Take Me To Your Cinema
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I guess this is the right place for this thread, as it's a question for the preservation and restoration experts on this forum.
One of the best Blu-Rays of recent times was the Scorcese backed restoration of 1943's 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp'. Surely one of the top ten greatest films ever made. I heard there was another film by John Boulting called 'The Magic Box' that had a similar flavour to Blimp. Which indeed it does, also a similarly elegant flashback narrative structure and cinematography. The movie is a biography of Cinema pioneer William Freise-Greene and is beautifully sad. It was shot by long-time Archers collaborator, the great Jack Cardiff.
When I tracked down a DVD of this little known film I was hugely impressed with the production but was disapointed by the transfer. It is clearly down to being scanned from a mis-aligned 3-strip Technicolour print (By accident or by variable shrinking of the seperate colour records). The scan looks quite sharp for a DVD but in certain scenes the colour ghosting is very bad. I wanted to know if there is any software that can improve this sort of thing by seperating out the colour spectrum and realigning it. I feel this is a really important film but I can't see it getting professionaly restored anytime soon.
Here are some screen captures of my DVD for reference...
^ The colours are really vibrant in places.
^ The closeups have some great detail (The film's star Robert Donat).
^ And again here (Michael Hordern is a God!)
^ Ironically, there is a scene where Freise-Greene is trying to correctly align one of his colour experiments.
^The mis-alignment is starting to show in this shot.
^ This scene is particulaly badly aligned, feeling almost like an old-skool 3D film when viewed in motion.
This webpage has some interesting details including the suggestion that the film originaly ran to 118minutes. My DVD is 103mins but I suspect with 4% PAL speedup that I've got the 108minute cut.
^ Click to buy from Amazon if you want to find out more.