Narduzzo Too breathes new life into Peeping Tom

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Pinewood-based post production facility Narduzzo Too recently graded and restored Michael Powell’s infamous psycho sexual thriller Peeping Tom using Digital Vision’s Nucoda Film Master and Phoenix Finish restoration system with the included DVO toolset. The film, made in 1960, ruined Powell’s career as a Director in the UK because of its shocking content and harsh reception by critics. Written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks, Peeping Tom starred Karlheinz Böhm and Anna Massey. Böhm plays Mark Lewis a young man who murders women and films their dying expressions, the film was surrounded by controversy in its day but thanks to a revival by Martin Scorsese in the 70s, and again now, it has since received cult status and is regarded by many as a masterpiece.

Marking its fiftieth anniversary Scorsese and his editor Thelma Schoonmaker worked with Vince Narduzzo at Narduzzo Too to restore the film for selective screenings and Blu-Ray release. Schoonmaker has worked with Scorsese for more than 35 years and has edited all his films since Raging Bull, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Editing, as well as The Aviator and The Departed. She was married to Michael Powell until his death in 1990 and has been dedicated to preserving his films and honouring his legacy. 

Following its opening in London late last year Peeping Tom received rave reviews with the Guardian giving it five stars saying, “If anything deserves the “dark masterpiece” tag, this does: a brilliant satirical insight into the neurotic, pornographic element in the act of filming, more relevant than ever in the age of reality television and CCTV… An intimately disturbing experience”. 

Narduzzo who restored and graded the piece in the company of Schoonmaker explains, “I graded the whole project on Nucoda Film Master and restored it using Digital Vision’s Phoenix system and DVO toolset. I started the process by grading the open log scans. It’s important for me to see the image graded before I apply any kind of grain reduction or scratch removal. I then ran an auto pass using the Phoenix DVO toolset, which removes around 80 per cent of imperfections. There were a couple of shots that really needed stabilising but the auto pass corrected them very easily. It’s a very efficient and simple system to use because DVO automatically removes dust and noise without creating other artefacts in the picture, which can be a problem with other systems. I then used the Fix, Scratch, Grain and Sharpening tools to sort out other affected areas by hand. DVO Scratch is very efficient at removing tram lines, which create a vertical scratch in the film. It wasn’t long ago that tram lines would cause a real problem and could take hours to fix but Scratch removes them without any problem.” 

 


Scorsese visited Narduzzo Too to view the final piece. Narduzzo says, “It was a great honour to meet Mr. Scorsese and to work alongside Thelma Schoonmaker to restore and grade this landmark project. We were all delighted with the results.” 

Blu-Ray.com’s review fully sums up the final revived look and feel of the film: “Freshly restored, Peeping Tom looks the best it ever has. Fine object detail is outstanding, clarity very pleasing, and contrast levels consistent throughout the entire film. What impresses the most, however, is the colour-scheme; the variety of reds, greens, blues, yellows, browns, and blacks look sensational. Stability is also greatly improved. For example, the background flicker and macro blocking that are present on the old Criterion SDVD release are completely gone. Many of the close-ups also look exceptionally healthy - there are no colour pulsations or pixelation issues, and the high-transfer reveals a type of depth that very much rivals that of the restored The Red Shoes. Lastly, Peeping Tom has also been meticulously cleaned up. As a result, there are no large cuts, marks, stains, or debris to report in this review. To sum it all up, this is indeed an exceptional presentation of an exceptional film.”

 

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