Originally Posted by rdgrimes
It wasn't created in 4:3, it was filmed in a 1.6 aspect and cropped to 1.33. The BD restored the original 1.6 and did both crop and pan to produce 1.78. Extremely well done, and painstakingly done differently for each scene and shot. Purists might have preferred a 1.6 matted presentation, but we'll never see that.
How do you "film in a 1.6 aspect ratio" when there is no film format with that ratio?
Some films may be shot in 1.33 with the intention of matting to 1.66, but that was clearly not the case here, where the film aspect and the intended exhibition aspect were essentially the same (1.33:1). The filmmakers framed every single shot with the knowledge the the viewers would see the same thing on their TV screens that they were seeing in their viewfinders.
But I agree with those who felt it was an extremely well-done adaptation from its OAR to 16:9. And that's what it was -- an adaptation, not a transfer. Any argument that what we see on the BD is what was originally intended is bogus, because we know
that it was made for TV.
There's no question in my mind that if you're going to watch LD today on an HDTV, you want to watch this version. And I wouldn't argue that what was lost through cropping was particularly important, especially compared to what was gained by HD scanning of the film elements vs. NTSC scanning.
But it's still true that when it comes to an appreciation of frame composition, what's on these discs is a subset of the original -- that information has been lost. It probably won't matter to many people, but in science ("AV Science," remember?) all data is important, and when data is lost it's bad science to ignore it, pretend it didn't happen, or suggest that it doesn't matter.
Most of the original art is still there, and looks and sounds much better than it ever did. Appreciated as art and entertainment, this is now the definitive available version. But from a preservationist point of view, it leaves something to be desired: specifically, the things you could see in the original that were cut out of the frame in this version. That this happened isn't up for debate; the debate is only over its importance, which is a matter of opinion that will vary according to your perspective.