Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

HP to restore "King Kong" (1933) and "re-invent" Cinerama

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

HP to restore "King Kong" (1933) and "re-invent" Cinerama

Old 04-25-05, 02:36 PM
  #1  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hewlett Packard to restore "King Kong" (1933) and "re-invent" Cinerama

According to Hewlett Packard's website on April 18, 2005(http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/pr...5/050418a.html):

Warner Bros. Studios and HP breathe new life into classic motion pictures

Warner Bros. Studios and HP also announced that they have teamed to restore the 1933 classic motion picture "King Kong." One of the American Film Institute's 100 most beloved films and named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, the original camera negative of "King Kong" has long been destroyed, leaving only elements and prints that have been deteriorating over the years.

Warner Bros. Studios has brought the best elements and prints from all over the world and has scanned them into a 4K digital file. Using HP's "dirt and scratch" technology, which was developed by HP Labs, the 72-year-old classic will be digitally restored to its 1933 brilliance. A new camera negative as well as new archival elements will be created so that the film will be saved for generations to come. This new, restored version of "King Kong," as it was originally released, will be screened theatrically and broadcast on television, as well as released on Warner Home Video.

HP has also invented a new film restoration process for Cinerama films that eliminates the "seams" visible from the old three panel Cinerama process as well as corrects the distortions in perspective that were inherent in the change from Cinerama's curved screen to a flat one. Tests have already begun on the classic MGM 1962 film "How The West Was Won," now part of the vast Warner Bros. Studios library.


It's anybody's guess
(1) how exactly this "seamless" Cinerama will come to be (extensive digital manipulation, methinks, since it does not just entail erasing two harmless vertical lines but realigning the whole perspective of the left and right screens so they appear to have been shot by the same camera and from the same angle as the central panel, which defeats the purpose of Cinerama, if you ask me);
(2) if the Warner Brothers DVD of "King Kong" is going to be a tie-in with the theatrical release of the restored 1933 film or still come out at the same time the Peter Jackson version of "King Kong" hits theatres, which will probably be two different times, as one can't imagine two versions in theatres at the same time; and
(3) whether the WB DVD of "King Kong" (1933) will incorporate the Turner colorized version of the film as an interesting extra or whether this version will be rejected outright for reasons of cinematic correctness and be forever lost to future generations.

Although it will be cool to finally see "King Kong" (1933) on the big screen and to own a "cleaned-up" DVD of same, just to be on the safe side, I have just bought on eBay, at great expense, one of the last available Turner colorized/surround sound laserdiscs of the 1993-restoration of "King Kong" and I will treasure it forever, not only as a canny investment but also as a wonderful work of art in its own right. Each of the individual frames of the colourized version could be sold as an Andy Warhol original lithograph any day...

Last edited by baracine; 04-25-05 at 04:21 PM.
Old 04-25-05, 04:27 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 4,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts


Looks trippy!

Last edited by Tyler_Durden; 04-25-05 at 04:31 PM.
Old 04-25-05, 04:31 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 8,572
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by baracine
Each of the individual frames of the colourized version could be sold as an Andy Warhol original lithograph any day...
Buying a colorized copy of a movie is tantamount to spitting on artistic vision.
Old 04-25-05, 04:48 PM
  #4  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Brain Stew
Buying a colorized copy of a movie is tantamount to spitting on artistic vision.
... Which explains why the makers of "Mighty Joe Young" colorized their own film. But,then again, there is no reasoning with the ayatollahs of culture.
Old 04-25-05, 04:57 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,518
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The filmmakers adding a tint to a scene for the 1949 theatrical release is not the same as Ted Turner colorizing the film 40 years later.
Old 04-25-05, 05:00 PM
  #6  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Tyler_Durden


Looks trippy!
Ah be trippin! If you remove the colour from this scene, the heroine disappears completely in a tangled mass of black and white vines. Just right-click on the picture and print it on a B&W printer and you'll see what I mean...

Last edited by baracine; 04-25-05 at 05:18 PM.
Old 04-25-05, 05:18 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So baracine, are you suggesting that the colorized version is the right one?
Old 04-25-05, 05:20 PM
  #8  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FinkPish
So baracine, are you suggesting that the colorized version is the right one?
Here we go again... The trials of Joan of Arc all over again. I'm only suggesting that the colourized version is a work of art in its own right that no one is entitled to suppress on the basis of his or her private or public convictions and that it would make a lovely addition to any DVD package of this film. It also makes visible scenes and details of scenes that were very dense and confusing in the B&W original (the jungle scenes) or voluntarily obscured for censorship purposes (the fight between King and the T-Rex).

Last edited by baracine; 04-25-05 at 05:26 PM.
Old 04-25-05, 05:26 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wasn't attacking you, so no need to get immediately defensive; I was just trying to clarify. Thank you.
Old 04-25-05, 05:44 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 4,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by baracine
It also makes visible scenes and details of scenes that were very dense and confusing in the B&W original
That could be partially explained by the poor quality of most (all?) existing video releases. I expect the subsequent restoriation to be very revealing.
Old 04-25-05, 06:39 PM
  #11  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Tyler_Durden
That could be partially explained by the poor quality of most (all?) existing video releases. I expect the subsequent restoration to be very revealing.


Where did Fay Wray go?!

The screen captures used here are from www.dvdbeaver.com comparisons and all taken from a legitimate 2000 Spanish PAL DVD (Magna Films) of the B&W and colour Turner elements (http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare/kingkong.htm). The Turner elements from the 1993 non-digital restoration were the clearer available at that time, more so than the Criterion elements, which left a lot to be desired. Apparently, another, cleaner British copy has emerged since, which might be used by Hewlett Packard/WB for their digital restoration.

The reason I like the Turner coloured version so much, besides the fact that it untangles the murkiness of much of the original, is that it adds a layer of artificiality on an already artificial film (it's a fantasy, after all) with the end product unfurling a veritable satori of unreality, which, arguably, is one of the definitions of art.

Last edited by baracine; 04-26-05 at 02:51 PM.
Old 04-25-05, 07:04 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
But without movement, that still frame isn't a fair assessment of the clarity of the black and white picture vs the color. Plus, she isn't the main focus of that shot anyway. Looking at that website, all of the people look unnaturally yellow. I personally prefer the B&W version over color any day.
Old 04-25-05, 07:10 PM
  #13  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FinkPish
Looking at that website, all of the people look unnaturally yellow.
Artistic licence... The natives do refer to the Fay Wray character as their "golden girl".

Last edited by baracine; 04-25-05 at 07:12 PM.
Old 04-25-05, 07:31 PM
  #14  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,830
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Old 04-25-05, 07:40 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 8,086
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No spider fight = No sale.
Old 04-25-05, 07:41 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
TomOpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 33,897
Received 15 Likes on 13 Posts
Colorized Barney is teh suck!

just kidding....


I can't wait to see a restored King Kong on the big screen. I'm very excited over the project.
Old 04-25-05, 09:18 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,306
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
will buy a ticket...will buy a dvd....will love it all to death
Old 04-26-05, 04:49 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
PatrickMcCart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 1,030
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Warner has already released dozens of B&W films with extant colorized versions to DVD, yet has always stuck to the original version. They didn't even bother to include the colorized clips of Casablanca on its 2-disc SE. So, I dont see why they'd waste time, disc space, and thought on a worthless colorization made with archaic technology. Colorized versions have no artistic merit... they're just meant for marketing. Except for some of the Legend Films work recently, and some of the digital color applied to Looney Tunes in the 1990's, pretty much all colorization is not only garish but poorly applied. Art? I guess artistic like a 3 year old using crayons to fill in a coloring book.

Sure, they're worth keeping around as artifacts, but they have no significance other than showing the lengths studios will go to make classics "palatable" to newer audiences. It's just like how some high schools teach Shakespeare from Americanized text. So much for artistic integrity!

Colorized versions are about as artistic as censored or re-edited versions of films not condoned by the filmmakers. What really irritates me is that this cheapens the artistic aspect of films. Too many people refuse to look at the motion picture as an artform. Would you say it's OK for someone to paint over Michelangelo's "David" sculpture so that it would have full fleshtone color, hair color, and colored pupils? Of course not. It's just modern "improvement" by people who think updating actually does a service.


Also, Mighty Joe Young wasn't even "colorized" by the filmmakers. Portions of the film were tinted on the original prints. There's a huge difference between color tinting (a process more commonly used in the silent era) and adding color that was never supposed to be there. Even those films aren't safe. Giorgio Moroder thought he was doing "Metropolis" a service by adding colored tints everywhere, despite it being a film never intended for tinting.



Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
No spider fight = No sale.
Agreed. Also, I refuse to buy The Magnificent Ambersons until Warner finds that "lost" footage. And Warner better not forget to include that 10 hour cut of Greed when they do their 6-disc SE of that film!
Old 04-26-05, 07:27 AM
  #19  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

This is a rare view of Barney without makeup.

Seriously, PatrickMcCart, you have never seen the colourized "King Kong" to speak that way. It was done with great effort and great attention to the different planes of each frame to give them more depth and definition. Each scene was treated as a composition. Of course, it looks unreal. But so does the original black and white concept art. And the filmmakers had to crowd all of their matte paintings, live action, double exposures and stop-time animation on one tiny 35 mm strip of film. SFX technicians of today use Vistavision frames twice that size for the same purpose. If you really love this film, you want to see more of it. And the colour helps get you into the action.

And Turner, the Beast of Mammon, didn't only do this for money. He got the best-preserved elements and salvaged the original B&W elements for posterity as well. He also got a decent version of the previously-censored material, which Criterion had only found in 16 mm format and in bad shape. Which is to say that most people who saw the uncut "King Kong" owe their experience to Turner. And I don't hear anybody mention the sacrilegous surround sound treatment he gave the film: he cleaned up and isolated the dialog track in center channel and diverted the filmscore and sound effects to the surround channels for a totally engulfing (if not properly stereo) effect, which is pure genius.

So we at least agree that it is worth preserving as an artifact... But in your history of art course, I guess they forgot to mention that a lot of ancient Greek and Egyptian statuary was meant to be painted over in realistic fashion. Or that Sotheby's does not exactly throw out "school of Rembrandt" in the garbage because it's not the real thing.

By the way, the version of "Mighty Joe Young" I saw was not merely tinted, it had a whole scene (the building on fire) where the flames themselves were very clearly painted over in red and yellow. I'm sure the producers would have colourized the whole film if they knew how, or have shot in colour if they had had the means. [I know this is the worst argument to use on an anti-colourization ayatollah because of the inevitable comeback: "How dare you presume what the artist's intentions were?", which is really funny because it works both ways.]

For the record, the first time I ever heard of King Kong, I saw him in colour. The year was 1954. We didn't even have a TV then and I hadn't even seen a single film in the school hall. I was living in a kind of Pleasantville in dire need of colourization. I was five years old and running around with bad boys in my suburban Montreal neighbourhood when we found a store that sold little press-on tattoos of one-inch-square frames of the King Kong film, all gloriously colourized by some anonymous Chinese artist. We were not sufficiently pop-cultured to know what the giant ape was doing to that tiny blonde woman exactly. But the power of those images opened up a whole world of imagination and colour. I remember pleading with my mother not to wash the tattoos away and when they inevitably faded I promised myself I would connect once again with that mysterious universe. Needless to say, after all that buildup, my first viewing of "King Kong" on B&W television years later was a bit of a letdown in spite of the film's other qualities. Thank God this situation has now been corrected...

P.S.: I have yet to see a single piece of marketing art for "King Kong" that is in black and white. I guess the filmmakers knew what would lure the public in.

Last edited by baracine; 04-26-05 at 09:50 AM.
Old 04-26-05, 10:34 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 485
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by PatrickMcCart
Would you say it's OK for someone to paint over Michelangelo's "David" sculpture so that it would have full fleshtone color, hair color, and colored pupils? Of course not.
Sounds about as silly as putting clothing on the people in the Sistine Chapel. Oh wait...that happened.
Old 04-26-05, 11:17 AM
  #21  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by JLyon1515
Sounds about as silly as putting clothing on the people in the Sistine Chapel. Oh wait...that happened.
I don't see the point of comparing the addition of colour to the censoring of sex organs, but, just for the record, this is what happened to the Sistine Chapel:

The Last Judgement was an object of a heavy dispute between Cardinal Carafa and Michelangelo: the artist was accused of immorality and intolerable obscenity, having depicted naked figures, with genitals in evidence, inside the most important church of Christianity, so a censorship campaign (known as the "Fig-Leaf Campaign") was organized by Carafa and Monsignor Sernini (Mantua's ambassador) to remove the frescoes. When the Pope's own Master of Ceremonies, Biagio da Cesena, similarly denounced the work by saying that the work was more suited to a bath-house than a chapel, Michelangelo worked his semblance into the scene as Minos, judge of the underworld. It is said that when da Cesena complained to the Pope, the pontiff responded that his jurisdiction did not extend to hell, so the portrait would have to remain.

In coincidence with Michelangelo's death, a law was issued to cover genitals ("Pictura in Cappella Ap.ca coopriantur"). So Daniele da Volterra, an apprentice of Michelangelo that after this work was nicknamed "Braghettone", covered with sort of perizomas (briefs) the genitals, leaving unaltered the complex of bodies. When the work was restored in 1993, the restorers chose not to remove the perizomas of Daniele; however, a faithful, uncensored copy of the original, by Marcello Venusti, is now in Naples, at the Capodimonte Museum.
(http://www.answers.com/topic/sistine-chapel)

So, yes, there was censorship, and, by the way, the briefs are still on the Last Judgment following restoration and two versions of the work exist to this day, one with penises and one without penises. But this comparison is pointless as you can't compare colourization to censorship. If anything, it is the anti-colourization fanatics who want to suppress a work of art.

And this is what they wear during their secret meetings:

Last edited by baracine; 04-26-05 at 11:32 AM.
Old 04-26-05, 11:44 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 30,143
Received 8 Likes on 5 Posts
Well... errr... where's Fay Wray supposed to be on that screencap?
Left of King Kong a bit higher up, is that it? I think I'd have an easier time finding Waldo.
Old 04-26-05, 11:56 AM
  #23  
Suspended
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by eXcentris
Well... errr... where's Fay Wray supposed to be on that screencap?
Left of King Kong a bit higher up, is that it? I think I'd have an easier time finding Waldo.
Fay Wray, who is totally invisible in the B&W version of this frame, is on top of a tree stump where Kong has put her while he has his paws full with the T-Rex. She at least appears as a pink (the colour of her dress) blob in the colourized version.
Old 04-26-05, 12:10 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
milo bloom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 13,246
Received 10 Likes on 6 Posts
I can't see her in either one, so I'd lean toward leaving it black and white of course.
And I've seen lots of movie promo stuff in color for B&W movies. It's just the way it was done.

Anybody else have the Image double feature laserdisc of KK and Son of? I found it a few years ago for under $20.
Old 04-26-05, 12:12 PM
  #25  
Moderator
 
Giles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 33,511
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
talking about Cinerama - Warner Bros. should give a theatrical push to the documentary film

Cinerama Adventure

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.