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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Todorov, Nov 8, 2001.
Ted, this is exciting news. I have had a pre-order for both boxes with Cinestore (thanks to a link you posted) since before Oct. 9 (the date originally announced for release). While it may be too late to receive the new boxes before Thanksgiving, hopefully we'll all be happy campers by Christmas.
By the way, Ted, I know you were also interested in the various import versions of 'Red', 'White', and 'Blue'. I have already received the UK DVD releases (released by 'Artificial Eye') of all three films from Blackstar.
Each DVD includes a feature called, as I remember (I'm at work now rather than home) 'Kieslowski masterclass'. On 'Red' the masterclass feature is quite short, probably less than 10-minutes, with footage consisting of Kieslowski sitting in front of an editing machine, analyzing three important scenes in the film: the scene where the dog runs into the church, followed by Irene Jacobs' character; the scene where Irene Jacobs' character finds the dog with the judge; and a later scene where Irene Jacobs' character confronts the judge in his study. Kieslowski speaks in Polish, but the feature is subtitled. He discusses each scene in depth, explaining why the scene is important to the film, and how the themes in each scene are reflected throughout the film.
Other features on 'Red' include interviews with the stars, and - best yet - a feature (omitted from the jacket description) called 'Kieslowski at Cannes', highlighted by an interview where Kieslowski (again in subtitles) expresses his opinions on life, film, and philosophy. Good stuff!
As for the film itself, the transfer was fine, although it appears to be full-frame (put simply, there were no black bars on my screen). In any case, I feel the features alone are virtually priceless -- I mean, it was the first time I've ever seen/heard Kieslowski on film.
No, no, no, no, these discs are definitely letterboxed, 16x9 enhanced, even! Check the TV format setting on your DVD player.
I saw the Three Colors trilogy at a local store, Kim's Video on St. Marks place, but the price ($33 each) was not right (Cheapest: The entire three colors box set $32 + shipping from Cinestore.com). I'm waiting for the French release to decide whether to buy the U.K or French version.
Cinestore has shipped my Truffaut boxes, I hope they'll be here soon!
The UK versions are exactly the same as the French DVDs, except I understand that the French DVDs don't have English subtitles.
I am still hoping that the extras will have English subtitles?
What are the extras on the 400 Blows?
How is the English translation of the 400 Blows subtitles?
Since you asked, these guys have actual screen shots:
I'll post something after I get them, but it may be a while, before I watch all of them.
About the Three Colors:
I am a little confused. The R2 UK DVDs are out already (I have them). They have subtitles for the films and the extras. I would have thought, in this instance, it would be unnecessary to consider purchasing the R2 French DVDs, which have identical transfers (the R2 UK DVDs use the MK2 logos).
The two main reasons for buying the French version is price -- the box set (which is unavailable in the UK, you have to buy them individually) is only $32!! Secondly dvdfr.com says (possibly incorectly) that the box will contain an additional Kieslowski documentary disk. That's why I'm in wait & see mode.
...ahh... the box set (including all three movies plus, supposedly, a fourth DVD containing a documentary) is no longer listed on the amazon.fr, cinéstore, or àlapage sites...
...the individual movies cost ~~150FRF, respectively ~~23Euros, so I doubt that the whole four-disc (or even three-disc) box-set would/could cost less than $40,00...
. . . ! ? ! . . .
Rats! I looked under Trois couleurs, not under coffrets... interestingly, they do indeed mention the three movies - not the extra disc... so, effectively, when ordering the complete set, you get three movies for the price of two, which is not bad at all... will revert to this as soon as I receive the discs...
. . . . . .
Latest update -- I got the Truffaut boxes. As advertised they have English subs on the features and shorts but not the documentary material and commentary tracks. The transfers I have checked out so far are great. The bonus DVD turned out to be a hour long Jean-Pierre Léaud documentary by Serge le Péron.
Some of the supplements are wild, like documentary footage of Truffaut at the May '68 Cannes festival saying it should be stopped (because of the student revolution) and a young Roman Polanski saying, "Doesn't really matter, nobody pays any attention to film festivals anyway" -- the whole thing is priceless.
Anyway, bottom line -- even if you don't speak a word of French, this is very highly recommended -- the transfers (and original film elements) are infinitely better than the Fox-Lorber junk and these DVDs are in fact much cheaper -- the 5 DVD Doinel box is under $45 (48 Euros). For anyone who is a Truffaut fan, these are must have.
The Doinel set is indeed very nice -- better than the Fox Lorber stuff in R1 -- but the transfers still leave a bit to be desired. In comparing, for example, the M2K (via Artifical Eye) Three Colours DVDs with the Truffaut set (2), there are significantly more artifacts in the Truffaut transfers. This is particularly notable on static images (like burnt in text for the credits, but also in things like a fence in the background in a static shot) where horizontal lines sometime weave up and down. At first I thought it was a faulty gate in the telecine stage, but after watching it longer, it looks like it happened in the digital realm.
Nathan, those problems with the throbbing of text and horizontal lines are classic examples of PAL-to-NTSC-transfer artifacting. It's less noticeable on some discs, like Three Colours, though I don't know why.
What kind of player do you have? Using progressive scan almost completely eliminates this defect. The Malata N996 has a filter setting known as "still" which will also greatly reduce this problem, but using this setting gives an unsettling motion blur effect to moving objects.
I'm using an HTPC (that is, a PC with a DVD player) that scales the DVD to an HDTV timing (540p) for display on a RPTV. Looks great with, for example, the Three Colors DVDs.
I'm not sure why the one looks flawless (Three Colors) and the other has artifacts of some sort that even my SO (not a videophile) noticed. The problems aren't constant, and the picture is good, other than that.
The Malata setting sounds interesting. One of the good/bad things about HTPCs is that there are probably a dozen settings I could experiment with, that *might* help. The bad thing, of course, is that I might screw something else up while experimenting, or waste a lot of time on a wild goose chase (done it several times already with this beast
[Been wondering whether getting a standalone DVD burner, and a Malata for region free DVD playback, would have made my life easier than the constant tweaking with an HTPC!]
I watched all the MK2 Doinel movies in native PAL and saw no artifacts of any kind, so it must have to do with the PAL to NTSC conversion. That said, certainly the Doinel movies are not the world's greatest transfers by any stretch of the imagination. The source film elements are good, but it doesn't look like they were restored or cleaned in any way. The colors on Love on the run look especially dubious. A lot of the supplemental matterials look terrible. If I had to pick a desert island box though, the Doinel set would be it
I would expect Three Colors to look better as the movies are 20 years younger! I did detect a slight authoring bug on the AE Three Colors set -- the 16:9/4:3 flags seem to be messed up.
The actual transfers Three colors & Doinel were done by the same studio, MK2, the AE Three colors are just a direct port with subtitles added.
Hmm. Yeah, I don't doubt that the stuff on the Dionel set was the result of the PAL->???? conversion. (I call it "????" conversion, because I never actually convert it to NTSC; probably the closest standard is 540p atsc or 1080i HDTV?)
The weird thing is that I don't get similar artifacts from other PAL DVDs (yet! maybe there are others out there).
Hmmm. The PC player has lots of settings like that, as well. (In fact, too many, sometimes.) Trouble is, this isn't combing. I could fix that, I think. Whereas combing effects moving objects mostly, this weirdness effects objects that shouldn't be moving, when the camera and the object on screen are still...
I was really worried about it when I thought all my PAL dvds might look that way (the computer is a recent creation for me) but so far only the Truffaut discs are like that...