WARM-UP DISCUSSION: DVD Menu/Interface

Discuss Lost In Translation in a more structured way. We follow the DVD chapters and create a new thread for every chapter. This is an ongoing project.
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Cryogenic
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WARM-UP DISCUSSION: DVD Menu/Interface

Postby Cryogenic » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:43 pm

WARM-UP DISCUSSION: DVD Menu/Interface

NOTE: This thread is just to discuss the overall "layout" and "mood" of the DVD, not the bonus features. There's a separate thread for the latter that will be coming at the end of the entire CBC discussion.

SYNOPSIS: I thought I'd start with this one, rather than diving straight into the film, because the audio-visual experience of the disc is your first palpable experience of LIT.

These are the menu screens from the Region 2 PAL DVD:

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ANALYSIS: I love the layout of this menu system. It's simple and neat. It has a kind of zen-like restraint to it.

I'm glad they used the movie font for all the text, which I'm not sure every version does. Take a look at this one: http://www.alexandragroup.com/default.a ... ction=read

Great choice of images for the chapters, too. I'm wondering whether to carry those over into the actual chapter discussions. They seem to capture the bittersweet feel so well, running the gamut from whimsical (e.g. Chapter 12) to emotionally absorbing (e.g. Chapter 23).

But the piece d'resistance is the main menu screen itself. This turns out to be the only animated menu screen -- and subtly so, too. When you put the disc in, you get a static copyright notice over a shot of the Rainbow Bridge, followed by an animated film logo for Momentum Pictures (with an oddly aggressive swirling sound effect), followed by a fade-in to a gently panning shot of the Tokyo cityscape at night, which turns out to be the main menu screen. Girls by Death In Vegas begins playing as this "scene" unfolds. When the camera settles, the words "Lost", "In and "Translation" fade on like at the start of the actual film, and the menu items at the bottom fade on a split second later, timed to coincide with the sighing chorus of girls on the record.

What I've just described sounds very prosaic, but it's an astonishingly atmospheric effect. Girls is simply so mellow and transporting. When it's combined with grainy, flickering footage of Tokyo at night, the effect is dazzling. I'm completely swept up in this cloud of joy and in perfect mood to hit "Play". The menu animation lasts for 1:29 and then cycles back on itself, without the initial pan and fades. I could just go on listening to that music forever. A very tasteful start to something great.
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Bob_san
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Postby Bob_san » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:09 pm

Cryogenic you have done an amazing job on this, now we just need to get some discussion going!!! :D

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Postby thermoptic » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:02 am

I only have the Japanese Dvd version of Lit so i haven't seen these menus, but i looks pretty good. I guess its a good choice to have the city in the background as seen from the view from the hotel they are staying at.. but i don't like that everything is so dark. In the Japanese version all the menus are bright (still view of the whole city but in daytime instead) and I think that fits more to the feel of Lost in translation. I don't know if its ok but if you would like to see how the menu's looks in the Japanese Dvd i could post them here?

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Postby Suntory » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:33 pm

Yes I would like to see the Japanese menus!

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Postby ForRelaxingTimes » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:28 pm

If there was only some way to make the DVD intro a screen saver. Just have the background with the blinking lights. So entrancing.
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Postby morethanthis » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:23 pm

have any Easter Eggs been found?? :)

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Postby thermoptic » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:30 pm

Ok here are some screenshots from the Japanese version of the Dvd.
Remember that this thread is about the screenshots that Cryogenic posted. But i kinda like the city in daylight (dusk, dawn or whatever it is) in the japanese version a little more.
This version also has the exact same chapters so i will only be posting the first page of the chapters.

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Cryogenic
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Postby Cryogenic » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:44 pm

Hey, thermoptic!

Great stuff!

I need to get that version! 8)

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Postby samwright8380 » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:33 pm

Both the western and Japanese menu is entrancing in their own seperate ways! I would be most interested to see if the HDDVD interface differs significantly from either of these!
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Cryogenic
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Postby Cryogenic » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:56 pm

Just a quick clarification:

thermoptic wrote:Remember that this thread is about the screenshots that Cryogenic posted.


No, it isn't. Don't worry!

It's about each person's interpretation of the menu systems that they are familiar with and a discussion of the different menu systems in general and that they may not be familiar with.

I provided a set of pictures as a visual summary of one such menu system. Yes, it's probably the one the most amount of people are familiar with, yes, if other people have that menu system, it is OK for them to elaborate on it. But it's also OK to talk about and elaborate on others. That's what this thread is for!

Your contribution is very fine and completely on-topic.

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Postby TokyoGirl » Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:23 pm

I too have the Japanese version and have never actually owned the R2 version, I have to say I really like it though. But I don't think it tops the Japanese one for me... I just love the pinkish dusk colour, I think it feels perfect for the film.

I really hope this film gets a Blu Ray release, the menu on that could be amazing!!
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Postby samwright8380 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:53 pm

I just got the HD DVD version the other day (specifically picked up the player for this title). The menu/interface differs considerably from any other version in that the main menu consists of a standard Universal HDDVD interface with a montage of various clips from the movie playing in the centre part of the screen. This continues through to the chapter selection screen. I'll attempt to post some examples, but being an obsolete format there aren't any screen captures available, so i'll have to get my camera out.
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Cryogenic
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Postby Cryogenic » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:57 pm

samwright8380 wrote:I just got the HD DVD version the other day (specifically picked up the player for this title). The menu/interface differs considerably from any other version in that the main menu consists of a standard Universal HDDVD interface with a montage of various clips from the movie playing in the centre part of the screen. This continues through to the chapter selection screen. I'll attempt to post some examples, but being an obsolete format there aren't any screen captures available, so i'll have to get my camera out.


Good stuff, sam!

Out of interest, how is the HD-DVD transfer?

I read a few reviews and none were too impressed. While they didn't slate the disc, per se, they all seemed disappointed with the muted colours and film grain -- but that's LIT!

I actually think LIT (in HD) could be a strong test of HD equipment. The reason I say this is because it has such a subtle look. Digital technology is not known for its subtlety, so the closer it can recapture the essence of an analogue source, the better, and the more LIT is liable to demonstrate that ability or not.

Anyway, I'd like to see those captures! I don't see any issue in having as many menu systems presented in here as possible. As I tried to make clear from the outset, this isn't confined to just the Region 2 DVD!
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HD DVD quality

Postby hannidan » Tue May 12, 2009 4:09 pm

Well, I'll throw my two cents in.

I also have a HD-DVD player and although I first bought a standard resolution DVD of LIT I went out and got the HD version when I bought the HD player.

The resolution quality, in HD, varies dramatically from one scene to the next. I think this is due more to the generally low lighting and muted colors in most of the scenes, than any transfer quality problem. When it works, the "you're really there" feeling is quite dramatic and appreciated, but I'd guestimate that in more than half the scenes the causal observer won't notice any difference between the two formats.

The story and mood of LIT are what we all love so much about this movie, and these things are really not a function of resolution.

When I watch LIT do I pull out the HD version? You bet, but I really don't think those of you without an HD-DVD player are missing that much.

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Postby Ben-B » Thu May 14, 2009 10:19 pm

Itd intersting to see the Japanese version's menu design. It feels more excitable in a romantic way. Both the US and Japan versions feel feminine in character actually, but the US version retians the feeling of isolation/seperation.

The focus is of course on the photographic images, which stick with you long after seeing the film. This has been sucessfully carried out in the design of the menu, which includes some full screen images as backgrounds and perfectly framed chapter thumbnails.

Thermoptic says that the dark atmosphere does'nt fit, which is interesting because this is categorised as a romantic comedy. And romantic comedies in general have a standardized bright and cheerful aesthetic. In this regard the director had taken a risk with her visual style.

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Postby nathan » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:35 pm

ForRelaxingTimes wrote:If there was only some way to make the DVD intro a screen saver. Just have the background with the blinking lights. So entrancing.

i have been trying to find a way to do this for years...


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