Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Return to Academy Aspect Ratio!

The first film shot in widescreen, or CinemaScope, was a PEPLUM movie. THE ROBE (1953; above).

Ever since that time, the old Academy 4:3 aspect ratio had gradually disappeared with the advent of widescreen TVs and movies released on DVD and Blu-ray. Now it's trendy to go back to the old 4:3 aspect ratio.

Personally, I always liked 4:3 aspect ratio (or 1.33) but for big epics, the widescreen format is the best. I'm glad to see this trend.


"But something has changed in the last couple of years… We’re seeing a resurgence of the classic 4:3 format, with more filmmakers embracing it on feature length narratives. This is something we haven’t seen on a large scale for ages."

Why The Old-School 4:3 Aspect Ratio Is Coming Back With A Vengeance Right Now 

I won't link the article because it has little to do with PEPLUM movies but what do you think of this trend?


Anonymous said...

My preference is for 4:3 films as I find they allow for better composition and framing and have greater emotional impact. Widescreen provides superb longshots (landscapes, crowds, arenas, battles, luxurious interiors) but unfortunately it does not give good closeups at the human level.

Compare the two images at the crucifixion in your recent post on the same film:

I found the 4:3 behind-the-scenes shot much more powerful than the widescreen theatrical release image.

Anonymous said...

Even show made for TV are now using 2.35. It's my favorite of the various aspect ratios.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the article about the advantages and hence my preference for 4:3, in particular:

"There is no better way to frame a face. Movies are about people, not landscapes. And unlike epic landscapes (which call for a wide aspect ratio), people – or more specifically, faces – beg for 4:3."

"There’s something about 4:3 that helps us connect more intimately with the characters. It feels more naturalistic in a sense, and for character driven pieces it can offer an effective gateway for the audience to zero-in on the subtleties of the performances."