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Kubrick and Aspect Ratios
#1
Hey folks,

I recently stumbled upon a blogpost regarding Stanley Kubrick's films on home media. It makes a pretty good argument towards the films which have had different aspect ratios applied, especially by Warner Home Video.
This came out when I read a post on reddit stating Full Metal Jacket was being streamed in 4:3 on HBO Max.

Some people say that since Kubrick apparently supervised the DVD releases of The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut, they're supposed to be regarded as the ultimate vision of the director, whilst others claim otherwise, saying he might have been out of touch with home technology.

My question to you simply relates to your thoughts on what constitutes the best AR for each of his films, potentially which cut you prefer for The Shining, and what projects Fanresers have completed to realise Kubrick's vision.
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#2
(2020-07-24, 04:22 PM)Kynch Wrote: Hey folks,

I recently stumbled upon a blogpost regarding Stanley Kubrick's films on home media. It makes a pretty good argument towards the films which have had different aspect ratios applied, especially by Warner Home Video.
This came out when I read a post on reddit stating Full Metal Jacket was being streamed in 4:3 on HBO Max.

Some people say that since Kubrick apparently supervised the DVD releases of The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut, they're supposed to be regarded as the ultimate vision of the director, whilst others claim otherwise, saying he might have been out of touch with home technology.

My question to you simply relates to your thoughts on what constitutes the best AR for each of his films, potentially which cut you prefer  for The Shining, and what projects Fanresers have completed to realise Kubrick's vision.

This has always been something I've wondered about.

I don't make any secret of my general dislike of Kubrick (it's not that I necessarily hate his work, and there's no denying his influence, but stories of how he treated actors etc. give me The No Feeling) but the man certainly knows how to create powerful images in the frame. The thing I find weird is how inconsistent that frame seems to have been over the years.

The Shining is a film that visually often feels like it's screaming for 2.39:1, but it would appear never to have existed in that format as far as I'm aware, instead being framed primarily (to the best of my knowledge) for 1.66:1, at festivals and the like. This is something I appreciate, as a UK resident and Hammer horror fanboy. However, the film also seems to have been commonly presented in 1.85:1 (notably, in the US) and the home video releases I'm aware of have primarily gone for 1.78:1 / 16:9, which is uniquely "wrong" by all accounts. Indeed, I feel like I spend an unreasonable amount of energy sighing about 1.85:1 films being cropped to 1.78:1 for Blu-ray. However, in this particular case, it seems to me that 1.78:1 may actually be sort of nice as a compromise between 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 since those were both used to project the film, and neither was exactly "wrong". Ideally, I'd prefer to be able to watch it in 1.66:1 since it seems to me that this was how Kubrick may have preferred it to be seen, which may have influenced how he and Alcott  composed each shot. I don't know.

I do think 4:3 looks rather silly at times in The Shining's case, although as the film progresses it helps add to the sense of claustrophobia because there's no horizontal space in the frame, which I like. You get a better sense of being physically constricted/trapped than if you use a big wide 2.39:1 frame or whatever. That's partly why I think the 1.66:1 would work well.
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#3
(2020-07-24, 06:20 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: I feel like I spend an unreasonable amount of energy sighing about 1.85:1 films being cropped to 1.78:1 for Blu-ray.

Actually they are not cropped (at least, in most instances, if not for any), but "opened up".
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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#4
(2020-07-24, 07:40 PM)spoRv Wrote:
(2020-07-24, 06:20 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: I feel like I spend an unreasonable amount of energy sighing about 1.85:1 films being cropped to 1.78:1 for Blu-ray.

Actually they are not cropped (at least, in most instances, if not for any), but "opened up".

I wish that were the case, but it definitely isn't for many of the ones I've got.

There are a bunch of 'em but I can't remember off the top of my head which ones are opened and which ones are cropped. However, Snowpiercer is most certainly cropped in all the Western English-speaking country releases (US, CA, AU, GB): they just chopped the sides off the 1.85:1 to get 1.78:1. Same deal on the UK version of The Mask, which even has DVD special features on the disc that include clips of the DVD version of the film, *which is not cropped*, in the middle of a behind the scenes documentary... even though the *actual film* is cropped down on the Blu-ray. Awful.

But yes, some are opened up, like the Criterion Collection (US) release of Brazil. The UK one is framed correctly at 1.85:1 but it's also a worse encode and has lossy audio, compared to lossless on the Criterion release.
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#5
Kubrick was too busy with Eyes Wide Shut to supervise any DVD transfers. The titles rushed out after his passing were older masters circa the Laserdisc era. "As Kubrick intended" dates back to a world where most home video was viewed on a 4:3 CRT and is a bit misleading applied to a video format that was still in it's infancy when he passed away.

The Shining was screened in drive in theaters recently, (on a double bill with Twister!) and in some cases it was overcropped. Probably because the projectionist didn't switch over from Twister's wider ratio.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CC5YWSSg4Px/
https://www.instagram.com/p/CC2Y_FKABwu/
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#6
(2020-07-26, 04:41 AM)SilverWook Wrote: Kubrick was too busy with Eyes Wide Shut to supervise any DVD transfers. The titles rushed out after his passing were older masters circa the Laserdisc era. "As Kubrick intended" dates back to a world where most home video was viewed on a 4:3 CRT and is a bit misleading applied to a video format that was still in it's infancy when he passed away.

The Shining was screened in drive in theaters recently, (on a double bill with Twister!) and in some cases it was overcropped. Probably because the projectionist didn't switch over from Twister's wider ratio.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CC5YWSSg4Px/
https://www.instagram.com/p/CC2Y_FKABwu/

*wince*
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#7
(2020-07-24, 06:20 PM)pipefan413 Wrote:
(2020-07-24, 04:22 PM)Kynch Wrote: Hey folks,

I recently stumbled upon a blogpost regarding Stanley Kubrick's films on home media. It makes a pretty good argument towards the films which have had different aspect ratios applied, especially by Warner Home Video.
This came out when I read a post on reddit stating Full Metal Jacket was being streamed in 4:3 on HBO Max.

Some people say that since Kubrick apparently supervised the DVD releases of The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut, they're supposed to be regarded as the ultimate vision of the director, whilst others claim otherwise, saying he might have been out of touch with home technology.

My question to you simply relates to your thoughts on what constitutes the best AR for each of his films, potentially which cut you prefer  for The Shining, and what projects Fanresers have completed to realise Kubrick's vision.

This has always been something I've wondered about.

I don't make any secret of my general dislike of Kubrick (it's not that I necessarily hate his work, and there's no denying his influence, but stories of how he treated actors etc. give me The No Feeling) but the man certainly knows how to create powerful images in the frame. The thing I find weird is how inconsistent that frame seems to have been over the years.

The Shining is a film that visually often feels like it's screaming for 2.39:1, but it would appear never to have existed in that format as far as I'm aware, instead being framed primarily (to the best of my knowledge) for 1.66:1, at festivals and the like. This is something I appreciate, as a UK resident and Hammer horror fanboy. However, the film also seems to have been commonly presented in 1.85:1 (notably, in the US) and the home video releases I'm aware of have primarily gone for 1.78:1 / 16:9, which is uniquely "wrong" by all accounts. Indeed, I feel like I spend an unreasonable amount of energy sighing about 1.85:1 films being cropped to 1.78:1 for Blu-ray. However, in this particular case, it seems to me that 1.78:1 may actually be sort of nice as a compromise between 1.66:1 and 1.85:1 since those were both used to project the film, and neither was exactly "wrong". Ideally, I'd prefer to be able to watch it in 1.66:1 since it seems to me that this was how Kubrick may have preferred it to be seen, which may have influenced how he and Alcott  composed each shot. I don't know.

I do think 4:3 looks rather silly at times in The Shining's case, although as the film progresses it helps add to the sense of claustrophobia because there's no horizontal space in the frame, which I like. You get a better sense of being physically constricted/trapped than if you use a big wide 2.39:1 frame or whatever. That's partly why I think the 1.66:1 would work well.
I think the on set stories have been blown out of proportion a bit and 99% of stuff leaves out all the normal human stories and realities in favor of promoting the legendary artiste. He had a manner of working sure, and what happened on The Shining pushed a lot of people very far but he was still a guy who had to laugh at the silliness of it sometimes.
He apparently hated scope because of loss in sharpness and clarity by going anamorphic. He had to be prodded to shoot 2001 large format. I think it goes back to that still photographer's mindset.

Killer's Kiss-1.33
The Killing and Paths of Glory-1.66 is a good compromise ratio and they would have been shown widescreen theatrically but they work fine in 1.33 as we all saw them for years.
Spartcaus-Super Technirama 70
Lolita, Strangelove-1.66. The alternating ratios are cool but were done for video and wouldn't have been projected that way.
2001-Super Panavision 70-inpost checked to make sure would be okay in deep curved Cinerama screens.
ACO-1.66
BL-1.66 but okay up to 1.75 as per original instructions
Shining/FMJ/EWS-1.85

(2020-07-26, 04:41 AM)SilverWook Wrote: Kubrick was too busy with Eyes Wide Shut to supervise any DVD transfers. The titles rushed out after his passing were older masters circa the Laserdisc era. "As Kubrick intended" dates back to a world where most home video was viewed on a 4:3 CRT and is a bit misleading applied to a video format that was still in it's infancy when he passed away.

The Shining was screened in drive in theaters recently, (on a double bill with Twister!) and in some cases it was overcropped. Probably because the projectionist didn't switch over from Twister's wider ratio.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CC5YWSSg4Px/
https://www.instagram.com/p/CC2Y_FKABwu/
Stanley is somewhere right now in agony going; "OH GEEZ, WHY! THIS IS WHY I HAD PEOPLE CHECKING STUFF!"
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader
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