Yesterday’s press release about Warner Home Video’s upcoming release of a 3D Bluray of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Dial M for Murder (streeting on 10.9) has made me dream for the very first time about owning a 3D TV. I won’t pop for one, of course — 3D TVs are mostly ridiculous. I’ll just ask a friend who has one to let me watch it on his/her set.
It’s bothersome that the press release doesn’t say if the aspect ratio of the Dial M Bluray will be Furmanek-ed at 1.85, or if WHV will go with the 1.33 or 1.37 aspect ratio that audiences have been watching on TVs and DVDs and in revival houses for the last 55 years or so. I’m guessing it’ll be the former.
I realize that Dial M was shown to 1954 first-run, big-city audiences at 1.85, but eff that noise — most Hitchcock fans have never watched it with any other aspect ratio but 1.33/1.37 so to hell with the historical record, which is absolutely dead meaningless in an eternal Movie Godz context. Boxy is beautiful, what’s right is right and Bob Furmanek and his purist brethren be damned.
WHV’s intention to also release a Strangers on a Train Bluray on 10.9 is very gratifying. I can’t wait.
Furmanek and his ilk will never admit it, but you can bet they’re shedding a little tear that they can’t crop Strangers down to 1.85 or at least 1.66. Once the impulse to reduce visual information settles into the system it’s hard to put a stop on it. I honestly believe that Furmanek’s intelligent and meticulous advocacy of MEAT-CLEAVERING some of my favorite ’50s films (including Criterion’s forthcoming On The Waterfront Bluray) makes him one of the worst guys on the home-video planet right now. He’s technically “right” but so wrong in a broader sense…don’t get me started.