Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
Message
Author
User avatar
The Fanciful Norwegian
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#76 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:30 pm

Tenia once mentioned a theory that Ritrovata thought the yellow tint reflected how films would've looked when projected "back then." But I don't think that rationale (if it has any validity at all) would hold up for a film released in 2000, which isn't exactly "back then" considering the vintage of the films Ritrovata normally handles.

User avatar
Saturnome
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:22 pm

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#77 Post by Saturnome » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:37 pm

Why don't we have an official answer from Ritrovata regarding this? It's been going on for years and we're still simply enduring this, wondering if they're even aware of what they are doing, as if they were gods and not people that someone in the know could contact.

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#78 Post by tenia » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:54 pm

The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:Tenia once mentioned a theory that Ritrovata thought the yellow tint reflected how films would've looked when projected "back then." But I don't think that rationale (if it has any validity at all) would hold up for a film released in 2000, which isn't exactly "back then" considering the vintage of the films Ritrovata normally handles.
I've visited Ritrovata's lab in Paris since and confirm they consider this LUT to properly reflect how older film-shot movies were projected in the past. To sum up, they have some kind of cursor for applying this "vintage" LUT and balance things out between direct appliance and a much lighter touch, which equals for them having a 100% vintage look or a 100% modern look (for instance their Paramount's gradings).

They also said 2 things :
- some reference prints they used ARE that yellow and when Ritrovata performed A/B comparisons between their gradings and the prints, they found it to be quite accurate. This concerns notably the 4 Bruce Lee movies but also the Leone movies.
- they however told me that if they were to go back to some restorations, they would dial back on how intensely they applied this LUT. They told me they were actually already tone down their use of the LUT or the intensity of its use. For instance, on Corbucci's Le Spécialiste, you can spot their grading on a couple of shots but it's otherwise extremely light. Same goes for Cyrano de Bergerac.
Saturnome wrote:Why don't we have an official answer from Ritrovata regarding this? It's been going on for years and we're still simply enduring this, wondering if they're even aware of what they are doing, as if they were gods and not people that someone in the know could contact.
It's very weird. In one hand, the industry is quite hush hush about this kind of things but on the other hand, I've been able to spend 3-4 hrs in Ritrovata's lab and chat for about 2hrs with their CEO, and I'm just an educated amateur.

But they're very aware that they're leaving a color signature (including on their B&W movies), which led to a fascinating discussion about the different signatures of various labs, including how the seeming lack of signatures of some labs might be a signature in some way. And this hypothetical question : when Grover Crips and his colorist will retire, will we see the difference on Sony's catalogue ?


My biggest and fundamental issue with all these questions is that I'm quite young and discovering all these movies for the first time, and it's hard to know at times if what I'm discovering is artistically conveying the feeling it's supposed to when Eclair is doing everything blue, Ritrovata everything yellow, Paramount everything creamy brown, etc etc. The most symptomatic exemple to me is Autumn Sonata, which I've discovered in a surprisingly warm color grading through Criterion's BD release and which is now very cold in the Bergman set. So which is it ? Surprisingly warm or more predicatably cold ?

User avatar
Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#79 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:23 pm

tenia wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:54 pm
... My biggest and fundamental issue with all these questions is that I'm quite young and discovering all these movies for the first time, and it's hard to know at times if what I'm discovering is artistically conveying the feeling it's supposed to...
I know this is purely anecdotal, but I saw a lot of movies in American cinemas in the early 70s (late 60s as well) all the way through the first part of this year, and I never recall them looking as piss yellow as some of those Ritrovata color gradings. I appreciate the effort you've made in getting answers, but I just don't think it explains how unnatural the results can be. Aside from cases where the projection bulb was clearly dimming, most films I saw in the 70s had neutral whites and natural blue skies as far as I can remember. If they all looked as weird as some of the Blu-ray representations, I would have noticed.

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#80 Post by tenia » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:49 pm

Oh I don't think it explains anything either. I've recently seen movies shown in 35mm from vintage copies stored at my local cinematheque. I've seen La classe operaia va in paradiso especially, and it was quite yellow but not at all the kind of blanket tint you can find on Ritrovata's gradings. You can still find pure whites and pure whites and only some elements of the frame are yellow.
I've also seen Mimic and yeah, it didn't look at all like the DVD or the BD gradings, the print being much more nuanced and dynamic in its grading especially regarding blues.

hadyn
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 2:37 pm

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#81 Post by hadyn » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:03 am

Is this an old web page? Noticed it on one of the news sites covering the new 4k ITMFL trailer. Very thankful to see 2046 listed as one of the 4k restorations:

https://www.block2distribution.com/col ... -kar-wai-1

User avatar
dadaistnun
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:31 am

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#82 Post by dadaistnun » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:06 am

The 4K restoration of ITMFL is screening at the New York Film Festival, which, due to COVID, is making most of their screenings available online as well. Virtual tickets and screening windows are limited for most titles, though there's no indication of what those limits are for this yet.

User avatar
jwd5275
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:26 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#83 Post by jwd5275 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 4:31 pm

In their upcoming Wong Kar-Wai retrospective, Janus will be touring an extended cut of The Hand, his contribution to the omnibus film Eros.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#84 Post by domino harvey » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:40 pm

May be titled “the World of Wong Kar-wai” based on the Janus listing

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#85 Post by swo17 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:46 pm

So...forgoing Ashes of Time cut controversy by omitting the film entirely?

User avatar
The Fanciful Norwegian
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#86 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:45 pm

We've known since January (when Janus originally announced this retrospective, under the same name) that the two Sony titles aren't part of the tour, though some venues might book them separately. These are just the films that can be theatrically booked through Janus, which doesn't tell us anything about whether Criterion will be releasing the other two. But for Ashes of Time I don't expect anything except the Redux cut, and the fact that there's no 4K restoration strikes me as confirmation that Wong considers Redux to be the film's final form (its Chinese title is actually 終極版 "ultimate/final edition") and isn't interested in revisiting any of the earlier cuts. It wouldn't be out of character for Criterion, given precedents like Thief and Heaven's Gate.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#87 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:26 am

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:40 pm
May be titled “the World of Wong Kar-wai” based on the Janus listing
There go my hopes for "The Subjective Experience of Objective Upheaval: Romanticised Travelling Through Time With Wong Kar-Wai"

artfilmfan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#88 Post by artfilmfan » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:11 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:26 am
domino harvey wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:40 pm
May be titled “the World of Wong Kar-wai” based on the Janus listing
There go my hopes for "The Subjective Experience of Objective Upheaval: Romanticised Travelling Through Time With Wong Kar-Wai"
This might restore your hopes: “The Subjective Experience of Objective Upheaval: Romanticised Travelling Through Ashless Time With Wong Kar-Wai”

User avatar
Tuppence
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:52 am

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#89 Post by Tuppence » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:01 pm

It's kind of worrying that Fallen Angels has a 2.39:1 aspect ratio listed on the Janus site. Is this accurate? Has Wong Kar-wai reframed it?

cowboydan
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:27 pm

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#90 Post by cowboydan » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:01 pm

Tuppence wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:01 pm
It's kind of worrying that Fallen Angels has a 2.39:1 aspect ratio listed on the Janus site. Is this accurate? Has Wong Kar-wai reframed it?
I would bet on it just being a mistake. That would be a dramatic change.

User avatar
Tuppence
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:52 am

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#91 Post by Tuppence » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:04 am

I emailed Janus Films for clarification, and it's not a typo.

From their press notes:
Fallen Angels is newly presented in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, a format that Wong had originally envisioned for the film. "The restoration provides the opportunity to realize our artistic intention that we couldn't have achieved technically twenty-five years ago," says the director.

User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#92 Post by antnield » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:16 am

Wong's intentions were discussed, briefly, in Sight & Sound's 'The Business' section in 1996:
Working with his regular cameraman, Chris Doyle, Wong felt the disorienting effect for Fallen Angels (not to be watched when feeling vulnerable) would be enhanced if shot in CinemaScope, the widescreen process which requires anamorphic compression of the image onto film, with subsequent projection through an equivalent lens opening it out to a screen ratio of 2.35:1 – around 25 per cent wider than Panavision’s 1.85:1.

Hong Kong being so relentlessly vertical a city, subjecting it to this kind of treatment would (felt Wong) prove interesting. Problem was, the HK industry’s relatively few ’Scope cameras are in great demand with mainstream martial-arts moviemakers (very few of whom use the modern city as their setting). In a last-ditch attempt to get the desired effect, Wong toyed with the idea of shooting in normal widescreen, but projecting through an anamorphic lens, which gives precisely the opposite effect you get when the credits of a ’Scope film are squeezed onto a regular 4x3 television screen.

When he finished the film, the director set up a screening for himself to try it out. Sadly, he decided the distortion was too great. But some enterprising late-night programmer might like to try this out if and when Fallen Angels gets UK distribution.

User avatar
Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#93 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:45 am

Wait a minute. So this new version could end up being a result of both cropping and stretching? :shock:

User avatar
Tuppence
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:52 am

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#94 Post by Tuppence » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:29 am

I'd imagine it would be a shot-by-shot reframing into the scope format - it sounds like WKW realised that the stretching was a no-go back in 1995.

The 1.85 UK Blu-ray of this is still available for £7.99 at Amazon, for those keen to archive the original in 1080p.

User avatar
Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#95 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:37 pm

Tuppence wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:29 am
I'd imagine it would be a shot-by-shot reframing into the scope format - it sounds like WKW realised that the stretching was a no-go back in 1995...
I would hope so, if narrowing the aspect ratio is a must in his mind. But there's a difference between saying the "projection through an anamorphic lens" experiment produced too much distortion and saying any distortion would be unacceptable. With today's digital technology, he could theoretically stretch the image as much as he thought suitable to avoid more drastic top-and-bottom cropping. I guess I'm just surprised Wong thought projecting through an anamorphic lens back in '95 would produce suitable results at all.

User avatar
L.A.
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#96 Post by L.A. » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:42 pm

Can’t they add both ratios on the disc?

User avatar
Tuppence
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:52 am

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#97 Post by Tuppence » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:59 pm

In theory, yes, but it would need WKW's approval. I suspect we'll only find out when the release is announced.

User avatar
feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#98 Post by feihong » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:27 pm

Wong seems determined to end up the George Lucas of Hong Kong cinema––not in terms of the popularity of his product, but only in the sense that his niggling alterations and "corrections" of his films to express his altered after-the-fact intentions for the films will lead his biggest fans to resent him for decades. It's probably a good idea to hang on to the Kino discs at this point, to the Mei Ah DVD of Ashes of Time, and to Criterion's previous blu ray of In the Mood for Love (that one at least will probably not be a result of Wong's whims), and maybe even the older Criterion Chungking Express blu ray.

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#99 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:47 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:37 pm
Tuppence wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:29 am
I'd imagine it would be a shot-by-shot reframing into the scope format - it sounds like WKW realised that the stretching was a no-go back in 1995...
I would hope so, if narrowing the aspect ratio is a must in his mind. But there's a difference between saying the "projection through an anamorphic lens" experiment produced too much distortion and saying any distortion would be unacceptable. With today's digital technology, he could theoretically stretch the image as much as he thought suitable to avoid more drastic top-and-bottom cropping. I guess I'm just surprised Wong thought projecting through an anamorphic lens back in '95 would produce suitable results at all.
I'm hoping he's just cropping and re-framing shot-by-shot which would be SOP in the industry right now (and can be done with care, arguments about compromising original framing aside).

Stretching would be awful. People with no sense of taste who only wish to "fill" their screens are already doing that with other things they're watching and it's impossible to see how that would be aesthetically good for the film.

User avatar
Grand Wazoo
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:23 pm

Re: Forthcoming: Wong Kar-wai Box

#100 Post by Grand Wazoo » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:10 pm

Welp, real glad I sold all my Criterion and Kino WKW blus once this box was confirmed. At least I made some decent money. Maybe the goal of all this is to keep the value of his old releases high!

Post Reply