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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Which version of Metropolis do you prefer?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:51 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
Restoration isn't always purely about cleaning something up so it looks/sounds nice. There are times when either the process changes the nature of the finished product, or when the people doing the restoration are trying to recapture an earlier vision that was never officially released. That is exactly what Lucas is claiming to have done with the SEs.


Got to admit, most of your examples are somewhat unconvincing. We're not talking about something equivalent to variant mixes, nor is Star Wars like Touch of Evil or Let it Be, where decision-making was taken away from (at least one of) the people who made it. Usually, when we're talking about remasters or restorations, we're talking about cleaning it up. Yeah, you might hear sounds in the new master of a song or see details in the Blu-Ray of a movie that weren't apparent on your hold cassette or VHS tape, but they weren't added in the remaster. What Lucas did isn't entirely without precedent, but the much better comparison is the one I made, with Alan Douglas taking Hendrix masters, wiping off the tracks of people who actually played with Hendrix, cutting up what was left, and then overdubbing new performances by people who'd never even met Hendrix. And people bashed Douglas for that, pretty justifiably.

And the version of Metropolis I'd like to see would be the version they showed at the German premiere, though I'd like English intertitles.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:29 pm 
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Eric wrote:
nor is Star Wars like Touch of Evil or Let it Be, where decision-making was taken away from (at least one of) the people who made it

I don't think this is particularly relevant. The point is, these works were initially released in one form and were later altered to better match what their creators initially wanted. The reason why they didn't initially match their vision - studio interference, technology, whatever - doesn't really matter. The end result is the same.

These examples are FAR closer in spirit to what Lucas did than your Douglas/Hendrix example. Lucas is the guy who created Star Wars. It's his own work he's tampering work. Others may have created his special effects for him, but they were hired to do the work for him. His has always been the final word on what we see on film. Douglas was a guy who took it upon himself to revise work he had no role in creating, writing, etc.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:09 pm 
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...except, of course, that those examples were trying to go back to the way things had been, not adding something new. Lucas made the films. They weren't taken away from him and overdubbed or re-edited. Then he changed his mind 20 years later and added a bunch of new stuff that wasn't in the original.

Yeah, it's Lucas adding to work he'd done better years before (or that someone had done better) instead of someone else doing it, but the point is that it's adding and changing, not restoring. If you'd like, you can compare it to Zappa re-recording his instruments years later, which is another thing that got fans justifiably upset.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Eric wrote:
...except, of course, that those examples were trying to go back to the way things had been

They're not, though. Touch of Evil never existed in Welles' cut. It was not only never officially released in the way we see it now, he never even finished assembling his desired cut. It never existed. He assembled a lengthy rough, the studio finished it, and he later wrote a letter outlining the way he'd have done it instead. The version we have seen since 1998 (and to my knowledge the ONLY version now available for home viewing) was assembled based on that letter. It's not going back to a previous version. Nothing was being restored. That version never existed. It only came into being in 1998, 40 years after release.

Same with Let It Be. The group initially went into the record with one set of intentions, but things evolved (as will happen when recording an album), they broke up, it was finished and released. McCartney later went back and changed it, but not to the way the record had ever actually been. Naked never actually existed. It was a concept, nothing more.

Further, he changed things on that record. Not just the track sequence and what songs are on it. "Don't Let Me Down" was added to the record, and it's a version that had never previously existed, as it was assembled by chopping together various takes to compiled a new version. "Dig A Pony" underwent digital alteration, too, to alter Lennon's singing and guitar playing. What you hear is NOT what he performed. (This is the case with several songs, actually. McCartney used modern technology to alter and improve the record.) It's a fundamentally different record, not a restored version of something we once had.

In both these cases, a concept was restored, not something that had actually existed. It's much the same with Lucas revisiting Star Wars. Not exactly the same, as he created new elements for them, but in spirit it's little different.
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Lucas made the films. They weren't taken away from him and overdubbed or re-edited.

But this is irrelevant. All of these are cases of works of art and entertainment being revisited by their creator in order to bring them closer in line with the creator's initial vision. That's the point.

Lucas wanted a busier Mos Eisley, a more crowded sky for the Death Star battle, etc., and when the technology allowed he went ahead and made it happen. Whether that's good or bad is a matter of debate, but it's little different than what someone like McCartney did. McCartney "restored" Let It Be to what he heard in his head. Lucas "restored" Star Wars to what he saw in his mind. Walter Murch "restored" the movie Welles said he wanted to see.

In the case of Lucas he created new elements to make his vision reality, and that's understandably a matter of debate. No disagreement there. But in terms of intent, these examples are all in the same ballpark. These are artists trying to bring a piece of work closer in line with what they initially wanted.

And yes, I'd put the Zappa example in this category, too. He claims the master tracks were damaged, some music historians say that's false, controversy ensued. He says, "the chance to have some aspect of 1980s transience and top end on those tapes was something that I felt was worth the time and the money that I spent redoing it." This is a case where my view is similar to my view with Star Wars: I have no problem with him using modern tech to bring the records closer to what he might have initially envisioned, provided the originals remain available, too.

Basically, you're being pedantic about the word "restored." That's fine. I understand what you're getting at and don't disagree with what you're saying here. In fact, I think your argument is 100% on point. You are RIGHT in what you're saying about the difference between restoration and realizing an initial concept. I just think you're missing the overall context of the discussion for the sake of debating about a single word.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:18 am 
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I understand that you're not drawing a distinction between cutting up and re-arranging existing material and adding extensive new material to it, given that the stated intentions of several different people who've done those two different things were the same. I'm less getting hung up on a word and more stating that I believe those to be two very different things, regardless of what the people doing it claim was their intent.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:42 am 
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Eric wrote:

And the version of Metropolis I'd like to see would be the version they showed at the German premiere, though I'd like English intertitles.


The newest version out is as close to that (with English intertitles) that you're likely to ever to see.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:38 pm 
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Yeah, I've read that. I've got an older version, but have been meaning to pick that up.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Eric wrote:
Yeah, I've read that. I've got an older version, but have been meaning to pick that up.


It's well worth it. It fills in all those odd details you've been wondering about all these years. It really makes the whole film make more sense.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:42 pm 
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You can all stop wasting your time with fanboy re-edits. Disney has officially confirmed they are releasing the OT in its original form. On Blu-Ray.

And - guaranteed - the people that have idolized the various bootlegs, will simply not like whatever Lucasfilm eventually releases.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:46 pm 
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YAY!

I heard they are releasing the original version where Han Solo deflects Greedo's shot with a light saber. Haven't seen that since I was 6.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:50 pm 
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Hope it's true, but I'd still categorize this as "rumor."

If it's the original cut (by which I mean any of the almost identical variants, for the nitpicky, bitchy assholes among you), I'll buy it and won't bitch.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:06 pm 
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It's certainly still a rumor at this point, but let's be honest: from the moment Disney bought Lucasfilm, was there ever any doubt that this would eventually happen? Hell, it was the first thing a lot of people said when the deal was announced. "Now maybe they'll release the originals."

So it's a rumor, but it's one I'm strongly inclined to believe.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:18 pm 
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Disney would be tossing away a fortune by not doing this, but I assume they'll space out the release of the three films to maximize profitability. If we're gonna get them at all, we'll probably get Star Wars right before Episode VII, Empire right before Episode VIII, ect.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
It's certainly still a rumor at this point, but let's be honest: from the moment Disney bought Lucasfilm, was there ever any doubt that this would eventually happen?


Heck, I'd argue it was a foregone conclusion from the point that Lucas started fucking up his movies in the first place. The people who want to see the original versions are, largely, younger than Lucas. Whoever inherits the rights when he dies was always going to cash in on the demand, even if he insisted on blocking release until his dying day.

The part of the rumor I'm hoping is true is that it's happening in 2015.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:53 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:

And - guaranteed - the people that have idolized the various bootlegs, will simply not like whatever Lucasfilm eventually releases.


Not necessarily. One thing that I don't have a problem with is fixing glaring mistakes with the old effects. Fixing shitty matte lines, color inconsistencies and continuity errors (within the effects themselves) are all perfectly acceptable to me. For example, making R2's blue panels actually "blue" for the bluescreen shots was a perfectly acceptable change. It made sense and erased a glaring incongruity that constantly drew attention to itself. If they leave stuff like that in, I'll have no problem buying them.

BTW, that's a pretty old report. It just looks like it has been reshuffled a bit and regurgitated. People keep forgetting that Fox has the distribution rights to the original 1977 movie and will have them for the forseeable future. Disney is going to shell out one HELL of a lot of money to get them to play ball for this.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:08 pm 
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Downhuman wrote:
Disney is going to shell out one HELL of a lot of money to get them to play ball for this.

Eh, profit sharing on the sales is my guess. As long as Fox doesn't handle the remastering, it's all good.

And my point about fanboys not being happy with the end product, is that they won't fix matte lines, non-blue R2, etc. You will see it with all of the original problems.

Which I'm really OK with.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:57 am 
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Chris Knight wrote:
And my point about fanboys not being happy with the end product, is that they won't fix matte lines, non-blue R2, etc. You will see it with all of the original problems.

Which I'm really OK with.


If they go the Harmy route, then that's fine too. Although, that would make it pretty pointless to those of us already enjoying Harmy's efforts (they should give that guy a freaking job, really). I'll buy them anyway just to support the gesture regardless of any nitpicks I'm sure I would have -- hopefully they have the sense to master them at 4 to 6k which will make them quite the upgrade to any version available.

Again, still quite a few hurdles to overcome before I get excited about any of this. The Harmy versions will do nicely until then.

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