The picture quality on this BFI "restoration" is a disgrace. It was so bad, I was actually angry watching the film. Yes, there is fine detail here but the image is chock full of print damage with flickering, vertical white lines throughout, accompanied by an overly bright image that gives a drab greyscale of no real blacks and no real whites. My anger then worsened when I switched on the restoration featurette to hear the nerve of the BFI actually saying the image quality wasn't cleaned up properly because it "wouldn't have looked right" and would have "compromised the age and authenticity of the film" (actual quotes). What an unbelievable, patronising thing to say, put up against the superb restoration work done by the people at Eureka and Criterion. I mean, what are those latter two video labels thinking by making old films look pristine and beautiful again? They should hang their heads in shame!! The BFI know best! Maybe Eureka and Criterion should start releasing their new Blu-rays with the prints looking as though they've been dragged along the floor of a pine forest and through the occasional muddy puddle. As the BFI might say... that's the way to do it!
I'll leave you with this verbatim final quote from the restoration featurette by Paul Collard, Vice-President of Film & Digital Services at the BFI. He says...
"We're very, very sensitive to how much restoration we do, and it all comes down to experience of knowing what to leave in and what to take out".
Well, in that case, Paul, maybe it's about time you and your team were taken out of all future restorations at the BFI, as it seems you have little regard for film restoration and little regard for the people waiting to buy your product. You should be ashamed of yourself!