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: Rio Bravo (1959)  ( 60403 )
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« #90 : June 24, 2012, 02:54:57 PM »

-- I just wish the idiots at Wardrobe had dressed her in something better than that awful brown checked suit and yellow shirt outfit that she wears for the first couple of days. I thought she'd be better in red and black... and indeed, she does wear those colors later in the movie  ;) That brown and yellow outfit was atrocious.
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« #91 : June 24, 2012, 03:21:28 PM »

-- Some may criticize a Western that doesn't have any landscapes (other than the credits sequence, which shows a wagon train passing through the mountains, the entire movie takes place in the town). But that is the whole point of this movie, the claustrophobia felt by Chance and his deputies: they are stuck watching a prisoner in a jail, with the bad guys bottling up the roads and watching throughout the town; any step outside the jail is dangerous. Those who argue for landscapes for the sake of landscapes is missing the point of the movie
The landscapes themselves aren't the point; they are just markers that help express what is unique about the Western. The strength of the Western genre, it seems to me, is that it features stories that play out against a background that itself is of danger to the protagonists. That is, the hero does not only have to contend with the villain; the very ground on which he walks poses potential challenges. No one took advantage of this approach more than Leone: in GBU, for example, there are the desert crossing scenes; deserts are of course landscapes hostile to human life, and can even be made more deadly when put to use by a murderer like Tuco. But Leone outdid himself later in the film when he featured an even more hostile environment, the town under cannon barrage, a killing floor where death can arrive randomly and instantaneously. But then, Leone uped the ante again, with the bridge-crossing sequence, and his introduction of the ultimate in hostile environments, the War-scape.

The fact that a hero has to fight both an antagonist and a hostile environment is what gives the great Western their one-tow punch. And the heroes who emerge from such dual testings are ones who are truly admirable. A "towny" Western like Rio Bravo can still make a good movie, it just seems like an opportunity has been wasted. If the setting is going to be a civilized one, why not make the film a simple crime picture? Save the Western for what it does best, combining a man-against-man story with a man-against-nature one.



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« #92 : June 24, 2012, 03:38:20 PM »

The landscapes themselves aren't the point; they are just markers that help express what is unique about the Western. The strength of the Western genre, it seems to me, is that it features stories that play out against a background that itself is of danger to the protagonists. That is, the hero does not only have to contend with the villain; the very ground on which he walks poses potential challenges. No one took advantage of this approach more than Leone: in GBU, for example, there are the desert crossing scenes; deserts are of course landscapes hostile to human life, and can even be made more deadly when put to use by a murderer like Tuco. But Leone outdid himself later in the film when he featured an even more hostile environment, the town under cannon barrage, a killing floor where death can arrive randomly and instantaneously. But then, Leone uped the ante again, with the bridge-crossing sequence, and his introduction of the ultimate in hostile environments, the War-scape.

The fact that a hero has to fight both an antagonist and a hostile environment is what gives the great Western their one-tow punch. And the heroes who emerge from such dual testings are ones who are truly admirable. A "towny" Western like Rio Bravo can still make a good movie, it just seems like an opportunity has been wasted. If the setting is going to be a civilized one, why not make the film a simple crime picture? Save the Western for what it does best, combining a man-against-man story with a man-against-nature one.


Yeah, Frayling mentions on the GBU commentary how Leone uses the Western town in the way that a film noir uses the city streets: it's a place where danger lurks on every side, and the purpose is to get from one side to the other, on your way to your destination, (there, the cemetery with gold) without getting shot. And he uses the landscapes of the desert in a similar manner. They are dangerous, rather than inviting like Monument Valley.

IMO, Rio Bravo uses the town set in a very similar manner. And those scenes of Wayne and Martin doing their night patrols are often mentioned as having an effect on Leone, most notably in OUATITW as Fonda is trying to walk through Flagstone. But it doesn't use the landscapes that way. This movie certainly has a very different feel, the town feels much more menacing and claustrophobic than it typically does in an AW, and I think that the effect is heightened by setting the entire movie that way. If there had been scenes in between that involved going through landscapes, it may have lessened the claustrophobic, menacing effect of the town.  THEY'VE GOT THE WHOLE PLACE BOTTLED UP, NO ONE CAN GET IN OR OUT. It's almost like a hostage movie.

I don't think it's "wasting" a Western to not have landscapes. Yes, a Western provides an opportunity for the landscape element, but something different can also work. eg. in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, which is of course meant as an anti-Western, the whole point is the town location, which almost the entire movie is set in.

Of course, having great landscapes can add so much to a Western. But here, not having them adds so much.

« : June 24, 2012, 04:37:42 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #93 : June 24, 2012, 03:40:26 PM »

If the movie delivered more in the way of tension or threat I would agree with the claustrophobic comment. But even that's not strictly true. The bad guys are pushovers and Chance and Co. leave the jail to drink/flirt with Angie Dickinson/fuck around at will throughout the movie.



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« #94 : June 24, 2012, 03:57:50 PM »


-- ASPECT RATIO, CINEMATOGRAPHY, and EDITING: According to imdb, the negative was in 4:3 though the movie's intended aspect ratio was 1.85:1. So I guess that after shooting and developing the film, they chopped off some of the top and bottom of the picture, to get it to a 1.85 aspect ratio. (Actually, the SE is 1.78, fitting the HDTV screen exactly, so I guess they either chopped a drop off the sides or show a bit more on top on bottom, compared to the theatrical 1.85:1 version). Anyway, you'll notice on the movie's trailer, which is in 4:3, that there is much more head room, and there are wider shots. So basically they chopped much of that head room, which effectively "zooms" in the picture somewhat, and voila, you have a 1.85:1 movie, mostly in medium shot. My problem here is that very often, parts of the actors' heads or hats are cut off, and it is annoying.


If the intended aspect ratio was 1,85:1, then all the "chopping" of hats and other things was obviously done by purpose. They obviously did not chop something, but add something not intended to be seen for former full scrren versions.

And the DVD's aspect ratio is not 1,78 but 1,85 :1, just like stated on the cover. Why not simply size it instead of saying something wrong again? Mostly the data on covers are correct.
(Not that there is a big difference for the film's impact, if any)


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« #95 : June 24, 2012, 04:00:31 PM »

-- ASPECT RATIO, CINEMATOGRAPHY, and EDITING: According to imdb, the negative was in 4:3 though the movie's intended aspect ratio was 1.85:1. So I guess that after shooting and developing the film, they chopped off some of the top and bottom of the picture, to get it to a 1.85 aspect ratio. (Actually, the SE is 1.78, fitting the HDTV screen exactly, so I guess they either chopped a drop off the sides or show a bit more on top on bottom, compared to the theatrical 1.85:1 version). Anyway, you'll notice on the movie's trailer, which is in 4:3, that there is much more head room, and there are wider shots. So basically they chopped much of that head room, which effectively "zooms" in the picture somewhat, and voila, you have a 1.85:1 movie, mostly in medium shot. My problem here is that very often, parts of the actors' heads or hats are cut off, and it is annoying. Unless you are filming a closeup (of which there are virtually none here), IMO you should basically always see the whole head and hat of the actors. I don't know if Hawkes intended to cut off part of the head/hat when shooting, or if that;'s how it worked out when cropping the film . . . .
I'm guessing that's how it worked out when cropping the film. Hawks was old school and couldn't be bothered to adapt to the new widescreen format. At least on this film, he shot things just as he always had and let others worry about the final aspect ratio. Some of the up-and-coming directors of the time (Kubrick, for one) also liked shooting 1.37:1, but in so doing would always "protect" the image for theatrical (ie widescreen) presentations. That is, he'd make certain the center of the frame was properly composed and contained all the necessary visual info. I wonder if Hawks original camera negatives survive. I'm guessing they don't, but if they do, it might be interesting to se the film as he actually shot it.



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« #96 : June 24, 2012, 04:34:14 PM »

If the movie delivered more in the way of tension or threat I would agree with the claustrophobic comment. But even that's not strictly true. The bad guys are pushovers and Chance and Co. leave the jail to drink/flirt with Angie Dickinson/fuck around at will throughout the movie.

 I don't think the bad guys are pushovers: Nathan Burdette acts the part of the "respectable businessman," but uses the methods of the gunfighter. (similar to one of the 5 stock characters from AW's that Leone borrowed for OUATITW  ;)) He has lots of gunmen there, I don't think they are pushovers; Chance & Co. defeat them with a few instances of luck.

yeah, they leave the jail a few times, and realize that's their mistake: leaving the jail puts them in harm's way, and that's why they decide to stay in the jail (but it's too late). and even when they are out and nothing happens, there is a lot of tension, like in those nighttime patrol scenes. That is often more menacing than an actual gunslinger hiding in an alley: the paranoia of every creaking door and whistling wind.

and even if you do not think that Hawkes was successful in creating the proper tension, I don't think that is necessarily an argument against eliminating landscapes in an attempt to create claustrophobia. You can argue that Hawkes wasn't successful in carrying out what he intended, without arguing that the intent/idea was wrong. So if you agree that in theory it makes sense to try to create a claustrophobic atmosphere by setting the entire movie in the town, but that the movie didn't succeed in creating the tension, shouldn't you criticize the failure in creating the tension, rather than criticizing  the elimination of landscapes in an attempt to heighten the tension?

btw, on the bonus features, someone (I forget who) mentions an interesting point: the scene in the saloon when the murder takes place was initially intended to be used as the opening/credits sequence; while the scene with the wagon train traveling through the mountains was supposed to be used later (I am not certain if it was supposed to be the first scene after the credits, or if it was gonna be used later, perhaps just before the wagon train arrives in town. Either way,) perhaps Hawkes did it deliberately for that reason: maybe he decided to use the one scene that takes place outside the town in the opening credits, so that once the "movie proper" begins, (or once the murder takes place) the entire story stays in the town, so we don't lose the claustrophobic feel by cutting to the scenes with teh wagon train traveling through the mountains.

----------------

p.s. Truth is, even the credits sequence is no great landscape shot. The camera is sitting one place, on a mountain pass, as the wagon train goed by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3dMgEYXw3k I guess that even if you accept that Hawkes deliberately kept the movie in the town to achieve a claustrophobic effect, perhaps you can argue that at least the credits sequence should have showed some nice  landscape shots. That way, at least we could have had one nice scene showing the beautiful Western landscape, before a the claustrophobic effect is necessary. I can accept that argument. (This was apparently a big-budget movie, so I don't think money was the concern). Doing that shot might have achieved a couple of other effects: a) give the audience false expectations, by showing a vast landscape in the opening credits but having the rest of the movie in the town; and b) perhaps provide a great contrast to (or even heighten?) the claustrophobia of the movie: they are bottled up in this street while just outside, there is a vast land...

« : June 24, 2012, 04:37:22 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #97 : June 24, 2012, 04:59:56 PM »

RE: the aspect ratio stuff:

I am NOT complaining that the top and bottom of the movie were chopped to get it from 1.37:1 to 1.85:1 As long as Hawkes intended all along to screen it in 1.85:1, that means he set up the shots that way, assuming the top and bottom wouldn't be used. So I am in no way complaining that the movie is "cut." My only complaint is that in the final product, I just find it annoying that the tops of heads/hats are constantly cut. I just wish the top of the picture would show the actors'  entire head/hat (except, of course, in a closeup shot - of which there are virtually none in this movie). The fact that the movie being shot in 1.37:1 but being cropped to 1.85:1 is only a peripheral point here, ie. my complaint that the heads are so often chopped. The reason I mention the cropping of the image is that I wonder if the heads would have been cut if the movie had actually been shot in 1.85:1 (does film exist of that size?) So Hawkes definitely knew all along that he would crop the top and/or bottom of the image and release the movie in 1.85:1 -- so the top and bottom were never intended to be released, so I have no complaints about the 1.85:1 image: it is 100% authentic. I just wish that the heads wouldn't constantly be cut off, and I wonder if that is somehow a by-product of the cropped image, ie. it may be difficult to know precisely what will be cut at the time of shooting; whereas if Hawkes could know the exact image that would be used at the time of shooting, he may have been able to position it properly to keep the heads in (-- assuming he cared about it. I mean, of course, Hawkes may well have not given a damn about heads, and even if he had actually shot in 1.85:1, maybe he would have cut the tops of heads there too. Who knows. I just found it a little annoying).

@ dave jenkins: If you look on the bonus features of the first dvd of the SE, the have the Rio Bravo trailer, it is in 1.37:1 (I guess it was the trailer shown on TV?) and you can tell that in the trailer, here is much more information on top and bottom of the image (and therefore the image is in  much more long shot; the cropping of to get it to 1.85:1 also had the effect of effectively "zooming" the shot, making the long shots that were filmed seem like medium shots in the final product. Perhaps when you know you will be cropping the image, the safest thing to do is to film in long shot, so that you have more options when editing/cropping?) So I guess that to get the trailer to 1.37:1, rather than chop the sides off of the 1.85:1 theatrical image, they used the full picture that was shot. So dj, if you are looking for the full image, I guess you can at least see it on that trailer.

UPDATE: I believe I found it, on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iBJMtfGx1k


@ stanton the reason I say it is 1.78:1 is cuz A) it fills up my entire tv screen with no black bars (hdtv screens are all 1.78:1); and B) Beaver lists the aspect ratio as 1.78:1 http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreviews8/rio-bravo.htm  (I guess he goes by what he actually sees on tv, not what is printed on the dvd box). Almost all the 1.85:1 movies that I have seen on dvd, fill up the entire hdtv screen, and therefore are cropped to 1.78:1 -- no matter what aspect ratio is listed on the box -- either by chopping the sides or showing more info on top and bottom. If the aspect ratio was really 1.85:1, there would be tiny black bars on top and bottom of the hdtv screen. (Anyway, I don't mean to harp on the issue of 1.78:1 vs. 1.85:1 for Rio Bravo. Yes, it generally annoys me that studios change the original aspect ratio just so it can fit on hdtv's without black bars, but that's a general point and in no way the focus of my discussion on the technical aspects ofRio Bravo).

« : June 24, 2012, 05:10:14 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #98 : June 24, 2012, 07:30:33 PM »

@ dave jenkins: If you look on the bonus features of the first dvd of the SE, the have the Rio Bravo trailer, it is in 1.37:1 (I guess it was the trailer shown on TV?) and you can tell that in the trailer, here is much more information on top and bottom of the image (and therefore the image is in  much more long shot; the cropping of to get it to 1.85:1 also had the effect of effectively "zooming" the shot, making the long shots that were filmed seem like medium shots in the final product. Perhaps when you know you will be cropping the image, the safest thing to do is to film in long shot, so that you have more options when editing/cropping?) So I guess that to get the trailer to 1.37:1, rather than chop the sides off of the 1.85:1 theatrical image, they used the full picture that was shot. So dj, if you are looking for the full image, I guess you can at least see it on that trailer.

UPDATE: I believe I found it, on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iBJMtfGx1k
I doubt the trailer was made specifically for TV. Because it was going out to theaters quickly, in advance of the release, the trailer used the images immediately at hand--those Hawks had shot, before any cropping was done. However, the prints of the film itself must have circulated only in the cropped version--by 1959, features released by the major studios would not have gone out any other way but in widescreen. All theatrical presentations of the film would have been in widescreen.

Now, the interesting question is, when the film started appearing on TV, it was presented of course in 4:3. How was that image obtained? By either pan-and-scanning the release print OR cropping the release print (that is, cropping it again, making a crop of a crop--and as Don Adams would say, "That's a lot of crop")--OR did they go back to the original negative and create a new print in the aspect ratio it was composed in? Looking at that trailer, it's clear that the scenes we're seeing there were composed for 1.37:1. Are those the actual scenes in the film, or alternate takes? If some at least are identical to scenes in the finished film, then suddenly I'd be very interested in seeing the film as it was originally shot. Again, I doubt very much the original negative still exists, and if no full screen prints were ever struck from it, there is no way we will ever be able to recover Hawks's original compositions. It's an interesting question, and I certainly have no way of finding out what's what, but if someone can--maybe Glenn Erickson?--it would be nice to know.



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« #99 : June 25, 2012, 01:29:47 AM »

Before the era of widescreen TVs started I have watched Rio Bravo a dozen times in the open matte full screen aspect ratio. Like nearly every other film which was shot in 1,37:1 but intended by masking for a 1,85:1 (or 1,66:1) aspect ratio for cinemas. I have compared my VHS recording with the Rio Bravo DVD, and yes, it was always the unmasked 1,37:1.
I have checked only the first scene, but after watching Rio Bravo for 30 years full screen,  I can't say that while watching the DVD that I thought that there was something at top and bottom which I would liked to see.

Why should the original negative no longer exist? It is normally that which is used for DVDs, or at least then for the newly remastered Special Editions or HD Masters for the Blus.

And btw Drink, the name is Hawks not Hawkes.


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« #100 : June 25, 2012, 01:48:34 AM »

RE: the aspect ratio stuff:

I am NOT complaining that the top and bottom of the movie were chopped to get it from 1.37:1 to 1.85:1 As long as Hawkes intended all along to screen it in 1.85:1, that means he set up the shots that way, assuming the top and bottom wouldn't be used. So I am in no way complaining that the movie is "cut." My only complaint is that in the final product, I just find it annoying that the tops of heads/hats are constantly cut. I just wish the top of the picture would show the actors'  entire head/hat (except, of course, in a closeup shot - of which there are virtually none in this movie). The fact that the movie being shot in 1.37:1 but being cropped to 1.85:1 is only a peripheral point here, ie. my complaint that the heads are so often chopped. The reason I mention the cropping of the image is that I wonder if the heads would have been cut if the movie had actually been shot in 1.85:1 (does film exist of that size?) So Hawkes definitely knew all along that he would crop the top and/or bottom of the image and release the movie in 1.85:1 -- so the top and bottom were never intended to be released, so I have no complaints about the 1.85:1 image: it is 100% authentic. I just wish that the heads wouldn't constantly be cut off, and I wonder if that is somehow a by-product of the cropped image, ie. it may be difficult to know precisely what will be cut at the time of shooting; whereas if Hawkes could know the exact image that would be used at the time of shooting, he may have been able to position it properly to keep the heads in (-- assuming he cared about it. I mean, of course, Hawkes may well have not given a damn about heads, and even if he had actually shot in 1.85:1, maybe he would have cut the tops of heads there too. Who knows. I just found it a little annoying).

The camera has marks on the lens so that the DoP can easily see what will be seen later in the theatres. It is unlikely that they didn't cared for the picture composition.

It is also often that in these open matte full screen versions you see thing which don't belong in the film, like micros hanging in the image. In the Mount Rushmore scene of North By Northwest even a part of the studio became visible where the studio built set had ended.


Quote

@ dave jenkins: If you look on the bonus features of the first dvd of the SE, the have the Rio Bravo trailer, it is in 1.37:1 (I guess it was the trailer shown on TV?) and you can tell that in the trailer, here is much more information on top and bottom of the image (and therefore the image is in  much more long shot; the cropping of to get it to 1.85:1 also had the effect of effectively "zooming" the shot, making the long shots that were filmed seem like medium shots in the final product. Perhaps when you know you will be cropping the image, the safest thing to do is to film in long shot, so that you have more options when editing/cropping?) So I guess that to get the trailer to 1.37:1, rather than chop the sides off of the 1.85:1 theatrical image, they used the full picture that was shot. So dj, if you are looking for the full image, I guess you can at least see it on that trailer.



@ stanton the reason I say it is 1.78:1 is cuz A) it fills up my entire tv screen with no black bars (hdtv screens are all 1.78:1); and B) Beaver lists the aspect ratio as 1.78:1 http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreviews8/rio-bravo.htm  (I guess he goes by what he actually sees on tv, not what is printed on the dvd box). Almost all the 1.85:1 movies that I have seen on dvd, fill up the entire hdtv screen, and therefore are cropped to 1.78:1 -- no matter what aspect ratio is listed on the box -- either by chopping the sides or showing more info on top and bottom. If the aspect ratio was really 1.85:1, there would be tiny black bars on top and bottom of the hdtv screen. (Anyway, I don't mean to harp on the issue of 1.78:1 vs. 1.85:1 for Rio Bravo. Yes, it generally annoys me that studios change the original aspect ratio just so it can fit on hdtv's without black bars, but that's a general point and in no way the focus of my discussion on the technical aspects ofRio Bravo).

Yes, you obviously see only the 1,78;1 image, but if you downsize the image via your DVD player you can check the size. And it is 1,85:1.
You can also notice that most likely not only on the sides but also on top and bottom a little bit of the image is missing due to the overscanning of the TVs. All 2,35:1 films are of course also missing parts of the image on the sides.

But in the theatres you can often notice that also some parts of the image are beneath the screen. On all 4 sides. So no big deal.

The trailer is then in 4:3 because they obviously thought it wasn't necessary to show it in the correct aspect ratio.



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« #101 : June 25, 2012, 02:30:57 AM »

These aspect ratio discussions are as old as homevideo I guess. Before the 80s nobody talked about it except for the occasional complaint when the projectionist messed up a 1:1,85 screening of an 1:1,37 print.

I didn't read it all, but Stanton seems to be on target.

First, all non-anamorphic films (except VistaVision and Super-35) used to be filmed 'Open Matte'. Few cameras before the 80s were equipped with a 1:1,85 mask. (Sometimes B-Cameras. You see a mix of aspect ratios sometimes when you look at 'Open Matte' prints. CROSS OF IRON for instance. The film was shot Open Matte. But one or two Arri 3C had 1:1,85 masks. So if you screen a 35mm print of CROSS, I have one, in 1:1,66 ratio (my favorite format for this film), occasionally black bars show up due to the ''1:1,85 B-cameras''. Not perfect but that's how it used to be. I'm sure we have some guys here older than STAR WARS who will smile when I tell you how ordinary it was to see scratchy prints, missing scenes (especially during reel-to-reel exchanges), wrong aspect ratios, bad sound and especially 'half frames' due to bad splices. But that's how it was. For all of us, incl. Cinematographers etc. The world changed boys. And for the better this time. One look at our old 1984 VHS tapes and we must realizes how spoiled we are now. Of course I wished that this last issue, regarding aspect ratios, would be handled better. But it used to be a mess and it always will be due to its complicated (and creative) nature.

In general masking takes place in the projection room. Europe used to screen (and compose!) most 'flat' films in 1:1,66; USA in 'American' WideScreen 1:1,85. Cinematographers had their 1:1,37 camera viewfinder and were used to compose their shots considering the international format-chaos: just be sure no important information is outside the 1:1,85 picture area (so European Widescreen was always on the safe side anyway). Composing 'Widescreen' with such a viewfinder is not that easy. Some frames are easy to compose 'wide', some cry for full frame. I used to mask my viewfinder so I'd be forced to ignore bottom & top of the 1:1,37 frame.
Once the film was in distribution, there was no control over the projection. Today we hear big screams about ''a bit more picture information on the right'' or what have you. Most homevideo freaks would be surprised how much picture information is ''lost'' due to masking while projection. Flat AND Scope. For homevideo it is much easier to control, so we see better prints than we used to decades ago. The only major problem nowadays is that 1:1,66 is lost for good. TV set have 1:1,78, modern cinemas 1:1,85 only.

Trailers are not masked for homevideo because the main show is important, not the trailer. But of course they were masked in cinemas just like the feature films.
In the end it is no exact science. Try to discuss it with a cinematographer and he'd tell you the same. If you have a sense and an eye for composing, you feel how a film SHOULD look like. Like I said, there never was a way for the ONE solution. In Paris a 1972 film looked different in theaters than in Chikago. With the new TV-sets again it looks different! Some open matte films look great in 1:1,85, some long for the European widescreen. As a film maker you have to shake it off, there's no point. Except for Stanley Kubrick of course who checked the projection rooms himself !

(as for my Top 10 film RIO BRAVO, I prefer 1:1,66. It looks best that way. I saw it open matte once in a theater (they must have thought it was filmed in 1934) and it was not very good. Interesting yes. Too see 'so much' RIO BRAVO :). 1:1,85 is much too wide for such a theatrical film which lives 90% from its excellent dialogue and character constellations. 1:1,78 is OK,  yet 1:1,66 still better. It 'feels' right.
 

« : June 25, 2012, 02:42:09 AM mike siegel »


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« #102 : June 25, 2012, 02:43:13 AM »

Thanks, Mike. That's very interesting.

So I am correct that this trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iBJMtfGx1k shows the full image that Hawks shot (top and bottom cropped for theatrical and dvd release)? There is way too much headroom here, I can't believe anyone wants to see all that. It was definitely intended to be cut all along. (Even though I think too much of the heads is cut on the 1.85:1 version; there is waaay too much headroom in this 1.37:1 trailer. It was definitely intended to be cut all along). But perhaps it was shot in 1.37:1 so that various theaters could use their own aspect ratio. Eg. like you say Europeans use 1.66:1 so i guess for Rio Bravo they show a little more of the top and bottom. (If the film itself was 1.85:1, then in order for Europeans to get it to 1.66:1, they'd have top crop the sides. Instead, since the film was 1.37:1, they could show a little more of the top and bottom.)

If 1.66:1 indeed shows more on top and bottom, then I am sure I'd love that version -- cuz my one complaint about this picture is that the heads constantly seem to be cut off! Are all current European dvd's of this movie 1.85:1, or are any in 1.66:1?

« : June 12, 2014, 05:47:18 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #103 : June 25, 2012, 03:08:11 AM »

Yes, that trailer shows the 1:1,37 shooting ratio. Very nice :)
But you see it is composed in such a way even a 1:185 screening would not hurt the picture information: there's enough space below the writing in the red area. Also one can easily see what the bosses hammered in the cinematographers heads: ''NO chopped off heads!''. Therefore they always cared about the top of the image while the bottom was most of the time of no importance.
If you check 0:57 (youtube trailer): dead area on the top (''NO chopped off heads!!'') while it's a shame the bottom will be cut of off. Looks good the way it is shown here!

Coming back a sec regarding theatrcial prints: almost ALL flat (no anarmorphic process) prints were 1:1,37! Masked prints rarely existed. Projecting those is risky: If your print is 1:1,85 and your mask in the projector is 1:1,85, you don't have any room for tolerance!
The projection needs to be 95% on the target then or else you see black bars on the screen! Like I said: the masking takes place in the projector. Most of the time. So the right or left of the image stayed the same, only top & bottom altered due to country / projector / skill of my drunken colleagues.

Here are two film cells from my prints. Both first release prints (1969). You see EASY RIDER (looks best in 1:1,66, maybe because the cinematographer came from Europe :)), full frame shot, the way unmasked  ARRI cameras film. I was very surprised when I got my SILENZIO print and realized it was masked! So Corbucci wanted to make sure his film was projected this way and only this way ..



« : June 25, 2012, 03:09:35 AM mike siegel »


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« #104 : June 25, 2012, 03:55:01 AM »

So they basically shot it long, figuring it gave them plenty of options to play around with later on when they cropped it for theatrical release -- ie. they could later choose, when cropping it to 1.85:1,  how much of the top and how much of the bottom to crop, so long as they shot it long enough with plenty of extra room on top and bottom. (Whereas if they had shot it with the top of the heads were close to the top of the screen, that would give them no choice but to cut mostly the bottom when cropping it)

Or, is there some way in the viewfinder that they can see the 1.85:1 image that will be projected, so that during shooting, they know what will be used and what won't?

I guess I am trying to ask if they know what the final 1.85:1 image will look like when they shoot it, or if they don't know that till they actually edit it?


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