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How Do You Feel About the Colorization of B&W Films???


Metropolisforever
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It should be a crime unless all art is re-colored. The Mona List should be the very first one. And everyone knows The Last Supper could use some new paint. Maybe do a Peter-Max on it.

 

And let's do paisleys and BlueMeanies on the Taj Mahal.

 

Second, it's a crime for wasting apparently precious resources. The Amazon only has so many Crayon trees, and those crayons should be saved for REAL children, not frustrated 20-30-somethings who never got the 72-box but only got it when they were hired by sick DVD production houses whose statistical research is based on their own failures to get the 72-color boxes, too.

 

Third, the wasted CPU cycles should be spent on restoring more films, not recolorizing a few. Apparently, God only gave us X number of CPU cycles. I think that MUST be the reason we don't see more restored films available on DVD.

 

That's the far better use of apparently very limited resources. Why chop down Crayon Trees for recolorization? Leave those to real 5- and 7-year olds for learning about coloring in lines and shading. Focus on restoring old films, not wasting crayons and CPU cycles.

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At first when they started colorizing movies I was for it, hoping it would give films extra life to them.

After watching a few I noticed that colorized films doesn't look natural, my TV set can't bring out the "boldnest" of the color, and very small areas of some movies are not colorized. Ever noticed the small gray areas, mainly in the background.

 

It did not improved on the movie itself and when a new B&W master print is found and a copy is made from it, it actually looks great in B&W. Color does not make a GREAT movie. Schindler's List proved that in this day in age of "high tech" special effects (sometimes boring) movies.

 

If the film was ORIGINALLY shot in color and the original master can not be located - they can use color enhancement to restore faded films.

 

As far as silents go, no way - some silents uses tinted color segments to simulate night, fire, etc. and that was unique at that time. Colorization would destroy that.

 

This reply is to reflect my personal taste and other members will hold different views.

 

To the point I think the original shot of the film is the best.

 

Some young people thinks that B&W is too old fashion and are not wise enough to appreciate the quality of the movie itself and set a predetermined mindset of what a good movie is. Unfortunatly its their lost and may regret it later in life. Some diehards who want colorization will go as far as to colorize the first 15 minutes of The Wizard of Oz. (A little dramaization on my part).

 

Movies like Casablanca will always be great films and no amount of colorization will help or improve on it.

 

This thread is a great way to get members to rethink the subject. I'm certain that there are "ancient" threads on this debatable subject.

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If they released black and white films and shows to DVD with a colorized and non colorized option, some of the young people who won't watch black and white films might go for them. I must say the B/W version of It's a Wonderful Life is much more enjoyable than the colorized version though. Just a thought.

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Yeah but it is originally intended to be in black & white..

Thats what I stick with..even though I watch color for curiosity, black & white is how this film and many others were intended

Just because we are in the 21st century with all the technology and bells and whistles does not mean every black & white film should be colorized.

Respect peoples work...

I wonder how this would work in reverse

All color films in black & white

See how people would feel watching

Wizard of Oz in B&W even when Dorothy is in Oz

Harry Potter in B&W

Sin City in B&W..WAIT !! It already is ! :)

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If the film is well-written and well-acted, I really don't care.

 

And I would rather watch a foreign film that's been decently dubbed into English then have to keep darting my eyes back and forth from the subtitles to the images on the screen. I miss a lot of the film that way.

 

I am very familiar with the featurette TCM shows about letterboxing being closer to the intent of the director. Well, that may be true of directors who have never heard of television. What director intends that his grand vision should be seen on a 14 inch by 30 inch screen? The argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me if a film is going to be viewed on a TV or computer. I know I miss some things with pan-and-scan, but I can at least make out the actors' facial expressions.

 

Then again, I recently saw "Girl with a Pearl Earring" in letterbox format, and in one scene there is a close-up of Scarlet Johanssen's face and the entire top of her head was cut off! LOL, my mom used to take Polaroids that ended up like that :). It still is a beautiful film, but that bothered me!

 

Then again, my vision was 20/700 in the 1970s and it hasn't gotten better over the last 30-odd years. If sweeping vistas are being photographed, wide is better than narrow. But otherwise, I favor whatever gives me a fighting chance to see what's happening on the screen.

 

Message was edited by: AnotherBoomer

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My preference is usually to watch a film in the color, language and aspect ratio orginally intended. Obviously sometimes all of these factors don't play out and there are always exceptions, but colorization of B&W films is something I'm strongly opposed to.

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This subject has been debated for the last twenty-five years, and the upshot is always Leave Them Alone!. The directors knew what they were doing. The critics and audiences through the years have given them their approval. They live on as they are, not as some bored technician thinks they should be. Take a look at Casablanca with its pastel colorization to see what a silly fad it was. Colorization is a supreme insult to the makers of the film as well as the audience. It's a capitualization to the clods who only watch color television because it's a color television.

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I am very familiar with the featurette TCM shows about letterboxing being closer to the intent of the director. Well, that may be true of directors who have never heard of television. What director intends that his grand vision should be seen on a 14 inch by 30 inch screen? The argument doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me if a film is going to be viewed on a TV or computer. I know I miss some things with pan-and-scan, but I can at least make out the actors' facial expressions.

 

Don;'t look now, but what we call "television" is getting a lot bigger, and wider and sharper. And the units are flying off the store shelves. Telecasters and their program suppliers can no longer afford to cater to those who cling to their old 3x4 380-line NTSC or PAL sets that have been little changed since the dawn of commercial TV broadcasting.

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Yes, I know that in "2009 all anolog televisions will be down away with", but I still have my little 20" t.v. in my bedroom and I am satisfied watching it. Although we have a new HDTV with all the bells and whistles in the living room. Still. . .

 

I enjoy watching my television in my bedroom, so, I totally agree with you about the letterboxing of movies. I would rather see the faces of the actors, and yes, I noticed the top of the characters' head is always chopped off. I like to view the movie without this feature, because I feel as if I'm the one inside the box looking out, and I begin to feel clostriphobic, and I can't sit still to continue watching the movie! I have to move around so that I can breathe. No, I don't need it.

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Don't get my earlier post wrong, I think plenty of black and white films are better viewed in black and white. When I saw Casablanca colorized I didn't like it, i recently saw it again in black and white and liked it better although I don't think it will be a favorite of mine. Black and white certainly added to the feel of It's a Wonderful Life. I also like widescreened better than pan and scan. But for some films (which some people won't watch if they're in black and white) and for people who prefer pan and scan over the widescreen (the fools), DVDs should come with options. By the way recent films that were filmed in black and white should not be colorized (it was done for a reason other than economics which some of the older films were done - it's probably no longer cheaper to film something in black and white). And I liked some foreign films better not dubbed but subtitled - I saw one that I had seen in it's original Italian dubbed in English and it wasn't as good. I can't remember the name of it but it one the best actor Oscar for it's lead (who was excited to meet the Pope) and was set during the Holocaust. Maybe someone can help me with this.

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Actually some of the early color movies especially the animated cartoons by Disney and Max Fleisher were pretty bold. The ones I have seen so far is copies not DVD's made from ORIGINAL negative prints. One can only imagine how amazing sharp and bold they will look if they released restored versions to Hi Def DVD !

 

I've seen "two strip" technicolor looked better then some of these colorized films. As I mentioned before I have seen some flaws and the tonal purity of "flesh" color seems to be a little off. I've adjusted enough old color TV sets to know what the proper balance is.

 

A lot of color films from as recently as the 1970's are fading due to the cheap Eastman color prints - some are so bad they look like the brown tinted silent films.

 

One of the best examples is "Around the World in 80 Days". That film was a disaster as far as fading was concerned. It was rescued and restored to its original. My Fair Lady was about 30% faded and recently restored.

 

Gone With the Wind, The Little Princess, and other early "3 strip" Technicolor films fair much better because the red, green and blue negatives resist fading and were kept seperately. George Lucas also kept his original negative cuts which made his Directors cut of Star War possible and its why it still looks new.

 

I am in the process of scrapping what few colorize movies I have and are going back to the original B&W and good ridance !

 

Ever noticed the TCM is showing MORE B&W then colorized movies - maybe they know something we don't.

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