This is a pretty cool article about the recent blu ray transfer of The French Connection. The film's director, the squirrely and mostly forgotten Billy Friedkin, essentially gutted the
gritty original photography of the film, one of its defining characteristics, in order to infuse the picture with a faux-muted palette of invented colours.
It's pretty depressing. This modern fascination with slick artificiality and presentation, presentation, presentation seems almost like wilful denial of the ACTUAL human canvas: the idiosyncratic, the naturalistic, the complicated and unattractive.
What's next? Are we going to go back to everything in that period and gussy it up like an IKEA ad? Are we going to paint in some new surroundings for the Bunkers on All In The Family? Maybe we can give them state of the art electronics, Sico-matched wall colours, and new furniture? Since it's already an existing mandate that no poor people exist in today's TV sitcom, why should they be forced to dwell in syndicated shabbiness?
Of course, Friedkin went all kinds of goofy-gong-gong a long time ago, but it's still disturbing to see a man his age, who was able to make a couple good films in his prime, who should know better, fall into this cheap bullshit.