A Few Words About A few words about...™ Funny Girl -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Supporting Actor

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    I think it looks and sounds gorgeous. My only criticism is that I wish they had put a few more chapter markers at the beginning of musical numbers. Some are at the beginning, while others ("My Man", for example) starts at the beginning of the scene the number is in. Sometimes I just don't have time to watch the entire film but I would like to watch just a few of the songs. The "South Pacific" blu-ray has a "songs only" option which is nice.
     
  2. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Oops, you're right I meant to say Hello Dolly was in Todd-AO and typed Funny girl.
     
  3. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    There is nothing wrong with your settings. Funny Girl has always sounded this way. Dialog was often not pinned to the center channel in the old days as it is now. Funny Girl dialog appears to be spread across the front soundstage, strongest in the center, and with very little directionality.
     
  4. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

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    The French Blu-Ray looks great, also the version on VUDU! (Funny Face).
     
  5. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    So does the Australian release as far as friends tell me.
     
  6. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    I watched Funny Face on VUDU last year. The "HDX" version is sourced from an old master, with plenty of DNR and edge enhancement issues. It has nice colors and is watchable, but it's no restoration.
     
  7. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    Just saw this Blu-ray and all I have to say is wow! Absolutely beautiful.
     
  8. hconwell

    hconwell Auditioning

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    Robert - I'm not sure you indicated ... but what was the source material for this 4K scan? ONeg? I ask because I just watched about half of it and, to my eye, it almost looks like it was a scan of a very good condition IB print.
     
  9. Malcolm Bmoor

    Malcolm Bmoor Stunt Coordinator

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    Please don't take this as informed information but maybe 15 years ago The London Film Festival showed a new IB print from an extensive restoration from overused elements. It looked sensational and were that to be the source of the present Blu-ray I doubt that anyone would have cause for dissatisfaction.
     
  10. Cineman

    Cineman Stunt Coordinator

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    Just got my copy of Funny Girl yesterday and, as reported here, it looks and sounds beautiful. I have to say that, large screen, lights out and sound cranked, this Blu-ray recalls the feeling I had sitting in my reserved seat for the roadshow run at a top big city movie house as well if not better than any Blu-ray I've ever seen.

    IMO, Barbra puts in one of the most Oscar-worthy performances of all time in this one. I remember she was so new, so unconventional, to the point of being thought "bizarre" by many. One went to see Funny Girl in those days knowing there would be a segment of the audience, probably dragged there kicking and screaming by friends or relatives as I did with a few of mine at the time, who made it known in no uncertain terms they just did not "get" Barbra Streisand, couldn't for the life of them understand how anyone could sit and listen to her or look at her face for the length of a song or two on television much less for over two hours on a giant theater screen. There was definitely a sprinkling of an "Ok...show me" vibe in those early audiences after so much had been made of her first screen appearance. And I was going to the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California, where one might think there was a wider acceptance of someone new and different!

    But Barbra always, and I mean always, won them over within the first 30 minutes of this movie. Tension and uncertainty at first, even annoyance at her strange entrance, the prolonged silence, the machine gun bit. What the hell is she up to? 2 1/2 more hours of this? Then, somewhere in the middle of "I'm The Greatest Star" it happens. You could feel the sea change in the house. It was definitely palpable by the end of her roller skate dance and, certainly, by the end of "I'd Rather Be Blue". By the end of "People", the deal was sealed, we were all in love with Barbra Streisand, most of continuing that love affair to this very day.

    Interesting thing about her Oscar win and the tie with Kathrine Hepburn, who was terrific in The Lion in Winter and deserved the Oscar for that performance, too! Assuming Hepburn was true to her infamous rather anti-Oscar/anti-Actors Competition form and didn't bother to vote at all, and assuming Barbra Streisand did vote for herself after being inducted in the Academy as a voting member so soon in her film career (I admit I don't know the official word on this but I had understood that even a nomination didn't automatically qualify someone to become a voting member of AMPAS after a single film contribution...maybe someone here can clarify or correct that impression if it is wrong), the unavoidable conclusion is it was Barbra Streisand's own vote for herself that put an Oscar in her hand that night. Had Hepburn voted for herself and/or Streisand not voted for herself because she was not a voting member or whatever, the Oscar would have gone to Hepburn alone and we never would have known how close it came to going to Streisand as well. Or Streisand alone.

    I wonder if that detail, a first time actress winning the Oscar where it is so publicly known that it was probably her own vote that made it so, has contributed to a sort of love-hate relationship with the industry over the decades. After all these years it still seems like the jury is undecided in some circles on Barbra Streisand the actress and filmmaker. As it turned out, that Oscar tie was more a statement of a split decision about her than an enveloping embrace in ways that other, presumed clearer Oscar wins would not, and I suspect some of that lingers to this very day.
     
  11. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    I just got the Australian release (part of the 'Audrey Timeless' collection along with "Tiffany's" and "Sabrina") but haven't got around to watching it yet...
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ms Hepburn's name is Katharine.Anthony Harvey, who directed Lion in Winter, and accepted on behalf of Ms Hepburn, stepped on Ms Streisand's dress at the podium...and tore it.He felt awful.RAH
     
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  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Source material is essentially the original camera negative, as the intent here was to create a full-scare 4k restoration. And yes, the new Blu-ray looks very much like an original dye transfer print.

    RAH
     
  14. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't this restoration at least partially instigated by Miss Barbra herself? I think I read somewhere that she contacted Sony about running off a new copy of "Funny Girl" for her own collection, and that Barbra alerted lab techs about the bad condition of the film?
     
  15. Cineman

    Cineman Stunt Coordinator

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    I have no idea how accurate this report is, but it does suggest that a membership with voting rights was the source of some grumbling about her winning in a tie at the time. (?)

    Oscars Rewind: Memories of Barbra Streisand's Many Encounters With Academy Awards
    By Steve Pond | The Wrap – Fri, Feb 15, 2013
    http://movies.yahoo.com/news/oscars-rewind-memories-barbra-streisands-many-encounters-academy-015515719.html
     
  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I knew that Streisand's membership had been hurried through the process and that she was able to vote during her own Oscar season. What ISN'T known is what Katharine Hepburn did with her ballot. Yes, she was notoriously indifferent to awards, but who's to say she didn't give the ballot to her companion at the time or her brother or her niece? If so, she certainly wouldn't have been the first Academy member who didn't mark his own ballot.
     
  17. AdrianTurner

    AdrianTurner Banned

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    Funny Girl is a funny musical. In fact, it’s rather strange. Take Part Two. It’s not a musical at all, just a rather dreary melodrama. You’d never know a master director was behind the camera. I don’t think there’s more than one-and-a-half songs in Part Two and there’s something weird about those - the Swan Lake thing and the My Man finale are both played out in the Ziegfeld Theater and yet the audience never laughs and never applauds. Didn’t anyone notice that?
    Musicals generally have characters who sing with each other, to each other, at each other. Think of any musical you like - The Band Wagon, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, South Pacific, Evita, Mamma Mia - and all the characters sing and perhaps dance. This isn’t the case with Funny Girl. All the songs are performed by La Streisand and all of them are crammed into Part One.
    Usually the leading man and the leading lady will share the songs. But here Omar Sharif doesn’t ever sing - well maybe four words about Sadie. This would be OK if Streisand only sang in the musical theater scenes. But she doesn’t. She also sings in the dramatic scenes with Sharif. People don’t do that in real life unless your partner also sings which takes real life into the unreal musical life.
    I don’t know of any other musical in which this sort of thing happens. Personally, I think Funny Girl is a strangely unbalanced, unstructured, flawed and confused mess. Part One is great, Part Two isn’t.
    Fortunately, the Blu-ray is absolutely stunning all the way through!
     
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  18. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    He does sing a large portion of "You Are Woman, I Am Man" which you have not mentioned. But otherwise, it's true that Nicky's other song from the stage version ("I Wanna Be Seen With You Tonight") has been eliminated along with Eddie Ryan's and Mama Brice's other songs.

    Streisand does sing the (new to the film) title song in the second half of the movie giving the second act four numbers.
     
  19. Cineman

    Cineman Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with you that the second half is weaker than the first half. That is one of the reasons I think Oliver! deserved the Best Picture Oscar over Funny Girl that year despite the fact that Funny Girl is one of my favorite movies while Oliver! is not. However, I can't extend that criticism to agree with you that it is a "confused mess". I just think the first half is SO terrific it is very hard to top after the Intermission...save for Barbra's final rendition of My Man, which, IMO, generates a second half/final movie impression that is stronger and more emotionally effective than 90% of all movies ever made. And I have to believe several elements that went into that second half, Nick's crisis of confidence and Fannie's recognition of the limits to her personal power to deal with it, contributed significantly to it the effectiveness of that final impression.

    Truthfully, the second half drop off in Funny Girl is not nearly as precipitous as the second half drop off in one of my other favorite movies of all time, Lawrence of Arabia. Is it heresy to criticize LOA for a weak post-Intermission second "half" and finale? Well, I cannot tell a lie, for me the post-Intermission section of LOA looks and sounds like it wasn't even written and directed by the same intelligent, insightful and brilliant people as the first half. Maybe the post-initial release edits had something to do with that but, having seen as complete a reconstruction as possible over the years, I have to say it didn't get much better in my experience.

    Again, as it is for me with Funny Girl, I cannot say my problem with the post-Intermission Lawrence of Arabia extends so far as to dismiss it as a seriously flawed movie because, also similar to Funny Girl, I believe that second half issue is made more obvious because the first half is SO terrific.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Your problem with the second part of Aurens may be partially based upon the fact that it concerns his downfall,
    and is quite depressing.

    RAH
     

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