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Eyes half shut

Below are some screen captures from Eyes Wide Shut, comparing the old fullscreen DVD release with the new widescreen HD DVD. Which framing looks more accurate to you?

Example 1:

Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

Example 2:

Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

Example 3:

Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

Example 4:

Eyes Wide Shut

Eyes Wide Shut

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007 at 11:35 AM | Comments: 10
Categories: Cinema | DVD | HD DVD



IMO the fullscreen looks better. The framing for the widescreen release looks off and i'll go as far as saying that it ruins the composition.

Posted by: broadwayrock, November 16, 2007 3:17 PM


Seriously? I think the fullscreen framing looks completely wonky myself, particularly in the first shot.

Posted by: Whiggles, November 16, 2007 3:20 PM


I find it removes the horizontal composition of the actors in the frame, especially evident on Examples 1 & 4...

...and the first cap on dvdbeaver

Posted by: broadwayrock, November 16, 2007 3:35 PM



Posted by: Marcus, November 16, 2007 6:19 PM


I think this is mostly a function of being presented with a composition, and then seeing it altered.

I'd wager that if these films were presented widescreen right from the start, nobody would be flagging them for looking too 'tight'.

Not only does THE SHINING look more compositionally focused in widescreen, no one's making much of the fact that the previous, full-screen masters of this film were not open-matte at all but soft-matted with cropped sides.

Kubrick was obviously composing for the dominant theatrical ratios of his day, and regarded TV viewing as a compromise. He made the choice he felt most reasonable at the time, and protected his films for that decision.

Were he alive today, with the size and quality of displays available, I believe he would have withdrawn the full-screen, pre-DVD masters from circulation.

-Jeffrey Allen Rydell

Posted by: Jeffrey Rydell, November 16, 2007 6:28 PM


This is a difficult call, but, whatever was the director's intention is what I will accent. As for the framing issues, I think they both look equally good in their own right. It all depends on what the viewer prefers.

Posted by: Avanze, November 16, 2007 9:16 PM


I'm with Avanze on this one, talking purely aesthetically.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia, November 16, 2007 9:48 PM


The Widescreen is preferable IMO, there is FAR too much head and tail room on the fullscreen version.

Posted by: Martaay D, November 17, 2007 7:53 PM


There's way too much unnecessary information at the top and bottom of the full frame version. It draws away your attention from what the director wants you to see in the frame. It was a compromise at the time.

Ex. 1 - above the tv - the light
Ex. 1 - below the tv - the tablecloth
Ex. 1 - too much table in view

Ex. 2 - food on table
Ex. 2 - cabinet above Tom

Ex. 3 - better composition

Ex. 4 - stuff on table
Ex. 4 - light above Tom

All these things are distractions from the main actors in each scene. Kubrick would never want these full screen versions in release today.

Posted by: tw, November 18, 2007 8:50 AM


"Kubrick would never want these full screen versions in release today."

Posted by: ARCVILE, November 18, 2007 9:03 PM

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