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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:12 pm 
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ZackGlickman wrote:
I think it's just badly labeled and made by ignorants.
Luckily, it's easy to fix it.


Kind of harkens back to the days of mock stereo albums made from mono masters. Just a cheat on the unknowing public.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:15 am 
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I'm goin' to wait for the high-end ZFT thing, with decent authoring and sonics*. There's already more than enough budget versions of this title on the market for a new generation of viewers to mistake it for a trash-type production of sorts.

*This is not going to happen before 2018, of course, but it'll feature a nice Roxy trailer, and it'll therefore be worth the wait alone :P


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:18 am 
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I read most of this thread and would say that the diffrence with 16.9 4.3 is what your eyes prefer from person too person remember also people going nuts thinking 16.9 was the ultimate format.
it is a rip off it goes like this Go to the cinema they want you spend loads of money watch it in widesreen at the Cinema(got to be better it's at the cinema)then bring widescreen tv out sell more copies.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:19 pm 
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Some people like that though.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:27 pm 
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They like one or the other yeah sure :|

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:40 pm 
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cleon wrote:
I read most of this thread and would say that the diffrence with 16.9 4.3 is what your eyes prefer from person too person remember also people going nuts thinking 16.9 was the ultimate format.
it is a rip off it goes like this Go to the cinema they want you spend loads of money watch it in widesreen at the Cinema(got to be better it's at the cinema)then bring widescreen tv out sell more copies.

From what I've gathered, this isn't a discussion of which aspect ratio is better from an aesthetic perspective. The fact is the film was shot in a 4:3 ratio, and the DVD has apparently stretched the original image to 16:9. It's a distortion of the original film, a curious choice for a director to make.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:56 pm 
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It be curious if it was not money involved
I got 4.3 vhs good too still if i buy the dvd i will play in 16.9 if 4.3 comes up my TV is that Good :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:05 am 
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First post. I'll make it a good one...

madcow1515 wrote:
From what I've gathered, this isn't a discussion of which aspect ratio is better from an aesthetic perspective. The fact is the film was shot in a 4:3 ratio, and the DVD has apparently stretched the original image to 16:9. It's a distortion of the original film, a curious choice for a director to make.


I haven't seen the DVD yet so I've no idea if the 4:3-stretched-to-16:9 claim is true. However, I'm almost entirely sure that 4:3 was never the intended aspect ratio of 200 Motels...

Earlier in the thread someone admonished the notion of "some moron adding a matte on both ends of the screen to make it look 'modern'". I suspect that this misses the point a little because it's pretty likely that this is exactly what happened when it was originally shown in cinemas back in 1971!

There are many examples of 'widescreen' movies originally being shot and edited at a 'full frame' ratio - with instructions given to the projectionists to 'mask off' the tops and bottoms of the screen (known in the trade as a 'soft matte') when those movies were shown theatrically.

There are also many examples of such movies subsequently being shown on TV or released on VHS in a never-intended 'full frame' format - simply because it was easier than panning/scanning (or because 'letterboxing' tended to be unpopular with complete arseholes who'd complain that a third of their TV was "going to waste").

Unfortunately, quite often those sections intended to be masked off were regarded as 'safety' by the filmmakers, and showing them without the matte can occasionally reveal unwanted stuff - like boom-mics hovering overhead. A good example of this is the Monkees film Head which reveals several such anomolies throughout (and which, despite this becoming pretty well-known, has never been issued in its correct aspect ratio, not even on DVD).

As someone mentioned before, IMDb gives the aspect ratio of 200 Motels as 1.66:1. I believe that this is correct - and that previous 'full frame' editions on VHS (and laserdisc?) have been wrong. To illustrate this fascinating suggestion, take a look at this photo:

Image

Gorgeous, isn't it. I swiped it from someone's Flickr page. It was taken in April last year during an actual cinema showing of 200 Motels. It's at an odd angle but anyone should be able to see clearly that it isn't a 4:3 screen they're watching there.

Now, take a look at that exact same frame (give or take) as it was presented on one of the old 'full frame' VHS editions:

Image

Note that the 4:3 version has extra info at the top and the bottom. Now, see what happens when we crop it to 1.66:1...

Image

There y'go. Exactly the same dimensions as the screen shown in the photo taken in the cinema!

You want more evidence? Sure you do. Here's a pic of the 'steaming briefcase' scene, once again, from an old 4:3 VHS:

Image

It took me ages to realise that the 'gag' here is that when Rance announces "Special delivery for Mr Volman...", he's supposed to be walking in front of the screen and addressing the cinema audience! A gag which is spoiled somewhat by the fact that there's a big gap just below his ankles, giving him the impression of floating in mid air. Note that the descending smoke also disappears into nothingness at that same point. Why would they go through all the bother of arranging a great blue-screen effect like that only to mess it up?

Well, they didn't. The cinema projectionists would have masked off the top and bottom of the screen. Thus rendering it...

Image

...perfect!

In the old Dutch Making of 200 Motels documentary we see shots of TV monitors relaying the images being recorded. Note that these often have strip of tape at the top and bottom of the screen...

Image Image

One must presume that these were placed there as a guide for the cinematographer - so that he could make sure that all the action took place within that rectangle.

Make sense? Good. How all this squares up with a 16:9 DVD which may or may not actually be 4:3 (stretched by default across the screen until you press the appropriate buttons) is anyone's guess. Maybe, given that it's the format most well-known to fans of 200 Motels, a 4:3 presentation is the best option. Probably better that than an actual crop to 16:9, which would be even more severe.

Hello, by the way.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:44 pm 
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Hello sotcaadotnet, welcome to this place!

Very interesting observation, i had immediatley to run and put my DVD into my PC and did this snapshot at the same scene (1min, 39sec). Apparently it is in 4:3 (I described my copy in earlier posts in this thread, it is available in germany nowadays in normal plastic case). Your proof (that there is too much too see on top and at the bottom) is really very convincing. Maybe the version of Tony Palmer now is in the way, the movie was intended: wide screen ("the wide screen is errupting"...). I think we can trust Palmer, that he is one of the living persons, who knows the most about, how the movie was intended to be. If so, his release seems to be very recommendable, probably the first release in the correct aspect ratio.
Hope, you will share much more of your interesting observations and suggestions in this forum soon, cu 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:40 pm 
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This is somewhat like the Avatar discussion. Who cares about the visuals, what about the story?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:12 pm 
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          Image

This is a screen shot from the Tony Palmer DVD. I think this makes it clear that it's 4:3 stretched. Okay, there's a tiny strip missing across the top but there's still significant video showing below Rance's feet. And, if you compare it with the pic in sotcaadotnet's post above it definitely looks stretched.

I haven't stretched this myself, this is a picture from the screen of my laptop. It's the standard DVD player on a MacBook Pro. Interestingly enough, when I get the DVD info it says the aspect ratio is 16 : 9 which is 1.78 : 1 but it also says the size is 720 x 480 which is a ratio of 1.5 : 1. Hmmm ...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:32 pm 
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cleon wrote:
I dont know if it a myth that film directors prefer too Film mabye(video)in 16.9 for many years and slap it too 4.3 for viewers :wink:

So it aint no myth then :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:54 pm 
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sotcaadotnet wrote:
There are many examples of 'widescreen' movies originally being shot and edited at a 'full frame' ratio - with instructions given to the projectionists to 'mask off' the tops and bottoms of the screen (known in the trade as a 'soft matte') when those movies were shown theatrically.

There are also many examples of such movies subsequently being shown on TV or released on VHS in a never-intended 'full frame' format - simply because it was easier than panning/scanning (or because 'letterboxing' tended to be unpopular with complete arseholes who'd complain that a third of their TV was "going to waste").

Excellent post, Sotcaadotnet. I know what you mean about films that are shot in full-frame with the intention of getting a crop job later. The Shining was shot that way.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:05 am 
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Who is responsible for this? Why is the visual director Tony Palmer involved in this release and unable to care for it being done just right? Why should I buy this?

Why does the ZFT release B-quality live recordings from Frank's garbage can over and over again instead of taking care of the man's legacy? It is a pity, that a masterpiece like 200 Motels is treated this way.

Th.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:31 am 
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polydigm wrote:
          Image
...


It is clear that it is not the way we should watch it.
Sure you can set your player to see it better.
Yes, "It is a pity, that a masterpiece like 200 Motels is treated this way."

Still, the commentary is very interesting and maybe this release will make thinks move a little.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:54 am 
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polydigm wrote:
Interestingly enough, when I get the DVD info it says the aspect ratio is 16 : 9 which is 1.78 : 1 but it also says the size is 720 x 480 which is a ratio of 1.5 : 1. Hmmm ...


I'll take a wild guess here... 720x480 is actually the standard size of a 4:3 NTSC picture - ie it's physically slightly less vertical than 'full frame' but is then stretched up to 720x540 when viewed on TV. Rather pertinently, one of the reasons 200 Motels was shot in Europe on PAL equipment was that the video picture there was less 'vertically challenged', so the quality would be that much better when it came to transfering the whole thing to 35mm.

Oh shit... Do you know what I think has happened here? Looking at your screenshot, it seems that the original 4:3 picture has actually been cropped to the NTSC 4:3 standard rather than squashed (accounting for the slight strips of info missing from the top and bottom)... This means that even changing the settings on the DVD player to show it in 4:3 will still give the incorrect dimensions!

Image Image

So clearly this is an almighty great fuck-up... If the YouTube preview is anything to go by, Tony Palmer most likely planned a straight 16:9 crop - but his instructions went awry somewhere along the line. I've no doubt that Palmer knows what he's doing - but I'm far less convinced that his staff do! Hence stuff like the 'Frank Zapper' caption on the original version of the preview!

And speaking of that YouTube preview... the missing chunk between 'Penis Dimension' and 'She Painted Up...' is evident on that clip too! I've a horrible feeling this may be down to them using a damaged print (doesn't the jump occur around the time of a reel change? The sudden wobble and dirt-flecks on the Ringo section certainly suggest so...).

DVDs have been recalled for far lesser quality-control evils. I wonder if that'll be the case here...

On the up-side, it's heartening to see an internet forum page boasting so many screen captures of Mark Volman's great big face!

calvin2hikers wrote:
This is somewhat like the Avatar discussion. Who cares about the visuals, what about the story?


There was a story?

To be fair, since the 'story' was effectively cobbled together in the editing suite from whatever footage they'd managed to get 'in the can', the trippy visuals and music kind of take centre-stage here. It would be nice to know that these were being presented on DVD as per the original intentions of the filmmakers, even if the movie doesn't follow the plot of the shooting script.

I'd love to get hold of that final script and give it a complete overview. Here's an attempt at cobbling together the 'complete' motel room scene - combining the dialogue as it appears in the movie with the read-throughs on Playground Psychotics and the original On The Road album...

Quote:
MARK
It's a good thing we get paid to do this. I could be in L.A., getting reamed, listening to an Elton John album.

HOWARD
Don't even talk about getting reamed. Listen, I've been without female companionship for so long, a career as a Jesuit monk looks inviting, Ian is starting to look good to me.

GEORGE
Must be his green velour socks!

JEFF
You just calm down there, Duke.

MARK
Ever since you left the jazz world to seek fame and fortune in the rock & roll industry...

JEFF
What do you mean rock & roll? This fucking band doesn't even play rock & roll, it's all that comedy crap!

IAN
If we played any rock & roll we might make some money. I wouldn't mind playing some rock & roll, uh, I like classical music too, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy playing rock & roll. I mean, it's not very challenging, intellectually, but I wouldn't mind if we did some rock & roll. We could vote on it.

JEFF
Vote on it? For what? To tell Zappa we want to play some good music instead of this comedy shit?

AYNSLEY
I wouldn't mind playing some more rock & roll, a bit more commercial, with sort of heavy four part harmony, group vocals and a very heavy beat, that the kids could enjoy. I think we'd definitely make more money that way.

IAN
Maybe after we finish the movie we could play more rock & roll.

MARK
Yeah! We could all quit and form other groups and play more rock & roll.

JEFF
And more blues, extended blues, blues but still down and funky, even though you extended it. George knows what I'm talking about, don't you, George?

GEORGE
Leave me out of this. I come from the jazz world and I know all about these groups that get formed and disappear, with their extensions waving in the moonlight.

MARK
You just calm down there, Duke.

JEFF
Maybe we could all form a group, we could elect a leader... Howard... we could call it Howard Kaylan World.

IAN
We wouldn't have to have any leader.

JEFF
We could just jam a lot.

AYNSLEY
But it would have to have a really heavy beat and be really commercial so the kids could enjoy it.

HOWARD
I wanna get laid! I am so horny I can't stand it!

JEFF
Listen, if you think for a minute anybody likes this comedy music we've been playing you're crazy. That's why you don't get laid - who wants to fuck a comedian! None of these girls can take you seriously.

MARK
Hang on, you should be careful talking about that kind of stuff.

JEFF
Why? Does he listen?

IAN
He always listens. He's always watching and listening to all the guys in the band. I've been in the band for years and I know, he always listens, believe me.

JEFF
That's how he gets his material. He listens to us being natural, friendly, humorous and good-natured, then he rips us off, sneaks off into a secret room someplace and boils it in ammonia, and gets it perverted. Then he brings it back to us at a rehearsal and makes us play it.

IAN
I've been in the group for years and let me tell you that is exactly, that is precisely what he does: He steals all his material. Exactly.

HOWARD
All of it?

MARK
And the stuff he doesn't steal, Murray Roman writes for him. Listen, without us he'd be nothing!

GEORGE
Hey, man, what's that over there?

HOWARD
It's him, he's watching us!

MARK
You think he heard us?

IAN
I've been in the band for years, and... you can bet that he heard everything.

JEFF
Let's go over and pretend to be nice to him.

HOWARD
Let's go over and pretend we don't know he's watching.

MARK
And ripping off all our good material.

HOWARD
Hi, man.

IAN
Hi, Frank.

MARK
Hi, man.

JEFF
Hi, Frank.

AYNSLEY
Hi, man.

GEORGE
Hi, Frank.

MARK
Boy, that's a great new comedy song you wrote, that one about the penis and everything, I was laughing a lot while I was learning it.

HOWARD
Yeah, Frank, uh, it was a little hard to get into at first, but, uh, once we got the drift...

JEFF
That's a real great part you got in there for the chorus when they go 'Ran Tan Toon Toon Na Na Hanninn' where I steal the room and everything, I don't mind you ripping it off so long as I get paid...

MARK
Me too, I don't even care about the part where he goes, 'What can I say about this elixir?' so long as me and Howard and Jeff get credit for special material.

IAN
See you guys later.

HOWARD
Where are you going, man?

IAN
I have to conduct the next orchestra sequence... Motorhead's Industrial Vacuum Cleaner and the Hot Nun Debris and so forth.

HOWARD
Nun Debris?? Where is she at?

IAN
Where isn't she?

HOWARD
Where is he at? What's this stuff mean in this movie?

JEFF
He's out of his fucking mind.

IAN
I'll see you guys later.

AYNSLEY
I'm going too, lads.

HOWARD
Where are you going?

AYNSLEY
I'm going to try out my new binoculars.

MARK
What do you mean, man? You look through the binoculars and beat your meat to it or what?

AYNSLEY
That depends largely on what I see through the binoculars!

HOWARD
What if you see Dik Barber's forehead?

AYNSLEY
You can't see it too good with that Industrial Vacuum Cleaner costume, and the hose and everything. It's sort of incognito.

OMNES
Whaaat?

JEFF
Did you hear that?

MARK
I heard it. He said 'incognito'!

JEFF
Rivet Boy Dunbar, ladies and gentlemen. Lord God King of the Snappy Reports. And here he is.

HOWARD
Yes, Dunbar, you Liverpudlian lycanthrope. Your retorts have been remarkably snappy just now. Something must be wrong.

MARK
There's some bad brown acid going around, Aynsley. You can take it with a grain of salt, heh heh heh heh...

AYNSLEY
I didn't mean to upset you, lads, but the reason my retorts were so snappy is because he's making me do this, I should imagine he's making you do yours too, isn't he?

HOWARD
Get out of here, you creep, you even used to live in his house!

AYNSLEY
See you later, lads.

MARK
Howard... He's right!

HOWARD
I know he is. You might as well admit it too, Simmons.

JEFF
Right. It's pathetic. He's making me do this. I can't help myself. Suicide is imminent...

GEORGE
Listen, errrrr, he's making me leave here now. Soooo, errr.... I'll see you when we play. It should be about another fifteen minutes - after that thing Ian's gonna conduct.

OMNES
Maaan...

LARRY THE DWARF
Listen, erm, uh, he's making me leave here now so, er, er, I'll see you later, er, when we play.

MARK
What?

LARRY THE DWARF
I don't expect you to understand that because we haven't formed our group yet.

MARK
When's that's supposed to happen?

LARRY THE DWARF
Jeff's the one who's going to form it.

MARK
What the fuck is going on here?

JEFF
Okay, let's see, you guys, we're gonna form another group. Zappa will never know the difference as long as we keep on being nice to him.

HOWARD
Right!

JEFF
Look, it's simple. This group will be commercial and have Blues extensions and everything. Mark will play the bass. Howard will sing and play sax, I'll play the guitar and the dwarf will be the drummer.

HOWARD
This guy isn't even a dwarf!

JEFF
That's one of the reasons why the group will be so commercial!

HOWARD
What about the rest of the guys in the band?

JEFF
They're already forming other groups all over the place. Why wait until the end of the movie - we could have a hit single right now.

MARK
We don't need Aynsley or George or Ian or nobody!

JEFF
Listen, he needs us, remember. We don't need him. All those other guys are too old for rock. They're out of it! We could have a tight little heavy group with this dwarf here. He used to play drums for Leon Russell!

HOWARD
You're right, Simmons. They are too old.

MARK
You're right. Zappa's thirty! Thirty years old. He's out of it! You're right! He should retire.

JEFF
Really, you can't trust old people. We should take up a collection and buy him a watch!


Tony Palmer probably has this whole scene, unedited, in his tape library (along with, no doubt, the 'unusable' live-action 'Dental Hygiene Dilemma' mentioned in the CD booklet).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:07 pm 
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Masterpiece? Aren't we talking about 200 Motels?

smiley face giggle

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:13 am 
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Absolutely!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:31 am 
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Nice observations, sotcaadotnet, thank you -- Of course the 'soft matte factor' is a delicate point of discussion, not only among viewers, but among directors, as well. 8)

From what I know (almost?) all films in (roughly) 16:9 format were shot using the full film (4:3) ratio, then being chopped via 'projection matte' in the theater itself (the super-widescreen 2,21:1 and the likes being projected through an anamorphic lens, thus projecting the full size of the 4:3 film), 'cause this format is what was more or less commonplace post-1955ish (in the U.S., anyways), and what most viewers were accustomed to, and which probably was the way in which 200 Motels was shown in standard movie theaters (in the United States, that is). The gaffer tape was there to ensure nothing crucial is taking place behind the projector’s matte only, something that’s important for ‘getting the plot’ but would be invisible for a theater audience.

It’s hilarious, though, to state that the full versions (in 4:3) were kind of waste and most likely to have all kinds of mistakes in'em, since 4:3 was still first choice for T.V. and later home video releases (as was the case with 'The Shining' - from what I hear, Stanley K. was disgruntled with 'soft matte'-projection of his films anyway, since it fucked up his way of composing with the camera finder)

200 Motels works perfectly as a full screen feature, and there’s IMHO no need to succumb to questionable cinema'standard' procedures , even if it were for the fact that It’d 'save' roughly 1/3 of Cal Schenkel’s animation alone–


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:20 am 
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i'm glad to see there are others like me that are into this era of zappa and 200 motels in particular. i wish we could read the original script, i wish the movie had been made as it was originally intended (damn you jeff for quitting and fucking the movie up! :) ). i've pieced together the songs (200 motels soundtrack, fillmore east 71, and various boots) over and over, and i still think the movie is incomplete. i wish we could get the original movie with the making of 200 motels, and and extra stuff all on one dvd/cd. thank you sotcaadotnet for the insight.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:47 am 
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Okayyy, I'm confused now... The globalia/donlope site has some nice comparison grabs up of the title-caption as rendered on the DVD vs the VHS vs the laserdisc. The DVD image used is an unstretched 16:9 - and clearly a straight crop of a 4:3 print:

Image

(Note how the crop has been arranged so that it strategically clips off the original 'Murakami Wolf / Bizarre Productions' copyright notice!)

Image

Any ideas?

manichispanic wrote:
damn you jeff for quitting and fucking the movie up! :) )


I'd actually doubt his exit made a great deal of difference to the shape of the finished movie - his scenes were pretty much filled with Martin Lickert after all (and arguably improved - I've always had a soft-spot for Lickert's camp over-the-top performance ("Oooh, I can't take you seriously!"), and the read-throughs suggest that Simmons was no actor!).

Quote:
i've pieced together the songs (200 motels soundtrack, fillmore east 71, and various boots) over and over, and i still think the movie is incomplete.


Has the Amsterdam 2000 performance ever been bootlegged? Having finally seen the sheet music for 'Can I Help You With This Dummy?', I'm rather keen to hear it!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:35 am 
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manichispanic wrote:
damn you jeff for quitting and fucking the movie up! :) )


I'd actually doubt his exit made a great deal of difference to the shape of the finished movie - his scenes were pretty much filled with Martin Lickert after all (and arguably improved - I've always had a soft-spot for Lickert's camp over-the-top performance ("Oooh, I can't take you seriously!"), and the read-throughs suggest that Simmons was no actor!).


come on, he (jeff) knew ALL the music. i think that had a lot to with it, more than just reading the lines. they couldn't do the entire groupie opera! notice that the only songs they recorded with martin are all new songs (never payed live before) i do think martin was the best "actor" of the bunch though. but the movie would've been different had they been able to play all the music, myabe it wouldn't have so much orchestral filler and parts that make no sense

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:27 pm 
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Two Hundred Motels is a masterpiece largely because it exists and there's nothing else that tries to do what it did. It's practically the only film I bother watching and I don't even watch it that often. 200 Motels and Mean Girls are definitley the greatest films ever made.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:42 pm 
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I am lost here now.

Most films in those days were shot on film in a format that gives roughly 4:3. Theaters then applied a matte to give 1.66:1 or 1.8:1. It was always not entirely in control. When Kubrick released, e.g., The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shot on DVD, he demanded that they were released in 4:3, thereby showing everything that was on the celluloid. He was not happy with the cropping to wide screen that went on rather randomly in theaters.

So, in principle, the recent cinematic screening of the film could be a cropped wide screen showing as it was usually shown in theaters. From what I read here, it seems that the DVD stretches to widescreen, which, of course, is completely unacceptable. But can one not play it in 4:3, and then perhaps see it all? What the artists' intents were are difficult to guess. But they must have known that it would be cropped in theaters.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:34 am 
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HJ wrote:
Most films in those days were shot on film in a format that gives roughly 4:3. Theaters then applied a matte to give 1.66:1 or 1.8:1. It was always not entirely in control. When Kubrick released, e.g., The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shot on DVD, he demanded that they were released in 4:3, thereby showing everything that was on the celluloid. He was not happy with the cropping to wide screen that went on rather randomly in theaters.


I'm assuming that Kubrick simply had a problem with the aesthetics of widescreen generally then! And fair play on him for demanding the full 4:3 for DVD releases if that was how he originally composed the picture. The point here - illustrated by the Volman/Rance pic with the gap beneath Rance's ankles - is that 200 Motels was most likely visually composed in advance as a 1.66:1 movie.

I'm kinda with the cinema purists on this one. If a movie is released on DVD there should at least be an attempt to present it as an accurate reflection of the original intentions of the filmmakers (and obviously, that includes Kubrick's open-matte wishes!).

The problem with this DVD release - going by the screenshots of the animation sequence and the Volman/Rance scene - is that the original 4:3 picture has been slightly cropped, and then stretched to 16:9. Aside from, it seems, the titles - which the above pic suggests is a straight crop to 16:9 as an excuse to remove the old copyright info from the screen.

Gonna finally order a copy tomorrow anyway and give it a test-drive. I already have two copies of the PAL VHS and half a dozen different downloaded captures of the NTSC so I may as well complete the set!

manichispanic wrote:
come on, he (jeff) knew ALL the music. i think that had a lot to with it, more than just reading the lines. they couldn't do the entire groupie opera! notice that the only songs they recorded with martin are all new songs (never payed live before)


There may be something in that, certainly, but I'm not convinced it was the main reason for dropping the Groupie Opera. Pretty much all the reports I've read suggest it was more a matter of running out of time and money as the production went on. Scenes were being furiously deleted from the final script as the week of filming progressed - so by the end of it they'd have had one good eye on filming whatever they could in order to construct an end-result which made some kind of sense, even if it wasn't what was initially planned.

Annoyingly, the lead-in scenes to the Groupie Opera did make it to the movie. 'What Will This Morning...' would have kicked it all off. Perhaps more curiously, we get to see Mark Volman in drag (as a 'version' of Groupie Janet) at the Fake Nightclub. Jeff had long since quit by the time they set up that shot - and it seems a little unlikely they'd have gone to all the bother of dressing Volman up like that if they hadn't still been planning to shoot the subsequent scenes of his dialogue with Howie (in the Penis-mobile and all).

We don't know how those scenes would have been set up of course. The giggly rehearsal in the VPRO documentary has Ian Underwood playing the 'Do You Like My New Car?' vamp on keyboards in the background while Mark and Howie go through the routine in the car - but would it actually have been a full-band performance when it came to filming the real thing? Even if that was the case I'm sure Martin Lickert, for all his musical shortcomings, would have been able to follow along. A straight blues vamp for 'What Kind of Girl...' and one repeated bassline (for the most part) for 'Do You Like...?' - it would have certainly been easier to learn than 'She Painted Up Her Face' for instance.

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i do think martin was the best "actor" of the bunch though. but the movie would've been different had they been able to play all the music, myabe it wouldn't have so much orchestral filler and parts that make no sense


If the full thing had been shot as intended it would probably have been about three and a half hours long!

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