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French Cancan (1955) (Custom colour & Hybrid audio)

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[Image: cancan-00-00-31-07-Still001.jpg]

French Cancan is my favourite of all Renoir’s films. Unfortunately, the most recent restoration by Gaumont suffers from the usual teal leanings and is very murky.

I’ve attempted to colour correct the footage to have a more neutral white balance, using the earlier DVDs as reference, as I believe this is how Renoir would have intended the film to be seen. I corresponded with one of the film's most ardent defenders, Tag Gallagher, who was able to back up the assertion that this is how the film's colour would have originally appeared.

I have also boosted the shadows on the restoration to improve on the murky look it has (although there’s only so far this can be pushed). The old Criterion DVD has its colour issues too, looking too green in parts, and yet other sections look like they’ve been ‘over corrected’ with regard to white balance.

For the audio, I found that the Australian Madman DVD had *marginally* more intact high end frequencies than the Blu-Ray and so I’ve synced it to the recent restoration. I’ve also included the Blu-Ray track though as they’re fairly similar. Neither track is superb, but they do fine. The old Criterion DVD is more muffled.

For subtitles, I’ve included the BFI translation in both srt and vobsub format, as well as an srt of the translation on the Gaumont Blu-Ray. Chapters are also included. 

  • The 2011 BFI Blu-Ray colour corrected via Lumetri Color in Adobe Premiere Pro

  • The 2010 Australian Madman DVD synced to the 2011 BFI Blu-Ray 1.0 FLAC
  • The 2011 BFI Blu-Ray audio track 1.0 FLAC

Screenshots (2004 Criterion DVD, 2011 BFI Blu-Ray, Custom colour regrade):

[Image: cancan-00-02-14-04-Still002.jpg][Image: cancan-00-02-14-04-Still004.jpg]
[Image: cancan-00-02-14-04-Still003.jpg]

[Image: cancan-00-58-57-05-Still011.jpg]
[Image: cancan-00-58-57-05-Still013.jpg]
[Image: cancan-00-58-57-05-Still012.jpg]

The above images here are an example where the 2004 Criterion DVD would seem to have been overcorrected, in an earlier wide shot we see that this window setting is much bluer than it is shown in close-up on the DVD.

[Image: cancan-01-17-03-03-Still014.jpg]
[Image: cancan-01-17-03-03-Still016.jpg]
[Image: cancan-01-17-03-03-Still015.jpg]

The above is an example of where the 2011 Blu-Ray restoration appears much too dark.

What's next:

I'm hoping this might be the first of many such fan restorations I undertake, particularly of French cinema which seems to have suffered so much in terms of these teal/gold transfers. Next I hope to look at Demy's The Young Girls of Rochefort, and the most recent transfers of some of Eric Rohmer's work.
I saw the Miramax release of Rochefort twice in 35mm. Their DVD looks about right. Such a shame about the Criterion BD. Criterion's re-releases of Jacques Tati's movies have similarly bad color.
I thing those scans come from Ritrovatta in italy so they have their usual messing up of colors.
(2021-11-02, 07:00 AM)Nick_M Wrote: I saw the Miramax release of Rochefort twice in 35mm. Their DVD looks about right. Such a shame about the Criterion BD. Criterion's re-releases of Jacques Tati's movies have similarly bad color.

Yes from what I’ve seen that DVD looks very accurate. Truly a shame that those beautiful colours are so urine soaked on the Criterion.

I’m also keen to include the original soundtrack release as an audio option for Rochefort, for the songs only. It naturally sounds a lot cleaner than the optical soundtrack for the film itself!

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