Posted 21 June 2010 - 03:38 PM
I have to say, I've never been as much of a purist as some of my colleagues. I mean, I'm not saying you should colorize Citizen Kane. But I think it's a reasonable question to ask, for example, if the filmmaker really included so much grain because he liked it or because he had no choice.
I think the best guide for restoration is, ask yourself what makes for the purest experience; what makes the experience you have while watching the film most like that of the original theatregoer. Perhaps some grain reduction is in order, since you are more sensitive to that sort of thing than the original theatregoer. Possibly you want some color cleanup, too.
However, I don't think special effects should be tampered with unless there's a pervasive reason. That ruins the charm of older films. I just rewatched the 1980's Clash of the Titans and while the effects were dated to say the least, they added to the charm of the film. The original cinematographer made extensive use of the "day-for-night" technique of shooting during the day with a closed aperature to simulate nighttime, though, and digital technology could have helped achieve that better while keeping with the cinematographer's presumed vision.
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