Blood and Black Lace

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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doc mccoy
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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#101 Post by doc mccoy » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:14 pm

Orlac wrote:
EddieLarkin wrote:
Orlac wrote:I dunno, Mirek is a former liner notes man.
I assume it's "ironic" because Calum seemingly has a big problem with Arrow now too. Mirek has more in common with him than he probably realises.
Orlac wrote:OT: but is there consensus beyond Latarnia that the colour timing on the BDs of Whip & the Body is incorrect?
I don't know if it's "right" (just like 99% of any other forum poster who has ever commented on it), but I think it looks better than the DVD colours. The level of darkness is perhaps the bigger issue (though even then I'd say it's far from a write off).
Oh, what happened between Calum and Arrow?
Calum has been sheparding 88 Films these days - he's responsible for the Slasher and the Italian line acquisitions; it appears that the Slasher line has been doing well, particularly The Bogey Man, and it's been suggested that, in light of this, Arrow Video want to rediscover their roots, particularly as they seem to have acquired the Mutilator which 88 Films were after. Competition ensues.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#102 Post by MichaelB » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:12 am


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jsteffe
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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#103 Post by jsteffe » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:49 pm

I am planning to write more about this release on my blog, but I received the Blu-ray last night from England and watched the film from beginning to end. I've always admired BLOOD AND BLACK LACE, but this new edition made me think even more highly of it. Bava was really firing on all cylinders as a director here. The lighting, set design, camera movements, and blocking all work together to create a tense, perversely beautiful atmosphere. Even the opening credits are thrillingly realized.

For the record, I am absolutely convinced by the 1.66 aspect ratio. Combined with the gorgeous transfer, it makes the film feel tighter and more stylish. Essentially, I was watching a better film! It is the best edition yet of any Bava film on home video. I can't wait to delve more into the supplements.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#104 Post by cinemartin » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:56 pm

Is there any news on the region 1 hold up? These reviews are making me jealous!

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#105 Post by jsteffe » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:05 pm

cinemartin wrote:Is there any news on the region 1 hold up? These reviews are making me jealous!
Just order the Blu-ray/DVD set from Amazon.co.uk, no need to wait. It was manufactured to be completely compatible with US players, since they originally planned a simultaneous US release. The Blu-ray is Region A/B and the DVD is NTSC regions 1 & 2.

I recommend just ordering it now, in case they have to change future pressings. I don't know anything about their actual plans, or what is going on behind the scenes with the delay.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#106 Post by cinemartin » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:20 pm

Yeah I suppose you're right. Every other Arrow release I have comes from the UK - I just really like the idea of Arrow US and wanted to support it. But these raves are making it hard to wait for them.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#107 Post by Orlac » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:41 am

I still can't help thinking we could have a bit more info on the sides - the old Tim Lucas review of the German DVD doesn't help! - but it's such a damn good disc...

I really should stop going on that other site...

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#108 Post by MichaelB » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:11 am

The Mondo Digital review makes some interesting points about the way that the framing of the Arrow disc makes it synchronise with the soundtrack more effectively - presumably because details inadvertently revealed too soon in earlier misframed transfers now come into shot with an appropriate aural accompaniment.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#109 Post by jindianajonz » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:08 pm

For those of us kickstarters who didn't opt for the UK release, is there any risk of us not receiving anything? If it should come about that whatever issues are holding up this release can't be resolved, will we still get the UK package at a later date?

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#110 Post by PAW » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:41 pm

I think the restoration looks stunning from some of the screenshots I've seen (I haven't seen it in motion yet, as I haven't received the copy I pre-ordered from Arrow yet). But I've been reading the discussions on other forums about the framing, and, while I don't think it is as big a deal as some of the posters on Latarnia do, I believe too much may have been cropped from the sides (and, if the 1.66 ratio is to be maintained, the top and bottom as well; I'm not trying to argue the aspect ratio, merely the possibly incorrect framing).
MichaelB wrote:1. Both the original camera negative and the prints originally struck from it weren't hard-matted - in other words, the onus was on the projectionist to mask them correctly at the time of screening. There is therefore a distinct possibility that the film might have been screened in either 1.66:1 or 1.85:1, depending on which masks the projectionist had to hand (given that 1.66:1 masks weren't that common outside Europe), and that Bava would have allowed for this.
Both the French Laserdisc and the German DVD appear to be from a hard-matted source; indeed the same mattes are visible in both versions, so, if the negative wasn’t hard-matted, there must have been an inter-positive or inter-negative with hard-matting struck from it, from which the sources used for both these releases ultimately derive. (French LD: http://thelatarniaforums.yuku.com/reply ... ply-184524; German DVD / Arrow BD: http://thelatarniaforums.yuku.com/reply ... ply-184455 Note the unevenness in the matte in the upper-left corner, and the dirt stuck on the matte at the lower-right corner in both versions. The same dirt is visible in other screens from the German DVD.)
The French laserdisc was allegedly transferred from a print; if this is true, it cannot show any image from the soundtrack area, as this would have had the soundtrack printed on it. Even if it wasn’t from a theatrical print, the aperture used to produce the hard-matting would have likely covered the soundtrack area.
Assuming the width of the matted image is the standard camera aperture width of 0.868", to get to the standard projection aperture width of 0.825" would require cropping approximately 5% horizontally. The Arrow BD is cropped by approximately 11% horizontally (in relation to the screen from the French laserdisc.).
4. In order to achieve the intended 1.66:1 framing, as much image area was retained as possible for all four sides to avoid encroaching frame lines or leakage from the join/sprocket areas. All four sides of the image have to be accounted for during this process - you can't alter the shape just because you'd like to allow for more image.
As can be seen by comparing to the other versions, much more has been cropped from the sides than was necessary to avoid encroaching frame lines or leakage. If the negative is truly open-matte, showing more on the top and bottom shouldn't be a problem, either.
I'd be happy to be proved wrong on any of these points.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#111 Post by Anthony Thorne » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:33 pm

Had a scan through the entire film last night and also watched a few select sequences carefully and at length. I didn't detect any misframing at all and the whole film looked beautifully composed on the disc. It's worth noting that Troy Howarth, author of THE HAUNTED WORLD OF MARIO BAVA, also expressed complete satisfaction with the Arrow disc and transfer under Glenn Erickson's Facebook feed a few days ago.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#112 Post by EddieLarkin » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:36 pm

jindianajonz wrote:For those of us kickstarters who didn't opt for the UK release, is there any risk of us not receiving anything? If it should come about that whatever issues are holding up this release can't be resolved, will we still get the UK package at a later date?
I'm sure you'll always be entitled to a UK copy, but who's to say future pressings will be Region A compatible? If the rights issue is as serious as it seems, it may be serious enough that Arrow could be forced to lock their future pressings. I don't understand why anyone would wait, personally.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#113 Post by Ashirg » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:02 pm

Another reason for getting a UK edition now is if you want a Steelbook release, it's likely be sold out by the time they decide on status of US disc and UK disc is your only option. I opted for UK release for my indiegogo fulfillment.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#114 Post by effigy105 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:32 pm

jindianajonz wrote:For those of us kickstarters who didn't opt for the UK release, is there any risk of us not receiving anything? If it should come about that whatever issues are holding up this release can't be resolved, will we still get the UK package at a later date?
I decided to take the safe route and email Arrow to have my Indiegogo reward switched to the UK Steelbook (originally I opted for the US Steelbook). I got an email a few days later confirming the change and now I'm just waiting for it to arrive. I hope whatever is holding up the US release can be resolved, but above all else I just want my own shiny copy of Blood and Black Lace.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#115 Post by jsteffe » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:21 am

PAW wrote:As can be seen by comparing to the other versions, much more has been cropped from the sides than was necessary to avoid encroaching frame lines or leakage. If the negative is truly open-matte, showing more on the top and bottom shouldn't be a problem, either.
I'd be happy to be proved wrong on any of these points.
I don't know what is going on with those people on the Latarnia forum, but almost seems as if they are willfully misrepresenting what is actually on the Blu-ray. I watched the supposedly problematic shot on the Blu-ray with the car on the left side and the uniformed man standing on the right, and I observed two things right away:

1) The camera is tracking and panning during that shot, and the image only could have come from the beginning frame of the shot. If you look at both the entire shot and at the sequence as a whole on the Blu-ray, in no way does it look overly cropped on the sides. In fact, the slight panning in one of the subsequent shots in that same sequence only makes sense if the film was framed by the cinematographer in the 1.66 aspect ratio, with the normal (small) degree of masking on the sides that you expect with a properly projected film. If the framing had been more open on the sides, the cinematographer would not have needed to pan.

2) On my television, the very beginning of the shot in question does not look as cropped on the right as their frame capture indicates! Now why is that?

I call bullshit on the whole Latarnia charade. It's a waste of everyone's time, and it keeps people from enjoying a brilliant film that is presented in a meticulous restoration.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#116 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:54 am

James - your findings mirror my own when I examined the first four Latarnia screencaps over the weekend. These frames have clearly been very carefully selected, with the person who selected them almost wilfully ignoring the surrounding context, presumably in the hope that nobody else would check it.

It's been clear to me for the better part of a week that these people are not debating in good faith even as regards the actual evidence, never mind their fondness for wild hyperbole and gratuitous personal abuse.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#117 Post by tenia » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:02 am

I used to post on Allociné’s boards until 7-8 yeas ago, that’s a place where the level was (and still is) notoriously low. Honestly, I feel like Latarnia’s debate about B&BL BD is the first time I’ve stumbled into this low level of open-mindedness again.


As Michael wrote, they're not debating in good faith, but are only now in a debate of posture : they "know" they're right, all the factual explanations and calculations are not factual, all the experts are "not reliable" (but the ones they speak about are), the reviewers can’t be trusted either and they know better than anyone photography and composition, and the people happy with the BD are stupid persons who are happy paying a premium price for a shoddy product. Plus, let's face it : James White and Tim Lucas never directed a movie, so what do they know ?

Even worse : I'm not sure they would be good at debating, even in good faith. And if they would, they certainly make an awful lot to hide how factual they can be.


That's why even the gif from Eddie hasn't changed their mind, and why I explicitly asked them this morning to simply lock the topic there because it's now useless since it's clear they only listen to what fits their point of view and that no argument, no matter how hard-grounded it is, will persuade them that the Arrow's framing isn't a turd and the color-timing problematic.

So why keeping on ? They're waiting for proofs they won't be able to receive and assess objectively. They're down since days now to simply ad hominem sophisms against people defending Arrow's disc ("The Arrow league") and failed to understand how JP Jackson and al can be as flawed as they're making Tim be.

That’s probably the worse thing in the whole discussion there : it seems some are now simply using their time to trace and point out every single mistake and contradiction Tim ever did, obviously concluding that if he’s not answering currently, it’s not because he’s fed up with the discussion or simply does not have the time to, but because, well, he’ll never admit he’s wrong ! (of course !)

They also fail to understand how one might choose to rely on work done 1 year ago on the OCN according to current technology standards rather than work done for outdated technology 20 years ago with material at least 1 generation away from the OCN.

They won't be reasoned with. They don't want to. They're now down to "all the guys defending Arrow are a league who is not objective, Tim Lucas and others people who have worked on this will never admit they're wrong because they've been paid by Arrow so they're biased and all the “professionals reviewers” can’t be trusted and it’s well known for a long time".


Mirek kept it factual for a time while simply asking Arrow to show for instance a Full aperture uncorrected 35mm frame of the OCN scanned (like Synapse did for Prom Night), and then a comparison of the final composition of the BD. He has shown this kind of comparisons done on some Disney animated movies, and I agree with him : that would be the easier way to settle the matter, and I would very much like to see that too. But even now he’s down to ad hominem attacks.


All in all, it seems to me that this whole debate can be brought down to the fact they don’t want to understand how the DVD showed much too much and how the difference between the DVD and the BD can be not too zoomed in.
That’s also why a comparison Full aperture uncorrected 35mm frame from the OCN / Anolis DVD / Arrow BD would settle the matter as to how much is shown / lost VS what has been scanned.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#118 Post by jsteffe » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:45 am

MichaelB wrote: It's been clear to me for the better part of a week that these people are not debating in good faith even as regards the actual evidence, never mind their fondness for wild hyperbole and gratuitous personal abuse.
There is a term for that - trolling.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#119 Post by tenia » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:57 pm

I thought about this : what do we have to compare where full aperture frame is available VS something more conventional ?
Well, there's Il Generale Della Rovere ! So here is 4 comparisons between the Raro BD (full aperture) and the Gaumont release :

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


Approximative Photoshop work :

Image Image

Edit : beaten by Michael who also did a better comparison :D
Last edited by tenia on Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#120 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:08 pm

Indeed - and the films aren't that far apart in production year either.

Anyway, this is what happens when you overlay the first two:

Image

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#121 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:23 pm

And of course it should go without saying that a similar amount would be cropped off the image when projected. Which the cinematographer should know about, and compensate for.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#122 Post by EddieLarkin » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:37 pm

I dunno guys, in the first two comparisons the SS officer's elbow is cropped off both times! Clearly a smoking gun that Rossellini framed this without any consideration for silly things like projector gates!

Seriously though, great work tenia. I never knew there was a properly framed 1.33:1 version of this available (it's just too bad that probably isn't the right way to present the film either...).

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#123 Post by tenia » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:04 pm

I'll try to do some more tomorrow. It's a long time since I havent watched the movie so it takes some time to check when are the shots captured by blu-ray.com. But all 4 caps seems to show equivalent differences so it seems the framing difference doesnt change from shot to shot.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#124 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:14 pm

If the source is the same throughout, there shouldn't be any framing differences from shot to shot. You wouldn't get that in a cinema projection situation, so you certainly shouldn't get that in a video transfer.

It's different if there are multiple sources, of course - it's obvious that the Anolis DVD was fuelled by at least two. But even then, you should frame each individual source consistently along its length.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#125 Post by PAW » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:35 pm

In case anyone took my previous post it the wrong way: I wasn't being sarcastic when I said that I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

If we assume that, on the hard-matted elements the German DVD & French LD were scanned from, the image measured approximately 0.868" × 0.469" (standard 1.85 camera aperture size), then a scan from the negative framed at the 1.66 projection aperture size of 0.825" x 0.491" would show 5% less horizontal information, and 4.7% more vertical information; whereas the Arrow BD shows approximately 11% less horizontal information.
Is it possible that Immagine Ritrovata scanned the neg at 0.864’’ x 0.630’’ (Academy aperture), and James White/Deluxe applied the crop believing it had been scanned at 0.980’’ x 0.735’’ (including the soundtrack area)? This theory would explain how slight over-cropping could occur without any incompetence or dishonesty, just a simple miscommunication.

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