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In a message dated 6/9/00 12:04:37 AM, [log in to unmask] writes:

>As for your list... I dare say that the compositional care given to the
>visuals of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is not quite in the same
>league as The Wild Bunch, Lawrence of Arabia, 2001 and good many other
>60s and 70s Hollywood examples. If so, we might as well as add the widescreen
>anamorphic, 2.35:1 aspect ratio of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

I disagree.

You jokingly mention Austin Powers, but Im not sure it's as laughable a
proposition as you seem to think.

While the films you cite are certainly primary examples of widescreen image
composition, that doesn't necessarily mean that Buckaroo Banzai, by virtue of
not having been nominated to the same pantheon, is any less so.  While I
can't speak to Buckaroo Banzai  particularly, having not seen it in years
(where *is* that remastered DVD?!?), I could certainly think of five films
within the past year that do/will suffer from a pan & scan video transfer.

American Beauty
Fight Club
American Psycho
Mission Impossible 2
Shanghai Noon

While some of those are certainly not up to the classic status of Larry or
The Bunch, I still maintain that doesnt make them any less deserving of
credit.

Further, I can think of several directors who consciously work in the wider
aspect ratio, intending their films to be seen in 2.35:1 regardless of the
economic promise of the home video market.  John Carpenter, David Fincher,
and Luc Besson have all explicitly stated their preference for the 2.35:1
ratio and consistently make films that take full advantage of said ratio.
Even the work of Michael Bay (speaking of not being in the pantheon...)
suffers quite a bit from the move to video.  Several key action sequences
from The Rock and Armageddon are little more than unwatchable  blurs on
panned and scanned video.

The other issue that your previous post did not address is that of pacing.
While Gattaca may lose no "relevant" visual information (it goes without
saying here that relevant is certainly a judgment call), the truth is that
quite a few shots are in essence reedited: what appeared in the original
ratio as a single continuous shot is cropped as two separate shots with the
video cutting back and forth between them.  This faux cutting alters the
pacing of the film and certainly changes the original tone of several key
scenes.

Ed Owens

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