Technicolor, Paramount's VistaVision Technicolor no less, was to color film nothing short of spectacular. Add this phenomenon of saturation to one of the most beautiful faces in cinema and you have pure heaven, which is pretty much how I would describe the newly DCP restoration of Stanley Donen's 1957 film version of the Gershwin Broadway musical, Funny Face. I hadn't seen this film anywhere but on a television. A viewer can miss a lot on a small screen in a visually stunning musical like this. From Richard Avedon's opening sequence design, to the beautiful Givenchy wardrobe, late '50s Paris, or the flawlessness of Ms. Hepburn's face (already in her thirties, she still looks like a young ingenue), Funny Face has never been more stunning. At least to someone who wasn't around yet to catch the 35mm original 1957 release in the theater
This Digital Cinema Package (DCP) restoration brings its content to the audience by broadband connection or hard drive. A DCP projection offers a considerable amount more resolution than that of a DVD or Blu-ray. I don't know the details of this restoration, but I'm guessing that I didn't see a newly restored 35mm print at Film Forum because sadly, film projection is becoming a thing of the past (although I know Film Forum still has film projections. Just generally speaking...)
It seems odd to me that some restorations don't end up on film, but rather compressed and encrypted data, but I suppose the important thing is that work is preserved and restored. I've read that some digital restorations include the grainy look of film to be as true to the original as possible and that seems important. I would think that part of the trick with DCP restoration is making sure those data files don't age out of use the way almost any other other format does. A studio like Paramount most likely keeps up on contemporary codecs and will upgrade their DCPs as each type of digital file becomes dated. Other restorations done by independent artists or archive houses, with little to no funding, are more at risk by doing DCP restorations, in my opinion. If you ask me, in an ideal restoration world, there would always be a restored film print for archive AND a DCP for presentation (one that is maintained by a archive that keeps up on codecs). What's great about film is that you can always go back to it as long as it's properly taken care of.
Without getting any more technical though, I have to say the Funny Face restoration is remarkable and that is saying a lot, considering this movie is known for it's production design, couture wardrobe and remarkable cast. This DCP restoration surpassed my expectations. After all that's what these screen gems are for - to be seen and in this case - seen big. It's even better when they can be viewed as they were originally intended, in a theater, in all it's vibrant glory. With this kind of high resolution Astaire looks even older than Hepburn than I had remembered, but 'Think Pink' made me almost like pink.