No confirmation that Criterion will release a Bluray of Roman Polanski‘s Rosemary’s Baby, but if it happens — if — it’s been hinted they may crop it at 1.85 to 1 instead of the more correct 1.66 to 1. That would be dead wrong.
Only two years before he was shooting Rosemary’s Baby Polanski shot Repulsion at 1.66 to 1. He’s a European traditionalist at heart, and while he knew that the film would be projected at 1.85 by U.S. exhibitors, I strongly suspect that he composed it for 1.66. Go ahead — call him up.
It’s not just me claiming that 1.66 is the preferred aspect ratio, and that precedents have been established. 12 years ago DVD Talk‘s Geoffrey Kleinman noted that a 2000 DVD version presented the film at 1.66 to 1. Some wingnut at Turner Classic Movies declared a few years back that Rosemary’s Baby‘s aspect ratio is 1.66. And a commenter at Velocity Reviews asked a while back why Polanski’s film was completely occupying a 16 x 9 screen when a 1.66 a.r. would dictate windowbox bars on the side.
I know how this one is going to go. The fascists are going to carpet-bomb me with their usual goose-stepping crap and I’m going to respond with my usual counter-accusations, etc. It’s an old hymn. Except I’m really, really right this time.