LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

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Donald Binks

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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostTue May 10, 2016 3:34 pm

I believe this is a still from the restoration. The clarity and colour is stunning!

Image
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostTue May 10, 2016 3:40 pm

I picked up a ticket for the showing on Friday. Assuming I don't lose it, I'll report by Saturday.

Bob
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostTue May 10, 2016 3:44 pm

boblipton wrote:I picked up a ticket for the showing on Friday. Assuming I don't lose it, I'll report by Saturday.

Bob


For someone living at least 10,000 miles away and with little or no chance of seeing the restoration - your report will be graciously received! :D
Last edited by Donald Binks on Tue May 10, 2016 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostTue May 10, 2016 4:18 pm

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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostTue May 10, 2016 4:44 pm

Donald Binks wrote:For someone living at least 10,000 miles away and with little or no chance of seeing the restoration - you're report will be graciously received! :D


I'll be there, too - I'm sure we'll all be posting a bunch of reviews!
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostTue May 10, 2016 4:57 pm

I hope Nitratevillains have made efforts to get their tickets in advance. Even though it's showing in Titus 1, the largest of MOMA's three screening rooms, I expect a large turnout.

Bob
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostTue May 10, 2016 7:48 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
boblipton wrote:I picked up a ticket for the showing on Friday. Assuming I don't lose it, I'll report by Saturday.

Bob


For someone living at least 10,000 miles away and with little or no chance of seeing the restoration - your report will be graciously received! :D

It will be impossible for me to see these screenings as well. Let's hope for a limited release across the country and across the water so more of us can get a chance to see it!
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 11:49 am

Here's a three-minute clip from NBCUniversal's new restoration of King of Jazz, courtesy of The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/arts/100000004400626/clip-king-of-jazz.html
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 11:53 am

If that web video is accurate (not always the case), it's now "Rhapsody in Mint Green"!
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 11:59 am

King of Jazz is what it is, a ginormous Technicolor revue with almost no jazz and exactly one African-American in the cast. It looks fantastic but also gives more screen time to John Boles than to drunk-driver Bing Crosby.

The films in the series I'm looking forward to: newly restored The Last Warning, Paul Leni's last film; a reconstruction of James Whale's The Road Back without the cuts demanded by Germany; and A House Divided, starring Walter Huston and directed by William Wyler.

Plenty of other intriguing titles. But King of Jazz does look spectacular on the big screen.

I wrote about the series here: http://bit.ly/1T8UWrB
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 12:27 pm

wich2 wrote:If that web video is accurate (not always the case), it's now "Rhapsody in Mint Green"!

This video should reflect more accurately what audiences saw in 1930 more than the bluish hues of the videotape or the yellow-greenish hues of the first screen clips of the unrestored prints used in the restoration. The clarity and sharpness are very impressive. Like a brand-spanking new 86 year old film. Bravo to NBC Universal.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 3:11 pm

jameslayton wrote:Here's a three-minute clip from NBCUniversal's new restoration of King of Jazz, courtesy of The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/arts/100000004400626/clip-king-of-jazz.html


Stab me vitals! I'm gobsmacked!
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she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 4:27 pm

>This video should reflect more accurately what audiences saw in 1930<

That's a "given."

But I seem to recall posts from someone knowledgeable about early Tech. - maybe Jack Theakston? - that posited that there was some leeway in the dye processing back then, that allowed an adjustment toward a more apparent blue lean of the green in that sequence?

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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 4:41 pm

The teal was all optical illusion based on the color they used on-set (this gets into what is now known as the Land Effect.) The dyes used to print were strictly red-orange and green. The video is graded fairly well, but almost too well—there were certainly no pure grays in the two-color system due to the limitations in the dyes mixing on film, and the overall cast would have been a sepiaish color. That being said, this is certainly what Technicolor WOULD have shot for if they could have.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 5:26 pm

Thanks, Jack. I recalled some legerdemain to that effect. (And I know about Dr. Land's Inductive Color and Color Fatigue tricks, have played with them myself in school.)

Here's what Wiki has to say, which dovetails somewhat with your comments:

"King of Jazz was to showcase a spectacular presentation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, so this presented a problem. Fortunately, the green dye Technicolor used can actually appear peacock blue (cyan) under some conditions, but acceptable results in this case would require very careful handling. Art director Herman Rosse and production director John Murray Anderson came up with ingenious solutions. Tests were made of various fabrics and pigments, and by using an all gray-and-silver background the bluish aspect of the dye was set off to best advantage. Filters were also used to inject pale blues into the scene being filmed. The goal was to produce a finished film with pastel shades rather than bright colors. Nevertheless, as it appears in an original two-color Technicolor print, the sequence might best be described as a 'Rhapsody in Turquoise.' "

(For my eyes, this is not the case with that posted clip; the green looks a minty green, not even turquoise.)

Best,
-Craig
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed May 11, 2016 5:36 pm

That's fascinating stuff about the Land Effect -- just read the Wikipedia article on it. I will keep a sharp eye out for colors during the Rhapsody in Cyan sequence.

those who put off getting tickets and find themselves locked out of the Friday show should be aware they will be showing it again on Saturday and at least once again next month.

Bob
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostThu May 12, 2016 3:57 pm

I'd love to have been able to view the clip. But no matter what browser or video player I use on my Android tablet, all I get with all of them is the on-screen message "Sorry this video cannot be played" :( Maybe it's been blocked for viewing in my part of Australia, or maybe it uses a special NYT video encoding. Spooky.......
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostThu May 12, 2016 5:55 pm

countryslicker wrote:I'd love to have been able to view the clip. But no matter what browser or video player I use on my Android tablet, all I get with all of them is the on-screen message "Sorry this video cannot be played" :( Maybe it's been blocked for viewing in my part of Australia, or maybe it uses a special NYT video encoding. Spooky.......

I had the video on my Facebook page and sent it to a friend of mine in Australia's Facebook page and he was able to view it. I couldn't view it on my Samsung browser on my tablet, but I could view it when using the Puffin browser.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostThu May 12, 2016 6:49 pm

Scott Eckhardt wrote:
countryslicker wrote:I'd love to have been able to view the clip. But no matter what browser or video player I use on my Android tablet, all I get with all of them is the on-screen message "Sorry this video cannot be played" :( Maybe it's been blocked for viewing in my part of Australia, or maybe it uses a special NYT video encoding. Spooky.......

I had the video on my Facebook page and sent it to a friend of mine in Australia's Facebook page and he was able to view it. I couldn't view it on my Samsung browser on my tablet, but I could view it when using the Puffin browser.


Puffin was the only browser I didn't try. Just installed it and the clip plays fine :mrgreen: I suspect it's a Flash encoded clip which is why it wouldn't play in all the other Android browsers I tried. I use an Asus Transformer 10 inch tablet with KitKat 4.4.2.

Very much appreciate the tip Scott!
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostFri May 13, 2016 4:18 am

I downloaded within a few seconds thru Google to my Download software. As soon as I opened the page in Google it started automatically downloading. It is 37.6gb
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostFri May 13, 2016 8:08 pm

I just came from MOMA and it was quite a turnout. in fact, Titus 1 was filled and I hope no Nitratevillain showed up too late to get in. There's another showing tomorrow and a third on June 14.

The introductory remarks were brief, discussed the restoration and were well done. Two of Whiteman's grand daughters were present and one of them spoke. In all, the speakers took 17 minutes by my watch, said interesting things, especially Nitratevillains David Pierce and James Layton, and the show went on.

The movie is a revue, consisting of musical numbers -- often dance numbers -- interspersed with blackout skits and specialty numbers. I particularly enjoyed Wilbur Hall as a comedy specialty and think that the dance was particularly good; there were two apache-influenced numbers and Al Norman in a rubber-legs dance... plus it was nice to see an early iteration of the Rockettes, with their high-kicking style.

How was the restoration? Good. I was looking for problems, but there were only a couple of sequences in which I could see registration problems. The color design was excellent, although I will henceforth refer to the Gershwin number as "Rhapsody in Cyan." There were some blotchy bits and several instances in which stills were used like Lost Horizon, but seen with an audience that filled the house and had come to have a good time, I was very pleased.

One issue I have with is the soundtrack. I can't judge most of the numbers offered, but for "Rhapsody in Blue", the centerpiece number, the sound was... well, I'm not sure how to describe it. It sounds like it was undermiked. Perhaps it is a stylistic issue, but this version didn't sound as full as it might have been. Perhaps I am spoiled by advances in recording technology over the past 85 years. They used the original optical soundtrack and it sounded pristine. Perhaps that's it. Perhaps they cleaned it too much.

In any case, I had a great time. And if the people I had the conversations with are reading, I still don't believe that Rudy Valle did the recordings for Fred Astaire in his movies; I don't believe that Judy Garland was the singing voice of Annette Hanshaw from 1926 through Hanshaw's retirement; and I don't believe that Bing Crosby was supposed to sing "It Happened in Monterey, but he turned up drunk, so they stuffed John Boles into his costume instead. Sorry for my lack of faith, but there you are.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Sun May 15, 2016 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostFri May 13, 2016 10:12 pm

Thanks Bob for your report. I am gladdened that the film got a full house! I told my brother (him what lives in New York) about it but I doubt he went as he is not as much a cinephile as I am - but one never knows.

The sound for the "Rhapsody in Lime Green" number from the trailer, played over my better than average speakers hooked up to my desktop computer - was quite passable. Maybe the sound equipment in the MOMA auditorium wasn't on the right settings? How many pictures have we sat through from this period where one strains to try and gain some inkling as to what is being said over a basically muffled or inaudible soundtrack?

The film to me is of course dated in some parts - especially the now corny humour offered in some of the skits, but it is wonderful to have such a great filmed record (in colour too) of the great Paul Whiteman orchestra (one of my favourites as the number of gramophone records of theirs I have will attest!)

The other pluses in the film are the production values - and it is like having a filmed record of the what the stage revues running in the 1920's would have looked like.

John Boles was a great light baritone and I enjoyed him in pictures. Hopefully one day the 1929 version of "The Desert Song" will be restored and DVD'd as well and I'll be in 7th Heaven completely!
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"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostSat May 14, 2016 1:07 pm

One review I read said that Universal will book the film in any theater that wants it, so I immediately contacted the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Film Society requesting it when it comes available. I'm sure it will be a while, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostSat May 14, 2016 3:33 pm

jameslayton wrote:Here's a three-minute clip from NBCUniversal's new restoration of King of Jazz, courtesy of The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/arts/100000004400626/clip-king-of-jazz.html


Blimey!
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostSun May 15, 2016 5:05 am

I contacted the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville to see if they can book this one.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostSun May 15, 2016 6:18 am

Saw MOMA's screening of the restored KING OF JAZZ yesterday with MOMA. Hard not to be redundant in saying this is perhaps the most accomplished and beautiful early Technicolor film restoration even undertaken. As many of you know, this was a long time in coming, but this work is truly a major achievement by Universal's now expanded restoration and preservation group.

The theatre was sold out for both programs this weekend. I know this encouraging response will spur Universal's team to do even more with their library. You've already heard that the film looks incredible. Besides the accurate reproduction of the film's original two-color Technicolor from recently found elements, the sound was outstanding and the picture's tack sharpness rivals even FOLLOW THRU. Many in the audience noticed being able to see flies on some of the actresses, the Whiteman potato-head logo on band outfits an The Rhythm Boys' piano, and the cable opening the big piano's lid in the Rhapsody In Blue number.

The MOMA audience applauded many of the acts, laughed at the skits, and even film veterans were seeing this film as if for the first time. Granddaughters of two of The Brox Sisters were in attendance, and gratified when their first appearance in the A BENCH IN THE PARK number got a nice round of applause.

Too much to say and recall. But 'magnificent' is the right word!
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostSun May 15, 2016 5:34 pm

I plan on contacting the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane Washington-Bing's hometown to see if they are planning on a showing. Spokane is about 5 hours away and not too bad of a drive. Otherwise I will have to make plans for Cinecon in September. I don't want to miss this opportunity!
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostSun May 15, 2016 10:00 pm

It was glorious seeing it on the big screen, and yes, the flies were noticeable on the actresses shoulders.
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostSun May 15, 2016 10:32 pm

I have contacted the Australian offices of Universal Pictures to see if they are doing anything with the picture in Oz...
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"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostMon May 16, 2016 6:30 am

I posted my experience at the premiere in the KOJ Kickstarter thread.

I haven't figured how to link.

:oops:
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