Legend Returns—The Godfather (50th Anniversary Dolby Vision Version) Screened!
At the 50th anniversary of the classic film The Godfather, from August 12 to 21, 2022, its Dolby version was unveiled at the 12th Beijing International Film Festival (BJIFF) and exclusively screened in three Dolby cinemas, namely Beijing Hoyts Cinema Hopson One, Jackie Chan Cinema (Ciyun Temple), and VMIXC Dolby Cinema (Paradise Walk). Audience could enjoy this shocking and amazing classic work with wonderful visual experience.
Director Francis Ford Coppola said, “I'm very happy to bring you the restored version of The Godfather at our Dolby cinemas on our delicate screens. Releasing the Dolby version is the best way to mark the 50th anniversary of the film.”
The combination of legendary classics and advanced film-watching experience is highly appealing for film fans. In Beijing Film Panorama of the 12th BJIFF, The Godfather (50th Anniversary Dolby Vision Version) ranked among the TOP 3 with the best-selling tickets as one of the "films of the fastest ticketing at the 12th BJIFF".
As part of Beijing Film Panorama, on August 18, the 50th Anniversary Dolby Vision Version “Dolby Tribute” was held at the Dolby Cinema of Beijing Hoyts Cinema Hopson One. Well-known directors and creators in the domestic film & TV industry, as well as media and film fans, gathered together to recall this classic masterpiece with full tribute in Dolby vision.
As one of the most important films in film history, The Godfather has been spoken highly of by lots of film practitioners, critics and fans since its release in 1972, and won three awards: Best Film, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 45th Academy Awards the following year. The Dolby version has brought this masterpiece back to life after a long separation of 50 years, leading us into the world of classics with an immersive experience of the legendary story of the Corleone family.
The Dolby cinemas created an immersive audio-visual experience to the audience through the award-winning Dolby vision technique, Dolby panoramic sound effect and unique cinema design. Dolby Vision HDR 4K dual laser projector presents a contrast ratio of up to 1,000,000: 1, hundreds of times higher than that of ordinary cinemas. It can present pure black and dazzling light at the same time, in extremely rich light and shade. The wide color gamut of Dolby Vision guarantees bright colors that have never been shown on the screen, just like in the real world.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Godfather, the restoration team with superb skills restored The Godfather trilogy. Supervised by director Coppola, it took more than 4,000 hours to remove stains, and fix damages and other problems of the negative film, and another 1,000 hours for careful color correction to ensure the perfect consistency with visual effects of director Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis from the HDR (High Dynamic Range). This screening fully demonstrated the meticulous creativity and great efforts of the creation and restoration teams. Even those who are very familiar with this classic could find something new from it.
Wang Zheng, a film restoration expert from China Film Archive, said in the pre-screening interview of “Dolby Tribute”, "The most important task in film restoration is to repair the damaged film (original negative) and restore the texture of the film. The Godfather screened in Dolby cinemas this time, with a combination of restoration and HDR imaging technologies, led audience to understand the ideas and thoughts of the film crew tens of years ago based on the real color and accurate restoration. I'm glad that the Dolby Vision help revive this classic work."
In the dark study room when the godfather appeared, amid the negotiation between the godfather and the five gangster families in New York, or during the gloomy and sacred church baptism, Dolby Vision created a greater sense of depth in every picture of the film, which brought richer details that have never been found in any of the previous versions.
In addition, the exquisite color of The Godfather has always been exemplary for other films. In this restored version, the dark colors in the film are deeper and more vivid, and the colors for the scenes like outdoor wedding are rich and full. This film half a century ago now becomes more lifelike on the screen.
Zhao Xiaoding, Director of Photography at ASC and CNSC, said in the pre-screening interview, "The Godfather becomes a classic in the film history for its intriguing storyline and photography aesthetics. In Dolby Vision, we can find richer details from those familiar shots. While enjoying this film, we are more attracted by every exquisite design, and acquire new insights. With the support of cutting-edge technologies, classics could be forever alive."
Zhang Gen, a senior colorist in charge of Dolby Vision for many Chinese films, shared his thoughts on site, "In The Godfather, the director subtly used the contrast of light and shade, as well as different colors to set off the story and characters. With the help of Dolby Vision, the filming skills in this film have been expressed more incisively and vividly, and the colors in different scenes have been restored more truly. Thanks to these efforts, the audience can fully understand the creativity conveyed by the director while enjoying the restored version in Dolby Vision."
Zheng Minghao, a senior expert in image technology at Dolby Laboratories, said, "Dolby Vision provides artists with a bigger drawing board and a larger creative space with higher dynamic range and greater color expression. I'm very glad that Dolby Vision is used by top filmmakers to revive their classic works and create a different look while keeping the original film style."
While watching The Godfather (50th Anniversary Dolby Vision Version), the audience got deeply immersed in it at Dolby Cinemas with unique design.
Every detail in the Dolby cinemas shows ingenuity and professionalism in design. The black decorations everywhere, even the black carpet, aim to control the darkness and create the best effect. You may find that the cinema is quieter than the library since the walls and ceilings are added with extra sound insulation and sound-absorbing materials to keep the sound outside the cinema. The speakers in the cinema are also hidden by a sound-transmitting fabric material so as to create a more real and immersive sound experience without visual interference. Facing the curved surface screen with special design, audience can better concentrate on the charm of the film in this unique space wherever they are seated.
Legends last forever. After half a century, The Godfather has become a legend in film history and an eternal classic in our hearts. 50 years have passed. Its Dolby Vision returned to the cinema with an amazing visual experience, which led us into the old but also new story filled with moving plots.