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New Yorker's "L'Atalante" DVD Review with screen captures...

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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Gary Tooze

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Posted April 14 2003 - 11:07 PM

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New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC DVD of Jean Vigo's "L'Atalante"

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Full Review with more screen captures linked at the top of this page HERE

Release Information:
Studio: New Yorker Video
Theatrical Release Date: September 12th, 1934

Edition Details:
• The Making Of..." Featurette : 4:3 - 20:36
• Stills Gallery - about 50+ still images that run in a slide show presentation
• Vintage Posters Gallery - less than 10 posters in a slide show presentation (see above)
• Jean Vigo Filmography - static screen listing of films
• 8 page insert " The Troubled History of L'Atalante"...and its Happy Ending"

DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 24

The source material for this DVD was taken from New Yorker's vaults and was not in pristine condition but it was restored in 2001 and New Yorker states on the DVD packaging and start of the film "... this version of the film aims to be as faithful to the original as possible." the negatives of "L'Atalante" have been through some mishaps over the last 69 years. The original version of the film is not available hence New Yorker's valiant efforts to produce this particular version. I can't say how close it is to the original but the film (on DVD) had a very even flow and I suspect that it is as close to the original as we will ever see.

The quality of the image is excellent considering the age of the film and the limitations of the restored print. I notice some minor jittering of the image in the first 5 minutes but then that settled down for the rest of the film. The sound is excellent. It appears to have been cleaned up extensively compared to the New Yorker VHS that I own. There are some scratches and marks on the film, but overall the image quality is extremely strong if I compare it to any other versions that I have ever seen. I would wager that this is easily the best L'Atalante has ever looked or sounded.

On the negative I believe it has been slightly cropped on the left vertical edge in the opening title but the closing credits seem centered and visible. New Yorker have provided some nice extras and clean menu system. I have to give them credit. This is more than many fans of this film could have hoped for. The only omission is a commentary. I can't imagine it being too much better other than that. I will give it 4.5 out of 5.

Full Review with more screen captures linked at the top of this page HERE

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted April 15 2003 - 03:12 AM

Thanks Gary. This is certainly welcome news. One-by-one we are seeing some of the great films become available on DVD.
¡Time is not my master!

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted April 15 2003 - 05:52 AM

Have this coming today or tomorrow from Netflix. The old Brook would have bought this now and watched it by Christmas.
2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Brian PB

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Posted April 15 2003 - 05:59 AM

I watched this last night (for the first time). It's a very charming film (in spirit, it reminds me a bit of Capra's It Happened One Night). The erotic montage of the separated lovers trying to sleep is excellent. I thought New Yorker did a great job with it. The featurette is short, but informative (one of the critics featured is Annette Insdorf, who did the commentary for the recent Miramax Three Colors: Blue/White/Red release).

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