It's great UCLA are preserving these films for all eternity. However, I watched these screen by screen comparisons and must say, I still quite like the originals...
I am absolutely passionate about the restoration of the Laurel and Hardy films as this is the legacy we will leave to audience generations to come. I can understand why the originals have appeal to 'a' generation but the process of making these films in the 1930's must be as far from how they are made now as it can get and the future audiences demand the quality that they are expecting. The future must enjoy and understand how the pioneers of entertainment films were able to bring their ideas to the screen which becomes part of the social and technical history of the cinema. As an example, audiences must understand the audio gags as well as the sight gags which film comedians like Laurel and Hardy pioneered - like the sequence in Below Zero where it is belting down with snow and the Boys are playing instrument and singing 'In the Good Old Summertime' and then they move and show that Stan was sitting in front of a door plaque of a deaf and dumb institute. Their comedy is almost age proof and this is evident from the fact that 'we' are still buying their efforts whether that's on 8mm 16mm DVD or Blu-Ray but for the films to have a wider audience then they must be brought to a quality that is expected from the 'new' audience.
My Grand daughter who is the best part of 4 is spell bound by the antics of 'The Boys' (or the Silly Men as she calls them) and her favourite ( at the moment) is The Music Box. When she came today that is what she asked to see. I hope that when the restored versions come out she will be at least educated in the ways of Stan and Babe., at the moment she will have to be happy with the DVD and my Walton super 8mm copy.
Your Granddaughter has impeccable taste David!
The Music Box and Way Out West are my two personal favourites also. Their comedy is timeless, it really is.
I find it different to what I'd term slapstick comedy, simply because, it was far cleverer than just purely "Slapstick".
i also like many others of course, but these are the two I've purchased this time around in the hobby on Super 8mm as they simply epitomise all that is great from this classic double act in these two films.
The 2k transfer is more palatable to the modern day audiences I'd say, as it completely alleviates all of that old fashioned strobing we associate with old film transfers, plus radically cleaning up the image for sparkle and occasional lines etc.
Of course, to us lot though, many of us like it just as it was originally made.
"C'Mon Baggy, Get With The Beat"
always love watching the L & H films, we are now up to 34 on super 8 and 2 on standard 8. The best comedy duo ever, and several comedians have tried to mimic that look into the camera that Oliver Hardy did with perfection. The only other comedian that ever seemed to be able to pull this off was Tommy Cooper.
Interestingly we have two walton copies of Live Ghost, one on std 8 and 1 super 8. We recently bought the super 8 copy in order to replace the std 8 one, what we found,(even though they are both walton), is that the std 8 copy is so much better in contrast and sharpness, but mainly the std 8 one is uncut, the super 8 copy is slightly edited, how annoying,
The BFI have been involved in film preservation for decades, nothing new there. America is just waking up to the fact that for years
film has been neglected and in many cases, abused. The tragedy is that these films were viewed as fodder for the masses, a factory
product, not an art form.