Martin Scorsese was the head speaker at this year’s Blu-Con 2.0 symposium in Beverly Hills. And he seconded what those of us already hooked on Blu already know:
“Blu-ray is going to extend the lifetime of a movie… I have a daughter who’s 10, and she can’t tell the difference between old films and new films. [That makes me] very excited and optimistic as a filmmaker and a film lover.
BD’s potential to replicate the original theatrical experience is the best I’ve seen in forty years of [movie] collecting. Blu-ray offers the ability to see the film as it was intended.”
He also added that Blu-ray has the potential, when mastered correctly, to offer:
“a film grain texture which I think is very important in recreating the film experience.”
He then went on to praise Criterion for their hi-def remastering of the brilliant and sumptuous 1948 Powell/Pressburger film THE RED SHOES, due for upcoming release on Blu-ray:
“It’s like experiencing the film for the first time again. It’s not just the details of the eyes or such; it creates a completely different experience.”
Scorsese talked about how a poor presentation can greatly alter a movie-watcher’s experience of a film:
“There are subtle things, like not being able to see the actor’s eyes. With Blu-ray, you don’t have that problem.”
As a Blu-ray collector and filmmaker myself, I can personally attest to just how incredible Blu-ray is. When used correctly. There are a few Blu-ray discs out there that don’t live up to the potential of the medium, but the majority of films I’ve watched and own are simply outstanding. It is genuinely a very different experience from watching standard DVD or, lord help us, video.
Criterion’s new release of Wim Wenders’ WINGS OF DESIRE is a revelation. I owned the previous DVD release and I can tell you right now that these are two very different film-watching experiences. Same goes for the newly remastered Blu-ray edition of the Hitchcock classic NORTH BY NORTHWEST, which was given a stunning new 8k transfer. The detail and texture now possible in the Blu-ray format has opened a door to allowing people of all ages to experience films, both new and old, in ways not possible since the time of a film’s original theatrical release. For anyone who loves film, or simply enjoys watching a movie now and again, Blu-ray is the only way to go. Unless you own a 35mm projector and a damn good print of your favorite film.