In case you’ve missed it, there has been a minor storm of controversy brewing over Warner Bros.‘ recent release of Stanley Kubrick‘s masterful “Barry Lyndon” on BluRay. The bone of contention is that the current release crops the picture with a 1.77 aspect ratio, which Warner Bros. insists complies with the wishes of the late Kubrick. However, Glenn Kenny has unearthed the smoking gun as it were, receiving a copy of the instructions Stanley Kubrick sent to projectionists insisting on a screen format of 1.66 “and in no event at less than 1:75.” Meanwhile, Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has also been furiously digging into this whole aspect ratio conundrum, and got a lengthy response from Leon Vitali, Kubrick’s friend, assistant and expert on all things regarding his films and…you should just read it for yourself.
For the rest of us, is it a bummer that Warner Bros. screwed the pooch on the release? Yes. Is it an egregious abortion of Kubrick’s film? Not really. We’re talking a pretty marginal amount of visual information that we’re not sure most people would notice, but yes, Warner Bros should probably correct it on future pressings. Anyway, you can check out the full memo in full below.
Not really related at all, but still kind of interesting Ray Pride has posted a memo that was sent to him from a reader circa the release of David Lynch‘s “Mulholland Drive.” It’s pretty standard except he asks that the volume be turned up exactly by 3 decibels. No wonder that soundtrack felt like it was pummeling us (in a good way). Check out both sets of instructions below.