- “Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.” — Pablo Picasso
- “How I can tell the story through light and color. I really do believe that the human being does not see only with the eyes, but with the entire body. Your body reacts emotionally to different colors without your even knowing it, you know? You feel love, hate, right, wrong, without even knowing it.” — Vittorio Storaro
- “Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” — Claude Monet
Who are we to argue with Picasso, Storaro and Monet? I’m only quoting them as evidence, as expert testimony to prove the proposition that subtle variations in color have deep impact on our emotion reaction to the visual arts. I’d seen dozens of photos of Chagall’s work represented inaccurately in books but nothing compares to the purity of viewing his luminous purples and blues in the stained glass panels installed at the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s a transcendent experience.
Blues were never tough to reproduce on tube TVs. It’s the reds that always looked rusty, bleached or too peachy. LED screens for PCs and widescreen TVs are finally able to recreate the ruby shades we’ve been missing all these years, and the technology of blu-ray restorations make those reds pop like never before.
Color has meaning onscreen. All this is a roundabout route to praise the new Blu-ray edition of A Star is Born remastered and being released by Warner Home Video this week.
The previous reconstruction for DVD was already a very fine preservation effort, so it’s not so much the enhanced detail or clarity that impresses (though check out the fabrics — in SD all the costumes look cut from the same flat cloth. In high-def the textures of the various materials are revealed in all their silky, satiny and velvety splendor.) But it’s the color fidelity that really has me excited to make this Blu-ray a day-one full-price purchase. Warner Bros. is doing a terrific job of bringing out fresh incarnations of its most cherished catalog classics, and we can encourage them — and other studios — to keep up the good work by voting ‘YES!’ with our wallets.
More evidence below, with screen shots courtesy of DVDBeaver, the go-to authority on digital quality, where you can can find several more excellent examples. These sample shots are clickable to double-size for better side-by-side comparison.