So on Jan 9th my local film club will screen ‘Cabaret’ (Bob Fosse, Liza Minnelli et al) and I am tasked with finding a good quality digital source disc. It could be DVD, but Blu-Ray would be my preference. Our Arts Centre venue has a nice new pro-quality HD projector and a 6m screen, so image quality matters.
Several digital transfers both to DVD and Blu-Ray have been made. But I’ve checked with the BFI and with Fopp and they tell me that there is nothing in current production. The DVD has been unavailable since Feb 2018.
Since it’s unavailable, Amazon themselves don’t sell it either. But there are third-party re-sellers on the Amazon platform and on eBay who claim to have new copies. Maybe some do. But I fear others have a bank of machines in a warehouse a long way east of here churning out poor quality copies. I say this because I bought a ‘new’ Blu-Ray that way and the image is pretty rough. Here’s a phone-snap photo of Liza Minellli’s arm, taken so close to the screen that you can see the individual pixels from my projector and also the sharp shadow of my phone
You can also see blotchy brown freckles both on Ms Minnelli and on the blue curtain behind her. I’m pretty sure that Warner Brothers would not have accepted an image that poor. In other places there are what look like digital artefacts arising from poor intensity and/or colour resolution. I’m very sceptical.
So I’m asking on the off chance that anyone here has a kosher copy and could lend it to me for a few weeks. I’d send it back with a tenner plus postage costs. Otherwise I’ve got to start trawling the charity shops …