EPISODE 441: THE REEL THING

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13 Responses

  1. Travis C says:

    Great episode. Not for everyone, but I found it fascinating, would love a future episode with a film preservationist like Robert A. Harris. I also meant to look up Bob Cummings when you mentioned the Disney thing on Hey Watch This!, but as I assumed, it’s Robert Cummings who starred in many B movies during Hollywood’s Golden Age. I know him from Hitchcock’s Saboteur (with a villainous Norman Lloyd), Dial M for Murder, and Anthony Mann’s French Revolution noir Kristen Sales just mentioned in the noir episode, and it seems later in his career he had a hit in “The Bob Cummings Show,” also did multiple Disney specials.

  2. Travis C says:

    I really need to start re-reading things before I post them, but that Mann noir is Reign of Terror aka The Black Book, which I just recently watched, loved.

  3. Edmund says:

    BUT WHAT DID DAVID’S CO-WORKERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE NEW BEVERLY!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      Basically that Tarantino’s obsession with 35MM projection is narrow-minded and superficial. To them, as archivists, the way a film is presented is not what’s important as long as it’s preserved. The whole point of preservation is that people will continue to be able to see things and the New Bev’s elitist and backwards-looking retro fetishism actually works against that.

      Obviously, that’s paraphrased and I’m not certain that I agree (not totally) but that was the gist.

      – David

      • Scott Nye says:

        It all depends on what it is that’s being preserved – in lieu of getting to visit every art museum in the world, it’s incredible to be able to view digital photos of the great paintings in history, but the idea that such photos would ever replace the paintings is repugnant. And sure, you can make the argument that the paintings have more direct historical value because Van Gogh actually touched the canvas or whatever, but from an aesthetic perspective, the real value of seeing a painting in person is to see the way the artist played with texture; the physicality of the paint and the canvas. Similarly, with film, I don’t think it’s possible to gain a true appreciation of the way a director or cinematographer uses light if the process of showing the movie does not work in tandem with the process of making it. And this is even apart from the many ways in which digital files do not, and cannot, truly represent the film as it was originally made, and the extent to which that’s even desirable.

        But in either instance, one could say the use of texture or light is of marginal interest compared to the totality of the work’s accomplishment, and maybe that’s right, but as someone with such interests, I am so grateful that art museums and places like the New Beverly exist.

        • Battleship Pretension says:

          To continue playing devil’s advocate (because I don’t actually disagree with you that much), not all 35MM prints are created equal. Unless the New Bev is going to publish the lineage of the print (from where was it sourced?; what processes were used?), you can’t be sure that what you’re seeing is what was intended by the filmmakers. It’s not the same as seeing the brushstrokes on a painting because the print you’re seeing likely wasn’t struck from the camera negative but perhaps the 4K scan was. There is definitely the issue that even 4K doesn’t have the resolution of 35MM but there are no doubt plenty of cases where a 4K restoration looks more “right” (we could have another whole debate about what that means) than whatever print someone happens to have in their collection or have gotten their hands on.

          – David

          • Scott Nye says:

            Totally, but if we’re advocating for a better film-viewing world, getting everything preserved on film rather than touching digital at all would align the best of these worlds. The only reason 4K is at all preferable (from some perspectives) there generally aren’t new prints to compete with them. If they were striking new film prints instead of – or even alongside – their DCP editions, the prints would easily be more preferable.

            One can say that the New Bev should “get with the times,” but I’d say exactly the opposite. In the meantime, the result of their little experiment has meant more films get shown on IB Tech (waaaayyyyy preferable to Blu-ray or 4K, no matter how “well done”), prints I didn’t even know existed get play (the director’s cut of At Long Last Love comes to mind), and they’re not at all beholden to whatever new DCP a studio is trying to get out there. And because distributors are only allowing some films to be played on new DCPs, it’s also forced them to program some genuinely odd, forgotten stuff.

          • Battleship Pretension says:

            I think we’re in agreement on most of what you just said. I 100% support preserving things on film and not just digitally.

            – David

        • Dan says:

          You have to appreciate a theater that screens Airplane! on September the 11th

          http://www.thenewbev.com/dfsource/2015/8/15/september-11-amp-12-airplane-x2fx2f-used-cars

      • Edmund says:

        I just went to the New Bev for the first time last night, and it was a total jam! I’m glad it has the BP note of approval. There is something about watching a film on film that just feels right. Nostalgia I guess (I know y’all hate Nostalgia)

  4. monolith94 says:

    The Black Pirate! You guys mentioned it! That’s awesome, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Perhaps a Fairbanks retrospective episode is in order?

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      Well, I still haven’t seen the movie. They just showed some clips and the Technicolor screen test.

      – David

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