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Domino is
a "disarmingly
work that "pushes
us to reexamine our
relationship to images
and their consumption,
not only ethically
but metaphysically"
-Collin Brinkman

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
next novel is Terry

De Palma developing
Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
based on real things
that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


Exclusive Passion

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


AV Club Review
of Dumas book


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible was released by Paramount this month in a 4K Ultra HD edition, along with all of the other M:I franchise movies, timed with the release of the newest one, Fallout, later this month. Paramount's Kirsten Pielstick tells Engadget's Devindra Hardawar that the film's director of photography, Stephen H. Burum, worked closely with the digital-mastering group to restore the film:
Mission Impossible is an unusual film franchise. It's spanned more than 22 years and five directors, each bringing his own distinctive touch to Tom Cruise's increasingly over-the-top escapades. Brian De Palma's 1996 film, which kicked off the series, hearkens back to classic '70s conspiracy thrillers while John Woo's Mission Impossible 2 is pure '90s action blockbuster excess, complete with dueling motorcycles, elaborate shootouts and his signature doves.

To prime audiences for the next film, Fallout, Paramount re-released the entire Mission Impossible series on 4K Blu-ray last month. The new discs are not only a huge upgrade for cinephiles but also a fascinating glimpse at how studios can revive older films for the 4K/HDR era.

"In terms of any re-transfers or remastering that we are doing for our HDR releases, we will go back to the highest resolution source available," Kirsten Pielstick, manager of Paramount's digital-mastering group, said in an interview. In the case of Mission Impossible 1 and 2, that involved scanning the original 35mm negatives in 4K/16-bit. As you'd expect, the studio tries to get the original artists involved with any remasters, especially with something like HDR, which allows for higher brightness and more-nuanced black levels.

Pielstick worked with the director of photography (DP) for the first Mission Impossible film, Stephen H. Burum, to make sure its noir-like palette stayed intact. Unfortunately, the studio couldn't get Woo to visit for the second film's restoration, but Pielstick said they had multiple conversations with him about how it was being handled. Though they're very different movies, they each show off the benefits of HDR in different ways.

Watching the first film on 4K Blu-ray was like seeing it for the first time. I could make out more details in the dark alleys of Prague and in the infamous aquarium-explosion set piece. Mission Impossible 2's bombastic explosions and vehicle chases, on the other hand, almost seemed three-dimensional thanks to HDR's enhanced brightness.

"Our mastering philosophy here is always to work directly with the talent whenever possible and use the new technology to enhance the movie but always stay true to the intent of the movie," Pielstick said. "You're not going to want to make things brighter just because you can, if it's not the intent of how you were supposed to see things."When working with directors and DPs, Pielstick said some are more aggressive than others during the restoration process. But if it can't get the original talent involved, Paramount's mastering group relies on the original film as a reference and works together with studio colorists for every project. "[A remaster] should be what they were seeing through the lens of the camera at the time they were shooting it," she said.

"But on the other hand, we've also found times where there's a look where things were previously blown out, intentionally," Pielstick said. "We have to go in and work to get things brought down and blown out in this world. It's really hard to blow out any whites when you have 4,000 nits available to you [with HDR]. So there's a different approach to some of those to, again, maintain intent.

"You also have to remember that we're not putting in anything that didn't exist on the film [for HD remasters]," Pielstick added. "It was always there; we just didn't have the ability to see it. So we're not adding anything new, we're not doing anything to increase those. We're just able to look at the negative in a much clearer way than we ever could before."


Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 12:06 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (9) | Permalink | Share This Post

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 2:59 AM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

I was hoping with De Palma's Mission film would include the deleted scenes.

I understand why Woo didn't turn up for MI2, his directors cut was at 3 hours until Paramount took out an hours footage of film from his epic. A massive 20 minute speedboat action set-piece in Sydney harbour was taken out of Woo's 3 hour cut! 

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 12:15 PM CDT

Name: "Lear"

I don't think many de Palma films have important deleted scenes; like Scorsese's films or Spielberg's, his theatrical cut is his "only" and official cut. The only exceptions are Black Dahlia (in which 30min are supposedly missing, but de Palma never complained about the theatrical cut), Snake Eyes (the alternative last scene, which was shown in Baumbach's documentary) and Bonfire of Vanities (Spielberg once stated he helped de Palma cutting the film and convinced him to remove key scenes that are the most satirical, like the one in which Tom Hanks and his wife secretly feed dog food to their guests, who find it delicious). And, sadly, possibly Domino (though the "missing" scenes were never actually shot). But the deleted scenes/director's cut trend is not a trend of his, unlike Ridley Scott who thrives on it. And besides, MI is an already perfect movie as it is ;)

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 6:14 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma

For MI, there is a deleted scene with Ethan and Claire making out on the train in a Hitchcockian North-by-Northwest swirl-- a shot from that made it into the trailer, because it wasn't actually pulled until a bit later-- De Palma explained that it got in the way of the action (it seemed to cut/flow better without it).

There is another big slow motion scene that was cut from BONFIRE after a test screening.

I am not sure what you mean about Domino-- De Palma has said the film is now complete and he is satisfied with it (his direct quote is that the film "is good".)

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 7:36 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

MI as it stands is perfect as it is, still the film at first had the movie starting with scenes where Ethan and Claire are romantically involved behind the back of Jim Phelps. This is how the film was presented in test screenings in 1996. Audiences didn't like that opening as it took them out of the spy feel of the film. I would have left it in as seduction is part of spycraft.

Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 6:50 PM CDT

Name: "sue"

De Palma did release an extended/director's cut of CASUALTIES OF WAR.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 11:25 PM CDT

Name: "$$$"

De Palma's Mission Impossible film is a movie for babies compared to the greatest action film in Mission Impossible Fallout.

Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 4:35 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

I've too have seen MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE FALLOUT last night and has some of the best action scenes in movie history!

 Brian De Palma's movie has action but is more concerned in being a '70's spy paranoid thriller in the style of THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR and THE PARALLAX VIEW. 

Friday, July 27, 2018 - 5:54 AM CDT

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://rado.bg

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a lot of fun with some heart-stopping action scenes and a few twists too many. Of course, it's littered with M:I nods, the most delightful of which is a reworking of a certain stellar Danny Elfman composition.

Sunday, July 29, 2018 - 8:52 AM CDT

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://Rado.bg

Not Elfman, but a Schifrin original, duh.

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