Definition April 2021 - Web


Why we’re feeling cynical about the 4K restoration of early digital cinema


T he digital restoration of vintage film is a beautiful thing, enabling audiences to relive a screen experience as it was first seen. It also allows younger audiences to enjoy it more organically. When scanning a film negative or print digitally, you can easily ramp up the resolution to 6K, since the image was formed with light instead of pixels. And that image is likely much closer to how it was projected and viewed in cinemas when first released. Which brings us to the big fat lie surrounding films rereleased on Blu-ray: the HD storage disc gave consumers the false impression they were buying the master version of their favourite film.

DOP, Eben Bolter BSC, explains: “Obviously, Blu-ray looks better than DVD, and DVD looks better than VHS, but Blu-ray isn’t a true representation of how film should be seen. Now, with digital scanning tools, audiences can finally appreciate just how good film was – and is.” To further this point, we caught up with colourist Aidan Farrell, who’s brought many 16mm music videos from the seventies, eighties and nineties into the modern world. He explains that – without getting too radical about the whole film versus digital debate – when you bring film into the digital world, you view it in its comparative state. This means the film

APR I L 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 25

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