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Criterion Press Release: Modern Times (DVD)


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 16 2010 - 11:09 AM

 


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#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted August 16 2010 - 12:30 PM

Exactly the place Chaplin should be - Glad to read this.



#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted August 16 2010 - 04:40 PM

Oh, my goodness.

Chaplin on Criterion Blu-ray.

Wonderful news.



#4 of 10 OFFLINE   HELLOLARRY

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Posted September 03 2010 - 10:00 AM

I for one am a little disappointed in this release and think Criterion missed the boat.  However, it may not be their choice with what they have to work with so I don't think the blame can really be with them.

 

When the Chaplin films first came to DVD on Image several years ago, the quality was not really that bad and the films were complete.  The silents were at the correct projection speed.

 

When Warner Brothers released them in conjunction with MK2, some of the films were Chaplins edits from the late 60's / early 70s which had the annoying 'step printing' (I think that is what they call it) on the silents. The original versions which Image released were not included in the Warner packages.  Modern Times falls into this category as the last verse of the gibberish song is missing.  Now this may be the only version the Chaplin estate will allow to be released but if that is the case, why were the complete versions allowed out when Image had them?  The films were also sped up a bit as they didn't do the correct transfer from the PAL format (MK2 being a European Company)

 

There are also edits in the Kid and A King in New York.  All of the silents I believe are not at the correct projection speed.

 

It looks like they've just carried over all of the extras from the Warner versions and jacked up the price because it's Criterion.  If they would've at least included both versions, this may be a repurchase for me.  However, I'll stay with the Image versions.  If they at least correct the transfer issue, it is a bit of an upgrade otherwise it is just disappointing to me now that I know what is included as part of this release.
 

These films deserve full commentaries by scholars as they are some of the best classic films of the golden age of Hollywood.  The 'commentary' by David Robinson seems to be the same 5-7 minute intro he did for the Warner versions.  Newer documentaries would've been nice too.  Instead we get the same documentaries from the Warner versions which I was never too knocked out by.  They didn't really go into the making of the films, instead they focused on what Chaplin means to people in other cultures.  I get the idea that they want to show him as a universal artist but again, those documentaries were a yawn with a few exceptions.
 

Too bad....



#5 of 10 OFFLINE   BradleyS

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Posted September 04 2010 - 06:50 AM



Originally Posted by HELLOLARRY 

 

 The 'commentary' by David Robinson seems to be the same 5-7 minute intro he did for the Warner versions.  Newer documentaries would've been nice too.


The packaging calls it a "new audio commentary."  Is there a reason to believe it isn't exactly that?  There also seem to be a number of new documentaries, including the "visual essays" (which are usually excellent on Criterion releases), and the sound/visual effects doc.



#6 of 10 OFFLINE   HELLOLARRY

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Posted September 04 2010 - 09:58 AM

still not enough for a double (or in some cases) triple dip if they haven't done anything with film itself.



#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted September 04 2010 - 12:50 PM



Originally Posted by HELLOLARRY 

However, it may not be their choice with what they have to work with so I don't think the blame can really be with them.


The Estate is to blame, as they dictate what the licensing distributor can release.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#8 of 10 OFFLINE   HELLOLARRY

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Posted September 04 2010 - 05:34 PM

That's what I figured.  I since came across a few other older articles since my post that noted that.  I wonder why then the complete versions were ever allowed out through Image?  Either way, I'm glad I have those.  They are great films and they will be playing a local theatre here too so I'm going to go see a few of them.


#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted September 05 2010 - 06:32 AM

I believe the Image releases were prior to the estate getting as much control over the films as they now have. I could be wrong about that, though.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted September 05 2010 - 10:21 AM

Email from Criterion to member:

 

Thank you for your email! The Chaplin family stands behind Charlie Chaplin's decision to have the final verse removed, and this is indeed the version of the film we've licensed from them. We're sorry you'll be missing our edition of the film, as it promises to be a more well-rounded edition in terms of the supplements, plus an improved picture and sound, (and it's available blu-ray!). The final verse will be included as a supplement, as MK2 had presented it.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932