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Abel Gance's Napoleon...


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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Mark Anthony

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Posted March 14 2003 - 09:36 PM

I'm not sure if this is old news or not, the search function wasn't working but..

http://www.ezydvd.co...item.zml/222576

indicates this is coming out from Universal Australia in Pal format next month...no indication on specs as yet

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#2 of 15 OFFLINE   JohnN

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Posted March 14 2003 - 11:05 PM

Thanks for the post. Hopefully the spec details will be posted soon.

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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 15 2003 - 12:26 AM

Someone posted a review link on alt.movies.silent for the DVD...

It's apparently nothing other than the laserdisc ported over to a DVD-9. (Not that it's bad...although, it wouldn't hurt to have a new high-def transfer made, either Posted Image ) It seems to be missing the lengthy photo gallery on the LD, too.

Since the 1981 Zoetrope version, a ton of new footage has been found... Some scenes were newly discovered and most (or all) of the grainy 9.5mm and 17.5mm footage has been replaced by pristine 35mm. Plus, the title cards have since been re-created to match those found in the original French version... in an elegant font (not unlike the new Metropolis). I think the current runtime of the film is around 330 minutes.

A DVD version of Napoleon would easily be one of the best ever. (Yes, even better than Attack of the Clones and Fight Club)

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:06 AM

I wonder if Universal has that footage you mention, Patrick, or whether it belongs to someone else (which would slow down a potential DVD release while everyone sorts out who should get what). A release of this would certainly put a check beside one of the films at the top of my wish list.

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH

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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:38 AM

I found the R4 review, it's over here

Like Patrick already mentioned in another thread, the review specs state an 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer.....

I've pre-ordered it, though the longer (and apparently better looking) version would indeed be even better...
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#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted March 15 2003 - 02:26 AM

The reviewer linked above has no idea what they are writing about, as they mention everything but the early test processes used in the filming.

It is nice to know that the sound has had a stereo makeover, since it was recorded in the dark ages of motion picture audio, 1981, on wax cylinders. The six tracks were held in synchronization via bicycle chains in those days.

By a "makeover" they must mean that it can be run on DVD without the chains.

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#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 15 2003 - 02:46 AM

Quote:
It is nice to know that the sound has had a stereo makeover, since it was recorded in the dark ages of motion picture audio, 1981, on wax cylinders. The six tracks were held in synchronization via bicycle chains in those days.

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"Restored in 1991"

Also, it looks like this reviewer needs to take a gander at Kevin Brownlow's book on the film.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Darren Gross

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Posted March 15 2003 - 06:40 PM

I'm always hoping that the longest possible Kevin Brownlow restoration will show up in a reg 2 disc, hopefully with a Carl Davis score. The Carmine Coppola one used for the US theatrical and video releases is just wretched. It makes the film look quaint, twonky and cheap. I'd rather watch the film with the sound off.

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 16 2003 - 02:32 AM

Quote:
I'm always hoping that the longest possible Kevin Brownlow restoration will show up in a reg 2 disc, hopefully with a Carl Davis score.

Don't hold your breath... Region 2 hasn't even had a VHS or LD of the film. Of course, a theater in London, I think, screens the 5 1/2 hour version (with the 3-panel finale) annually.

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted March 16 2003 - 08:22 AM

Gance's film remains, to this day a strikingly powerful tour de force of astonishing preportions.

A definitive DVD edition must happen as soon as is humanly possibly.

But hey, I'm still waiting for Image's 4-disc edition of Bondarchuk's War And Peace to be released. I got an e-mail from some guy at Image saying it's gonna be released in May. Just like Gance's masterpiece, Bondarchuk's ballsy filming of Tolstoy's insanely brilliant epic is epitome of grand filmmaking. Once seen, never forgotten.


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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted March 17 2003 - 02:20 AM

Anyone (Mr Harris?) have any definitive information on the statement I read the other day that the woman who owns the rights to Napoleon refuses to discuss any home video release--other than the Coppola/Harris version that is under existing contract--thus precluding any release by Brownlow? I think I may have seen that in the lengthy article at dvdscan on silent films. True or bogus or some of each?

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted March 17 2003 - 09:17 AM

It certainly seems that the year 1927 was an important year for silent pictures, besides Napoleon, we also have Sunrise and Metropolis.

Anybody else know what else came out ?

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#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 17 2003 - 09:36 AM

For 1927, we also got The Unknown (one of Lon Chaney's lesser known masterpieces), The Flesh and the Devil (Garbo-Gilbert), Wings, Seventh Heaven, The Student Prince of Old Heidleberg, and "It."

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH

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Posted March 17 2003 - 10:53 AM

Don't forget The General and October. Posted Image

[Very OT] Has anyone ever heard about Odna (AKA Alone) BTW? Coincidently next month a restored print is being shown in The Netherlands, but I never heard of it....
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#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 17 2003 - 11:15 AM

The General was released in 1926 and October in 1928. Still excellent movies, though.





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