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Old 30-12-2007, 20:57   #21
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Apocalypse Now in what looked close to a 2.35:1 ratio, which none of the many DVD releases have managed so far.
Blame the cinematographer.

It's definitely admirable that TV is moving more towards OAR. I remember trying to persuade my friend widescreen was better, but he didn't care how they did it (including stetching!), he just wanted a full screen.
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Old 30-12-2007, 20:59   #22
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Doesn't sky box office/movies etc. always show films in OAR as well? If that's the case then it's only a matter of time.
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Old 30-12-2007, 22:06   #23
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Terrestrial has always been resistant to 2.35. In the analogue age I can understand why (mostly 4:3 tellies and whatnot), but as was mentioned above, DVD has helped to pave the way.

Filmfour making the switch to free-to-air is helping the latest push, as they routinely show movies in their original ratios. There obviously hasn't been a huge objection to 2.35, so C4 are quietly slipping full 2.35 showings into the normal TV schedule.

I hope they do so when they broadcast the LOTR films again.
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Old 30-12-2007, 22:11   #24
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Film 4 didn't show OAR when they first went free though. They do but initially they didn't seem to.
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Old 31-12-2007, 01:09   #25
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Years and years ago, C4 said they would be showing every film in (or as close to) it's OAR as it could, circumstances/rights/available prints permitting - before and after the movies, there would be a graphic and a caption about the European Union 16x9 Action Plan. I can't remember what they did about wider-than 1.85:1 movies, but I remember some being cropped, some being shown properly.

Another problem you don't hear much about though, is moving the 'picture' part of the frame up to the top of the screen for foreign language films, so that subtitles can be printed on to the larger black space at the bottom.

I guess nowadays that 16x9 tellys are more prevalent, it's less of an issue - preferred maybe, especially as it allows for larger type subtitles, and the movie itself is still in OAR with no stretching or squashing. However, I'll never forget pulling my OAR taped-off BBC2 copy of Akira from the shelf when I got my first widescreen TV (1994/5), and not being able to watch it properly, as zooming in to get rid of the black bars, and show it filling the screen (as it was meant to) cut off the top portion of the picture. Huff.

I think though, that even now, it just distracts the eye toward the subtitles, rather than having the picture in the middle of the screen, which is more natural.

Actually, this raises another question that I've been mulling over - shouldn't we now, in the age of digital TV be able to turn on and off the signing-for-the-deaf person? It doesn't exactly seem too difficult to have the signer as some sort of 'red-button' interactive feature, surely?

In the long run, it would benefit the TV channels themselves, as there wouldn't have to be a separate version with the signer chromakeyed on (like the BBC ones with the picture in a small skewed box and that same horrible background they've been using since the 1980's), the same recording of the signing could be used for subsequent showings or repeats, and people who need the subtitles could watch telly programs at a normal time instead of having to be up late or setting the video. It means that eventually, every program could be signed (especially as the footage of the signer could be included in any rights-for-broadcast negoetiations with other channels - a pretty sweet deal for anyone picking them up, as they wouldn't have to pay to do it themselves, and would potentially be able to pick up extra viewers).

Last edited by Creamstick; 31-12-2007 at 01:32. Reason: additional utterances
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Old 31-12-2007, 01:14   #26
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Good to see they stuck to it then.
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Old 31-12-2007, 01:39   #27
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Originally Posted by allan View Post
Doesn't sky box office/movies etc. always show films in OAR as well? If that's the case then it's only a matter of time.
Sky still crop 2.35:1 to 1.85:1 sometimes, for some random reason. Chronicles of Riddick showed up recently like this.
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Old 31-12-2007, 01:48   #28
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Well sometimes films are shown 1.85:1 but are just open matte if they've been filmed super35 which is quite common. So you're not technically losing anything off the sides, just gaining a bit of picture top and/or bottom.
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Old 31-12-2007, 13:57   #29
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Well sometimes films are shown 1.85:1 but are just open matte if they've been filmed super35 which is quite common. So you're not technically losing anything off the sides, just gaining a bit of picture top and/or bottom.
But, if the frame is a f/x shot, then you are losing the sides when cropped from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1. Air Force One being one of the exceptions.
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Old 31-12-2007, 14:09   #30
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Not necessarily, but yes, sometimes that is the case.
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Old 31-12-2007, 17:23   #31
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The earliest OAR screening of a 2.35:1 film I can remember was the BBC2 Film Club's 1986 showing of Last Year at Marienbad. Even if it was in another double bill with another Resnais film in Scope (L'amour a mort) which they panned and scanned... I'll also never forgive the Film Club for showing Two-Lane Blacktop in 4:3, a film which is genuinely incomprehensible if not shown in 2.35:1.

I think the BBC's reckoning was that Marienbad is a) black and white b) in a foreign language with subtitles and c) obscure, so they reckoned that with a Derek Malcolm introduction to prepare people, anyone likely to be watching would want to see the film in OAR. Quite rightly, as the film is in my opinion one of the cinema's great examples of style over content, and there's no reason to watch it if it isn't shown in Scope.

The BBC showed some other films (usually foreign ones) in OAR, before settling on 16:9 sometime in the 1990s.

Even before they started letterboxing Scope movies, they did show films hardmatted into 1.85:1 (e.g. All the President's Men) with all the matting on screen.

I think the whole issue is down to UK and US cultural education - we're brought up to think that plot comes first, characters second, and things like picture composition and visual style are nice to have but can somehow be dispensed with - in other words, content over style. Some European countries have been routinely showing films in OAR for years. Back in November I was in Budapest for a few days and one of the channels available in my hotel room (I think it was a German satellite channel) was showing Cool Hand Luke, fully letterboxed into 2.35:1 on a 4:3 TV set and it didn't seem a remarkable event.
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:28   #32
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I'll also never forgive the Film Club for showing Two-Lane Blacktop in 4:3, a film which is genuinely incomprehensible if not shown in 2.35:1.

[snip]

I was in Budapest for a few days and one of the channels available in my hotel room (I think it was a German satellite channel) was showing Cool Hand Luke, fully letterboxed into 2.35:1 on a 4:3 TV set and it didn't seem a remarkable event.
Too right with regard to Two Lane Blacktop - also in the late 80's/early 90's I used to love one of the foriegn channels you got on analogue Sky (not just because of all the soft-and-and-sometimes-a-little-harder-especially-when-girl-on-girl-stuff-porn), as they would show movies in english, in their OAR, and sometimes you would get films that were still unavailable (at least if you didn't know where to look), int the UK, such as The Exorcist, or cut like Straw Dogs.
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Old 01-01-2008, 12:07   #33
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OK so its no Oscar winner, but the Rocketeer on C4 now seems to be in its OAR.
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Old 01-01-2008, 13:34   #34
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Yep, certainly looks like it, looks 2.35:1 to me. Excellent, hopefully it will always be like this now.
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Old 01-01-2008, 17:46   #35
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OK so its no Oscar winner, but the Rocketeer on C4 now seems to be in its OAR.
Vastly underrated film, and jennifer connelly never looked hotter
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Old 01-01-2008, 20:13   #36
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Vastly underrated film, and jennifer connelly never looked hotter
One of the very few VHS tapes I've kept is a timecoded screener of The Rocketeer with a pop-up Rocketeer on the cover - if I ever find my digital camera, I'll post pics It's pretty cool.
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Old 01-01-2008, 20:17   #37
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Fantastic 4 now on in OAR as well. Finally. Well done Channel 4! I'm assuming this is because of C4HD?
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Old 04-01-2008, 21:51   #38
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Not so much aspect ratio related, but last night the BBC showed the uncut US version of Die Hard With a Vengeance, with all the extra swearing and violence therein.

ITV have been cranking out the BBFC-cut version for years (which is of course trimmed further for broadcast) but it makes my day when BBFC-untouched versions inadvertently end up on our screens.

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Old 04-01-2008, 21:54   #39
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Well the TV channels don't have to show the BBFC approved versions. But they do have to show a legal version of a film.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:14   #40
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Well the TV channels don't have to show the BBFC approved versions. But they do have to show a legal version of a film.
Unless it's changed recently, independent channels have an agreement to show BBFC-certified versions where they exist. This did get silly when the only BBFC-approved versions were cut for lower certificates, e.g. My Best Friend's Wedding, which had one F-word removed to reduce it to a 12. Having said that, Film Four have paid for BBFC certifications in some cases, so that they can show uncut versions - Taxi zum Klo and Spetters, for example. Another obligation is not to show BBFC-rejected films when the rejection still stands - which means that no-one can show the 1971 Tropic of Cancer (which was shown on Sky some fifteen years ago) until someone pays to resubmit it. There are several other examples I can think of.

The BBC doesn't have this obligation, only the usual "taste and decency" principles.

Meanwhile, last night, BBC Four showed Expresso Bongo in 16:9.
They may have done the same with The Young Ones later on, but I didn't watch any of that.
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