.
Going over there is like slowing down to see the car wreck. Harris' answer to those who corrected him was to question Criterion's marketing strategy of having a bluray only set. :lol:

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movielocke
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#464 Post by movielocke » Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:36 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 2:03 pm
This is the second big release recently to change the quality of transfer at the 30 minute mark— what causes this? If it’s happening more then once from more than one label, there’s surely some shared reason
Both releases with these shifts are probably at the (projection) reel change point. Reels are properly measured in feet (or meters), but roughly / colloquially most reels in older films are 10-11 minutes. More modern films like silence are more like 16-23 minutes long. I have no idea when it changed but I’m guessing the advent of platter systems allowed for larger reels which saved on shipping costs somewhat.

When working on posting a film, they’re assembled and delivered reel by reel. This is the case in todays nonlinear digital environment and was also the case in the 30s and before. This allows a better division of labor. If the director and editor can lock picture on reel three (for example) but are still working on the other reels, they can send reel three to score for final timing of the score to picture for that reel and mix so that dialog, fx foley can get their final timing to picture.

All those departments will deliver all their final product as related to the reels. If picture lock is changed on a reel (expensive!), then all of those departments will conform their work to the new picture and resubmit their updated deliverables to match the new picture. This is also of course true of VFX as well, and VFX heavy reels often have their shot lengths locked down as early as possible). Less common now in NLE systems but on big Hollywood features it was once common practice for a breakdown editor to come in at the end and balance the reel runtimes so that they maximized them feet of each reel ideally without breaking the continuity of the overall picture (getting every reel change at scene changes rather than mid scene).

So when bringing a picture to home video, all the elements as they are called up and scanned harvested digitized and Ingested is that every asset is based on its reel number-picture and sound. It then follows that all work done uses this pre existing organizational system and everything continues to be done reel by reel. And final files and or tapes are delivered to the vendor (that makes the disc) reel by reel not in one big chunk and the vendor make the final assembly. In house qc should verify all their files are ready to ship to the vendor, but obviously in house qc could have been the point where they didn’t do their jobs. But if everything was perfect on the in-house files they’re not responsible.

Major speculation ahead:

What probably happened here is that a setting for the down convert was toggled/flagged the wrong way on the latter reels at the vendor. At the vendor they watch backs the highest rez version end to end but since lower rez versions are derived from the highest rez version and because the high rez version had just been confirmed to be fine, they probably only “spot checked” the lower rez version.

What does spot checked mean? Ideally it means watching the first five-ten minutes and then two minutes at every new file (reel), realistically a lot of qc people will watch the first ten minutes and then about five-ten seconds at every reel. Worst case it means they confirm aV sync playback of each file and are done in five minutes.

So why wouldn’t criterion just send one perfect master file to the vendor? Because encoding takes a lot of time and even if they did deliver one perfect master file of the feature, a vendor would chop up the master file to encode it in smaller pieces. This allows them to assess how they’re compressing it reel by reel and also allows them to replace bad encodes much faster. If there’s two minutes of a bad encode in a two hour feature it’s a lot easier to redo the compression on an eleven minute reel rather than a two hour feature. There’s also a security issue, sending a perfect master file is bad security in this digital era, much more secure to send everything in separated video and audio pieces that requiring a lot of labor to assemble the puzzle. Ideally the vendor should have in house scripting that handles/tags/flags asset submissions and automates a lot of the reassembly with settings already applied—and actually if there are such scripts at their vendor it’d be the first place I’d look to see if there is a problem in how settings/flags are applied consistently as the script iterates. The script could easily be generating a notification that error x hdr setting not applied to y reel and then in 4k playback (in A color accurate playback but not grading software) the setting would be manually toggled for playback for review—that correction would be applied downstream of the error and the 4k master would come out okay. But the error was corrected downstream. When their automated scripts later grab the upstream file for the Blu-ray or dvd encodes (since the low res versions would be based off the source file not the 4k encode) the corrected setting that was made in 4k playback is not applied, and since playback was done at the higher level it’s believed there’s no need to duplicate work at the lower levels. Because there’s so much automation, the error isn’t caught by the more limited layers of human review.

And then when check discs are made every effort is expended on the highest rez version at the vendor side and then also by criterion, but the lower rez version in both places will only get spot checking once again. And even if there is a policy in place at one or both places to watch back 100% all check discs, the modern reality is that attentionality and engagement for everyone is extremely low.

meaning it’s very easy for a spot checker to be on their phone for the entire watch down and then pass it—and 100% believe they’re effective multitaskers (nobody is) and were really definitely watching it the entire time except for a few texts (ha!) but the reality is that cellphones are massive attention black holes, and they suck every iota of attention someone has—and it truly is hard for someone doing QC whether a producer or a min wage worker to do twenty hours of uhd qc and then maintain 100% of their attention to a repeat 20 hours of hd qc, or a third repeat of sd qc. the second pass (if there is a second pass in the budget) and beyond is much harder for us humans these days

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#465 Post by tenia » Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:53 pm

I doubt Criterion just sent 1 master file to Pixelogic, since that'd mean Pixelogic would have gotten the HDR UHD file and had to do the SDR conversion themselves. Considering properly downconverting to SDR relates to properly grading the movie for SDR, I'd assume it's not in the area of responsibility of the authoring house but rather the responsibility of those handling the restoration, in this case Criterion Post (judging by the booklet tech details).

Also, from what I've seen, authoring houses are receiving single files containing the whole movie in one piece (say, 1 250Gb ProRes file), not chopped up bits. I'm also unsure if there's any reality to your security bit requiring exploding the whole thing into a puzzle of parts.
And while UHD encoding is very slow to perform, BD encoding isn't that slow. Citizen Kane is 2 hours long, it's take roughly 10 hours to do a full encode (knowing that fine tuning the encoder settings most likely is the longest human task, once you get the encode running, you probably don't have to remain in front of the computer the whole time !).

Finally, it's very quick to spot check a BD by fast forwarding though it with your remote (if on a TV-type setup) or with a mouse and moving from 30 sec to sec. I can go through a 2hrs movie on my computer in a few minutes, and obviously, I'm not going to be on my phone at the same time (because I'll need my right hand to click !). It probably takes me a bit longer when on my TV but still, it's going to be an active task because I'll be looking at checking a lot of things in a short time. I'm much proner to be distracted when playing a whole movie than when just spot checking one.
And in such a case, it wouldn't matter : since the issue is constant over 75% of the movie, any "spot check" past the first 30 minutes would have been on a problematic section. It's not like missing a couple of blips, a missing line of subtitles, a skipped frame or a glitch lasting 10 frames. That's missing 90 problematic minutes.

And I do hope that professional people whose litteral job it is to produce and QC those, are making a living out of it, selling them and making money out of it, are more thorough than even I, an unpaid amateur reviewer, can be.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#466 Post by DimitriL » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:10 pm

And yet, these defects happen all the time. How could Paramount miss 100k copies of Saving Private Ryan going out with mis-synced audio? There have been recalls on the Mad Max 4k set, Donnie Darko and the Friday the 13th box recently. It happens, and it will continue to happen because there are a lot of points of failure, especially when titles are getting pressed during a busy holiday schedule.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#467 Post by cdnchris » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:14 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:It seems to me RAH is imagining a problem where one doesn't exist.

I suspect the papers appear very bright at that moment on the UHD and it's led to RAH assuming they are "blown out". Fair enough, but then to blame HDR and Dolby Vision, when in fact they would make highlight detail more visible, comes across as quite suspect. Almost as if he was scouring the UHD for anything he could use to demonstrate why "HDR bad for old films".
Comparing the UHD with the BD (in this set, mind you, not the Warner one, though the scene is before contrast goes wonky) the document looks more blown out on the standard Blu-ray, and as the shot transitions you can actually make out the text on the page a little better on the UHD, so Dolby Vision/HDR appears to be helping in this case.

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tenia
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#468 Post by tenia » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:29 pm

DimitriL wrote:And yet, these defects happen all the time. How could Paramount miss 100k copies of Saving Private Ryan going out with mis-synced audio? There have been recalls on the Mad Max 4k set, Donnie Darko and the Friday the 13th box recently. It happens, and it will continue to happen because there are a lot of points of failure, especially when titles are getting pressed during a busy holiday schedule.
Of course they do, but even a thorough QC doesn't have a 100% detection rate. The matter then is how low the defect rate can go and how long it'll remain that low.

I regularly read people these days stating these happens "all the time" recently, and sure there seems to be an increase in those, but practically speaking, even with this increase, that's out of how many releases being released yearly ? There are about 400 yearly BD releases of catalogue movies from independant French labels only. Add to that what studios are doing, then add the US market, the UK market, etc etc. What's the final percentage of screw ups ? 1% ? 0.1% ?

IIRC, the Citizen Kane issue will be the sole replacement program for Criterion this year, possibly their only QC mistake in such form. They've released about 55 releases, several of them being multi-movies boxsets. That's a 1-2% defect rate.

And it doesn't matter if you're pressing 100k of Saving Private Ryan or 1000k of whatever, since it's a matter of having that one authoring that then will be replicated.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#469 Post by swo17 » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:20 pm

We're mildly inconvenienced as consumers, but what is the cost to the companies who have to recall the titles? I'd imagine fixing CK might run tens of thousands of dollars. However, if that cost is less than the wage of an additional QC employee, they might not be blamed for cutting corners in this respect. A bigger issue is technical problems deemed not worth the effort

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tenia
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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#470 Post by tenia » Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:52 pm

I still do wonder what happened there because again, that's something that doesn't seem very long to spot, so it seems like something wrong happened in the project's workflow rather than corners having been caught because it looks like the BD's encode wasn't controlled at all.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#471 Post by dwk » Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:59 pm

I assume that some of the QC issues can be attributed to the lack of pressing plants. With only one major plant in North America, labels are no doubt in a rush to make sure they don't miss their slots in the plant's schedule. And when people hurry they get sloppy.

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#472 Post by swo17 » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:05 am

I just watched the UHD on my current setup, which I've stated elsewhere is a UHD player hooked up to a 1080p projector. I justified this moderate waste of time because I was mainly watching for the new commentary, but I've been playing several other UHDs this way for my kids, and I feel like I am already seeing some of the benefits of the format--motion seems a little more smoothly resolved, colors subtly deeper--am I merely imagining this? Probably! But I think if nothing else the Citizen Kane UHD just looks like a better-encoded Blu-ray than the actual Blu-ray, and that's putting aside the SDR conversion error that they're replacing the disc for. Honestly, if the cost of a full system upgrade is scaring you off, but you're also annoyed by the subpar compression regularly seen on Criterion Blu-rays, I'd recommend buying a UHD player and watching the UHDs as though they were just properly compressed Blu-rays

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#473 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Nov 29, 2021 8:00 pm

That's a good way of putting it swo- I just watched the first twenty minutes or so, and without anything to compare it to (I'll likely do comparisons with by blus vs. newly-arrived UHDs of 2001 and A Clockwork Orange later) I agree in the sense that I don't detect a significantly noticeable improvement in PQ overall (though I know my setup isn't ideal for it) but the motion does feel smoother and the image better-encoded, if only slightly. Particularly the grain, in the scene where Thompson enters the library, looks natural and fluid in the spotlight shining down on the hardwood table (which also looks a little more refined). The snow too... So maybe some things are quite noticeable after all. I'll take it!

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#474 Post by Tuppence » Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:39 am

Glowingwabbit wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:26 pm
However I found it very dark too. It's been awhile since I have actually watched it so I thought maybe it was just me expecting the picture to look clearer throughout. It just seemed like details were being lost in the blacks.
I agree with this. Most of the contrast spectrum is fine and very attractive, but the darkest areas of the image have been graded quite severely, to the point where the darker shots in the film look underexposed. Lots of shadow detail just vanishes. You can barely make out the "K" against the sky in the final shot. (Ironically, though, Joseph Cotten is the clearest I've ever seen him in the projection room scene.)

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Re: 1104 Citizen Kane

#475 Post by david hare » Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:58 pm

Tuppence wrote:
Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:39 am
Glowingwabbit wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:26 pm
However I found it very dark too. It's been awhile since I have actually watched it so I thought maybe it was just me expecting the picture to look clearer throughout. It just seemed like details were being lost in the blacks.
I agree with this. Most of the contrast spectrum is fine and very attractive, but the darkest areas of the image have been graded quite severely, to the point where the darker shots in the film look underexposed. Lots of shadow detail just vanishes. You can barely make out the "K" against the sky in the final shot. (Ironically, though, Joseph Cotten is the clearest I've ever seen him in the projection room scene.)
I couldn't agree more. I watched the movie on projection earlier and for the first twenty minutes or so it was the best viewing of the picture I've ever had. As for the two shots quoted by Bob Harris, I think the UHD actually dampens down the detail of Cotton's face in the wide shot at ca. 12 minutes, if only by default of all the other fine detail in grayscale throughout the sequence. It looks less obvious than it does in the Warner 2011 BD. And the "A" shot of the rolling optical into the diary page frankly looks blown out through mistiming from the source material. As Richard Modiano pointed out to me elsewhere, Robert Wise made a new 35mm safety print in 1991 from an earlier restoration of similar elements to this, but apparently he made a conscious decision to undertime it as he apparently found the sources and especially print references he was using were far too dark, or overtimed.

This is exactly the feeling I'm getting now with Criterion's UHD Disc. After about an hour's viewing my eyes literally needed a rest. it has been graded so darkly there seems to be no escape to any true white level within any volume in the presentation. I have to say I do not like it at all. I have only viewed it with HDR on projection to 120 inch diagonal, and frankly it looks "darker" than anything else I've seen from the 30s and 40s. (And I've seen a few thousand or so.) I doubt very much playing it back with DV on the 75 inch TV will help things one bit. The projector was bought by me because it does an amazing job with HDR (Epson TW6050/9400), at least as good as the high end JVCs. I think they've made some artistic judgments about the final "look" of the image, although the text says they used the Warner 2011 4K for reference. It has much more balance and better related white level for beginners. A footnote to this I tried switching the color spacing on the projector during the screening from HDR to SDR Rec. 709. Both gradings looked very very close. THe HDR Rec. 2020 had more detail in grayscale but there wasn't much in it.

It will be very interesting to see what Warner's own disc looks like next month.

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