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I Thought Colorization Was Dead

 
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 10.18.2004 9:18 pm    Post subject: I Thought Colorization Was Dead Reply with quote

"Legend Films is a studio specializing in restoring and colorizing classic films. Our proprietary new technology allows us to color films in high definition at a never-before-seen vibrancy."

-from the Legend Films website



I thought colorization died a thankful death ten years ago, but here's new technology that's even more insidious--because it actually looks good. Here is their defense: "Legend believes that color adds to the marketability of a title for today?s generation of buyers, and opens up the world of classic films to whole new audiences."



Yet a colorized film is not the film; it is an entirely new product that pads corporate coffers on the backs of artists, whose work is recklessly exploited. Perhaps we ought to add some hip-hop samples to Mozart, in order to reach the younger generations? Or add some neon streaks to Monet? I believe colorization is a form of cultural manslaughter, which can be justified only if you believe that movies exist as product first, art second.



Eric
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Monkeypox
Cinematographer


Joined: 17 Jul 2003
Posts: 156
Location: TX

PostPosted: 10.19.2004 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear they re-editing Citizen Kane. Now Greedo shoots first.



Oh, and they added Greedo.
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Danny Baldwin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 10.19.2004 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever since I saw the colorized version of The Wizard of Oz, I've been disgusted by the idea. The yellow brick road just doesn't work unless it's grey, goddamnit!
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 1373
Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 10.19.2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colorizing black-and-white movies is stupid. Legend Films should just get Gus Van Sant to remake all the films in their library.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 10.19.2004 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Legend Films should just get Gus Van Sant to remake all the films in their library.


LOL!!!
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 10.21.2004 1:07 am    Post subject: Re: I Thought Colorization Was Dead Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I believe colorization is a form of cultural manslaughter, which can be justified only if you believe that movies exist as product first, art second.





For the money-holders in the business, that's exactly how movies must be regarded. But, as far as the colorization process goes, I think companies like Legend Films miss the point: People who avoid old movies aren't simply resisting a type of film for its "lack" of color; they're resisting different conventions, different styles of acting, editing, cinematography, pacing.... In other words, giving Shirley Temple flesh tones or making a Christmas tree green doesn't make the movie itself indistinguishable from modern movies. That's why I can't get too worked up about colorization; I mean, it's not like I'm being forced to watch it, and those who prefer it would never appreciate the movies in their original state anyway. There are plenty of casual movie-watchers who don't respect film itself and prefer to tweak the intentions of the filmmakers into something they approve of, whether it be removing language, violence and sex, or skipping to the ?good parts,? or watching it full-frame. Most people are stupid clods, and there's no use worrying about how they will decide to pull the rug out from under their own feet.



That said, based on the examples provided on the company's Website, this new colorization process does look better than the old colored films ... but they still look wrong. The simple fact is, black-and-white movies and color movies are not lit the same way, so changing one to look like the other will always result in final product that looks decidedly peculiar.
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