(aka ' Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography ')

 

directed by Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy and Stuart Samuels
USA/Japan 1992

 

Cameramen and women discuss the craft and art of cinematography and of the "DP" (the director of photography), illustrating their points with clips from 100 films, from Birth of a Nation to Do the Right Thing. Themes: the DP tells people where to look; changes in movies (the arrival of sound, color, and wide screens) required creative responses from DPs; and, these artisans constantly invent new equipment and try new things, with wonderful results. The narration takes us through the identifiable studio styles of the 30s, the emergence of noir, the New York look, and the impact of Europeans. Citizen Kane, The Conformist, and Gordon Willis get special attention.

 

Release: May 14th, 1992 - Cannes Film Festival

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison: 

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:31:48 1:30:00

Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.24 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.28 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : Image

Bitrate: BFI

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None English (hoh), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
4:3 with many letterboxed scenes

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: May 9th, 2000
Snapper case

Chapters 30

Release Information:
Studio: BFI 

Aspect Ratio:
4:3 with many letterboxed scenes

Edition Details:
• Newsreel: men Who Film the World for You (:29)
• Liner notes credits
 

DVD Release Date: March 27th, 2006
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 18

 

 

Comments I'm afraid both releases have some issues. Neither are from an HD source and hence each edition sports some visible 'combing' although this appears much more prominent on the NTSC DVD. The BFI release has picture boxed the entire presentation. Pictureboxing leaves a black border around the edge of the image and most players automatically zoom-in to fill the screen - it limits resolution making the image slightly less detailed than it might be able to achieve if it was instead tight to the frame edges. Colors appear slightly manipulated on the PAL edition with skins tones often appearing more orangey/red than they might normally be. Sharpness seems to vary from scene to scene but the Image Entertainment release may have a slight edge.

An option that I certainly appreciate are the (removable) subtitles on the BFI. The newsreel supplement, although less than 30 seconds, is a fun addition. It is quite a shame that a film dealing with such classic cinematography couldn't have a superior transfer. Preferable would be a widescreen/anamorphic image to give full attention to the cinemascope shots, but, of course, I don't know how practical that would be. In the very least it should be transferred in HD for better quality.

This really is a wonderful documentary for film fans keen on the history of the production medium - it is often regarded as the best feature on film-making ever produced with clips including Marlene Dietrich and such films as Sunrise, Grapes Of Wrath, Rebecca, T-Men, Picnic, In Cold Blood, Taxi Driver And Bladerunner. If you ever forget why you love film so much - this is the first thing you need to watch (or re-watch)         

 - Gary Tooze

 

 






DVD Menus

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL RIGHT)

 

 

 


Screen Captures

 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)
Subtitle Sample (Image has no subs): Not exact frame

 

 

 


 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. BFI - Region 2- PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

Sound:

Extras: BFI
Menu: BFI

 




 

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