1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

HOUSEKEEPING

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bryan^H, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    550
    My all time favorite film. released in 1987, this film was strangely overlooked for Oscar consideration, as it was on many film critics best of list for that year. Pure magic from start to finish. This is the kind of film you watch, and forget everything around you for a couple of hours. I have 2 films that I regret not seeing on the big screen. My first would be this film, and the second is Hoosiers. I have been waiting for a dvd release since I bought my first dvd player in 98. I still have my vhs, but I don't even have my vcr hooked up anymore.

    Does anyone know if it's up for a dvd release? It was released through Columbia Pictures, but I don't know their track record for dvd releases. I would truly love it to be part of the Criterion collection, because it is a very good film, and deserves all the extras the fans could possibly want.
     
  2. AlexHL

    AlexHL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would like to know, too.
     
  3. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was always a bit disappointed by this film, my least favorite Bill Forsyth film (yes, I'm including BEING HUMAN on that list).

    But, that said, I would also buy it.

    Unfortunately, Forsyth hasn't had the best track record on DVD. Still many of his films yet to be released. GREGORY'S TWO GIRLS has yet to even get a US theatrical release, let alone DVD release.

    I'd also like to see THAT SINKING FEELING and COMFORT AND JOY on DVD. JOY is on R2 with a Forsyth commentary.
     
  4. Alistair_M

    Alistair_M Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really liked Housekeeping too. I was a huge fan of Bill Forcyth after seeing three of his films in sort succession : Gregory's Girl, Local Hero (possibly my favourite film of all time), and Comfort and Joy. Housekeeping was very different from the others, as it was Mr Forcyths first american film.

    By the way Comfort and Joy is released on region 2 and has an audio commentary with Mr Forcyth.

    http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/PROD/3-/...y/Product.html

    I'd love to purchase Housekeeping and I think its a Sony title.
     
  5. Will_B

    Will_B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,733
    Likes Received:
    1
    Housekeeping was a film that inspired me to read the book. Though I don't remember the book I remember the film vividly and would very much like a DVD. I thought it would surely come out when Christine Lahti was a regular on Chicago Hope, but, nope.

    Years ago when I worked at a video store I made sure we ordered all of Bill Forsyth's films, including that early one about the ice cream trucks. Such a shame only four of his films are on DVD - and some of those are bare bones early transfers.
     
  6. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    550
    I have e-mailed Criterion twice now over the past few months, in hopes that they can obtain the rights for this film (it definately deserves Criterion's treatment) for a release on dvd. So far I have received a standard response with: thanks for your interest, important films matter etc.

    I believe Sony owns the Columbia movie division, and if that is so, we are almost guranteed not to have it released on dvd. It seems Sony doesn't care too much about smaller un-blockbuster movies.

    I have hope that one day I will own my favorite film on dvd.
     
  7. chas speed

    chas speed Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    41
    A great movie with a really haunting final shot.
     
  8. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    550

    Exactly. The movie is magical in many ways, but the final shot is wonderful. In my opinion, it's the true meaning of a perfect film.
     
  9. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    550
    I have pretty much given up hope for this to be released on dvd. I was crossing my fingers for a 20th anniversary special edition, but no announcements = no good news.

    You would think a film that so many film critics(including Roger Ebert) have on their best films of the year list, it would be an easy dvd release. I'm upset at Columbia pictures. If released, this film would complete my dvd collection, and I would be happy. I just wish Criterion could step in and release it. It's such a great film.
     
  10. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good Housekeeping news, though no DVD answers quite yet.

    Housekeeping will be shown at Ebertfest in Champaign, IL, on Saturday, April 26. Special guests will be director Bill Forsyth and star Christine Lahti, who will be interviewed and participate in questions/answers after the movie.

    So that will be a prime time for anyone out there to ask about Housekeeping on DVD. Since I will be attending, maybe that will be me.
     
  11. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    550

    Thanks for the good news Jerry.

    That sounds fantastic. I would live to hear what both Lahti, and Forsyth have to say about the film after 20 years. I would love to attend as well. [​IMG]
     
  12. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,715
    Likes Received:
    415
    Hear, hear for a HOUSEKEEPING DVD. I saw the film in 1987 at Chicago's much-missed Fine Arts Theater and love it.
     
  13. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    550
    Ebertfest isn't going to happen for me. I would love to attend, but I'm way too busy.[​IMG]

    It's not very often you get to see a screening of your all time favorite film with the main star, and director discussing it! If anyone attends, please post the the experience here, or another thread. I would love to hear all about it. Thanks,
    Bryan
     
  14. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, look for my report on Sunday. I've never seen this movie before, but it seems like the kind I would like. Loved Christine Lahti in Running on Empty, which came out a year or so later I think.
     
  15. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    550
    Finally found the original review:
    Housekeeping
    by Roger Ebert

    In a land where the people are narrow and suspicious, where do they draw the line between madness and sweetness? Between those who are unable to conform to society's norm and those who simply choose not to, because their dreamy private world is more alluring? That is one of the many questions asked, and not exactly answered, in Bill Forsyth's "Housekeeping," which is one of the strangest and best films of the year.

    The movie, set some 30 or 40 years ago in the Pacific Northwest, tells the story of two young girls who are taken on a sudden and puzzling motor trip by their mother to visit a relative. Soon after they arrive, their mother commits suicide and the girls are left to be raised by elderly relatives. A few years later, their mother's sister, their Aunt Sylvie, arrives to look after them.

    Sylvie, who is played by Christine Lahti as a mixture of bemusement and wry reflection, is not an ordinary person. She likes to sit in the dusk so much that she never turns the lights on. She likes to go for long, meandering walks. She collects enormous piles of newspapers and hundreds of tin cans - carefully washing off their labels and then polishing them and arranging them in gleaming pyramids.

    She is nice to everyone and generally seems cheerful, but there is an enchantment about her that some people find suspicious.
    Indeed, even her two young nieces are divided. One finds her "funny," and the other loves her. Eventually the two sisters will take separate paths in life because they differ about Sylvie. At first, when they are younger, she simply represents reality to them. As they grow older and begin to attend high school, however, one of the girls wants to be "popular" and resents having a weird aunt at home, while the other girl draws herself into Sylvie's dream.

    The townspeople are not evil, merely conventional and "concerned." Parties of church ladies visit to see if they can "help." The sheriff eventually gets involved. But "Housekeeping" is not a realistic movie, not one of those disease-of-the-week docudramas with a tidy solution. It is funnier, more offbeat, and too enchanting to ever qualify on those terms.

    Forsyth, the writer and director, has made all of his previous films in Scotland (they make a list of whimsical, completely original comedies: "Gregory's Girl," "Local Hero," "Comfort and Joy," "That Sinking Feeling"). For his first North American production, he began with a novel by Marilynne Robinson that embodies some of his own notions, such as that certain people grow so amused by their own conceits that they cannot be bothered to pay lip service to yours.

    In Lahti, he has found the right actress to embody this idea.

    Although she has been excellent in a number of realisic roles (she was Gary Gilmore's sister in "The Executioner's Song" and Goldie Hawn's best friend in "Swing Shift"), there is something resolutely private about her, a sort of secret smile that is just right for Sylvie. The role requires her to find a delicate line; she must not seem too mad or willful, or the whole charm of the story will be lost. And although there are times when she seems to be indifferent to her nieces, she never seems not to love them.
    Forsyth has surrounded that love with some extraordinary images, which help to create the magical feeling of the film. The action takes place in a house near a lake that is crossed by a majestic, forbidding railroad bridge. It is a local legend that one night decades ago, a passenger train slipped ever so lazily off the line and plunged down, down, into the icy waters of the frozen lake. The notion of the passengers in their warm, well-lit carriages, plunging down to their final destination, is one that Forsyth somehow turns from a tragedy into a notion of doomed beauty. And the bridge becomes important at several moments in the film, especially the last one.

    The location where the film was shot (British Columbia) and the production design by Adrienne Atkinson are also evocative. It is important that the action takes place in a small, isolated community, in a place cut off from the world where whimsies can flourish and private notions can survive. At the end of the film, I was quietly astonished. I had seen a film that could perhaps be described as being about a madwoman, but I had seen a character who seemed closer to a mystic, or a saint.
     
  16. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    After the movie, right before the guests came out for interviews/Q&A, they showed Siskel & Ebert's original TV review from 1988 projected on the big screen. This TV review can be seen on atthemoviestv.com.

    Last night's screening of Housekeeping was a once in a lifetime experience. The print was perfect, flawless, beautiful... as if it hadn't been touched in 21 years (nor screened very much at that time), and it probably hadn't. The absolute best way for someone like me who had never seen it before to experience it.

    This was obviously a special movie for Bill Forsyth and Christine Lahti, and they spoke of it very affectionately. Christine said that it was probably her best work experience ever, and the film of which she is most proud. She halfway jokingly said that a few years ago, when she heard Bill was making his Gregory's Girl sequel, she sent him a letter via his agent proposing Housekeeping 2 but never heard back from him.

    Now this movie was at the end of a very long two days for me and I was very tired and not as alert as I wanted to be, so I must apologize for not remembering in a more organized fashion. I also had a very long drive home and only three hours of sleep, but here are some random bits I do remember:

    First of all, nobody asked why this movie was not on DVD yet. Most of Forsyth's movies aren't, and this one was not very popular here in the U.S. Bill said it only got about 17 cents' worth of promotion, compared to the better marketing push of some of his earlier ones. Later, he said that he has officially retired from moviemaking -- this was met with much sadness and resistance from Christine and the audience. He said that he has already expressed what he wanted to express on film, sometimes multiple times, so he'd rather just stay home and write.

    Michael Phillips, the Chicago Tribune critic who fills in for Ebert on At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper (Ebert lost his voice almost two years ago), moderated the 30 minute interview which was followed by 30 minutes of audience Q&A. Many of the questions involved stuff I don't care anything about (why did Christine say the words "moving around" in the last scene as opposed to what the author wrote ("drifting" -- he felt that word was too literary and not what a person would really say), many variations of what Christine saw in her character-what motivated her-etc.), mental health issues, and also questions about other works from both Bill and Christine. Somebody asked how she stays so young looking, and she said she and an actress friend of hers made a pact 10 years ago that they would resist plastic surgery, and so far she has kept to that though she is feeling pressure to give in. (Boos from audience and Michael Phillips).

    They were asked about whatever happened to the two actresses who played her nieces... neither Bill nor Christine could remember their names, much less what happened to them. They did know that neither had acted before, and that Christine had to do a lot of double-duty as a sort of co-director to get these girls to turn in good performances, even in scenes not involving Christine. Bill was asked why he shot in British Columbia instead of where the movie actually took place (it was a real town but given a fictional name by the author), and he said that small town had changed too much since the 1950s. He said they were one of the first to film where they ended up filming, although the Steve Martin movie Roxanne wrapped up shooting there just before they started.

    More random thoughts.... They talked about how this was first offered to Diane Keaton; the producers desired a big name actress to get this project rolling. They talked about Christine's work on the Demme film Swing Shift and how Goldie bullied the studio into doing her cut of it rather than Demme's.

    If I remember more, I'll post more. I also have a few e-mails in to people from the festival who might know more about the lack of DVD for this... Sorry I did not ask about it, but... I decided that if I actually were to overcome my shyness about speaking to celebrities, I wouldn't be asking about a DVD, I'd instead be telling Christine that I loved her in Running on Empty...!
     
  17. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, more about Bill's adaptation of the novel. It was observed that overall, the movie is about 90% faithful to the novel. Bill literally took two copies of the novel to cut and past whole passages into his planning book, studying it for several months before starting to write his version. He said that to this day, the only scene he still doesn't fully understand is the one where they stay on the river overnight, but he went with it anyway because it was needed to set up the action in the subsequent scenes of the story.
     
  18. Mike.B

    Mike.B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    I must admit, I pride myself on being someone who knows a lot about movies, but I've never heard of this movie. But from the remarks here it sounds like a good movie. I have added it to my list of movies to see, and hope that it hits DVD soon. (The number of movies that still haven't been released on DVD must be quite small by now.)
     
  19. Marty M

    Marty M Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 1998
    Messages:
    2,920
    Likes Received:
    11
    To Jerry:

    I hope you enjoyed your time here in Champaign-Urbana. Sadly I have not attended any of the Ebertfest, even though I pride myself as being a real film enthusiast.
     
  20. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the review Jerry!

    Forsyth is one of my very favorite filmmakers. However, I have to add, I enjoy his early Scottish films much more than HOUSEKEEPING (which I saw theatrically and was a bit disappointed by, mainly because LOCAL HERO had been a favorite) or some of his others.

    If I had known in advance he was going to be there, I would have tried to visit. He has sort of disappeared in recent years. GREGORY'S TWO GIRLS didn't even get a US release. Sad to hear he is officially retired.
     

Share This Page