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October 14, 2010


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Tom Russell

Well, fuck.


Perhaps now would be the time to take the Plasma out back and shoot it.

James Keepnews

I think you should sell your plasma monitor for plasma, just like we did to make rent and beer $$$ in our punk rock youth. Right?

As for Mr. Roizman, my only question for him would be "Bill Gunn's STOP!, your first film as DP: discuss." For those who saw it at this Armond White fella's Gunn retro at BAM recently -- sadly, I was not among ye, but then you were only watching one of the actor's VHS dupe of the print done for the Whitney retro back in '90, evidently the only print now extant -- as you no doubt recall, Mr. Roizman embraces the lysergically golden hues of its Puerto Rico setting almost as thoroughly as he did for the quite differnet location for his second film, TFC. Night, meet day.


This story is starting to make me sad.

Glenn Kenny

Bill: Only starting? You're tough.


Well, I had faith before -- faith in a happy ending, faith that order would be restored. Faith that rewarded yesterday afternoon. But suddenly this is starting to look like the end of ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE.

The First Bill C

I dunno, it's pretty clear what went down from a featurette on the FRENCH CONNECTION Blu-ray Disc in which Friedkin, with his sycophantic colour timer by his side, actually shows us what the "master" looked like (i.e., gorgeous) before he tampered with it.

In other words, this was a wilfull bait-and-switch performed on Roizman. Friedkin subsequently took that master, desaturated it, threw it out of focus, and then laid the original master on top of it again at about 60% transparency, so that the blurry, b&w image bled through. He labels the technique "colour-defocusing" and compares it to Huston's work on MOBY DICK, complete with illustrative clips and step-by-step instructions that further incriminate him.

Fox could reissue the disc in a more palatable form, but they'd be publicly declaring, "Sorry, we didn't realize the director was batshit insane and blind to boot," and that could set some ugly precedents, no?

Sorry to hear about the TV. Fuckin' plasmas, man.

Glenn Kenny

The First Bill C: Have you had better experience with LCDs? Because I may have to buy a whole goddamn new set after all this so as to not continue to throw good money after bad. I went with the plasma three years ago because I thought it resolved film DVDs more filmically than the LCDs I saw did, but that may well have changed since. What I want is something that WON'T GO ON THE FRITZ AFTER A MERE THREE YEARS and is, as the Knights who say "Ni!' request of their shrubbery, "Not too expensive." Ideas, suggestions commiserations of any sort both welcomed and entertained.


Can I just compliment Roizman on his lighting job for HAVANA? It has a softer, "classier" look, but the cinematography in that film anticipates some of the signature glowing surface effects of Robert Richardson's style.

The First Bill C

@Glenn: I'd say LCD displays are *dramatically* better these days; I can't speak to the fallibility of much-hyped LED technology, but I love my Samsung LCD, which just predates it. They've licked a lot of the quirks by boosting the viewing radius (basically 180 degrees now) as well as contrast ratios, and from what I hear clouding (where pockets of air are trapped under the screen, showing up as slightly brighter patches when the image is at its darkest) is a thing of the past. And I think you will find that LCD's ability to resolve DVD and Blu-ray filmically has substantially improved--no more of that dreaded "soap opera" look.

My favourite thing about LCD? No glare.

Tony Dayoub

Of course, check it out for yourself at a store, but I've had no problems with either of my Sony LCDs, one mounted and over 2 years old, the other a table top less than a year old--both over 40 inches.


I had such an excellent service experience with Samsung when my LCD computer monitor starting exhibiting weird issues that I swore I'd buy one of their televisions when I was ready to go HD. Consumer Reports agreed with me on service and price and picture quality, and I've been very happy with my 46" Samsung 'touch of red' screen ever since. Of course the price on the set has dropped about $500 since then, grumble grumble, but it's been a great television. Definitely check out whatever you are thinking of in-person before you pull the trigger, but a $5 1-month membership to Consumer Reports could go a long way towards helping you narrow the field based on reliability/service/cost/performance.


Looks like the plasma TV isn't a Tim Burton fan either.

(too soon?)


Let me add to the chorus of praise for Samsung LCDs. I've had mine for over three years now, and it still works and looks great. The price has come down by more than *&^% HALF since then, but, sigh, it is a damn nice TV. Best of luck!

Mike Mazurki

I swear by my Sony LCD, as I went with the old rule of thumb that anything up to 42" was fine for LCD, and anything bigger would be preferable as plasma. I'm not sure how entirely accurate that batch of wisdom actually is, but it's done fine by me. In 2 years I've had zero problems with my 40" 1080P Sony LCD Bravia KDL40W4000, and continue to marvel at the quality of the upscaling (a critical factor for me as so much of what I watch is available only in SD, and likely to stay that way). The settings I've set it on deliver accurate filmlike presentation and the look of full HD/Blu-ray is terrific. At the time I bought mine for just under a grand, but you can probably find it cheaper now.

As for plasmas, I've noticed motion artifacts trailing at times, and have never been entirely convinced by their handling of black and white images - which probably accounts for nearly 2/3rds of my viewing. Sexy as their "inky blacks" are supposed to be, I've just never believed Plasma was an ideal platform for watching films.


I was in love with my last Panasonic plasma but gave it to my parents when I moved back to L.A. rather than having to deal with transporting it. I searched around and actually bought a couple Samsung LCDs to try out... but even with massive picture adjustment, I could never find an LCD that handled film content as well as the Panasonic plasma G series. After a month of buying and returning sets, I ended up just biting the bullet and getting another Panasonic plasma and I'm happy as a clam.In my experience, LCDs just have an inherently thinner-seeming image and the conversion to 24fps is never as good as I want it to be. They're definitely *better* than they used to be... but plasma still seems a step ahead to my eye. The stuff that bugs me about LCDs is the sort of thing that I guess most people don't even notice, but I can't get past it.As much as I dislike supporting Best Buy, I've had nothing but good luck with their 36 month (or whatever) No Interest purchase plan. With something like the plasma, I also fork out for the product protection plan -- I've never had to use it thus far (*knock wood*), but it brings some peace of mind just in case. $75/mo and I'm in home theater heaven.

The Siren

I don't wish to interfere, but surely you're asking the wrong question Glenn? Shouldn't you be asking your accountant how you write off a new tv? Lord knows it's a work essential...

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