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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
275

The Criterion Collection, Boutique Labels & Film Classics
Topic by: Eoliano
Posted: January 5, 2006 - 1:47 PM PST
Last Reply: January 29, 2007 - 3:50 PM PST

page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  >>      prev | next
author topic: The Criterion Collection, Boutique Labels & Film Classics
artifex
post #181  on May 16, 2006 - 6:44 PM PDT  
> On May 16, 2006 - 5:55 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> _
> Randy Miller reviews Barbara Kopple's Harlan County, USA at DVD Talk.
>
> "Any way you slice itHarlan County, USA is a fascinating film that's been given an impressive treatment on DVD. From an excellent technical presentation to a host of informative bonus features, this is one well-rounded DVD package that documentary fans can't afford to miss. Though Criterion's price tag may scare off a few budget conscious buyers, those well aware of the company's track record know that they're well worth the price of admission. From top to bottom, Harlan County, USA is bound to be one of this year's better one-disc packages in any genre. Very, very Highly Recommended."
> ---------------------------------

Odd. GC shows it as a two-disc package.
Eoliano
post #182  on May 16, 2006 - 8:44 PM PDT  
> Odd. GC shows it as a two-disc package.

Heheh, an obvious error though I'm sure that they'll correct it now that you pointed it out.
Eoliano
post #183  on May 16, 2006 - 8:47 PM PDT  
_
MoC #33
SHOESHINE
(Vittorio De Sica, 1946)

Italy | 1.33:1 OAR | 89 minutes | Date of release: August 2006

Directed by Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D), Shoeshine was filmed on location in postwar Rome using non-professional actors. It was inspired by the real stories of those struggling to overcome the oppressive forces of a corrupt and ineffective political system.

De Sica's film depicts the troubled lives of two young boys caught up in the chaos of a world plagued by poverty and unemployment. Giuseppe (Rinaldo Smordoni) and Pasquale (Franco Interlenghi) work on the street, where they shine the shoes of American troops. They dream of a better life, seeking solace in a horse that they ride to escape their harsh reality. When the boys are implicated in a petty crime, they are punished by the society that has robbed them of their innocence, resulting in tragic consequences.

Shoeshine is widely regarded as one of the finest films to have emerged from the Italian neorealist cinema. It was also the first foreign film to receive an Oscar. "The high quality of this motion picture," noted the Academy, "brought to eloquent life in a country scarred by war, is proof to the world that the creative spirit can triumph over adversity." On the film's 60th anniversary, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Shoeshine for the first time on DVD in the UK.

S P E C I A L F E A T U R E S
New progressive transfer from a new restoration
Full length audio commentary by Bert Cardullo (author of Vittorio De Sica: Director, Actor, Screenwriter)
New and improved optional English subtitles
36-page booklet featuring the writing of Vittorio De Sica, James Agee, Pauline Kael, and Bert Cardullo
Eoliano
post #184  on May 17, 2006 - 9:11 AM PDT  
_
DVD Beaver reviews Maurice Pialat's À nos amours

"I was very impressed with this transfer. It has the most film-like appearance of any recent Criterion release that I can recall... The colors have a soft pallet buoyancy, detail is excellent and it is very consistent. Nice to see the 1.66 ratio done properly. Really this is a pristine DVD image in my opinion. From the extras I especially enjoyed the interviews of Bonnaire and Breillat but all have something worthwhile to offer. I'm sure may will enjoy The Human Eye documentary. This package is very complete and a the supplements are a valued addition to appreciating this rather complexly motivated piece of cinema."
underdog
post #185  on May 17, 2006 - 2:38 PM PDT  
> On May 16, 2006 - 8:44 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Odd. GC shows it as a two-disc package.
>
> Heheh, an obvious error though I'm sure that they'll correct it now that you pointed it out.
> ---------------------------------

Thanks guys - yep - we got overeager on that one. Guess it's just so rare these days for Criterion to release something that's "only" one disc. ;-) We'll make the correction soon...

woozy
post #186  on May 17, 2006 - 2:41 PM PDT  
> On May 12, 2006 - 1:52 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> _
Just watched this the night before last. Very nice transfer. Didn't listen to commentary (I never do). Don't know what what comments on a DVD when the movie is supposedly known (although I hadn't seen it before). But the transfer and sound quality were superb!
Eoliano
post #187  on May 17, 2006 - 6:46 PM PDT  
> Thanks guys - yep - we got overeager on that one. Guess it's just so rare these days for Criterion to release something that's "only" one disc. ;-) We'll make the correction soon...

Single discs are not all that rare, however, single disc special editions are not as common as they once were. Unless I'm mistaken, À nos amours is on one disc as well.

> Just watched this the night before last. Very nice transfer. Didn't listen to commentary (I never do). Don't know what what comments on a DVD when the movie is supposedly known (although I hadn't seen it before). But the transfer and sound quality were superb!

It's a great film, perhaps my favorite Truffaut, and certainly one his best. Well-known or not, the commentaries often are immensely informative but by no means obligatory. Actually, there are two commentaries on this disc, one by film scholar Brian Stonehill and another by Truffaut's lifelong friend, Robert Lachenay.
Eoliano
post #188  on May 17, 2006 - 6:55 PM PDT  
_
DVD Beaver reviews Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused

"The image is pristine. Colors, contrast - everything is excellent. I see no flaws whatsoever. I was surprised that there are no, usual, optional subtitles but that is the only black mark on this stacked package. I realize there are other digital editions of this film previously available but, although we don't own them to compare, I highly doubt any could touch this image. The extras are extensive and I honestly have not waded through all of them yet, but the Linklater commentary is excellent.

Criterion also released Linklater's Slacker in 2004 and this is a companion piece for it. Many will mock it, but viewing it first would be the first step to appreciating it. It is a modern examination - akin to an homage - of the 70's with commentary on communication easily ranking it as one of the most important teen films ever made. Give it a spin before you start criticizing."
woozy
post #189  on May 17, 2006 - 10:12 PM PDT  
> On May 17, 2006 - 6:46 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> It's a great film, perhaps my favorite Truffaut, and certainly one his best.

It *was* a terrific film. How to judge this disc as opposed to say another disk with the same film, I'm not sure but I just wanted to say that I had recently watched it and it was terrific.
Eoliano
post #190  on May 18, 2006 - 10:34 AM PDT  
> It *was* a terrific film. How to judge this disc as opposed to say another disk with the same film, I'm not sure but I just wanted to say that I had recently watched it and it was terrific.

Well, you would have to have seen the old Fox Lorber disc or the earlier Criterion edition (now OOP) to make comparisons, or if you are interested, check out Gary Tooze's comparison at DVD Beaver. This new disc is the same disc included in The Adventures of Antoine Doinel boxset, but sans the short, Antoine and Colette, that was part of the omnibus film, Love at Twenty.
Eoliano
post #191  on May 18, 2006 - 10:48 AM PDT  
Pietro Germi's Seduced and Abandoned Announced for August!

_
Synopsis
Shotgun weddings, kidnapping, attempted murder, emergency dental work--the things Don Vincenzo (Saro Urzì) will do to restore his family's honor! Pietro Germi's Seduced and Abandoned (Sedotta e abbandonata) was the follow-up to his international sensation Divorce Italian Style, and in many ways its even more audacious--a rollicking yet raw series of escalating comic calamities that ensue in a small village when sixteen-year-old Agnese (the beautiful Stefania Sandrelli) loses her virginity at the hands of her sister's lascivious fiancé. Merciless and mirthful, Seduced and Abandoned skewers Sicilian social customs and pompous patriarchies with a sly, devilish grin.

Special Features
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
New interviews with screenwriters Furio Scarpelli and Luciano Vincenzoni and Italian film scholar Mario Sesti
Interviews with Stefania Sandrelli and Lando Buzzanca
Stefania Sandrelli screen test
New and improved English subtitle translation
A new essay by film scholar Irene Bignardi

About the Transfer
Seduced and Abandoned is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This new high-definition digital transfer was created on a C-Reality Telecine from the 35mm original negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System. To maintain optimal image quality through the compression process, the picture on this dual-layer DVD-9 was encoded at the highest-possible bit rate for the quantity of material included. The soundtrack was mastered at 24-bit from the 35mm dual-band optical track print, and audio restoration tools were used to reduce clicks, pops, hiss, and crackle.
artifex
post #192  on May 19, 2006 - 10:39 AM PDT  
> On May 17, 2006 - 6:46 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> Single discs are not all that rare, however, single disc special editions are not as common as they once were. Unless I'm mistaken, À nos amours is on one disc as well.

Fists in the Pocket also is only one, right? Or is it not a special edition? If it's only one disc, though, that track listing looks weird. :)
Eoliano
post #193  on May 19, 2006 - 5:48 PM PDT  
> Fists in the Pocket also is only one, right? Or is it not a special edition? If it's only one disc, though, that track listing looks weird. :)

That's correct, it's a single disc and not a SE. Running time is 108 minutes, but haven't a clue about those additional tracks (1 - 7) listed on the bottom of the additional details page.

I haven't seen the disc as yet because it's still a bloody request title. What's with that?
Eoliano
post #194  on May 19, 2006 - 6:03 PM PDT  
_
DVD Savant Glenn Erickson reviews Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows at DVD Talk.

"Criterion's great 2-disc set of Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows has a smooth enhanced transfer that retains the nuances and gradients of a 35mm print: It just looks splendid. The beautifully recorded Miles Davis score is an inspired accompaniment; it's a popular seller separately on CD.

Disc producer Abbey Lustgarten has lined up excellent interview extras. A really good Canadian piece covers director Malle's entire period from film school to Elevator to the Gallows. That includes his stint as an assistant to Robert Bresson, the film director he most respected. Star Maurice Ronet is seen in a short 1957 interview and a new interview with pianist René Urtreger gives us more insight into Miles Davis' contribution.

The best interview is a new sit-down with Jeanne Moreau, in English. She tells us the whole story in intimate terms, even admitting (in a respectful way) to having an affair with Malle during the filming.

The disc also has footage of Miles Davis creating his unique jazz soundtrack, which was improvised in one all-night recording session. Jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and critic Gary Giddins discuss the unusual score on another featurette.

Finally, Louis Malle's 1954 student film Crazeologie, a rather cute Theater of the Absurd piece, makes a welcome extra. The thick insert booklet contains an essay by Terrence Rafferty, an interview with director Malle and a tribute by his younger brother, producer Vincent Malle."

Correction: Stuart Galbraith IV reviews Vittorio De Sica's The Children Are Watching Us at DVD Talk.
underdog
post #195  on May 19, 2006 - 6:12 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2006 - 5:48 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > Fists in the Pocket also is only one, right? Or is it not a special edition? If it's only one disc, though, that track listing looks weird. :)
> I haven't seen the disc as yet because it's still a bloody request title. What's with that?
> ---------------------------------

What's up with that is, alas, that the distributor we'd bought that one from had it on back order; we're giving up and ordering it elsewhere for a.s.a.p. availability. Sorry for the delay!
Eoliano
post #196  on May 19, 2006 - 6:25 PM PDT  
> What's up with that is, alas, that the distributor we'd bought that one from had it on back order; we're giving up and ordering it elsewhere for a.s.a.p. availability. Sorry for the delay!

Excellent! Was your original order with Image?
Eoliano
post #197  on May 19, 2006 - 6:35 PM PDT  
Noah Baumbach's Kicking and Screaming Announced for August!

_
Synopsis
Paralyzed by postgraduation ennui, a group of college friends remain on campus, patching together a community for themselves in order to deny the real-world futures awaiting them. Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Noah Baumbach's hilarious and touching directorial debut was one of the highlights of the American independent film scene of the nineties, speaking directly to a generation of adults-to-be unable to reconcile their hermetic educational experience with workaday responsibility, and posing the eternal question, where do we go from here? Stingingly funny and incisive, Baumbach's breakthrough features endlessly quotable dialogue, delivered by a stellar ensemble cast.

Special Features
New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Noah Baumbach
New Dolby Digital 5.1 audio remix
New video interview with writer-director Baumbach
New video conversations featuring Baumbach and cast members Chris Eigeman, Josh Hamilton, and Carlos Jacott
Rare deleted scenes
Conrad and Butler in Conrad and Butler Take a Vacation, a short film from 2000, directed by Baumbach and starring Kicking and Screaming cast members Carlos Jacott and John Lehr
Brief 1995 interviews with Baumbach and the cast, originally broadcast on IFC
Theatrical trailer
A new essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum

About the Transfer
Kicking and Screaming is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Director Noah Baumbach supervised and approved this new high-definition digital transfer, which was created on a Spirit Datacine from a 35mm interpositive. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System. To maintain optimal image quality through the compression process, the picture on this dual-layer DVD-9 was encoded at the highest-possible bit rate for the quantity of material included. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track was re-mixed and re-mastered at 24-bit from the original 35mm 4-track magnetic dialogue, music, and effects stems.
Eoliano
post #198  on May 23, 2006 - 12:28 PM PDT  
New York Film Festival Retrospective: 50 Years of Janus Films

September 30-October 27 at the Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center, New York

Complete list of films


The Phantom Carriage* Victor Sjöstrom, Sweden, 1921
Haxan Benjamin Christensen, Denmark, 1922
Zero for Conduct* Jean Vigo, France, 1933
The Crime of Monsieur Lange* Jean Renoir, France, 1935
Daybreak* Marcel Carné, France, 1939
Rules of the Game Jean Renoir, France, 1939
Day of Wrath Carl Dreyer, Denmark, 1943
Children of Paradise Marcel Carné, France, 1945
Orpheus Jean Cocteau, France, 1950
Miracle in Milan* Vittorio de Sica, Italy, 1951
The Earrings of Madame de...* Max Ophuls, France, 1953
Monika* Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1953
Sansho the Bailiff* Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954
La Strada Federico Fellini, Italy, 1954
Death of a Cyclist* Juan Antonio Bardem, Spain, 1955
The Cranes Are Flying Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR, 1957
The Seventh Seal Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1957
Ashes and Diamonds Andrzej Wajda, Poland, 1958
The Horse's Mouth Ronald Neame, England, 1958
Fires on the Plain* Kon Ichikawa, Japan, 1959
The 400 Blows and Antoine and Colette François Truffaut, France, 1959/1962
Le Trou Jacques Becker, France, 1960
Cléo from 5 to 7 Agnès Varda, France, 1961
Viridiana Luis Buñuel, Spain, 1961
L'Eclisse Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962
Knife in the Water Roman Polanski, Poland, 1962
I Compagni* Mario Monicelli, Italy, 1963
Kwaidan Masaki Kobayashi, Japan, 1964
W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism* Dusan Makavejev, Yugoslavia, 1971
Cria!* Carlos Saura, Spain, 1976

This series is our chance to salute 50 years of specialized film programming in New York and the United States. --Richard Pena, festival program director

We are proud to be able to show them in new prints on the bigscreen and delighted to partner with Janus Films and Criterion on this historic undertaking. --Kent Jones, retrospective curator

*not yet available on DVD
Eoliano
post #199  on May 23, 2006 - 1:18 PM PDT  
_
Stuart Galbraith IV reviews the new Criterion DVD of Yasujiro Ozu's Late Spring and Wim Weneders' Tokyo-ga at DVD talk.

Video & Audio

Late Spring is presented in what's become a controversial full-frame window-boxing presentation that adds a noticeable black frame around the outer edges of the image. The purpose of this is to allow viewers using standard 4:3 televisions, especially on sets with a tendency to overscan, to see the entire frame. Critics argue that this consideration penalizes those with current widescreen TVs that don't overscan by adding these distracting and unneeded black bars while reducing the overall size of the image. (Another concern I've not seen mentioned is whether the long-term use of these black bars will eventually "burn-in" on plasma TVs.) This reviewer definitely found the framing very distracting on his 16:9 TV, though eventually got used to it.

The movie itself, transferred from a fine-grain master positive and 35mm print, looks very good for an early postwar film. It shows its age, and there are strange, diagonal shadows that appear intermittently, possibly inherent to the original release, as if someone accidentally walked into the dark room as the film was being processed. Overall though the image is sharp and clear and the blacks and contrast are very strong. The optional English subtitles are fine.

Extra Features

Included is an entire second feature, Wim Wenders' mediation on Japan and Ozu, Tokyo-ga (1985). ("Why Tokyo-ga?" my Japanese wife asked. After the film was over we still didn't know the answer.) The 92-minute film, presented in an excellent full-frame transfer.

A great admirer of the Japanese director, Wenders' aim was to visit Japan in search of the Japan seen in Ozu's films, and includes two revealing interviews: one with actor Chishu Ryu, the other with Ozu's longtime cameraman, Yuharu Atsuta. The interviews take up only about 25% of the running time, and the rest of the picture consists of pretty aimless wandering by Wenders: watching businessmen enjoy a hanami (cherry blossom viewing & drinking party) at a cemetery, visiting a factory manufacturing the uncannily realistic imitation food used in the display windows of Japanese restaurants, a driving range for amateur golfers unable to pay the exorbitant membership fees charged at 18-hole courses, etc.

Richard Pena, program director of New York's Film Society of Lincon Center, provides an informed, mostly literary Audio Commentary.

A 21-page Booklet includes useful essays by Village Voice critic Michael Atkinson (Home with Ozu) and the great Ozu scholar Donald Richie (Ozu and Setsuko Hara, Ozu and Kogo Noda).

Parting Thoughts

Though some might accuse Late Spring of embracing (or criticizing) singularly Japanese traditions of marriage and family that have little relevance in the west, in fact like all of Ozu's best films Late Spring deals with universal concerns about the sad but inevitable break-up between parents and their children.
underdog
post #200  on May 23, 2006 - 4:53 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2006 - 6:25 PM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > What's up with that is, alas, that the distributor we'd bought that one from had it on back order; we're giving up and ordering it elsewhere for a.s.a.p. availability. Sorry for the delay!
>
> Excellent! Was your original order with Image?
> ---------------------------------


I'm sworn to secrecy on this, except I can say, no, it wasn't Image. :-)

Btw, Criterion putting out Equinox has got to be interesting. That film is incredibly low-budget but has a rabid cult following among horror and fantasy aficianados. I'm definitely queueing up for that one!
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