Friday, 4 March 2011
The other day I sat down to watch my recently-purchased DVD of one of my favourite films from last year, Buried. It really is very good, I recommend you watch it. I'm assuming you haven't yet because that's the only explanation I can think of for you releasing it IN THE WRONG ASPECT RATIO.
FYI, Buried was shot in 2.35:1 by award-winning director of photography Eduard Grau, who also shot A Single Man ("Every frame is an aesthete's fine-grained high-polish dream" - Film4.com). I imagine he knows what he's doing, don't you? When Buried's director Rodrigo Cortés asked Grau to shoot his film set entirely inside a horizontal coffin, I can't imagine it was a matter of much debate whether to shoot it in what could fairly be described as the coffinesque 2.35:1 or the, shall we say, less coffinesque TV-friendly 1.77:1 in which the DVD version is presented. He probably didn't even need to consult this section of the Cinematographer's Handbook:
Can I recommend a couple of things? First, in future, if you're unable to release a DVD in the correct aspect ratio, don't release it at all until you can. I know you think most people don't care, and you might be right, but it's an insult to those that do and to the artists who created the film to spunk out a panned and scanned travesty of the original vision.
Second, I trust that when a proper video transfer and a Dolby Digital soundtrack are available and you re-release Buried, anyone who wants to can swap their inferior, infuriatingly cropped version for the new release free of charge.
In the meantime, despite having told everyone who reads my award-nominated-but-not-quite-winning blog how amazing Buried is, I'll be advising them not to buy it on DVD or Blu-ray until there's a version out there that does justice to the film, because this isn't it.
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The Incredible Suit