OldAle1 wrote: ↑September 15th, 2023, 4:25 pm
I haven't listened yet - I'll wait till the YT version is up - but this is right up my alley! And it's another one where an older viewer like me who actually grew up in the VHS era (and before) is bound to have a somewhat different view.
Happy to hear it and hope you enjoy it!
So, what about you? Do you watch damaged silents and bad VHS transfers on YouTube?
Sure. More often though I watch equally-crappy copies that are downloaded, especially from the Internet Archive.
Not at all immune to this either, though as I mentioned in the podcast recent restorations have made me a bit more discriminatory, and if it is a film in the "maybe I should watch it" category in bad condition I'm far more likely to wait now thsn before. I just can't believe the number of fairly obscure films have gotten great treatment.
Do you feel like you have become spoiled by blu-rays and 4k?
To some extent, but usually only when I know that something is, or should be, available to me in high-def. Here's an example: I'm going through Star Trek (TOS) right now and I have a beautiful BD set and the definition and colors are fantastic. But the first disc of season 2 won't play - I don't think it's the disc's fault, my player is very old and it's gotten wonky with some newer BDs over the past year - so what to do? I don't feel like buying a new player now, want to wait until I upgrade. So I got out the DVDs from the library - and they look OK but the difference is pretty significant. And unfortunately they won't play beyond the first 5 minutes either! Though that is because, like most popular and older library DVDs, they're too scratched. So I downloaded 720p copies of the episodes and will watch them but I'm not going to be happy about it.
Looks ok, but pretty significant difference is about my feeling on the matter too.
On the other hand, when something is fairly rare, and maybe was low-budget to begin with, I really don't get at all fussed about the quality being low; I'm just usually happy to be able to see it at all.
Very true, some of those grungier looking films are made for DVD, or even the VHS look. Hell, I enjoy video art, being on video is the whole point.
If yes: Does that mean that people watching home video in the 80s, 90s, and 00s just didn't experience the film properly?
I guess in a way - but then from my purist standpoint, if you didn't see a film the way it was meant to be seen in the first place (let's say in a cinema with a particular soundmix and 35mm) you didn't see it "properly". I felt pretty strongly about this back in the 90s and even into the 00s when my choices were more limited, and still deep down I sometimes feel it - but I've made my peace with it. You take what you can get to a great extent. I mean, I can't really read anything of any length or difficulty that's not in English - am I not experiencing a work originally in French "properly"? No, but we all have limitations with every experience we have, we just have to learn to live with them.
I can see Tom nodding along non-stop while reading this paragraph.
What is the lowest quality where you feel like you can still enjoy the film? Is it possible for you to actually enjoy a VHS tape?
If it's a film I really, really want to see, and it seems highly unlikely that it will ever be available in higher quality - or I just can't wait because, say, it's the only film from a favorite filmmaker that I haven't seen or something, then there really is no bottom limit to the quality I'll watch, though "enjoy" is a tough word in such cases. Still I remember being knocked out on my first viewing of Ordet in a VERY poor VHS back in the late 80s.
Interesting pick. Can see it working very well on VHS as it is quite dialogue driven, and some of the aesthetics can even lend itself to VHS. Vampyr, perhaps even more so.
What is the lowest quality where you feel like you feel that you can't even judge the film properly?
That's hard to answer. If I really felt it wasn't something I could evaluate at all I'd probably turn it off; I virtually never stop watching something, but abysmal quality is one exception that I've made a few times.
You know, I don't think I've ever made that exception if I've started the film properly, but the flipside of that is that there are some films I'll just drift away from. I won't see films in that kind of quality anymore though, and as I mentioned on the podcast I'm glad I managed to restrain myself and not see your favourite, A Brighter Summer Say before the restoration was out. How was the print you first saw. We're you lucky enough to see it on release in great quality and if so, did you ever go through the weak print that was circulating fir tyears as well?
How do you feel about films that choose to be in poor quality as an aesthetic choice? Perhaps even adding scratches, pixels, glitches, etc.?
Eh, it's a sort of fun gimmick I suppose - I definitely don't mind it for trailers or shorts, but for features I dunno. I mean, all those "grindhouse" films were INTENDED to be shown in good quality prints to begin with - and there a great many of them that have shown up in recent years in HD restorations and I don't think anybody is saying "gee I wish the color was all washed out, the sound un-synched, frames dropped like it was when I saw it on 42nd street in 1971".
Favourite films with bad or even terrible image quality?
Do you mean, terrible as in the way it was actually made, or terrible as in, that's the only way it can be seen (or was seen by me)? There are plenty of very low-budget or experimental films that have "poor" image quality that I love, too many to count. There is a great deal of experimental work - Mekas, Kuchar, Brakhage, etc, that is transferred from 16 mm or even 8mm for example - it's grainy and low resolution and that's just the way it is. It can never look like something shot in 35 or HD.
If on the other hand you mean something that just looks terrible because there hasn't thus far been any way to see a good copy, geez I dunno. Maybe Raul Ruiz' Mammame which AFAIK is only available in a really poor transfer either from VHS or French TV back in the 80s. EDIT: Ha, foiled again. I just looked and the YT copy linked to from icm is definitely better than what I remember. Still not great by any means but def better than what I remember seeing. So... I dunno. Maybe all the great movies I watched in terrible quality 5 or 10 or 20 years ago are now available in decent transfers? Probably not but I don't feel like going through all the possibilities right now.
You can I terpret it however you want, and Mammane is an excellent choice!
Honestly, the quality even fits it.
One favourite of mine that I forgot to mention in thr podcast, though it does not look terrible (probably why) is Oswald's Lucrezia Borgia (1922). I'd love to see it in HD. The same us the case for many of my silent favourites, which are clearly very much visual: