- After the Gold Rush
- On Saint Patrick's Day of this year, Dan mentioned his intention to visit Aubree in San Francisco in early September (we're all old Tower folk). I commented that he would be gone for my birthday; he countered that I go with him. We ironed out the basic details with Aubree and I bought the tickets back in March.
I don't want to say that I had completely forgotten that I was going, because that wouldn't really be accurate. I have, however, been extremely occupied, first with finishing up the principle photography on The Early Mixes, then with a sudden, unexpected (but most welcome) move that really dominated most of my attention… let's just say that the trip hadn't been at the forefront of my mind.
And yet, in just twenty-four hours, Dan and I will be at the J.F.K. Jet Blue terminal preparing to board.
All my bills are current so I'll have electric and internet when I come back, I paid my parking ticket (I got caught up in a good conversation while picking up some wine) so my car won't get towed. I disconnected the wine chiller and will be unplugging the computer and home theater. All of my laundry will be ready by 4:00 PM today so I may finish packing. I've already booked a cab pickup for early tomorrow morning.
This is my first real vacation since Nate's wedding in 2007. I'm ready.
- There really is something very stunning about the three-strip Technicolor process. The results don't look "natural," exactly, but they also don't have that odd faintly glowing artificiality that much of the digital grading of today displays. Most films that are being preserved in Technicolor make no attempt to be naturalistic in their presentation; Technicolor consultants would tend to want to emphasize the eye-popping array of color the process could provide, while filmmakers would often embrace this quality to make their worlds more fanciful, as in The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Robin Hood, or to use color to reflect the characters' emotional landscape, as with the gradual introduction of color to Black Narcissus, leading to a a shockingly explosive display of color when one character finally breaks.
While many of these films were damaged, the three-strip process (the light from the aperture is split by a prism into three filters, green, red and blue, the light from which would be exposed simultaneously to three black-and-white 35 millimeter film strips, which serve as three master negatives*) allows the restoration team wider opportunities for dirt and scratch removal, which means that these films often look astoundingly good when presented in high definition. Moreover, because each color was a black-and-white image, the color contrasts are often quite breathtaking. As I say, it doesn't look "real," but it rarely is meant to. But of all of the joys I have encountered since I got my Blu-ray player, some of the best have been to be able to see older films like The Red Shoes delivered with such clarity and sumptuous saturation.
Kathleen Byron in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger's Black Narcissus
Technicolor Cinematography by Jack Cardiff
* — Technicolor is actually a pretty interesting process; you can read more about the process, including the printing and exhibitions at the Wikipedia