Blood and Black Lace

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

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MichaelB
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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#126 Post by MichaelB » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:42 am

PAW wrote: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.
"Miscommunication" also implies incompetence, as it suggests that someone as experienced as James wouldn't have been fully aware of this from a simple visual examination of the negative scan. You're not seriously trying to argue that, are you?

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#127 Post by domino harvey » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:05 am

He is free to argue it here in a respectful manner without being browbeaten by an Arrow representative. I don't think anything bad can come of someone questioning an authority (not to mention PAW went out of his way to be judicious and polite, though all the eggshell walking was for naught, as seen above)-- If the reputation of James White et al is as solid as claimed and defended, then surely they and their work can withstand scrutiny from an opposing view. So why shut down any dissent in this fashion?

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#128 Post by MichaelB » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:18 am

domino harvey wrote:He is free to argue it here in a respectful manner without being browbeaten by a producer.
I didn't produce this release. My sole involvement was editing one of the extras. In fact, I haven't even seen the others yet (I haven't had time!), although I've obviously had a good opportunity to examine the restoration itself.

UPDATE: I see you've edited your original post, but I'll leave the quotation as is to make it clear what I was specifically responding to. And I'm a freelancer who works for multiple labels - Tonylestephanois is these forums' official Arrow representative, and the only thing that I've posted in this discussion that's a collaborative effort was my five-point post last weekend (which was developed in collaboration with James White and Tim Lucas). Unless I make it absolutely clear that I'm speaking on Arrow's behalf, everything I write should be taken as my personal opinion.
I don't think anything bad can come of someone questioning an authority (not to mention PAW went out of his way to be judicious and polite, though all the eggshell walking was for naught, as seen above)-- If James White's reputation is as solid as claimed and defended, then surely he and his work can withstand scrutiny from an opposing view. So why shut down any dissent in this fashion?
Obviously James's work can withstand scrutiny from an opposing view, but the implication here is that a "miscommunication" occurred, as though he's incapable either of supplying strict technical specs to a collaborating organisation and of subsequently verifying that they've been met - which is pretty unlikely in most situations, never mind a flagship restoration. And I have every right to defend him against such claims, since he very sensibly chooses not to participate in forum discussions himself (because he'd never hear the end of it!).

If he actually screwed up, and solid evidence can be provided of this, that's one thing - but these "theories" usually crumble into dust the second that they're tested against actual restoration workflows.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#129 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:25 am

PAW wrote: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)?
No. If a soundtrack space was cropped off from a scan that had already done this, then the amount of cropping on the left of Arrow's image compared to the Anolis would be far bigger than it is and several times bigger than the amount cropped from the right. The whole image would thus also be hugely imbalanced, which it isn't.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#130 Post by MichaelB » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:02 am

From James:
I can state with 100% confidence that the scans we received from Bologna were open-gate with all surrounding framelines and sprocket areas visible, which is how we scan for all the films we do. As with any full restoration project where we use an outside lab for any part of the process, we have specific guidelines as to how we have elements scanned, and only instruct the full feature scan to proceed once we've approved the initial tests we ask for in advance.

When we scan the entire film frame this isn't only to retain as much image area as possible. Having the surrounding framelines is also key for any stabilisation work we may need to do.

If I had applied a 1.66:1 mask to a scan already cropped for academy, the composition would look significantly imbalanced and cropping would be severe.
To be fair to PAW, this workflow isn't common knowledge, so I apologise for being abrupt - but hopefully this will clear up not only this particular issue but also similar queries on future (or past!) restorations.

Even though the scans of such films as Blood and Black Lace, The Burbs and The Fury (to cite three recent examples) may have been performed in the relevant countries of origin because the owners (reasonably) insisted that their precious original 35mm materials could only be handled by designated facilities houses, they were all carried out precisely to James's technical specs. This is why it can be truthfully claimed that he supervised the entire process from beginning to end, even if he was never in the same room as the actual film materials.

In other words, even if there was a "miscommunication" at some point, the resulting scan would be rejected because it clearly wouldn't match the requested specs - and this would be obvious even from the most casual glance, never mind a detailed examination.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#131 Post by criterion10 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:19 pm

I still haven't seen the Blu-Ray or even the film for that matter (planning to order it shortly), and while I have assumed that the Arrow BD is correct based on the comments of Michael and Co., even explaining the flawed logic in many of the screencaps at Latarnia, I do have difficulty understanding this image, especially considering that it comes from a still shot in the film.

French LD (supposedly taken straight from a 35mm print):
Image

Arrow BD:
Image

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#132 Post by Arrow » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:29 pm

criterion10 wrote:I still haven't seen the Blu-Ray or even the film for that matter (planning to order it shortly), and while I have assumed that the Arrow BD is correct based on the comments of Michael and Co., even explaining the flawed logic in many of the screencaps at Latarnia, I do have difficulty understanding this image, especially considering that it comes from a still shot in the film.

French LD (supposedly taken straight from a 35mm print):
Image

Arrow BD:
Image
I haven't seen the film either, but if the camera is moving it makes pulling a single frame for analysis, pointless.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#133 Post by criterion10 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:35 pm

Arrow wrote:I haven't seen the film either, but if the camera is moving it makes pulling a single frame for analysis, pointless.
Right, this is why I said in my initial post, "I do have difficulty understanding this image, especially considering that it comes from a still shot in the film."

In other words, the camera is not moving and does not move in this shot.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#134 Post by Arrow » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:54 pm

criterion10 wrote:
Arrow wrote:I haven't seen the film either, but if the camera is moving it makes pulling a single frame for analysis, pointless.
Right, this is why I said in my initial post, "I do have difficulty understanding this image, especially considering that it comes from a still shot in the film."

In other words, the camera is not moving and does not move in this shot.
I can't read apparently, sorry.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#135 Post by jsteffe » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:54 pm

I'm glad that you posted the cap here, because I looked again and finally found the correct, still shot you are referring to. It starts at approximately 12:59. I missed it the first time, because it is only 2 seconds long(!) and it has no dialogue. It functions solely as a short pause or setup before the scene that follows in the antique shop. It was clearly shot at the same time as the longer sequence that starts at 45:15, and it may have been a discard from that sequence that they inserted earlier in the film for reasons of pacing. In fact an almost identical camera setup appears in that sequence, though that shot is moving. That is why I got confused about it.

Now to get to the sequence I mentioned earlier, the one that starts at 45:15, if you look at the shot which starts at 45:43, there is slight panning a couple of times during the shot. This panning only makes sense if the film was composed with the kind of matting that we have on the Blu-ray. The cinematographer was taking into account that some of the image on the left and right would be masked off in projection and was adjusting the framing on the fly accordingly. If we saw much more of the frame on the right or left, the panning would not have been necessary. We are not supposed to see the entire frame of the film; professional cinematographers always compose the essential dramatic action within a scene so that it stays within the recommended safe area as marked in the viewfinder. They always account in advance for projection, because varying amounts of the film can be cut off on all four sides by the aperture plates and screen masking.

I can point to other examples in the film where there is slight left-right panning of this kind to correct framing in tightly composed shots, but they are easily found. I suspect that if you look at the entire French laserdisc which shows more picture area, some of the small pans that we see do not look motivated as a result.

I would go so far as to argue that the relatively tight framing of many shots is deliberate. The film is supposed to look tight. It gives it a very taut, dynamic feel. It is one of the reasons why the Blu-ray is revelatory. The film is finally humming along the way it is supposed to. It is easy to quibble about this shot or that, but I think that is missing the forest for the trees.

I maintain that the film plays better with this framing. It's not about frame captures, it's about watching the film in motion.

And for the record, I do think that the correct aspect ratio and good matting matters. For instance, I was always slightly annoyed by the 1.78 framing of the Dreyer's GERTRUD on the Criterion DVD and can see how opening up the image slightly to 1.66 on the new BFI Blu-ray improves the compositions.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#136 Post by Grand Wazoo » Mon May 04, 2015 11:49 am

Lace-gate continues. Sigh.

Also only 4/5 for supplements, presumably because it doesn't include an alternate ratio presentation? The quality and volume of extras that appear on the disc is staggering to my eyes.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#137 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 04, 2015 12:06 pm

To be fair, Blu-ray.com's extras scores are almost always baffling. I've seen them give countless loaded discs two and a half or three out of five stars

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#138 Post by criterion10 » Mon May 04, 2015 1:12 pm

If it was a Criterion release, I'm sure the extras would've gotten a 5/5.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#139 Post by doc mccoy » Mon May 04, 2015 1:44 pm

If it was a Criterion release, I'm sure the PQ would have got at least a 4.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#140 Post by tenia » Mon May 04, 2015 5:05 pm

I understand how one would take out 1pt to PQ because of the ratio issue. Populaire would rate 5/5, minus 1pt and you get the 4 it currently has.
B&BL might have only got a 4.5, so minus 1pt you find back 3.5. That's harsh because it is certainly not the same of OAR issue than Populaire but mathematically, ok.

However, I have close to no idea how this release can only get 4/5 for the extras. I guess some are really spoilt these days.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#141 Post by Grisbi » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:46 pm

Does anyone know whether the American release in December will have a steelbook edition or will that be limited only to the UK release? Thanks!

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#142 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:52 am

Nobody knows when or if the North American release is coming out.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#143 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:56 am

There's a December release date up on Amazon, that's presumably where Grisbi got the notion it was forthcoming

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#144 Post by jindianajonz » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:58 am

Any plans for those Kickstarter backers who didn't opt for the UK version?

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#145 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:06 pm

domino harvey wrote:There's a December release date up on Amazon, that's presumably where Grisbi got the notion it was forthcoming
Amazon is notorious for making up release dates, and this is no exception.

At the moment, Arrow has no idea when (or if) the US release is coming out - but the UK edition is still dual-coded for Regions A and B.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#146 Post by Grisbi » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:39 pm

MichaelB wrote:
domino harvey wrote:There's a December release date up on Amazon, that's presumably where Grisbi got the notion it was forthcoming
Amazon is notorious for making up release dates, and this is no exception.

At the moment, Arrow has no idea when (or if) the US release is coming out - but the UK edition is still dual-coded for Regions A and B.
Yes, I did get the date from Amazon. I knew this release was having issues but wasn't up to speed and took the Amazon listing at face value. Thanks very much for clearing things up, Michael. I'll go ahead and knab the UK edition!

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#147 Post by DrunkenFatherFigure » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:14 pm

Looks like they won't be able to resolve the issues holding up the US release.

I can't help but feel partially responsible for this, as I just emailed them a few days ago to jump ship to the UK version. Needless to say, they said it wasn't too late to switch over.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#148 Post by swo17 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:18 pm

That's not quite what they said:
Sadly this situation still hasn’t been resolved so we are still unable to ship out US copies...If you are keen to switch for the UK edition please drop us a line...Please be aware that if you do opt for the UK edition we won’t be able to exchange this for the US release later down the line.

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#149 Post by DrunkenFatherFigure » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:34 pm

Well, that part does sound a little promising, but I guess I was mostly responding to:
As we mentioned in our last update we ran into some issues with this release which means we are unable to release our North American edition.
which sounds a lot more final than the wording of the previous update. Anybody have any idea what exactly the issues are?

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Re: Blood and Black Lace

#150 Post by Anthony Thorne » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:06 pm

Anybody have any idea what exactly the issues are?
Probably VCI disputing North American rights.

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