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2 items from 2010

The devil is in Blu-ray's detail

31 August 2010 1:15 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Blu-ray may give us unimaginable levels of sharpness in picture quality, but movies can suffer from too much information – like a magician who reveals his tricks

Right now, in my apartment, there are just over 900 DVDs, arranged alphabetically by title on a tall row of shelves in my living room. Not one of them is Blu-ray, nor are they likely to be.

Blu-ray was a necessary commercial development for a sell-through DVD market that was starting to plateau; it arrived, like the Millennium Falcon, in the proverbial nick of time. Yes, it cost more – demanding that the passionate cinephile shell out to upgrade his or her collection – but it also offered more: hitherto unimaginable levels of visual and audio excellence. I don't doubt that the format, with its superior resolution (1080p to 480p), its higher compression rates, looks better than conventional DVD technology: sharper, cleaner, more richly detailed.

This might, »

- Shane Danielsen

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William Lubtchansky obituary

12 May 2010 11:07 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Avant-garde French cinematographer at the heart of the new wave

For 45 years, the French cinematographer William Lubtchansky, who has died of heart disease aged 72, put his talents at the disposal of the most challenging, intellectually inquiring, uncompromisingly brilliant film directors who emerged with the French new wave. Lubtchansky worked with Jean-Luc Godard (six times), although they fell out, made up and fell out again; the husband and wife team of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet (11 times); and Jacques Rivette (14 times).

Although these directors differed in their approaches and sensibilities, they were united in their irreverent, generally unsentimental treatment of character, their existential attitude to society and to human behaviour, and their experiments with filmic space and time. They questioned cinema itself by drawing attention to the conventions used in film-making and quoting from the other arts. They presented an alternative to Hollywood by consciously breaking its conventions while at the »

- Ronald Bergan

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