In a recently-posted piece called “Grainstorm, My Ass,” Some Came Running‘s Glenn Kenny says my 6.4 complaint about the extra-vivid grain in the new Dr. Strangelove Bluray is “all wet” and that I “need to recalibrate my monitor,” etc. His basic point is that director Stanley Kubrick was always a grain freak and that Strangelove is supposed to look as if a swarm of monochrome Egyptian mosquitoes are flying around the heads of Peter Sellers, George C. Scott Sterling Hayden, etc.
The problem is that he’s ignored a paragraph that precisely explains what I meant. I said it isn’t that the presence of Strangelove grain that bothers me per se but the way it seems much more pronounced than on any previous home video rendering.
“I understand and respect the fact that Dr. Strangelove (’64) was always intended to look somewhat grainy” I said. “I realize that the inside-the-B-52 scenes used source lighting and that the combat footage outside Burpleson Air Force base was supposed to resemble newsreel footage, and these conditions were meant to result in stark and unprettified images. Which is fine.
“But I’ve been watching this film for decades and the Bluray version is easily the grainiest rendering yet. The grain isn’t just noticable — it’s looks much more explicit.”
This DVD Beaver comparison of the various Strangelove versions make it clear the Bluray rendering is brighter and sharper and thus more grain-vivid. My point is therefore proved — just look at the differences. Glenn Kenny and other detractors have therefore been proved wrong. Case closed.