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The new DVD's vs. the old DVD's

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 10, 2007 3:31:06 PM PDT
AP says:
As it is stated in the original 2001 Kubrick DVD boxed set: "Purists have complained that Kubrick's last three films have been released in full-screen format only; this was in compliance with Kubrick's wishes, and the films do not suffer unduly from full-screen formatting."

Since The Shining and Full Metal Jacket were also originally intended for full screen presentation, how can they simultaneously be presented in the wide screen aspect ratio?

It only seems logical then that some of the picture will be cut-off. Can someone please shed some light on this?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2007 8:27:07 PM PDT
Eric Schmidt says:
Check this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_matte

Kubrick's "intention" was to avoid panning & scanning in the TV versions by shooting in full frame. However, the films were composed for theatrical release, and thus the widescreen ratio is preferred. Basically they were shot with the intention that the top and bottom would be "cut-off".

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2007 7:36:38 AM PDT
AP says:
Thank you for responding--and the link.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2007 10:41:18 AM PDT
Still don´t get it. The back of the older DVD expressively says that it is presented in full screen as Kubrick intended.
If it was originally shot in widescreen, why would kubrick prefer to release it in full screen?
This is so contradictory.
Moreover, I thought there was no widescreen version of Eyes Wide Shut cause it was originally shot in an equivalent to the full screen format.
So how can they be releasing it now in widescreen?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2007 7:17:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2007 7:18:19 PM PDT
Matthew O says:
All the above have not been any help. I've asked this question myself.

It seems to me that The shining might have been really shot in widescreen, because judging by screen captures more information is visible from the left and right sides on the new SE DVD.

The same can't be said about Eyes Wide Shut. It seems this movie really was shot in true 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and now what they have essentially done is fake a widescreen aspect ratio by cropping the top and bottom of the frame, and zooming in to fit a 16x9 aspect ratio.

This is horrible, because not only are you losing information and gaining 0, you are artifically zooming in causing the picture to suffer a loss in picture quality.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 2:54:19 PM PST
M. Franzman says:
The way I understand it is this:
Kubrick (and other directors, like Coppola)
always shot in FULL SCREEN, so it would look good on TV, on VHS, on Cable, etc.
That said, if you ever see a documentary on the making of one of these films, like The Shining, notice that anytime they show the movie camera from the back, if you see what the director sees, it is a FULL SCREEN shot in the viewfinder of the movie camera, but they also have lines in that viewfinder to show them what the film will look like when it is cut to Widescreen format. So really, the director is seeing fullscreen with widescreen lines in his camera's viewfinder. I am assuming they do this so that they can see that the film will look proper in both formats... so they are shooting fullscreen and widescreen at the same time when moviemaking.

When the movie goes to the theater, they have to mask the top and bottom, so that the movie fits the theater's wide screen. When it comes out on dvd, they can release it Full screen, like Kubrick always did, or matted top and bottom, like Coppola's Godfather. Yes, there is top & bottom info missing, less picture in widescreen... but if you have a widescreen TV you still need the widescreen version for it to look clearer and better on your screen.

That is my take on it. If someone can explain this better, please do, I have wondered this for years, and this is the best I can fathom! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2007 9:44:55 AM PST
jcb02 says:
Think of it this way: Kubrick composed the image for the widescreen theater, but used a fullframe to make sure it was also at least palatable for 4:3 home viewing. Shooting in 16:9 would have left his films at the mercy of panning and scanning, so he used a compromise to have it both ways; he would rather have the shots slightly altered by removing the bars than by having pan & scan. What the old DVD editions say is correct- Kubrick wanted full frame, but only for the purpose of fitting standard 4:3 televisions. Now that 4:3 home viewing is quickly dieing out, there is no need for the bars to be removed, especially when the shots were conceived to work best without them. Look at the helicopter shadow in The Shining. Think Kubrick wanted that in there? Or take the opening shot of the new edition of EWS (tough work, I know)- not an inch of Ms. Kidman's figure is missing despite the wider frame- that tells me the shot was composed for a wider aspect ratio.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2008 11:13:57 PM PST
Chosroes III says:
My understanding (based upon what I've read countless times elsewhere) is that, quite simply, Kubrick preferred the "academy ratio" for "The Shining" and "Full Metal Jacket" and "Eyes Wide Shut", and shot them in this tv-friendly, 1.33:1 ratio for his own aesthetic pleasure, allowing them to be slightly cropped for a 1.66:1 for theatrical presentation, after which they would then be seen in exactly the intended aspect ratio on television. He's not alone in this: Godard, Rohmer and other European directors have continued to prefer the "box" aspect ratio over any widescreen format-- and presumably it will continue to live on, widescreen tvs be damned! Bear in mind that the 1.66:1 of "Baryy Lyndon" and many European art films is only very slightly wider-- it doesn't qualify at all as a "widescreen" format, though of course it requires slight letterboxing to present that style of frame in full ("Dangerous Liaisons" is a good example of this in 'Hollywood' filmmaking). As for the visible helicopter shadow in (I believe) the 4th take of "The Shining", this is clearly a deliberate self-referential nod on Kubrick's part-- he had tons of footage to choose from, so much so that Ridley Scott was allowed to raid his scraps for the original theatrical ending of "Blade Runner". . . .

Posted on May 20, 2010 6:01:42 AM PDT
P. Burgess says:
It's my understanding that I don't care how it looks so long as it shows Nicole Kidman's delightful butt. Not usually one for the flat-bottomed types, I am willing to make an exception in her case. Quick show of hands, who tried at least once to bite her butt while watching this movie and got yelled at for biting the TV? I can't be the only one.

You da man Stan!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2012 4:55:04 PM PDT
Chilly Down says:
How did the TV taste?

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Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Sep 10, 2007
Latest post:  Oct 2, 2012

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Eyes Wide Shut [VHS]
Eyes Wide Shut [VHS] by Tom Cruise (VHS Tape - 2000)
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