Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cruising's Original Color

Some captures from a DVD-R I made several years ago, pre-DVD release, of a cable broadcast of Cruising.  These stills more closely reflect the original theatrical look of the film before it was re-colored / re-tinted by director William Friedkin for the film's DVD release in 2007.  I earlier posted about this here.

Please forgive the sub-DVD quality of these clips--they come from a non-HD broadcast--but they are better than VHS, at least, and in the correct aspect ratio.  If you see one of the '90s-era 35mm prints struck by Warner Bros. you'll get a very good sense of how much the film was altered for its DVD release, with the color palette being the most striking difference, in addition to some new transition and slow-mo effects (I am not fond of those alterations, either); the club scenes, in particular, are stripped of much their original color in favor of a very pervasive blue hue, which covers everything.

I do hope that if Cruising is released on Blu-ray, Friedkin follows a similar course that he did with the re-released French Connection Blu-ray, wherein he and d.p. Owen Roizman restored the look of the original theatrical prints to Blu-ray.  Roizman was none too thrilled with the first French Connection Blu-ray, supervised by Friedkin, and which had a radically different color scheme.  I wonder how Cruising d.p. James A. Contner feels about the DVD of the film, which has undergone a similar transformation and which I don't think he had any part in.  The disclaimer pictured below was removed by Friedkin in the DVD version of Cruising.

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