I was reading Michael Reubens‘ review of the new Seven Days in May Bluray. But I was soon distracted by Reubens’ 12.5.12 review of a Bluray of Lewis Allen‘s Suddenly, and particularly by the following paragraph:
“There seems to be some confusion regarding the correct aspect ratio of Suddenly. Image’s presentation is an unmasked 35mm frame (with rounded corners) that measures 1.38:1. IMDB lists the film’s original presentation at 1.75:1, which seems unlikely, as that ratio was never a standard in American movie theaters.
“Suddenly was made in the early years of the film industry’s conversion from Academy ratio to its current twin standards of 1.85:1 and 2.39:1. It’s most likely that Suddenly was shot for the older ‘square’ format but protected for the newer matted shape. Certainly most of the shots have sufficient extra headroom to allow the film to be matted to 1.85:1 without damaging the narrative. The images ‘breathe’ better, however, at the full Academy ratio.”
This isn’t a big deal or even a middle-sized one, but for years I’ve been under the impression that anyone who uses the term “breathing” or “breathing room” in a discussion of aspect ratios is borrowing from the HE glossary. I’m not saying I own the term, but I’ve used it repeatedly in my aspect-ratio articles, and I don’t know of anyone else who has celebrated the concept of breathing room as much as myself.
If “breathe” and “breathing room” were commonly-used terms among Home Theatre Forum aspect-ratio obsessives before Hollywood Elsewhere began in 2004, fine. I stand corrected and no biggie.