Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Hard Day's Night in July

Screen capture from the Miramax DVD (2000)
NME (New Musical Express) reports that the 1964 film, which follows a day in the life of the band as Beatlemania is in full swing, has been fully restored and will be in cinemas and available to download on July 4. A limited edition DVD and Blu-ray release will follow on July 21.
Source: NME.

As we have reported earlier, your first chance to see the newly restored film with a remastered soundtrack will be at the Turner Classic Film Festival in Hollywood in April.

As for this "limited edition" business, it's not yet known if this will apply worldwide or just for the USA market. This is a way of marketing product in the USA which, among others, The Walt Disney Company has been doing for years. They don't wish to have too many products in the market at the same time, allowing their PR efforts and marketing campaigns to target specific films at any given time. In Europe, several of the Walt Disney company's DVD's have been generally available, and at the same time only available in limited quantities (often in a DeLuxe packaging) stateside.  Whether or not "A Hard Day's Night" will still be limited edition worldwide remains to be seen.

From what WogBlog has learned (and posted in previous blog postings about the film), the new version of "A Hard Day's Night" will be a brand new transfer to the digital domain (in 4k), and for the first time on DVD the original aspect ratio 1.75:1 from the 1964 theatrical screenings of the movie will be used. Earlier editions on DVD has been cropped either horisontally (MPI/Buena Vista) or vertically (Miramax).

Twitter photo from Giles Martin reveals a bigger picture (and a hair)

And the audio is also improved, Giles Martin has produced a surround version of the soundtrack, which will be a selectable audio option along with a remastered (by Ron Furmanek) original mono soundtrack for that 1964 experience.

What remains to be seen (and heard), is whether or not they have been able to address the problem of several songs sounding to slow, compared to the album. In 1964 the songs performed in the "TV-studio" segment of the film was affected by having to film TV-monitors at a higher speed to avoid a rolling bar on those screens. Played back, the songs in those scenes sounded slower. This problem can be overcome with today's digital technologies, and we are eager too se if they have tried to fix this.

Aspect ratio: exhibit A, taken from the film's original 35mm leader. Provided by 3-D Film Archives

7 comments:

DirectorDonP said...

To my mind - the best technical fix for the studio songs (4% slower than originally recorded) would be to retain the slow speed - but 'pitch' the track upward by 4%. I believe that it is the pitch change that we respond to negatively more than the speed. i.e. the fact that their voices and the tuning all sound lower. Any other digital fix would require a degrading of the image.

DirectorDonP said...

PS. Love the 'bigger picture' - but hope they 'lose' the hair!

Mikko Suhonen said...

What they should have is have Ringo and/or Paul commenting the film.

Roger Stormo said...

Paul's "Director's comments" on the Magical Mystery Tour release wasn't very inspired. Maybe Ringo, then.

Joe Dee said...

Criterion officially announced it.today.on facebook:
http://www.criterion.com/films/28547-a-hard-day-s-night

David Calhoun said...

Sweet! It was just announced by Criterion!

"New 4K digital film restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with two audio options—a monaural soundtrack and a new 5.1 surround soundtrack made by Apple Records—presented in uncompressed monaural and DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray (dual"

mike davis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.