re: WKW Ah, I was afraid of that. I only had looked at a handful of screenshots and they did look weird, but I just sort of put it on the mental back-burner. It's a shame - perhaps I'll try to hunt up a few of the older BDs now.Knaldskalle wrote: ↑February 13th, 2021, 6:23 pm
But your point very much stands. The upcoming Wong Kar-Wai set from Criterion is apparently an excellent example of this. The screenshot comparisons I've seen make me want to avoid this set as much as possible and go for the older individual releases instead. It's absurd to imagine that Leonardo da Vinci would be allowed to alter the Mona Lisa to come closer to his "original vision." Nobody has seen the "original vision" and that's not what became famous in the first place. Want to "fix it?" Go ahead, make another one, don't alter what is already loved. For directors it really shouldn't be difficult to have more than one version out there, but this revisionism where we pretend the new version is the only version is offensive.
I tend to be closer to the "artists rights absolutism" end of the spectrum when it comes to these things - philosophically speaking. IF there was a miracle and Leonardo was resurrected today, there's a big part of me that says sure, he can fuck around with the Last Supper and Mona Lisa if he wants to, they're HIS. But - that ignores the wishes of those who paid for the works (and if we're going to imagine Leonardo resurrected we might as well imagine his patrons rising out of the earth as well) and of course, as you say, the reasons they became famous in the first place. Still if a living artist who is the sole creator of something wants to alter his/her work - Joyce Carol Oates decides to radically re-write a novel, Bruce Springsteen decides to heavily re-edit and re-engineer Nebraska, etc, my heart tells me for the most part, that's their right. Even if they remove the originals from distribution, there will still be many copies out there in the marketplace - many thousands in the cases of very famous and best-selling creators.
Film is of course different, at least expensive narrative films made by people like Lucas, WKW, Scorsese (uggh, the remastering on Goodfellas a couple of years ago - glad I have an older copy), etc. I don't think any of those guys acted as writer/director/DP/editor/sound editor on any of their films. They may have the legal right to fuck around with them - and they may also cede that legal right to a company like Disney, WB, Criterion, etc - but it is not only their work that is going to be altered, but the work of many other artists and technicians. And all of that ought to count for something.