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September 2001, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 10 Sep 2001 13:48:59 -0400
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Jeremy's recent comment on how much more understandable the sound is on the DVD of some Hitchcock British films reminds me of how many people I know that are avoiding theatrical screenings in favor of home video, especially DVD.  I mean real film scholars and buffs who are well aware of the differences and perhaps because of that are even more frustrated with projection quality and distracting audiences.  I just saw the DVD of Kitano's "Boiling Point" and am sure that in a theatre I would have thought the projectionist framed it improperly just because that's so common.  As it is the art museum in my city regularly shows films with the characters' heads slightly chopped (admittedly for a reason: the auditorium is poorly designed despite a renovation and otherwise the subtitles would be hard to read) and the film program at the university where I work (as a staffer) had a misadjusted 35mm projector that for two years clipped heads almost to the forehead.  Clearly this isn't jus!
t the commercial theatres, in fact one 24-screen multiplex near me has the best projection standards I've seen in years.  The brave new digital future might only reinforce this:  "Bamboozled," shot on DV, may be the worst-looking movie I've ever seen in a theatre but most of these flaws probably won't be as visible on a TV screen.

Was the situation ever any better or am I just nostalgic?  Is it that now we have a reasonable alternative in DVD that provides compensation for not being a theatrical experience?

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