To go by frame captures provided by DVD Beaver’s Gary W. Tooze, the Criterion teal monsters are back, and this time they’ve desecrated Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s Teorema. Once again, natural or subdued blues have apparently been rendered with a garish teal-green tint. Look at the images. A year and a half ago I asked Tooze if there might be something off about the color tuning on his 4K Bluray players or 4K TV, and his emphatic reply was “I’ve been doing this 18 years, and it’s not me.”
So what is wrong with Criterion? This is vandalism, plain and simple. This is organizational derangement. This has happened three times previously with teal-tinted Blurays of John Schlesinger‘s Midnight Cowboy, Ron Shelton‘s Bull Durham and Brian DePalma‘s Sisters. And nobody has complained except for Tooze (half-heartedly), myself and a handful of thread commenters. And now Teorema.
“Criterion Teal Gremlin Strikes Again,” posted on 9.14.18: In the wake of Criterion’s garishly tealed-up Midnight Cowboy and Bull Durham Blurays, the teal monster has re-appeared in Criterion’s forthcoming Bluray of Brian DePalma‘s Sisters (’73). Or it has, at least, according to frame captures posted by DVD Beaver’s Gary. W Tooze.
HE to Tooze: “This continuing Criterion teal thing is crazy. WHAT IS CRITERION DOING? No disrespect but is there any chance at all there’s something screwy on your end? Something to do with 4K discs or your 4K player? Nobody else is talking about Criterion’s teal obsession. Please level with me — WHAT COULD BE HAPPENING HERE? BECAUSE IT’S INSANE. Why would Criterion do this? The latest offender is Sisters.”
Mark Smith to HE: “To go by DVD Beaver frame captures Criterion’s Sisters Bluray is not as egregious, offensive and baffling as the recent Bull Durham and Midnight Cowboy releases, but it’s in the ballpark.
“This MUST have something to do with color technology on 4K or HDR or…something. I cannot believe that this is just a series of full–on botch–jobs. These transfers are director- or cinematographer-approved. There’s no way Criterion and Adam Holender looked at the teal sky in Midnight Cowboy and said, ‘Perfect!’
“What is Gary Tooze seeing that Criterion is not? What monitors are they all using? Why are not all of Criterion’s new releases tealed-up? I’d be willing to bet that this is an HDR/4K monitor problem.”
Tooze replies: “Hello, Jeffrey — We don’t obtain our captures on 4K UHD monitors. We have sampled comparisons with other sites (that also use the VLC software) and they seem to be the same on our reviews of other films.
“As I noted in our review, [the teal tint] is less-visible on my OLED (4K UHD) but all systems may have different filters, especially nowadays. We used the latest version of VLC — flat with no enhancement.
“The teal effect has been noticed on plenty of non-Criterion Blurays for years. And you can see about 800 Criterion reviews on DVD Beaver WITHOUT the teal…so it ain’t me. I’ve been doing this 18 years.
“Maybe directors in the booth are swayed by modern technical-ability to shift colors? I don’t have an answer as to why it exists – I am just reporting it.” — Regards, Gary Tooze”