Why are the images in some of Gaspar Noé films blurry? For example, in I Stand Alone and Irréversible, quality seems very bad although I watched the 1080p BluRay versions.

enter image description here

Is this a technical issue, or was it intentional?! If it was intentional, could someone elaborate what significance does this quality have?!

  • What do you mean by "Bad"? Some context/examples would be required. – Paulie_D Apr 7 at 13:34
  • Actually, every scene in these films is an example! Nevertheless, I uploaded a picture. – Alec Brooks Apr 7 at 13:58
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    Looks fine to me. You still need to define "bad". – Paulie_D Apr 7 at 14:04
  • Still, you might want to elaborate on your definition of "bad" here, especially after adding this totally "fine" picture. – Napoleon Wilson Apr 7 at 14:04
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    If you open the full-size picture, it does actually look quite grainy and compressed, but I feel like proving this is an inherent property of the film just by providing screenshots is going to be very difficult. Perhaps there's an article somewhere on the Internet where someone else has noticed this graininess? – F1Krazy Apr 7 at 14:06

I've found a potential source of the issue, mentioned in the Trivia section on IMDB

The entire film was shot on Super 16, telecined to high-definition video for color tweaking and editing, and then exported to Super 35. For many of the handheld shots, the director used the smallest existing 16mm camera, the Minima.

In essence, that's why - low resolution film stock, compared to a "normal" film shot on 35mm [or larger] stock, or even modern digital.

I'd imagine this was an artistic decision, though you can never discount budgetary reasons. Unless someone can find a better info source, from the director himself, we may never know for sure.

From WIkipedia - Irréversible

Irréversible has been associated with a series of films defined as the cinéma du corps ("cinema of the body"), which according to Palmer share affinities with certain avant-garde productions: an attenuated use of narrative, assaulting and often illegible cinematography, confrontational subject material, and a pervasive sense of social nihilism or despair. Irréversible has also been associated with the New French Extremity movement.

This would potentially indicate the visual aspect is entirely intentional.

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  • Thanks. This seems logical to me, but my final question is yet unanswered! Was this quality intentional, or they just couldn't really do anything about it? – Alec Brooks Apr 7 at 14:22
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    If it was intentional, could someone elaborate what significance does this quality have?! – Alec Brooks Apr 7 at 14:25
  • The "significance" is that the director made that artistic choice. – BCdotWEB Apr 7 at 14:34
  • A more useful "significance" would be the reason why he made that choice, though. – Napoleon Wilson Apr 7 at 14:38
  • I suppose Benoît Debie was part of that decision, considering he's made several movies on 16mm. – BCdotWEB Apr 7 at 15:57

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