Author Topic: Stupid Question Concerning Ratios  (Read 1229 times)

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Keener

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Stupid Question Concerning Ratios
« on: June 12, 2003, 03:34:22 AM »
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Though I love his work, I'm not extremely familiar with his techniques because I don't have the Life in Pictures DVD nor have I been able to find any books of him offline.

If I recall correctly, Seb from Tarantino Archives has said he hates Kubrick because he filmed all his films in 4:3 full frame. I could be wrong but I'm quite positive he said that (I checked the board...the topic has since been pruned).

I've also heard that his films were filmed in widescreen. At the beginning of my Shining DVD (which is unfortunately full frame) it states that it was in fact formatted to fit the screen.

So what is it ? Thanks in advance.
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MacGuffin

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Stupid Question Concerning Ratios
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2003, 03:52:42 AM »
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Interview with Leon Vitali, who was tasked with supervising new high-definition transfers and audio re-mixing of Kubrick's films for the new Stanley Kubrick Collection on DVD. Vitali is essentially the "executor of all technical aspects" for the Kubrick estate, and few people knew Kubrick - or his movies - better than him.

So let's talk about this new DVD set. One of the features of DVD is the ability to present widescreen aspect-ratio films anamoprhically, to allow for the highest possible resolution when watching on widescreen TV sets. And our understanding is that there were only three Kubrick films that were intended to be seen in a widescreen aspect ratio...

Leon Vitali: Correct. There was Spartacus and 2001. And then there was Lolita, which was 1.66. The important thing to know about Stanley, is that he wanted all of his films shown on video - anything that wasn't a theatrical presentation - in the original camera ratio that he shot it in. He wanted you to see the films exactly as he saw them when he looked through the camera lens and composed them on set. He was no fan of 1.85, because he felt that you were losing part of the image he composed. Now he knew that, with a film like The Shining or Full Metal Jacket, that they would have to be shown in theaters in 1.85 format. But for video, he could present the full frame as he composed it - that's what he wanted.

Now Lolita is 1.66 and Dr. Strangelove is sometimes like 1.33, but sometimes you see a little bit of a mask in there. That's the thing about Stanley - as long as he was pleased with the individual composition of a shot for maximum dramatic effect, he didn't mind that the aspect ratio might be slightly different. Or, for example, that you might see the helicopter blades in The Shining. As long as the shot was good for him, it didn't matter. He thought it was part of his artistic license.

So the idea was always to present the original in-camera aspect ratio on DVD.

Leon Vitali: Absolutely.

Was there ever talk about doing alternate anamorphic widescreen versions of the later films - the ones that were shown theatrically at 1.85? So you could have both versions on DVD?

Leon Vitali: Yes, it was discussed. But Stanley just wasn't interested.

Entire interview here.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Keener

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Stupid Question Concerning Ratios
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2003, 04:19:04 AM »
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Much appreciated, MacGuffin.
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Keener

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Stupid Question Concerning Ratios
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2003, 04:40:52 AM »
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Please bare with me. I have no film experience myself so I'm trying to hard to understand the basis like I'm sure most of this board did back in thier early days of film loving.

Now, going back to the interview where Kubrick felt "he wanted all of his films shown...in the original camera ratio that he shot it in. " Okay, so what does that say about the cameras ? Are there different cameras for different ratios (which I would figure) [Keep in mind I am very ignorant on this topic but I hold great interest in understanding].

"He was no fan of 1.85, because he felt that you were losing part of the image he composed." - could he have not composed in 1.85 or did he just prefer full frame to begin with and that's the problem.

I'm aware that Cameron was (still is?) a big supporter of full frame as well and reccomends you purchase the full screen editions of his films. What other directors do this ?
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