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After watching Reap the Wild Wind and Life With Father, I ask this of Hollywood. BRING BACK TECHNICOLOR!!! PLEASE!!! NO MORE 3D, I WANT TECHNICOLOR!!! I WOULD EVEN GO TO THE CINEMA MORE. PLEASE, DEAR GOD PLEASE!!!! I BEG OF YOU HOLLYWOOD :D . Seriously, I knew films like Gone With the Wind and The Searchers among others look great in Technicolor, but, these two I recently watched looked sharp. Something about the look, the texture. Really made films pop. Now, to view The Black Swan B-)

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As much as an advocate am I for the dye-transfer technology, I think just as much of the look of classic Technicolor pictures is due to the DESIGN. The modern color processes can replicate colors just as well (though not with the opacity of dye-transfer), but most films are designed for realistic or even purposefully drab effect.

 

Most of the prints being transferred for DVD or cablecast on TCM are NOT dye-transfer prints. They are new, lowfade prints struck from (usually) original separation negatives. But they retain the "Glorious Technicolor" look because of the set, costume and lighting designs. Can you imagine a film today being designed to resemble one of the Archer productions?? Not bloody likely. That was cinematic poetry. Today the emphasis is on CGI trickery, not painting with a broad, extravagant palette (or a broad Eugene Pallette!! ;) ).

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I wish TCM would show the first outdoor Technicolor film, *The Trail of the Lonesome Pine* (1936). It's a great story with a great cast (Beulah Bondi has one of her best roles ever), and it is beautiful to look at, partly thanks to Technicolor.

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>As much as an advocate am I for the dye-transfer technology, I think just as much of the look of classic Technicolor pictures is due to the DESIGN. The modern color processes can replicate colors just as well (though not with the opacity of dye-transfer), but most films are designed for realistic or even purposefully drab effect.

 

>Most of the prints being transferred for DVD or cablecast on TCM are NOT dye-transfer prints. They are new, lowfade prints struck from (usually) original separation negatives. But they retain the "Glorious Technicolor" look because of the set, costume and lighting designs. Can you imagine a film today being designed to resemble one of the Archer(s) productions?? Not bloody likely. That was cinematic poetry. Today the emphasis is on CGI trickery, not painting with a broad, extravagant palette (or a broad Eugene Pallette!! ;) ).

 

Well, no. I know someone who used to work for the old Metrocolor Labs. One day, he related, Columbia sent over an IB Technicolor print and asked them to run off a new Metrocolor (Eastman) print that would duplicate it. The Metrocolor Labs staff tried and tried and tried but finally had to give up. They concluded that there was just no way that a chemical print could match the tones and contrasts of dye-transfer Tech. This was, granted, quite a long time ago, and film technology has advanced since then, but those metallic dyes at the heart of the IB process are still the gold standard -- even if they weren't permanent and fade-free...but they are...

 

I do agree with you that that long-gone style of cinematography maximized the potential of those colors (which were also chosen by art directors and costume designers with far more care than they are today). That generation of cameramen knew how to define objects and planes within the frame with color and shadow, a lost art nowadays.

 

As for DVD's and Blu-rays, they're transfered from prints only as a last resort; if negatives exist in useable condition, either full-color monopack or black-and-white negative color separations, then transfers are made directly from those elements. They will always yield the sharpest image and the truest color.

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Also keep in mind that film printing and projection is a very different thing than video presentation.

 

 

 

No matter what the quality of the source material, replicating the big screen theater experience on your TV set, no matter how high quality, isn't the same thing.

 

 

 

I'm not saying it is worse, necessarily, just different.

 

 

 

DM

 

Edited by: RPMay on Feb 17, 2012 8:23 AM

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Oh how I long to see that Robin Hood film projected at my local theater! I can't IMAGINE the "look". I agree with Reap The Wild Wind looking gorgeous in part to the lighting & color. Black Narcissus is another film that truly benefits for the color.

 

Just recently watched Pete Kelly's Blues and was jolted by the gorgeous color & lighting which greatly adds to the story. The art director was a "Disney" artist-it showed.

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