Who owns THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH and when will we finally get it on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dick, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I have not seen this highly-acclaimed film by Fred Schepisi ("Empire Falls") but it has never been released to video in any form and I wanna see it!!! Does anyone know who owns this elusive title?
     
  2. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    A fantastic and very strong film about Aboriginal racism.

    The film was originally released in the U.S. by New Yorker, but I doubt that they still have the rights.

    Our best bet for a DVD release would probably lie with Criterion, Anchor Bay or Blue Underground.
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    An amazing film. But like many great Australian films (Wake in Fright for instance) it has been very hard to see in the last ten years. There isn't even a R4 disc, which is strange. I have a feeling that New Yorker have lost the rights and it has reverted to the producer. It was shot in Panavision (2.35:1) and has never been released on home video or TV broadcast in letterbox.

    Bill suggest Blue Underground, which would be a good bet, as they recently released the superb Australian film, My Brilliant Career with a superb transfer and extras and was quite a departure from their usual horror and sleaze (that I love, also!) and a good indication that Lustig loves such films.
     
  4. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, this is definitely a must have for fans of Australian cinema. Of the four important films of the early 1980's Australian film "renaissance", The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith is the only one MIA on DVD (the other three being Gallipoli, Breaker Morant, and the aformentioned My Brilliant Career, of which BU just brought out a very nice edition.
     
  5. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    Early Fred Schepisi is hard to come by. In addition to JIMMIE BLACKSMITH, I've longed for a proper release of his Catholic school drama THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND. A very tiny label in the U.S. released it on VHS, but it seemed to be sold exclusively in gay bookstores, playing up it's homosexual content and making it look more exploitative than it likely was.
    I suspect this same old tape transfer is the basis for the "Allied Artists" DVD release that can be obtained from some retailers. I really wish this had an actual licensed presentation.
     
  6. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    A director/DVD supplement producer friend of mine here in Melbourne has been doing some work for a Stateside cult DVD company (not Blue Underground) and he told me that JIMMY BLACKSMITH was either being looked at, or already worked on, as a forthcoming release. If it comes to fruition expect a fully restored transfer and a lot of extras. So long as rights issues don't get in the way, you'll also likely see a lot more early and recent Australian films with good extras in the future - check the new Australian PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and DON'S PARTY discs (plus the forthcoming US discs of METAL SKIN and BLUE MURDER, the latter out in November) for examples of these.
     
  7. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    That's very promising, Anthony; I hope that something comes of it, as a widescreen presentation (it was shot in Panavision) of this film is long overdue.

    I didn't know that Metal Skin and Blue Murder were being released - thanks!
     
  8. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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  9. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Thanks, Walter!
     
  10. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    Pathfinder announced the title and some online dealers still have that original listing, but their deal fell through and it was never released.
     
  11. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    A year since the last post in this thread. Anyone have any news?
     
  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Sorry Dick, no news. I have a feeling that the film is owned outright, worldwide by Fred Schepisi - or the Australian Film Commission, who funded the film. A new print was shown in Australia last year, but no region 4 DVD is on the schedules. There has to be some kind of red tape, as practically all of the prestigious Australia classics are now on DVD, be it R1, R2 or R4. A shame, as it is a very powerful film.
     
  13. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Schepisi has no problem with it being released, but he's sometimes not the most attentive guy when it comes to getting back to people. I think the problem is probably more laziness on the part of certain people (not just Schepisi) than anything else. Subversive had to pull teeth to bring their BLUE MURDER Special Edition to market, and it ended up having way more extras than the bare bones, dumped-on-the-market Region 4 edition. JIMMIE might come out some day, but who knows?
     

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