Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Harrumph

After I had dinner with my parents, I went to hang out with Dan and Mad Mike over at Dan's apartment. I needed some normal decompression time. Of course, Dan had rented Morvern Caller (more on that movie soon) so I didn't get that, exactly.

However, on the way home, late at night, I snuck in and checked on my grandparents' house. I emptied the pan under the dehumidifier in the basement, which I knew was getting tall. My grandfather was hoping that I'd stay there last night, but I can't deal with my grandmother at the moment and I had other things I needed to do. However, she told him that I didn't show up at all last night. I don't know how he's taking it, but I'm amused the it, especially considering that I think it was her who mentioned the dehumidifier pan in the first place.



The Defender of Pornography


I finally got to see the episode of Coupling that I've heard of from suitboyskin, in which Susan finds Steve's copy of Lesbian Spank Inferno, and forces him to explain the 'plot' at a dinner party. I must say that his rant in defense of pornography really brought a tear to my eye. After spending about five minutes trying to make Lesbian Spank Inferno sound like a proper film (a very game attempt, I must say), he's finally up against the wall and snaps...

Jill

How could you possibly enjoy a film like that?

Steve
(exasperated)

Oh, because it's got naked women in it! Look, I like naked women! I'm a bloke! I'm supposed to like them! We're born like that. We like naked women as soon as we're pulled out of one. Halfway down the birth canal we're already enjoying the view. Look, it's the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like: naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond. Because that is what being a bloke is.... ...when Man invented fire, he didn't say "Hey, let's cook!" He said: "Great! Now we can see naked bottoms in the dark!" As soon as Caxton invented the printing press we were using it to make pictures of - hey! - naked bottoms. We've turned the Internet into an enormous international database of... naked bottoms. So, you see, the story of male achievement through the ages, feeble though it may have been, has been the story of our struggle to get a better look at your bottoms. Frankly, girls, I'm not so sure how insulted you really ought to be.


There's real truth in there. Seeing it printed like this doesn't truly convey the passion with which it is delivered by Jack Davenport, though.





The 16:9 transfer of Vertigo in the Universal Hitchcock box set is luminous. This is particularly gratifying because I saw the 70 millimeter Katz/Harris restoration prints of Vertigo at the Ziegfield in its re-release, and with the exception of one scene (the flashback), the film was in phenomenal shape. Vertigo as well as a few other Hitch films for Paramount (many of which are owned by Universal now) were shot in the VistaVision format, which feeds the film horizontally instead of vertically, like a still camera. More negative space is used for each frame (usually about 1.85:1, but adjustable) and while theatrical prints were in standard 35 millimeter, they tended to look very good. The restoration presented the film in 70 millimeter, and the image was so detailed and had so much depth that it was like watching a different movie - especially after having seen the film solely on that faded print that was all that was available for so long.

The sounds is also a distinct improvement over the original DVD, presenting the 5.1 restoration remix in 448 kbps as opposed to the original discs anemic 384 kbps. The only gripe I have about that is that there was a DTS laserdisc of Vertigo that was released of the restoration print that I never managed to track down, and that should sound amazing, and the DTS track wasn't included in this release (although it is a pretty full disc, and a 1509 kbps DTS track does take up a lot of space on a DVD). While it would have been nice to have the original monaural track available, the remix made for the restoration is pretty good. It was made to mimic the original mix as closely as possible, but with directional effects. The mix emphasizes Bernard Herrmann's gorgeous score, which is fine by me (this was an important point for the restorers, because the sound effects/music balance has really changed over the intervening years).

Either way, it was very nice when I put in that hypnotic Saul Bass title sequence and saw a presentation that was as good as this one is. At last, Vertigo is state of the art again, which hasn't happened since the lasers were released of the restoration, almost ten years ago now. This is Vertigo, for heaven's sake. Movies just don't get better than this.
Tags: alfred hitchcock, bernard herrmann, cinema, family
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