That means the film was soft-matted, and we're seeing material the
director never intended to be in the frame. What is more disturbing is
that the director's cut of _Army of Darkness_ is zoomed in, so we lose
picture information on all four sides, with its 1.66 letterbox (it's
actually less, but that's what it says on the box).


On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Marty Fairbairn wrote:

> I was wondering if anyone else has noticed that some films which claim to "preserve the original aspect ratio" intended by the director in some cases actually achieve their ratios by cropping the video image at the top and bottom.  This is particularly annoying for those of us who are interested in seeing the film as it was shown in
> theatres.  Two example that come to mind immediately are SCHINDLER'S LIST, where a comparison of both "letterbox" and full-screen versions clearly reveals that portions of the frame at top and bottom have been cropped in order to achieve the "letterbox" effect, and TAXI DRIVER [!!], where a similar comparison shows similar matting
> has taken place!  I know that there are better battles to fight than this one, so I haven't done anything about it, but it has made me wary of buying "letterboxed" movies on VHS.
> Cheers,
> Marty Fairbairn
> Guelph, Ontario
> ----
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite

Scott Andrew Hutchins
Cracks in the Fourth Wall Filmworks/Oz, Monsters, Kamillions, and More!
(with special musical guest Leila Josefowicz)

"Who's John Adams?"  --Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., at Monticello,
after failing to recognize busts of other founding fathers.

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