Okay, I admit it. I am a complete widescreen snob. Those of you who know me personally, know I absolutely refuse to watch any fullscreen format film that has been butchered by the pan-and-scan process, a method of adjusting widescreen film images, so they can be shown within the proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen.
This totally wicked process often crops off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects, losing almost 50 percent of the director's original vision and intentions. Not only is a good portion of the film hacked off, but the smoothness and continuity of the filming is lost because the pan-and-scan method is constantly jumping around to keep the main person or object in the screen. And did I mention, since it is cut down to fit the size of a TV screen, the image is also stretched vertically, losing much of the crisp clarity of the original film. So, not only are you missing half the movie, you are watching it out of focus, as well. Why would anyone in their right mind want to watch a movie like this?
Have you noticed that most of the movies shown on cable TV premium stations are shown in full screen format? (Not my favorite Turner Classic Movies, however; my dreamy friend Robert Osborne is far too classy to allow it. And most movies made before 1951 were not filmed in widescreen format, anyway.) What in the world are the cable stations thinking? I, for one, am certainly not going to watch any hacked up films.
So, there you have it, in a nutshell, my bloggy friends. I am an ultra stickler on this little subject and now you know why. Here is a video clip further explaining widescreen format vs. pan-and-scan.