The General 4K Original Camera Negative

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luciano

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The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 9:20 am

Apparently, the Cohen Film Collection has released their original camera negative restoration of The General through Divisa, and it looks incredible! I compared it to the earlier release from Kino and while the first Kino Blu-ray was fantastic, this is just wonderful. No wonder, being that they scanned the negative in 4K and obviously have cleaned things up as well. Someone posted screen grabs, so here they are if anyone's interested. It has the Carl Davis score as well!

http://www.mundodvd.com/capturas_bluray ... sa-118674/
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bigshot

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 11:45 am

The frame rate is higher than any other copy of the General that I've seen. Combined with the added resolution, it gives it a very smooth, detailed look- not at all old looking
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luciano

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 12:30 pm

bigshot wrote:The frame rate is higher than any other copy of the General that I've seen. Combined with the added resolution, it gives it a very smooth, detailed look- not at all old looking


Yes, I've heard that Keaton liked projection two frames faster than the original cranking speed. I'm not sure what camera speed was used commonly on The General but it's seems Cohen kept this in mind. I've seen the trailer and it does look very smooth, and sharpness and clarity is wonderful. It's always great to see what these precious negatives can unmask.
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R. Cat

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 1:14 pm

So, has there been any hint of a release date on Blu-ray for the Cohen restoration (U.S. Or U.K.)?
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luciano

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 1:45 pm

R. Cat wrote:So, has there been any hint of a release date on Blu-ray for the Cohen restoration (U.S. Or U.K.)?


That's what I was thinking. I believe Kino's rights are expiring soon, so Cohen may release The General this year.
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Robert W

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSun Apr 23, 2017 3:51 pm

This was the closing night gala at the TCM Classic Film Festival a few years ago and I raved about it on this board at the time. It truly looked like it had been shot yesterday on the giant Chinese theatre screen. I've wondered for years why we haven't seen a commerical release of it.
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R. Cat

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 4:53 am

luciano wrote:
R. Cat wrote:So, has there been any hint of a release date on Blu-ray for the Cohen restoration (U.S. Or U.K.)?


That's what I was thinking. I believe Kino's rights are expiring soon, so Cohen may release The General this year.


If the overseas rights revert in the U.K. first, look for Cohen to release it there, perhaps sooner. I have both the U.K. And U.S. Cohen release of Thief of Baghdad and prefer the U.K. Release over the U.S. version. Note: U.K. release has better menus and fewer unrelated art house film trailers to sort through before getting to the main feature.

In the case of the Keaton classic I'll be watching for DVDBeaver comparisons. This is lookin' like a great year for silent film enthusiasts! :D
Last edited by R. Cat on Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 8:07 am

I wonder if Cohen will improve on its packaging when they get their turn at the Keatons? I know the movie is the important thing, but I find their drab, uniform cover design less than inspiring. Use of original release poster art is my own preference, the Warner Archive series has been great in this regard.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 10:44 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:I wonder if Cohen will improve on its packaging when they get their turn at the Keatons? I know the movie is the important thing, but I find their drab, uniform cover design less than inspiring. Use of original release poster art is my own preference, the Warner Archive series has been great in this regard.


The U.K. release opted for enlarging the flying carpet still without the bracketed C. That was the more appealing choice. For The General, the U.K. release will likely use the same art as the Divisa cover. Apparently Cohen insists on the bracketed C for their U.S. product.
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Bob Furem

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 3:33 pm

I am sick and tired of buying the General. This one had better come with a lock of Buster's hair.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 5:54 pm

luciano wrote:I believe Kino's rights are expiring soon, so Cohen may release The General this year.


What rights are currently in place? I'd thought the film itself was PD...
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luciano

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 6:32 pm

Feufollet wrote:
luciano wrote:I believe Kino's rights are expiring soon, so Cohen may release The General this year.


What rights are currently in place? I'd thought the film itself was PD...


I'm not sure. I used to be under that impression that it was PD as well. I asked David Shepard last year (god bless him) about the Cohen release and he said Kino's rights were expiring in 2017. Maybe someone can enlighten us on the details.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostMon Apr 24, 2017 6:43 pm

The rights to this movie are iffy. It was owned by the Buster Keaton Corporation, in which Keaton was a minority shareholder. The company was dissolved in the 1930s and the rights to the movie were assigned to.... well, no one is sure. When Rohauer was rehabilitating Keaton's reputation in the 1950s, he got a quitclaim from Keaton, but it would take a court case to decide if Keaton had the rights to the copyright Cohen Media's rights derive from Rohauer.

However, considering that Cohen owns the camera negative and is actually doing something with it, let us say thank you.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostTue Apr 25, 2017 12:52 pm

I emailed Cohen last year asking about The 4k restorations of The General and Steamboat Bill Jr. on blu ray and they replied back that they do play on releasing them but no idea when. I've wondered if the new 2k restorations that Kino just released has pushed them back even further? I'm also wondering about the Universal silent restorations they have completed and if they will ever show up on blu ray? I would love to have the restoration of the Last Warning but nothing so far!
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostTue Apr 25, 2017 7:37 pm

Is there a European release of Cohen's Steamboat Bill Jr restoration? That might make me triple dip on that title.
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luciano

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostTue Apr 25, 2017 8:15 pm

bigshot wrote:Is there a European release of Cohen's Steamboat Bill Jr restoration? That might make me triple dip on that title.


I'd be careful, as Lobster's release through Kino of Steamboat Bill Jr. (along with a version of The General and Three Ages) looked slightly stronger in some respects. I'd wait until a comparison is made between Lobster's and Cohen's. By the way, does anybody know if Cohen restored the two versions of Steamboat Bill Jr.?
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostWed Apr 26, 2017 12:18 pm

I have ordered the Divisa Bluray from Spain and will report.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostWed Apr 26, 2017 2:59 pm

Clip:

Last edited by silentfilm on Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link
Keep thinking...

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostWed Apr 26, 2017 10:44 pm

I have the Spanish blu-ray of The General. It's a step up over the already good Kino. I'm curious about Steamboat Bill Jr. I didn't like the original Kino version at all. I got the new one but haven't watched it yet. I'd be interested in hearing about the Cohen one.
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luciano

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostWed Apr 26, 2017 11:20 pm

bigshot wrote:I have the Spanish blu-ray of The General. It's a step up over the already good Kino. I'm curious about Steamboat Bill Jr. I didn't like the original Kino version at all. I got the new one but haven't watched it yet. I'd be interested in hearing about the Cohen one.


Here's the trailer for Steamboat Bill Jr.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb3a3pM27ts

So far it's only been released in 4K DCP. It seems they haven't used the negative for this restoration.
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bigshot

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostThu Apr 27, 2017 9:43 am

That looks a lot better than the first Kino blu-ray.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostThu Apr 27, 2017 10:07 am

What if a 4k Blu Ray with extremely rich bitrate and perfect digital restoration of image from camera negative, for The General, with 5 different scores and 3 options of projection speed was released ?

Would people still think that a better release is possible?
Keep thinking...

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostThu Apr 27, 2017 10:14 am

Is the same 35mm source ?

If I remamber well the best material for Steambout Bill Jr was a preservation master that was made from a original nitrate print. Since preservation masters usually are made in very good duplication film stock and in very good film printers, it probably have nearly the same quality of the original nitrate print.

bigshot wrote:That looks a lot better than the first Kino blu-ray.
Keep thinking...

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luciano

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostFri Apr 28, 2017 1:06 am

Apparently Sherlock Jr. is in the works:





It seems to be finished, based on the 4K DCP availability. Haven't found any evidence of a release date.
http://cohenfilmcollection.net/films/sherlock-jr
Last edited by silentfilm on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostFri Apr 28, 2017 9:57 am

The problem with the original Kino Steamboat Bill Jr wasn't sharpness. It was washed out. It looked like they used the wrong gamma settings or something.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostFri Apr 28, 2017 10:39 am

It's a bit sad that there is no digital film restoration that was able to combine different propoerties of film elements, in order to improve the image quality. For example:

-a 35mm film that have great sharpness but a lot of very deep & tick emulsion scratches
-and a 35mm film with fine sharpness but not so great as the first one, but relatively free of scratches.

Combine both to use the information of the second to fill the many deep tick scratches of the first, creating a natural image with no artefacts in the áreas of scratch. Some very tick scratchs can generate artefacts during digital clean up. This idea would solve that problem.

Other example:

- A 35mmprint overexposed, looking too dark (overexpose a negative to make a print during copy making generates a darker image)
- A 35mm sunderexposed print looking too brigh

Combine both images to create a image with good dynamix range, wiuth good details in shadows and in highlights.

Other example:

-A very good and sharp 35mm print from early 20's. Fine contrast and dynamicx range.
-A very good and sharp 35mm print from early 20's . Fine contrast and dynamics range.

We know that the grain build-uo and few sharpness loss was more pronunced in old days when they go from camera negative to a print.
In the similar way Lowry Digital used to compare diferente frames to analyze the grain and reduce it and improve sharpness, it's possible to analyze the grain of a given frame of the same moment, in both prints, and this would help determine what is grain and what is image detail, allowing to reduce grain without kill textures.

I believe this would be the future of digital film restoration. But to make that it's need a perfect software to align the sister frames, maybe more precise than Warner's Ultra Re3solution used in technilor restoration. Also would require perfect contrast match, perfect flicker correction.
Indeed it could be used as referendeto help flicker correction in a czmera negative that got too much spatial flicker (when flicker it's not homogen along the frame área.

luciano wrote:Apparently Sherlock Jr. is in the works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX955GO-WA8" target="_blank" target="_blank

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=attHT6zK1Bs" target="_blank" target="_blank

It seems to be finished, based on the 4K DCP availability. Haven't found any evidence of a release date.
http://cohenfilmcollection.net/films/sherlock-jr" target="_blank" target="_blank
Keep thinking...

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Arndt

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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSat May 06, 2017 3:39 am

I have now received and watched my DIVISA bluray of THE GENERAL. Here is what I think. It looks very good, but so does the KINO bluray. As you would expect from a scan from a camera negative there seems to be no physical damage at all, compared to very little on KINO. In all other areas - sharpness, definition, stability, depth of image etc. - I see no real difference. The main difference is that KINO has the film in a sepia tone and DIVISA in black and white.
It is of amazing quality but unless you are a compulsive completist like me I do not think the difference to the KINO bluray is big enough to make an upgrade necessary
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSat May 06, 2017 7:18 am

Arndt wrote:I have now received and watched my DIVISA bluray of THE GENERAL. Here is what I think. It looks very good, but so does the KINO bluray. As you would expect from a scan from a camera negative there seems to be no physical damage at all, compared to very little on KINO. In all other areas - sharpness, definition, stability, depth of image etc. - I see no real difference. The main difference is that KINO has the film in a sepia tone and DIVISA in black and white.
It is of amazing quality but unless you are a compulsive completist like me I do not think the difference to the KINO bluray is big enough to make an upgrade necessary


That's my feeling exactly. The recent Kino scan of The General is quite a come-down from the old blu-ray and it's sepia tone. And I won't be upgrading to the new B&W scan from the camera negative because I'd miss that sepia tone. All silents on blu-ray should look as good as the old Kino

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare5/thegeneral.htm
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSat May 06, 2017 1:54 pm

The biggest difference is the frame rate. The Cohen version is much smoother in motion and the flicker is better too. There is a difference in sharpness as well, but that may be due to the lack of tinting, and might also only be apparent when you project it on a big screen. There aren't many films that I'd double dip from very good to excellent, but The General is one of them. But both the old Kino and the Spanish one have the Carl Davis score, so either is good on that count.
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Re: The General 4K Original Camera Negative

PostSat May 06, 2017 3:18 pm

bigshot wrote:The biggest difference is the frame rate. The Cohen version is much smoother in motion and the flicker is better too. There is a difference in sharpness as well, but that may be due to the lack of tinting, and might also only be apparent when you project it on a big screen. There aren't many films that I'd double dip from very good to excellent, but The General is one of them. But both the old Kino and the Spanish one have the Carl Davis score, so either is good on that count.


I'll double-dip for the Cohen release since ...at the very least... there'll be a marginal improvement and smoother image. KINO's sepia toning always seemed a bit strong (processed), but the 2009 release has been my go to copy. Toning can be plus in respect to minimizing visible flaws, but what matters to me is Keaton's intent. If Keaton's release prints were originally displayed in straightforward B&W, then that's the best way to see the film, IMO.
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