Ah, nothing I like better than picking tiny holes in articles I otherwise agree with:
“If a piece of art was once brilliant and stirring – if it truly was such – no technical advancement or passing of time can take that from it.”
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
“The old, classic, black and white movies (like Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane or Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2) are no less captivating and memorable now that HD cameras are the standard.”
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
Now, it’s worth bearing in mind that the term “HD” is relative. Back in the 30s, the 405-line Marconi-EMI television system was considered HD, compared to the Baird systems. And what we think of now as HD will be stupidly low-res compared to systems 80 years from now. But right now, when talking about HD, we’re generally referring to 720p/1080p/1080i.
Being an analogue medium, 35mm film obviously doesn’t translate directly into pixels – and how many it is equivalent to can be a controversial question. Still, scanning at 4k is common for 35mm – or, in other words, higher than current HD formats, not lower. That’s how Blu-rays are released of films decades old, after all.
Of course, most people have been used to viewing this material at VHS/DVD quality. But “HD cameras”, as this article calls them, have been in use for 100 years – Citizen Kane and 8½ included. And yet the number of people who think that things were only shot in HD from the 90s – or even 2000s – onwards is slightly alarming. Regardless of what’s been going on with home formats, films have been shown in high-definition in cinemas for decades upon decades.
And if all this seems obvious, bear in mind that it’s a mistake that I’ve seen constantly when people discuss old films. Well, I have a link I can smugly point to now. You do too. Treasure it.