Coppola/Zoetrope version of Napoleon?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Keith Paynter, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Hello, Mr. Harris;

    Granted, this is a long shot, but do you foresee another opportunity to go back and revisit your restoration of Abel Gance's Napoleon, and have it issued in a presentation eventually suited for current DVD (or Blu-Ray) standards? Could it again see light of day under Universal Home Video?

    Thanks very much for your time.
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Yes, and to be correct, the film was reconstructed and restored by Kevin Brownlow.
    RAH
     
  3. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    My apologies - of course the restoration was Brownlow's, I should have said your edit of Brownlow's version, with the late Carmine Coppola's score. My understanding is that this is the only way that the film can be presented.

    It would be wonderful to have a more pristine looking edition, as the Region 2 and 4 DVD's (I have the R4 Australian release) appear to have been taken directly from the same masters that made the original videotapes and laserdiscs.

    Your answer, while understandably brief, is encouraging.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    No longer. There is now a joint effort to upgrade all elements for both cuts and scores.
    RAH
     
  5. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    I was at the presentation of this at Radio City...can't recall if it was the premiere or not. I also believe Carmine conducted the orchestra that played live to the film.

    What I do recall, and it was goose bumpy-ish...was when the curtains parted further during the Tryptloc (sp) scenes. The audience went wild!!!! Also, me "getting it" (what Gance was trying to get across) when the camera swinging scenes occured.
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Napoleon is my most-wanted film on DVD, so I'd love to see a proper DVD release eventually. Hopefully a comprehensive one since there's so much existing material like the behind-the-scenes footage, the interviews with Gance. Brownlow's book needs to come back into print since it's such a great read.
    Where are the rights now? It seems confusing given that I've seen copyright notices and credits for Universal, Images Film Archive, Zoetrope, StudioCanal, and the BFI.
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    That's absolutely splendid news. What is the current running time of the longest version Brownlow's been able to assemble thus far?
     
  8. Michael Fournier

    Michael Fournier Auditioning

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    Mr. Harris,

    I'm delighted to hear that work is underway to release this great film on DVD. I'm curious to know if you are in a position to say

    a) when such a dvd might become available

    b) whether a blu ray edition will also be released

    c) whether both the Coppola and Davis scores will be included in the package

    Thank you for all the wonderful work you do.
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Universal controls US and Canadian theatrical and home video rights with a recorded synchronized soundtrack.
    Studio Canal presently represents those same rights for foreign sale.
    The BFI holds UK rights.
     
  11. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Mr Harris, any news on the joint restoration ? Hopefully it's issued on Blu-Ray with both scores so that viewers can choose. I know it's a crazy shot, but last century, I suggested to Mr Brownlow that at one point, technology would be available making it easy to sync soundtracks taken from the various subsequent Gance sound versions, to a final restored version (thus making a third soundtrack option available). Now that would be a (crazy, I know), blast.

    Another alternative would be to compile as bonuses, all the "talky" reshoots Gance did on his masterpiece in 1934, 1955 and 1971.

    I think the story of how Gance missed the sound era by a few years, and tried to update his masterpiece, ruining it as the years went is as fascinating as the film itself. Definetely would be worth a huge making of.
     
  12. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    I've been wanting to see this film for years. I rarely blind buy a DVD/BD, but I think I would do so for this film if/when it makes it out.
     
  13. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    It would be good to produce a bonus for the blu-ray, a 25mn silent / sound version comparison feature showing the additional reshoots made half a decade later.
     
  14. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I have heard so much of this movie, yet never seen it.

    Awesome.

    Also bought Gance's La Roux, lved it
     
  15. AbbyNormal

    AbbyNormal Agent

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    I was there at Radio City the night that they brought the phone out with Gance on the other end at the conclusion and we just went crazy with cheers, applause and tears. It is still the greatest movie experience of my life and it has not been topped in almost 30 years.

    I've seen this masterpiece in 35mm triptych with live orchestra (twice), 35mm with the finale anamorphic, 70mm/6track at the Cinerama Dome and have the Australian DVD. No matter how I see it, I am transported back to that night in NYC and I always get goosepimples at the conclusion of the "La Marsailles" sequence-just brilliant.

    I hope that both scores are included in a US release-love Coppola's score and having heard Davis' score on CD, would love to hear it married to the film.
     
  16. Guest

    any updates?
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Quote:

    Stay tuned.

    RAH
     
  18. Guest

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/archives/napoleon_to_conquer_u.s._again/ -
    "Kevin Brownlow will present his five-and-a-half hour restoration, produced with Patrick Stanbury, his partner in Photoplay Productions, and the British Film Institute (BFI), at the enormous Paramount Theatre in Oakland on March 24, 25, 31, and April 1 of next year. Carl Davis will conduct his original score with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Tickets will go on sale on Monday at silentfilm.org, and you can watch a specially-prepared trailer HERE."
    [VIDEO]Abel Gance's Napoleon from San Francisco Silent Film Festiv on Vimeo.
    [/VIDEO]
     
  19. owen35

    owen35 Stunt Coordinator

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    Just read a post on the Criterion site stating that when Kevin Brownlow announced the event at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival press event, he mentioned that there were NO plans to put the film on DVD or Blu-Ray. This would be very disappointing news for those of us who have been waiting for a very long time for this film to be released. While I have tickets for the Oakland event, I don't want that to be the only--and very last time--I will be able to see this magnificent work.
     
  20. owen35

    owen35 Stunt Coordinator

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    There's a new FAQ on the silent film.org website about next month's screening of the 5 1/2 hour version. Lots of information about how much of a unique event this is going to be. The phrase "once-in-a-lifetime" does really apply here.
    One choice bit of information regarding a Blu-Ray release:
    But will there be a DVD and BluRay release of the restored version in the near future?
    No. The cost of recording the 5½ hour Carl Davis score is prohibitively expensive for the DVD/BluRay market… and of course you wouldn’t have the dramatic Polyvision finale that you’ll experience in the theater. The triptych would merely be letterboxed onto your television — no matter how big it is.
     

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