Saturday, July 16, 2011
Watching a cropped video of a Preminger film seems almost completely beside the point. Nevertheless, I tried this - as the avi file I had downloaded of The Human Factor proved not to be 1.85. The film seems to remain "durable." If its spaces are violated by the cropping, visually, they nevertheless appear to retain a certain character. (Usually drab; always lived-in.) This points to the tendency in Preminger to make his films work on a number of levels, overlapping, not simply "framing" - as though the frame is the only thing against which profilmic space interacts - but organizing materials together, putting them into a lot of smaller "frames." And as any Hollywood director with a strong visual sense surely knew by 1980, television would likely crop, pan, and scan your most brilliant wide compositions anyway. This travesty of aspect ratios nevertheless provides an interesting aesthetic challenge. (Though I still would like to watch The Human Factor in 1.85, projected, also, of course.) Favorite films that seem to "survive" a transition from widescreen to 1.33?