Docs That Rock

Are Shiny Happy Rock Docs Worth It?

I’m tossing Spinal Tap in this rock doc blog because its upcoming fancified release on Blu-Ray raises some interesting issues about filmmakers intent. (You can debate internally about whether Spinal Tap as a ficitional mockumentary is worthy of the Rock Doc designation.) The new Spinal Tap remaster will take advantage of Blu-Ray’s capabilities to display in high-def widescreen format as well as 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Audio (for the tech-averse, that means it will sound very very clear.) Yet the blog Gizmodo raises the obvious questions about whether such a spitshine is really necessary for this film:

[The]5.1 DTS HD Lossless Audio track….is all well and good if this were, say, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or Rob Reiner’s other masterpiece, A Few Good Men. But this is Spinal Tap—er, that is, This Is Spinal Tap! No Dubbly, no dice.

I’m actually not convinced that a 1080p transfer will change the emotional tone of the movie. This is supposed to be a handheld, herky-jerky film, not some sweeping epic. How can high-def do more for those intimate moments—Fran Drescher almost not annoying, the late Bruno Kirby explaining the joy of Frank, Harry Shearer, aka Derek Smalls, trapped in his body-snatcher pod. Those don’t improve with resolution.

It reminds me of the colorization debate, whether old classic black and white flicks should be painted by new technology. Of course, there are many rock docs in dire need of improvements to sound quality….but would they seem less authentic? But more than hisses and pops from subpar recording equipment, I think picture quality is the thing to maintain at all costs. Technology shouldn’t mess with the images since do signify aesthetic choices as well as a time stamp. And no one needs to see Spinal Tap’s tight leather pants in unvarnished video!


Weigh in on the comments about which rock docs could be touched up and which shouldn’t be touched.

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October 8, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Will Love You…but not Blu-Ray My recent post wondering if the super-res treatment for some music films are worth it has an ally in Jeff Tweedy. […]

    Pingback by Wilco Will Love You…but not Blu-Ray « Docs That Rock | November 4, 2008 | Reply


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