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Old 04-04-2020, 08:10 PM   #1
qw0aszx qw0aszx is online now
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Taiwan Flowers of Shanghai (4K Restored)

ifilm is going to release Flowers of Shanghai on blu-ray in Taiwan. It'll be the 4K restoration premiered at Shanghai Film Festival last year.



Pre-order is up on PChome site, this is coming April 10th. From the information listed on the pre-order page, this release will have both DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks for the main feature, english subtitle is included.

*Some problems appeared on this restoration, I wrote something on it below.

Last edited by qw0aszx; 04-05-2020 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:24 PM   #2
thisgenius thisgenius is offline
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Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:27 PM   #3
qw0aszx qw0aszx is online now
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One thing should be noted, I saw this restoration at Shanghai International Film Festival last year, it looked truly odd. Seems mild to heavy DNR was applied on the image, the grain structure was quite strange. Color was a little off for me too, too much yellow/green tint was added.

From the promotion of this restoration at last year's Shanghai International Film Festival, this restoration is from the original camera negatives provided by Shochiku, L'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna did the restoration, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ping Bin Lee supervised the color correction process in the post. However, the restored version have no text information about the restoration presented before the film, only "Restored by 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival" (this is one of the titles from Shanghai International Film Festival restoration project) and "with support from Jaeger-LeCoultre" (they financed the film festival restoration project). Even L'Immagine Ritrovata have no credits on the actual restored version, weird.

Last edited by qw0aszx; 04-04-2020 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:49 PM   #4
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Slow masterwork. Fantastic news. Not listed at YesAsia yet, though...
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:00 AM   #5
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great news! did not expect it at all.
very, very interest to see how it looks in HD. (only watched once on very crappy DVD of original release)
remember this is not a "easy watch"... take a lot of patience but very interesting

how about city of Sadness and Millennium Mambo?
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:24 AM   #6
qw0aszx qw0aszx is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qw0aszx View Post
Color was a little off for me too, too much yellow/green tint was added.
Here are some comparisons someone made between the old DVD and the streaming source of the new 4K restored version, you can get the general idea on how the color changes in this restoration.

[Show spoiler]









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Old 04-05-2020, 12:07 PM   #7
Dan8700 Dan8700 is offline
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Thanks. The new master looks more appropriate to me, as the DVD master has a magenta dominant I don't like at all. Cannot wait for this!
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:33 PM   #8
Leeon0 Leeon0 is offline
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Looks like some tinkering going on there resulting in smeary facial features and not a whole lot of detail. Lemon hue doesn't look too good either. I agree with the OP.
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:09 PM   #9
thisgenius thisgenius is offline
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Am I misunderstanding or does that site indeed list the price at CNY660 after discount, which converts to about $93?! Seeing as it’s a Taiwanese site, I want to believe that it’s Taiwanese Dollar, which makes for a more believable US$22, but that sure seems like the CNY sign.
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:03 PM   #10
qw0aszx qw0aszx is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thisgenius View Post
Am I misunderstanding or does that site indeed list the price at CNY660 after discount, which converts to about $93?! Seeing as it’s a Taiwanese site, I want to believe that it’s Taiwanese Dollar, which makes for a more believable US$22, but that sure seems like the CNY sign.
That's Taiwanese dollar listed on the site, NT$660.

Last edited by qw0aszx; 04-05-2020 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 04-10-2020, 04:57 PM   #11
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The picture comparisons are very informative! The color of the dress on Carina Lau's sister changed from pink to yellow!
I was about to purchase the blu-ray today, but this just made me shy away. Without proper restoration, I'm happy to stay with the DVD version.
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Old 04-11-2020, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drybbc View Post
The picture comparisons are very informative! The color of the dress on Carina Lau's sister changed from pink to yellow!
I was about to purchase the blu-ray today, but this just made me shy away. Without proper restoration, I'm happy to stay with the DVD version.
Apparently, the director and DoP SUPERVISED the color grading. Plus, you're taking as reference a, like, 20-years old DVD whose accuracy is unknown (and most likely wrong in the first place)? I'll always trust more people actually involved with the film than caps...
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Old 04-13-2020, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan8700 View Post
Apparently, the director and DoP SUPERVISED the color grading. Plus, you're taking as reference a, like, 20-years old DVD whose accuracy is unknown (and most likely wrong in the first place)? I'll always trust more people actually involved with the film than caps...
Apparently, the director and DoP SUPERVISED the color grading.
Proof?
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Old 04-13-2020, 05:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drybbc View Post
Apparently, the director and DoP SUPERVISED the color grading.
Proof?
"(director of the Italian Bologna Film Restoration Institute) David Pozzi revealed that in order to accurately restore the full picture quality of the indoor film at the time, they invited director Hou Hsiao-hsien and photographer Li Pingbin to personally take charge of the later color modulation guidance."

Full article here.
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Old 04-14-2020, 08:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qw0aszx View Post
One thing should be noted, I saw this restoration at Shanghai International Film Festival last year, it looked truly odd. Seems mild to heavy DNR was applied on the image, the grain structure was quite strange. Color was a little off for me too, too much yellow/green tint was added.

From the promotion of this restoration at last year's Shanghai International Film Festival, this restoration is from the original camera negatives provided by Shochiku, L'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna did the restoration, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ping Bin Lee supervised the color correction process in the post. However, the restored version have no text information about the restoration presented before the film, only "Restored by 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival" (this is one of the titles from Shanghai International Film Festival restoration project) and "with support from Jaeger-LeCoultre" (they financed the film festival restoration project). Even L'Immagine Ritrovata have no credits on the actual restored version, weird.
I saw a 35mm screening of this early last year. Looked absolutely beautiful. Iíll try to compare the two when I see this restoration.
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:20 PM   #16
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Looking at the things in the images that should be black, the new restoration's colors look more accurate. I bet that the lights were actually that yellowish color IRL, and whoever color adjusted the dvd, made the lights more neutral colored which also threw off the blacks and made everything more magenta.

Also, this is now on Yesasia. I ordered my copy today!
https://www.yesasia.com/us/flowers-o...0-en/info.html

Last edited by jjlikesonions; 04-14-2020 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:34 PM   #17
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JSDVD has this too. I don't recall shipping being quite so pricey but it's been quite awhile since I ordered anything. Hopefully this will ship tomorrow.
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:33 AM   #18
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Are JSDVD customs friendly? Never used them before, and I'm weighing up between them and YesAsia.
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Old 04-16-2020, 11:53 AM   #19
Dan8700 Dan8700 is offline
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Reports on the disc are always welcome... let's hope they didn't botch it...
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:13 PM   #20
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I'd like to mark the restoration 4.5/5.0, but 3.5/5.0 for the TWN disc, which a BD25 without any extras and suffering from banding/blocking issues on quite a lot scenes(fortunately most of them happening during fading in and out).

There is no doubt that the TWN blu-ray edition beats the former DVD in video quality, as the link showed below, some comparisons among TWN BD, TWN WEB-DL and JPN DVD.

http://www.imagebam.com/gallery/nyhg...1v1af130j3o1kb

As for the color correction, from my point of view it definitely shows what Director Hou Hsiao-Hsien and DOP Mark Lee Ping-Bing would like the film to be. It reminds me of a documentary about the photography career of Lee Ping-Bing, named Let the Wind Carry Me. During the documentary there was a shot interview of Hou and Lee talking about the light of Flowers of Shanghai.
Quote:
Hou Hsiao-Hsien:
The thinking behind Flowers of Shanghai was to have the light carried by the characters. Like in the Tang dynasty, you need a candle, an oil lamp for lighting. It's soft and diffuse in the middle. The clothes are made of silk. Like in the old days, they're all silk. Which, under the reflection of dim light, is fabulous. Back then the Peking Opera was for listening, not for watching. It's dim for they only had oil lamps.

Mark Lee Ping-Bing:
I know these oil lamps. If we shoot it using the old realist way, we won't get those colors and textures. So I designed some lights to create oil lamp effect. Then half way thorough the shoot, one day Hou turned off the lights. He said, "Mark, realism should be like this. Shadows moving everywhere." I can't help it. And we can't start from scratch again. So I said if that's the way you wanted it, then we're going back to the B&W color movies that we did before. The things you want are contradictory. And he said, your lighting is too pretty. I said it's luxurious realism, but it's still realism. You find me a light that isn't real? The light is real. I just have it amplified, enriched, made luxurious. What you wanted at the beginning, could only be achieved with this method. In the end he gave in. But during print making, he kept saying making it darker, darker.
There was also a short clip of Flowers of Shanghai in the documentary, with scratches/dirty spots and burnt-in Tradtional Chinese subtitles, possibly sourced from an achieved print. As the comparison showed below, to be quite different from the brightened JPN DVD.

4K restoration vs Clip from documentary vs Old JPN DVD




Code:
Disc Label: FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI
Disc Size: 23,306,256,384 bytes
Protection: AACS
Playlist: 00002.MPLS
Size: 23,306,256,384 bytes
Length: 1:53:46.041
Total Bitrate: 27.31 Mbps
Video: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 19526 kbps / 1080p / 24 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: Chinese / DTS-HD Master Audio / 5.1 / 48 kHz /  3203 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz /  1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: Chinese / Dolby TrueHD Audio / 5.1 / 48 kHz /  1558 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz /   640 kbps / DN -31dB)
Subtitle: Chinese / 29.712 kbps
Subtitle: English / 29.589 kbps

Last edited by Leorz; 04-18-2020 at 08:21 PM.
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