Lindsay Anderson's "If..."

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bradley Newton, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. eric tengren

    eric tengren Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't understand why these great British films are not on dvd.IF... Performance, I know the BFI re released them in theaters in the last couple years. wheres the dvd's?
     
  2. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    I would draw a sharp distinction between Elephant and If... in terms of the political ideology (for lack of a better term) behind each film. If..., as a product of the counterculture Sixties, can very well be seen as openly endorsing reactionary violence by the students in its story, whereas Elephant is more of a contemporary cautionary tale about school violence.

    Granted, as you say If... is surreal and allegorical, and is a product of a time when the political message it presents was very relevant. However, I can easily see how the current hypersensitive PC attitude that informs many decisions of big media conglomerates (such as film studios) could be holding back the release of such a potentially controversial film. I'm not saying that this is absolutely the reason for the delay, only that it might be possible.

    Oh and I would also love to see This Sporting Life re-released in Region 1. I just missed out on the previous release before it went OOP, and have been kicking myself because it is really hard to find, even on Ebay.
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    If If... could be released in theaters as a whiff of genuine revolution was in the air, as students were rioting in Paris, indeed, student protests were getting progressively more violent in the U.S., London, well, across the globe really, I honestly doubt Paramount is concerned that a comparitively minor event such as the DVD release of a 37-years-old movie to a bunch of film buffs could spark something more potentially revolutionary today.

    Good grief, there's more likely to be student barracades on the street should George Lucas screw around (again) with Star Wars.

    Honestly, it just can't be that. BTW, sign the If.... petition.
     
  4. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    I don't disagree with your logic. In all practicality, it is a relatively obscure title for Paramount to worry about. Still, the studios sometimes have a very quirky mindset in their decision making process about what and what not to release. For the reasons mentioned in Bruce's post, I also find it very unlikely that music rights are the holdup.

    So to sum up, it's really anybody's guess why the heck this still hasn't been released.
     
  5. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  6. Bradley Newton

    Bradley Newton Stunt Coordinator

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    While I wait for it on DVD, I wish a remastered version would at least be shown somewhere on cable. I don't believe I have ever seen it aired on television. My VHS is really terribly dark and muddy. It's a tape from the age before digital mastering. And it's frustrating when there is a movie like "if...." that you really want to turn your friends onto but the only available copy is barely viewable. You can't even read the quote at the beginning. The words are just a blurry red mess.
     
  7. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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    What political difficulties could possibly affect O Lucky Man ?? Maybe it's the coffee sellers cartel... [​IMG]

    "Chocolate sandwich, chocolate sandwich..."
     
  8. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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    That struck me as weird too. My best guess is that "political difficulties" refers to some sort of internal politics with the rights holders, not necessarily "politics" in the broader sense of the term.
     
  9. andrew markworthy

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    John, with respect, I'm not sure how thrilling and exciting the sixties were outside a tiny coterie of London-based media types. Lindsay Anderson may have thought he was making a revolutionary statement by banging on about how beastly public school was and how it was an allegory of how that made him working class (or something), but the only reason Joe Public went to see If... was because there was a brief glimpse of nipples and pubic hair.

    Okay, I grant you that in Paris things were slightly different. But that is par for the course for the place. Every few years the local citizenry winkle out the cobblestones to shy at the local gendarmes (viz the recent riots). In the UK, barring a few protests about Hans Eysenck giving a lecture on inheritability of intelligence, the trouble was minimal. If ... might have got a few media people excited, but face it, that particular group can get excited over a change in hem length.

    None of which is to deny that If... is a great movie, and I agree, it should be released.
     
  10. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I quite agree. Well, it wasn't exciting at all in sunny Lancashire; I was going to add the caveat that the 'whiff of revolution' turned out to be all smoke and mirrors anyway, but I was going OT enough anyway.

    I might add that the film didn't make me want to take up arms, but rather instilled an inordinate fear that freshers sleeping with senior pupils might be somehow madatory (not that I was bound for public school myself.)

    I do hope that the 'politics' turns out to be internal; the thoughts that this involves some post-Columbine political correctness makes me feel rather queasy...
     
  11. andrew markworthy

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    Friends of mine who went to public school insist that this aspect of public school life was grossly overplayed (at least by the seventies).

    In my case, when I first saw the film aged 17 (in 1977) it instilled in me a sense of envy. I really fancied the idea of machine gunning the toffs and bonking waitresses. The headmaster's wife wandering the corridors in the nude was icing on the cake. Since I was supposed to go to public school but in the end plumped for the local grammar I had one of those 'did I make the right decision?' moments. [In fairness the grammar did give me a good education, even if I never got to machine gun anyone].
     
  12. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Hmmm; maybe I should have a better education - would have helped me spell 'mandatory'. [​IMG]
     
  13. Bradley Newton

    Bradley Newton Stunt Coordinator

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    Criterion is apparently releasing "if..." in June. David Ehrenstein has written the liner notes.
    This is the best news I have heard this year.
    I hope they were able to use the commentary track that McDowell and David Sherwin recorded in October 2002 for the Paramount release that never happened. Lancelot Narayan, who worked on the track said, "I've just finished working with Dave Smithers over at LipSync Post on editing the Audio Commentary for Lindsay Anderson's If.... I recorded that in Los Angeles with Malcolm McDowell. It's coming out in June 2003. Look out for it, it's one of the best commentary tracks you'll ever hear."
    Now if Warner would just get to "O Lucky Man!" then I will be a lucky man indeed!
     
  14. Philo MacDuff

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    FANTASTIC!
     
  15. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    So now Paramount is officially on board.
     
  16. Bradley Newton

    Bradley Newton Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello Joel...yeah I guess Paramount is on board.
    From what I understand this all happened as part of a deal that Criterion made with Paramount in negotiations for the rights to "Robinson Crusoe on Mars".
    Despite my frustrations with the hold-up of the proposed Paramount release, I'm thrilled that Criterion is releasing "if..."
    I think they will do a bang-up job with it. My favorite Criterion release to date is Peter Medak's "The Ruling Class" and I will be excited to see what goodies are attached to this release.
     
  17. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    Can someone please supply a source for this great news about Criterion?

    If... and RCOM are 2 of the 3 remaining titles on my Paramount "wish list", the third being The Naked Prey. Hey, maybe Criterion can grab that one as well!
     
  18. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    What is so special about IF ?
     
  19. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Apparantly the source is the Criterion Newsletter, which I don't get.
     
  20. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    I have learned that this disc will have a number of interesting supplements, however the McDowell/Sherwin track will not be a part of it. Apparently, Sherwin is not well and rarely leaves his home these days. From the sound of it, though, I don't think people will be disappointed with what is being compiled/produced for the Criterion edition.
     

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