Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

Post news stories and home video release announcements here.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 13, 2017 9:17 pm

I think it is going to depend on which film you're talking about. I can see room for improvement in Steamboat Bill Jr. and the shorts, but the rest of the features are fine for me with the old versions as long as Cohen doesn't pull out some original camera negative.

The Kino films that could really use an upgrade are Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu.
Offline
User avatar

Scoundrel

  • Posts: 659
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:22 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 8:16 am

" The Kino films that could really use an upgrade are Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu ..."

I've gone to the well too many times for POTO, the last two blu rays from BFI and Kino have been disappointing.

I would prefer a release of THE MAN WHO LAUGHS and THE CAT AND THE CANARY.

Nosferatu is well served by the R2 Eureka / Masters of Cinema release.

http://www.brentonfilm.com/articles/nosferatu-the-shapeshifter-an-inventory-of-intertitles-prints-and-premieres
Last edited by Scoundrel on Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
" You can't take life too seriously...you'll never get out of it alive."


Blackhawk Films customer

#0266462
Online
User avatar

Rick Lanham

  • Posts: 1789
  • Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:16 pm
  • Location: Gainesville, FL

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 8:19 am

Here's a new review on DVD Talk of the latest Kino Steamboat Bill, Jr. / College (Blu-ray).

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/71748/bu ... r-college/" target="_blank

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 10:41 am

That review does a great job of using a lot of words to tell me very little. Is the new version better than the old one? What does it look like? With reviews like that, we may never know!
Offline
User avatar

Mike Gebert

Site Admin

  • Posts: 5464
  • Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
  • Location: Chicago

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 11:37 am

Hmm, seems clear to me:

It's obvious there's been a good amount of clean-up work here: a lot of dirt, flickering, damage, and the occasional missing frame(s) still remain, but all of these issues are perfectly acceptable considering both films are roughly 90 years old. The transfers are very stable with solid image detail and even a good amount of textures during many of the outdoor scenes. Although Cohen Film Collection's 4K restoration of Steamboat Bill, Jr. (and several other Keaton films) has been prepped since 2013 and will most likely be issued on Blu-ray in the near future, this still represents the best current presentation of both films on home video to date.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 2:29 pm

All of that could be said of the previous Keaton blu-rays too... in fact, it probably could be said about 99% silent film on blu-ray out there. What collectors want to know from a review is whether the new discs improve over the previous ones or whether they are inferior. He mentions the Cohen transfers that no one has seen and doesn't mention the previous Kino blus that most of us already have. And a blu-ray review that is illustrated with publicity photos, not screen caps is distinctly unhelpful.
Offline
User avatar

Roscoe

  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:28 am

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 3:06 pm

I'd like to see some screen caps of the different releases for comparison purposes, also. Maybe DVDBeaver will chime in. As it is, I'll hold off on buying this release -- I was disappointed with the Lobster release of the Keaton Shorts, which all seemed way too bright and washed out to me.
"If you lose this war, don't blame me."

www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com
Offline

fwtep

  • Posts: 497
  • Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:55 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 5:48 pm

I just took a look at both the new Steamboat Bill disc and the old one. The new one is much better. The contrast is better (the scenes I looked at in the old one had blacks that weren't black), and the dust specks and scratches have been cleaned up. I'm very happy with it. I haven't looked at College yet (part of this set), and I didn't order The General, so I don't know about those.
Offline
User avatar

R. Cat

  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:34 pm
  • Location: The Nearest Pub

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 14, 2017 8:03 pm

fwtep wrote:I just took a look at both the new Steamboat Bill disc and the old one. The new one is much better. The contrast is better (the scenes I looked at in the old one had blacks that weren't black), and the dust specks and scratches have been cleaned up. I'm very happy with it. I haven't looked at College yet (part of this set), and I didn't order The General, so I don't know about those.


This is good to know as I took the double-dip plunge on faith that the newer remaster of Steamboat Bill would correct some of the issues mentioned earlier in respect to KINO's prior release on BD (2009). I'm kinda glad I held off on The General though, ...just too much conflicting info without DVDBeaver comparisons available. Fingers crossed that the Cohen 4K remaster on BD will put all of the speculation over best presentation to rest.
Offline

fwtep

  • Posts: 497
  • Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:55 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 8:49 am

Yeah, and the reviews on Amazon for the new General disk aren't too great-- at least not to warrant what would for me (and probably all of us) at least a fourth dip. I'm holding out for a release of the Cohen restoration if I'm going to dip into that again. (Unless, as you mentioned, DVDBeaver convinces me otherwise.)
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 11:21 am

fwtep wrote:I just took a look at both the new Steamboat Bill disc and the old one. The new one is much better. The contrast is better (the scenes I looked at in the old one had blacks that weren't black), and the dust specks and scratches have been cleaned up. I'm very happy with it. I haven't looked at College yet (part of this set), and I didn't order The General, so I don't know about those.


There we go! That is what I wanted to know. The first release of Steamboat Bill seemed to be at the wrong gamma or something. It looked really washed out. If the new one has blacks, I will be happy. How is the orchestral score? Is it as good as the old one?
Offline

fwtep

  • Posts: 497
  • Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:55 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 12:01 pm

The whites in the new one are still very bright (or rather, brighter than I usually see in films), at least in the scenes I looked at, such as arriving at the barber. But at least it's black and white now, not black and gray. If I get a chance in the next day or two I'll post a couple of stills.
Offline

Paul Penna

  • Posts: 489
  • Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:02 am

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 2:11 pm

fwtep wrote:The whites in the new one are still very bright (or rather, brighter than I usually see in films), at least in the scenes I looked at, such as arriving at the barber. But at least it's black and white now, not black and gray. If I get a chance in the next day or two I'll post a couple of stills.


Well, I noticed a moderate improvement in the contrast generally - somewhat better shadow detail - but the blacks, though better than the old one, still weren't really black. For me the big improvement was that the pretty aggressive sharpening and edge enhancement of the old version is gone.

The orchestral score is good, but odd, audio-wise. It's wide-range and definitely two distinct channels, but there's no directionality to speak of. Like mono that's been given an artificial ambience spread. Better than the small ensemble in the old one, though.

College in the same set benefits from better film elements - dramatically so in a few cases - and a better transfer, steadier and cleaner. Plus a nice Mont Alto score. So I'm glad I got that set.

I agree that the new General is a step backwards. I'll listen to the commentary, though.
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 16, 2017 8:38 am

The General survived in original camera negative, but the Blu Ray for few years ago used a 35mm source shot from the camera negavie. It was probably a master ratter than a print, and looked very godd. If it was a modern fine grain, well made, the original negative would not look much better than this.

Reviews usually confused things. Confuse original print with master, or tends to talk about generation loss from film copy, but forgots to explain that such loss depends a lot of when, how, and the film duplication stock used and that in old times (before 1940) film duplication stocks wasn't good.

A modern fine grain made from a silente film camera negative would render a so good HD (1080p) Blu ray as a camera negative. Of course the quality of scanning, mastering, encoding, digital restoration, filtering would make more difference.

bigshot wrote:The original Kino blu-ray of The General is one of the best presentations of a silent film I've ever seen. The only way it can be bettered is with better film elements to work with, and Cohen is more likely to have that than Lobster Films. Lobster has been putting out some unspectacular transfers lately. I suspect that they're trying to get stuff out quick before other better transfers get released and it becomes impossible to compete.

I love Lobster's Charley Bowers and Max Linder sets. I hope they'll dive back into doing films that we wouldn't get otherwise rather than mining the same ground that has been mined a million times before.
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSun Feb 19, 2017 6:45 pm

Review for the new Blu Ray of The General 1927:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Gener ... ay/174020/

Old Blu Ray: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-General-Blu-ray/6859/

Diferent câmeras?

Image

Image
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline

Paul Penna

  • Posts: 489
  • Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:02 am

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSun Feb 19, 2017 10:09 pm

All Darc wrote:Review for the new Blu Ray of The General 1927:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Gener ... ay/174020/" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

Old Blu Ray: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-General-Blu-ray/6859/" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

Diferent câmeras?

Image

Image

No, you're comparing apples to oranges. These come from two different sequences, each with their own camera perspectives. The upper one occurs several shots after the bridge collapse, during the advance of the Union troops across the river as the Confederates fire from above. Both are present in both releases.
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 20, 2017 7:52 am

Yes, Paul.
I checked the film and found that same.

The film had two camera negatives, one for USA distribution and other to international distribution.
The early version have better definition, a master shot from one câmera negative. The second Blu Ray version looks somewhat dupped.
Let's wait DVD Beaver comparisom to find out if it's from the same version (USA or International).
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline

Daviesbrotherlover

  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:07 am

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 20, 2017 9:19 am

The Cohen version of the General has been out on blu ray for a while in Spain. You can order it on amazon Spain under the title "El maquinista de la general". I finally got around to looking at it last night. It does not have tints and looks to my eyes as good pictorially as the first Kino release---perhaps a little bit cleaner, I believe that the Kino version did not have any digital clean-up. The Lobster edition looks considerably darker to me and not nearly as good as the Cohen or original Kino. The main reason I bought the Cohen version is that it runs at the correct speed (appx 26fps vs 24fps) and thus the Carl Davis score is correctly synched with the picture. It is encoded at 1080i to achieve the faster speed. Somewhere on the internet is a comparison of the old Kino and the Cohen discs if anyone is interested. I think I googled the Spanish title for a review. The new Steamboat Bill Jr and College look great though and totally worth re-buying.
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 10:17 am

HD vídeo of the Cohen edition, restored in 4K:




Railroader 1965:
Last edited by silentfilm on Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedded YouTube links
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 10:53 am

Oh my! That looks fantastic. No flicker or gate weave. The 26fps speed gives it a real edge of realism. I can't wait to see this one. I'd probably prefer tints, but I won't mind considering the pristine image quality I see there.
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 11:20 am

Why Lobster and COhen did individual restoration of diferente footage sources ?

Why Lobster restored a print in 2K if Cohen restored the originasl camera negative (look like OCN) in 4K ?
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline
User avatar

R. Cat

  • Posts: 182
  • Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:34 pm
  • Location: The Nearest Pub

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Feb 21, 2017 12:25 pm

All Darc wrote:Why Lobster and COhen did individual restoration of diferente footage sources ?

Why Lobster restored a print in 2K if Cohen restored the originasl camera negative (look like OCN) in 4K ?


Lobster probably didn't have access to Cohen's better source, much less their work product, but the elements KINO did have available could quickly be rushed out in an effort to undercut Cohen's imminent release.

The Cohen 4K restoration on BD will be a triple dip for me.

I bought the KINO DVD as part of their Keaton boxed set around 2005 and the tinted KINO BD (2009), but the cash cow has been milked enough. I'm skipping the new KINO-Lorber remaster and saving my dollars for the Cohen release. The upgrade bug might've tempted me had I not read Carl's Silent Era review comparing the 2009 and 2017 KINO releases.
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 22, 2017 12:53 am

I think different companies are rushing out different releases of the same film because they realize the clock is ticking and if they wait, they may not have a market to release it to in the future. Cohen probably got scooped by Kino in the US and has held off to not chop the market in half. I'm also wondering if the shifting of masters on certain titles are due to David Shepard's illness and passing.
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 22, 2017 9:57 am

The old Kinno Blu-ray was based in a 35mm archival print (presumed fine grain) shot from camera negative. The new edition do not look like the same film elements was used, but people reported it looks cleaner, with less blemishs, less scratchs.

Had anybody the chance to see The General from the USA negative derivation and compare to the export negative version derivations ?

What version was the old kino Blu Ray, american or export ?
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 22, 2017 11:08 am

Well, if Cohen restored it in 4K, and that was probablyfrom original câmera negative...

Would it worth a 4K Blu-Ray edition ?

The first silent released in 4K for home vídeo.
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 22, 2017 2:59 pm

Blu-ray is fine. No need for UHD on this one.
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostWed Feb 22, 2017 3:20 pm

HD for 4:3 render just about 1440 pixels from left to right. Less than true 4:3 2K.
I was imagining how better a original camera negative from late 20's would look in 4K scan. Better than HD? Certainly... Better than 2K? Not sure, maybe a little better...

bigshot wrote:Blu-ray is fine. No need for UHD on this one.
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline

Stephen Terrill

  • Posts: 7
  • Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:58 am

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 23, 2017 8:55 am

bigshot wrote:Blu-ray is fine. No need for UHD on this one.

Well, that brings up the question, what silents would warrant a UHD release, if not The General?
1. From what I have read, 35mm film from the silent era does not compare to more modern 35mm film in resolution terms.
2. Which means, you'd better be using a really good source, otherwise a 4K scan is overkill.
3. Even if a 4K scan is warranted, it doesn't mean a UHD release is warranted.
4. That being said, The General is one of the few titles that people buy over and over again, and since it has already been given a 4k scan, it makes sense for Cohen to at least "test the waters" with a UHD release of The General. It's still way early (only a handful of catalog titles have been released on UHD so far), so I wouldn't expect that release anytime soon, but assuming the UHD format proves to be viable, maybe in 2018?
5. There is the question of what frame rate could be used on a UHD release. ???
6. Last, and probably least, one of the "advantages" of UHD is HDR. I don't know enough about this area to speculate how it would be used, if at all, on an older black and white film.
Offline

All Darc

  • Posts: 1061
  • Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Location: Brazil

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 23, 2017 10:31 am

>1. From what I have read, 35mm film from the silent era does not compare to more modern 35mm film in resolution terms.

Yes, the film emulsions had larger grains, compared to today 35mm film, and the camera lenses was also somewhat inferior compared to today. But I think it was already pretty better than Lumiere and Melies câmera&emulsion.
Modern 35mm film negative require 8K scan to fully get all detais. This do not means a 8K scan of a modern 35mm negative will have twice as much detail compared to a 4K scan of the same 35mm negative. Not like compare a blu Ray to a DVD, but it's more like there are few some more details in the 8K scan.
Before Spider Man 3 all films were mastered in 2K, as far as I know. Terminator 2 was shot on Super 35mm, but the digital FX scenes were made in 2K or less.
Some low budget made for TV 70'S and early Y80'S films used bad cameras, cheap 35mm emulsions, that have resolution a lot inferior to some silent film negatives.

Anyway, silent films on Blu-Ray are not even 2K, they are just 1480 pixels left to right, due 4:3 format, since the idiot who stated blu-Ray standarts allowed just 16:9 ratio aspect and 4:3 films get black bars on sides, just like the old silly analogic VHS era put black bars on top and below for widescreen films. "Digiots"...

>2. Which means, you'd better be using a really good source, otherwise a 4K scan is overkill.

Yes, that's why I said just if they used the original camera negative in this Cohen restoration.

>3. Even if a 4K scan is warranted, it doesn't mean a UHD release is warranted.

I agree, 4K disks and players are more expansive, and few people have 4K TV (also more expansive).

>4. That being said, The General is one of the few titles that people buy over and over again, and since it has already been given a 4k scan, it makes sense for Cohen to at least "test the waters" with a UHD release of The General. It's still way early (only a handful of catalog titles have been released on UHD so far), so I wouldn't expect that release anytime soon, but assuming the UHD format proves to be viable, maybe in 2018?

Well, they could make a less expansive test, like putting a short 4K trailler encoded in very rich bitrate for download and ask people if they like it.

>5. There is the question of what frame rate could be used on a UHD release. ???

The Cohen used 26fps, but UHD 4K standarts can hold even 60fps. The problem is that 26fps maybe require repeat some frames or combine some frames. That's why I don't think we are fully digital if we still can't adress such matters properly

>6. Last, and probably least, one of the "advantages" of UHD is HDR. I don't know enough about this area to speculate how it would be used, if at all, on an older black and white film.

HDR have higher Dynamic range, but require a TV that allow HDR signal. It delivers more details on shadows and highlight. A original camera negative from a 20's silent probably have a a natural dynamics range up to make a HDR realease worth the task.


I hope the restorers of Lang's Metropolis have keeped the original camera negative they had used for most of the film reconstruction. It got many torn section during 2K wetgat scanning, if I mremamber well a task I had with a Metropolis fan. Wetgate scan add some softness, at least the one they used, I think, and it could spoil a 4K vídeo release. I hope they had made quality fine grain master from this negative, withoput wet gate . The ideal would be a two protection masters, one by wetgate and other dry.
There are scenes with a lot of scratches, even in camera negative, and combining a wet gate scan (or master made with wetgate) with a sharper dry scan, and using edge detection to align both (like ultra resolution does) it's possible to use the image information of the wetgate scan to fill the scratched areas. It's possible to easily create a algorythm that would compare both image (wetgate and dry) and spot the diferences between, that would be the dark scratches, and so the precise areas of scratches would be traced and, finally, the dry scan with scratches would receive the image of the wetgate scan (scratch free) to fill the scratchs on the dry scan image.

I'm saying that because I think Metropolis desserves a new digital film restoration, in 4k.
The 2001 restoration made some bad digital fixes, freeezing the grain in some scenes (Josepha in highroad or something)
Keep thinking...

Image
Offline
User avatar

bigshot

  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 23, 2017 10:57 am

UHD would be wasted on silent film. There wouldn't be any appreciable improvement over a blu-ray. The reason they do 4K transfers is to allow headroom for digital restoration filters. It isn't for image quality, because there's only just so much you can get out of an almost century old piece of film. Past a certain point, you're just getting very good rendering of noise.
PreviousNext

Return to Silent News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests