24 / BD 78 Faust

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Senya
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:05 pm

#76 Post by Senya » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:01 pm

Some screenshots made by PowerDVD player...

Forced Bob mode:

Image

Forced Weave mode:

Image

Actually, these images are not so bad and that "interlaced" effect is not too annoying but...

Forced Bob mode:

Image

Forced Weave mode:

Image

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denti alligator
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#77 Post by denti alligator » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:17 pm

Wow! Peerpee, those captures look gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous!!

I'm glad that in motion these jaggies are basically invisible-- thanks for giving us the details.
I am curious... do any of you people who posted on this thread actually notice these miniscule discrepancies in transfers, when actually watching the films? I have never personally been able to, but possibly that is because I view my DVDs on a projector, where I expect the image to be a little less "sharp" than what I imagine it will be on a computer (having never actually tried this).
Yes, I notice these discrepancies all the time on non-progressive DVDs, and I've got a monitor that's less than 30". The MoC Spione is, sadly, one of the worst examples of the jaggies, especially (actually even more so) when in motion. The MoC Metropolis and Asphalt, on the other hand, look fine in motion, but show jaggies when paused. Go figure.

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GringoTex
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#78 Post by GringoTex » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:44 pm

denti alligator wrote: The MoC Spione is, sadly, one of the worst examples of the jaggies, especially (actually even more so) when in motion.
I've watched Spiones on a 40" HD set-up and never experienced jaggies.

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david hare
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#79 Post by david hare » Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:01 am

Ditto with an upscaling player on a 43" Pioneer Plaz.

BTW many thanks for the bob vs weave caps!

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Lino
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#80 Post by Lino » Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:45 am

DVDTimes reviews it:

http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=61972
Video
The video quality of the print taken from the newly discovered and fully restored domestic negative of the film is remarkable. It has clarity, detail and brightness that is not found in any previous cut of the film. It is still a little soft, a few sequences show excessive grain and some marks and damage are extant or beyond restoration, but they appear to be relatively minor and infrequent considering the age of the 70 year old film. The image is astonishingly stable and tones are excellent, with blacks in particular showing fine detail. The transfer is slightly window-boxed, partly I presume, to preserve the original aspect ratio. There are very few problems with the transfer to DVD, but there is a niggling and persistent problem with the spacing in the horizontal lines of resolution, which cause some jaggedness particularly in diagonals, and a little bit of aliasing. It's probably caused by converting an NTSC source to PAL and attempting to increase the lines of resolution. It's not that much of a problem and rarely noticeable on a standard display, but could be problematic on larger screens.
Overall
Tragically, a large number of the films of F.W. Murnau are lost and unlikely to ever be rediscovered, but the few that remain are undisputed masterpieces. Faust is certainly up there with Nosferatu and Sunrise, striking in its use of light and shade - both within the storyline and within its depiction on the screen – and taking it to an epic level. This is all the more evident in the newly discovered original German version of the film – a vastly superior cut than any other version of the film that has up to now been seen, particularly as it is presented here in fully restored and impressive quality by Masters of Cinema

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mbalson
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#81 Post by mbalson » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:12 am

Received this yesterday and it really is a beautiful set.

That being said it's a little disappointing that the jagged edge issue IS visible on my 42" HD TV through the Oppo DVD player, while the film is in motion. It's nothing that would ruin the viewing experience and the transfer is a huge step up from the previous version.

It burns me that the Murnau Stiftung people seem so inept when providing materials to the MoC guys. I mean this is Faust, get it right.

Nick, is information about transfer material available before you start a DVD project?

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HerrSchreck
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#82 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:30 am

He explained the sourcing issues in his last post. Obviously if a disc-producer is not doing their own telecine from preservation or theatrical reels they are going to want to know as much information as possible regarding the pedigree of the digital videotape they are being handed by the licensor.

What really burns me the frig up, if what signor Wrigley is saying is true, is the fact that these Stiftung numbskulls don't know where the NTSC material is, which would bode quite well for an R1 release by CC (if they're even doing silent films anymore... what was their last solo silent release? 04's KING OF KINGS?.. disgrace) or, failing that, Kino.

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skuhn8
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#83 Post by skuhn8 » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:55 pm

Got mine and loved...I mean LOVED it...but the jaggies are VERY present and I found some scenes where they were far more noticable than even the screen caps. Disappointed on that front since this was a great opportunity to really cover all the bases.

Also, I enjoyed the harp soundtrack...but not with the film. Was Mr. Ambrose watching the film while composing or performing this? I didn't really sense a significant response to what was playing out on the screen. And honestly, I prefer to have soundtrack underplay the action on a silent film. Brock often occasionally goes overboard...but really only slightly...I still thought the latters track was closer to a "fit".

But altogether...I've never been as jazzed over cover art, extras, and overall composition as I've been with this release. What a godsend. This film was like a revelation: ;never saw it before and now rue the years spent having missed it to level other great finds against. Kracauer's a little bitch for dissing this great classic. Have watched it three times in the last three days.

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mbalson
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#84 Post by mbalson » Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:59 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:What really burns me the frig up, if what signor Wrigley is saying is true, is the fact that these Stiftung numbskulls don't know where the NTSC material is, which would bode quite well for an R1 release by CC (if they're even doing silent films anymore... what was their last solo silent release? 04's KING OF KINGS?.. disgrace) or, failing that, Kino.
This is what I was getting at. If the MoC crew knew they were going to get stuck with this transfer would they still have proceeded or maybe pressed a little harder for something better?

Again, that's not to say that this set isn't great. It is, but it could have been truly definitive.

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denti alligator
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#85 Post by denti alligator » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:27 pm

I'm confused. What was the source of the Spanish DVD? Isn't it also the Murnau Stiftung? Then why no jaggies?

Mineis on its way from CD-Wow. Will report back soon.

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HerrSchreck
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#86 Post by HerrSchreck » Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:31 am

It's the exact same restoration.

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denti alligator
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#87 Post by denti alligator » Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:15 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:It's the exact same restoration.
So I ask: why no jaggies?

Senya
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#88 Post by Senya » Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:22 pm

Hard to say...

Spanish DVD contains 01:46:08 length movie and MoC DVD - 01:46:52. If MoC source is NTSC then it looks like guys in Spain made an excellent conversion NTSC -> PAL with no jaggies.

Moreover Gary wrote: "Documentary "Los 5 Faust de F.W. Murnau": Runtime: 00:54:08 Narrated in Spanish, no subtitles (Comment: this documentary contains many side-by-side comparisons of the several versions of FAUST. It also shows a deleted shot of Gretchen's more explicit reaction when her mother catches her and Faust in her bedroom.)"

Nice feature, isn't it?

The bottom line: disappointing. I am not going to buy other MoC DVDs until I read reviews. For example, there is no answer regarding sources of coming Keaton box and I start to worry about it...

peerpee
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#89 Post by peerpee » Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:48 pm

The Spanish disc is interlaced.

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jorencain
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#90 Post by jorencain » Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:10 pm

Just wanted to chime in...I've got a 43" DLP TV. I just started watching "Faust" and am having no problems with the image. I don't see any of the jagged lines. They may be there if I were to zoom in, but there is nothing at all noticeable for me.

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david hare
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#91 Post by david hare » Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:00 pm

I agree. Mine arrived yesterday and I did a rambling check through. I simply cannot see jaggies at all either in motion or in freeze frames (using an HD upscaling player through HDMI at 720p to a 43" Pioneer Plasma. Nor can I see jaggies on the WinDVD program on the computer!

The picture quality is astounding and the stark difference in composition and apparent lighting between some shots on the old Image Laserdisc (from the export print) and the German camera negative for tyhe MoC is revelatory.

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GringoTex
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:57 am

#92 Post by GringoTex » Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:56 pm

davidhare wrote:I agree. Mine arrived yesterday and I did a rambling check through. I simply cannot see jaggies at all either in motion or in freeze frames (using an HD upscaling player through HDMI at 720p to a 43" Pioneer Plasma. Nor can I see jaggies on the WinDVD program on the computer!

The picture quality is astounding and the stark difference in composition and apparent lighting between some shots on the old Image Laserdisc (from the export print) and the German camera negative for tyhe MoC is revelatory.
Too often I've seen criticism of fine dvds because people don't have their system set up properly.

Yo people- set up your system properly.

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kinjitsu
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#93 Post by kinjitsu » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:00 pm

Langlois68 wrote:Too often I've seen criticism of fine dvds because people don't have their system set up properly.

Yo people- set up your system properly.
Ditto critics!

peerpee
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#94 Post by peerpee » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:08 pm

Very pleased that folk are having good results with this set!

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david hare
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#95 Post by david hare » Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:34 pm

Now for some discussion of the film!

I don't unfortunately have Lotte Eisner's Murnau book, but she certainly discusses the "ecstatic" aethetic in Lang/von Harbou in some detail in relation to Metropolis from the same year.

The ecstatic impulse in German arts probably goes way back to Schumann and finds even more extreme (and quasi-metaphysical) promulgation in Scriabin, but it certainly plays a role in Weimar movies, complementing, if not supplanting expressionism. Faust surely is Murnau's most extreme venture into it. The sheer control of images seems to be pushing the envelope of how lyrically expressive a movie could be in terms of tonality and chiaroscuro, to the point of almost overwhelming if not complementing the narrative. Certainly this staggeringly beautiful print displays the movie - to me - in a virtually new light (so to speak.)

addz
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#96 Post by addz » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:56 am

skuhn8 wrote:I enjoyed the harp soundtrack...but not with the film. Was Mr. Ambrose watching the film while composing or performing this? I didn't really sense a significant response to what was playing out on the screen. And honestly, I prefer to have soundtrack underplay the action on a silent film.
I find this disappointing. Aside from a chance to view a fantastic new print of this Murnau classic, the Ambrose score was the second thing I was looking forward to most. In particular I was interested in seeing how it would work with what was on screen as I - much like yourself - find great interest in the way modern composers score classic silent films.
For the most part the result can be quite underwhelming but when done right such as Timothy Brock's score for Sunrise and Karl-Ernst Sasse's score for Asphalt - both of which I adore and both of which I feel really help to underpin and support the action on screen, rather than serving as background music- the results can be quite superb.

Nevertheless, I still look forward to receiving the set and hopefully enjoying the score. Perhaps I won't be a dissapointed now that I've been warned.

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Scharphedin2
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#97 Post by Scharphedin2 » Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:25 pm

peerpee wrote:Very pleased that folk are having good results with this set!
The post just delivered this set to me earlier today, and I spent a good hour on my porch looking through the beautiful booklet that accompanies the set; looking at all those beautiful stills and reproductions of vintage promotion materialss. Like everyone, I appreciate great extras on DVDs, but the crown on the work is a really nice booklet... some of the recent ones from MoC are just the best.

And, since I have never seen the film before, I am thrilled that this set includes both "versions" of the film -- as the last essay in the booklet points out, two cameras would roll simultaneously during shooting, and obviously the secondary camera would get slightly different takes on each scene. The reason for this practice was to have two negatives, since in those days if demand was great for a film, the negative could get worn out from striking many prints. So, for domestic releases, the primary negative was used, and for export, the secondary negative (I quote this information for anyone, who, like me, is not a big specialist on silent films. MoC's release includes both the domestic and export versions of the film.

I found myself amused by the small statement on the back of the case: [feature length:] 110 mins (+ 3hrs of extras)... no exclamation points mind you, so I will go ahead and add a couple... "!!" The extras as quoted several pages ago in this thread include not only a full length commentary by David Ehrenstein and Bill Krohn, but also a video piece with Tony Rayns talking about the film (38 mins). And, to top things off, a 28-minute video comparison of the domestic and export prints.

I really look forward to spending an evening or two in the company of this DVD. When I take the time to write this, it is simply to commend the MoC team for their stupendous effort on this (and all their other releases). No wonder this was delayed for so long. What other company in the world truly shows this level of commitment and love toward a film (let alone a silent film) in bringing it to the public?

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denti alligator
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#98 Post by denti alligator » Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:07 pm

Got mine today and am very pleased.

The jaggies are, unfortunately, noticeable--especially with motion, since the lines can be better seen breaking up other lines this way. However, it isn't nearly as bad as I thought, and by no means ruins the viewing experience. Not perfect, but damn close!

(David, how is it that you don't see the jaggies on your computer in WinDVD? You should see them. If not, how do you have your system set up? Maybe if I played with mine I could get the jaggies to disappear. Any post-processing that you would recommend?)

One thing I found interesting in light of the Criterion debate on windowboxing is that this DVD is windowboxed. Strange that Gary's screen captures at the Beaver don't show this, nor does he mention it, even though he makes a point of stressing it every time Criterion uses windowboxing.

(You can see the windowboxing in Senya's caps, but not in peerpee's. He must have removed them before posting? But what about Gary's caps?)

EDit: I notice that the AR shifts slightly throughout the film. This may be a reason for the windowboxing. I zoomed in at the beginning and still there are lengthy sections with a black strip at the top of the screen. The intertitles seem to be consistently windowboxed with a thicker border.

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#99 Post by djali999 » Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:23 pm

I was very pleased with this release - if Masters of Cinema's upcoming Murnau titles are as fantastic as this we're going to be a very spoiled group of collectors.

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denti alligator
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#100 Post by denti alligator » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:54 pm

On playing around with this DVD some more I realize that, given the fluctuating AR, a little windowboxing is actually preferable. Here's why: without windowboxing, when the AR shrinks a little it would look like black lines appear on the sides of the image (or, in this case, on just one side). With windowboxing, when the AR changes this it only makes the windowboxing look a little thicker, and the viewer is optically fooled into thinking that the picture size stays the same. I would have preferred slightly narrower windowboxing, but it's just the same, since zooming in I can make it whatever size I please.

Good work peerpee & co.! This one's a gem!

And the film! My god. This may be Murnau's greatest achievement. Now I'm considering removing The Laugh Laugh from my fall seminar's syllabus and replacing it with Faust.

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