Apropos a possibly 'restored' version of BLOW-UP in which the qualities of colour and focus were inconsistent, Murray Pomerance asks: > I write then, to ask if anyone knows details of the apparent restoration > of this film--details which could shed light on the inconsistency of a > print such I saw yesterday. I do not know of this restoration, but there are a number of possible causes for the problems you describe. If all the visual properties appear consistent throughout the film EXCEPT focus, then my first port of call would be gate pressure on the projector (i.e. the volume of force with which the film is held against the hole between it and the shutter between intermittent movements). I have had to deal with a number of problems caused by polyester prints and insufficient pressure. Polyester, which in the last decade or so has been replacing cellulose triacetate as the main base material for 35mm film, is a lot thinner than CTA. Thus projectors which were designed for use with nitrate or CTA stock often cannot cope with the increased pressure needed by polyester, resulting in worn out gate plates and failure to keep the film pressed firmly against the base plate. If the film is not held firmly in place then the distance between it and the lens starts to change. Result: the picture swims in and out of focus. If you are convinced that the problem is printed onto the actual film (which, if the focus problem is shot-specific, is likely to be the case) then there are all sorts of possible culprits. If a shot is used more than once in the film, then it may be derived from a copy of the camera negative rather than the original (hence, during the late '20s, when a lot of productions were made in both silent and sound versions, each shot was taken by two cameras simultaneously in order to produce two separate camera negatives). Obviously the copy will not be as sharp. If the print derives from three-strip separations - where the camera negative or a preservation master exists as three separate b/w components which register the red, green and blue components of the image separately - then those separations may have shrunk to differing degrees, making it impossible to align, or "register" the negatives accurately enough to make a perfectly focused combined copy. I would say that those are the two most likely reasons. Cheers Leo P.S. did anyone spot the boom mike in 'Titanic' (just after the lookouts in the crow's nest are enjoying a spot of male spectatorship on K & L; the sound technicians obviously thought that the top of the frame would be so dark that the same principle would apply as with the iceberg)? If even the great James Cameron can't vanquish them, then I guess the rest of us don't stand a chance... ---- Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the University of Alabama.