Thursday, 20 March 2014

The power of the fans

Aspect ratio noted in the film leader. Provided by 3-D Film Archive
Criterion Collection has done a 360˚ and is now informing that the new restored and remastered A Hard Day's Night film will be presented in the aspect ratio of 1:75:1, which is how it was originally shown in movie theatres in 1964. They originally announced the aspect ratio of the release to be 1:66:1, which was our one criticism about the release.
It could have been a typo, which they now have corrected, or it could be that they have listened to us. Either way, we applaud it.

Still photo courtesy of Criterion Collection

That second theory would be very flattering, yet it does fall into a pattern. When Apple Records/Universal Music first published the cover of last year's "The Beatles On The Air: Live At The BBC Volume 2", they had lengthened George's tie. After we noted that, they went back and changed it, the final version that appeared on the released cover restored the original length of the tie.

Now if they had only released the full info about "The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963" a little bit earlier, we might have been able to inform them that they included two different radio recordings of the same performance of "She Loves You" on the release, and that some of their info about broadcast dates were off.

Still, it seems as we fans are beginning to have a bit of impact on some of their decisions, so let's keep on pointing out their mistakes!

As for the DVD in the Criterion Collection edition, it is region coded to 1 (USA), so unless one has a region free DVD player (which is perfectly legal), it can't be played here in Europe. A UK edition of the film is expected to be released on July 21st by Second Sight films if we are to believe the combined info from NME.com and Second Sight films.

Second Sight Films posted this photo on their Facebook page
"A Hard Day's Night" is also the subject of an upcoming documentary on UK TV Show "The One Show", much like "Magical Mystery Tour" was the subject of an "Arena" special.

14 comments:

tom hunyady said...

I'm betting this is a typo. Being a Criterion fan since 1999 I can tell you they take the aspect ratio's very seriously.

Roger Stormo said...

Well but then at least perhaps they were made aware of their error by our reports on the release.

Albert F Livings said...

The criterion release is likely to be NTSC isn't it? Is it still the case on Blu-Ray (as it was with VHS) that PAL gives a superior picture quality?

heyfatalbert said...

Wasn't there a short TV documentary about A Hard Day's Night made by the BBC and aired back in 1964 around the time the film was released? I wonder if that still exists.

BWSmythe said...

""A Hard Day's Night" is also the subject of an upcoming documentary on UK TV Show "The One Show", much like "Magical Mystery Tour" was the subject of an "Arena" special."

That made me smile. To liken the Arena strand with The One Show is akin to likening AHDN with the Beatles cartoon series.

It's a breakfast-show like magazine programme which is essentially a lengthening of the BBC's 6 O'Clock news hour - highlighting 'good' news and lightweight interviews.

Although I'm a *big* fan on MMT, I'd have expected Arena to lionise AHDN with MMT's coverage relegated to the One Show! Maybe it was McCartney's involvement that swung it... :)

BWSmythe said...

BTW, it also means the AHDN 'documentary' will probably last no more that five minutes, with maybe an in-studio interview with one of the screaming fans from the opening credits for another 30 seconds or so (about enough time for them to find themselves in the melee).

I'll be pleased to be proved wrong though!

Bob Furmanek said...

My article and website is the original source of that scan from the 35mm elements.

Could you please credit the 3-D Film Archive and provide a link?

http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/widescreen-documentation

Thank you very much!

Bob Furmanek

kirkenshrir said...

@Albert : Blu-ray is HD, therefore resolution in always 1920x1080 (only framerates can vary)

The only place where PAL vs NTSC might come into effect is in the case of some standard definition special features... And the difference between SD and HD is so big that I wouldn't worry about those being one or the other (as long as your player can play them !)

Roger Stormo said...

Bob, I have now credited 3-D Film Archive in the caption of the image, and linked it. Thanks for providing us with this information!

BWSmythe - I know that the One Show has shot some scenes at the same train station where the opening footage to AHDN was filmed, and they have gotten hold of some of the people (girls?) who were extras in the original film.

Bob Furmanek said...

Thank you, Roger.

I'm looking forward to finally seeing the film as Lester intended!

DirectorDonP said...

Yes heyfatalbert, it was called "FOLLOW THE BEATLES". It doesn't look like it will be included. My guess, is that because Apple use it as a resource from time to time for documentaries and music videos - they are reluctant to 'put it out' in its entirety - shame. Great footage...

Unknown said...

Hi Roger, maybe it's my eyes but now that the Criterion site has corrected the aspect ratio i don't see the listing for the "Deleted Scene" anymore. I was pretty skeptical about this when i read it because all i've ever heard was that the scene deleted & destroyed because this was just a cheap exploitation film & NOBODY thought the Beatles would last more than a week or 2 after the movie came out.It was a scene with Paul & one of the dancers. They shot it because everyone had their own scene. Once they started cutting the film they figured Paul didn't need his own scene because he had so much face time with his Grandfather.Do you know anymore about why it is no longer listed as a "bonus feature" or is this another typo as well.
Thank you
Tony LoGuercio

http://www.criterion.com/films/28547-a-hard-day-s-night

Roger Stormo said...

As far as I recall, all the remaining footage of A Hard Day's Night and Help! was kept by the film studio archive for five years and when director Richard Lester tried to salvage whatever he could in 1970, the footage had been disposed of just a few months earlier. So alas - no, I guess the only remaining footage from A Hard Day's Night is the "You Can't Do That" mimed performance from Scala Theatre, and it was only salvaged in video form since it had been broadcast on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Albert F Livings said...

@kirkeshrir Thanks for your informative reply!