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Cabiria (1914)

Robert Harris

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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Michael Fournier

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Posted February 04 2013 - 10:39 AM

Almost seven years ago, Roger Ebert wrote about what sounds like a stunning restoration of Pastrone's Cabiria, almost an hour longer that what's currently available from Kino. Ebert's review is here: http://rogerebert.su.../607020301/1023 I'm wondering if Mr. Harris or any of his readers here might have heard anything about a Blu/DVD release of this restoration.

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Michael Fournier

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Posted January 28 2014 - 08:42 PM

Just wanted to float this question again. This is the film's centennial, but I'm unable to find any new of a release for this restoration. Has anyone here heard anything?



#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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Posted January 29 2014 - 11:11 AM

I'd love to hear some news about this, as well.  Since this beautiful restoration already exists, it seems like just the sort of thing Kino or Flicker Alley would consider releasing since they have been active in blu-rays and upgrades.  Even the shortened Kino DVD version is quite an experience featuring the feeding of babies into the fiery idol Baal's mouth and the strongman escapades of the first Maciste characters.  The film so captivated Italians of that era that Fellini's Cabiria took the name of the epic's princess and immortalized it in the 50's.  



#4 of 11 ONLINE   JoHud

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Posted January 29 2014 - 11:15 AM

I agree that a centennial release of this films is an opportunity that shouldn't be passed up by Kino or any other company that intends to release this in the future.  That new restoration is certainly enticing.



#5 of 11 ONLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted January 29 2014 - 11:17 AM

I'd love to have this. I watched perhaps two segments of the film in college and thought it was pretty amazing.


"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


#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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Posted February 24 2014 - 12:01 PM

I've been chasing this thing around and got a reply from the Criterion Forum that they were denied a bid to release it some time ago.  At the end of the Ebert article it states that "the Criterion Collection is preparing a DVD edition of CABIRIA".  I just sent an email off to Kino since I would imagine they are the most likely company to put it out.  In my "travels" I ran into something else interesting at sempreinpenombra.com/2013/04/quo-vadis-100th-anniversary/ concerning a full restoration of the 1913 QUO VADIS that the Nederlands Filmmuseum in Amsterdam spearheaded back in 1996.  I've been hearing about that one for decades.  Sadly, they've already missed the centennial for that, too.  Let's hope that Kino has some plans for CABIRIA.



#7 of 11 ONLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted February 24 2014 - 12:18 PM

For the record, criterionforum.org is not officially related to Criterion. It's a fan forum. The members there just happen to be very knowledgeable about where/when statements were made by official Criterion sources (which in this case was an email stating Criterion did not have rights to Cabiria).


"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 11 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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Posted February 24 2014 - 12:33 PM

Really, I guess only the folks at the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin really know what's going on with it as they are the ones who own and control it. 



#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Brenty

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Posted March 15 2014 - 05:20 AM

Afraid I've no news of a BD release, but I saw this restoration just last week, in 35mm on a huuuge screen at the Karlsruhe silent film festival (http://www.stummfilm...de/de/home.html). It was accompanied with a great live score by the inestimable Günter Buchwald & co.

 

Am unsure what speed it was projected at, but it ran for 3 hours 20 mins. An awesome spectacle, with astonishing visual detail for the most part; BD won't do it justice but would certainly be a vast improvement on what's currently available...


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#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Michel_Hafner

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Posted March 16 2014 - 02:08 AM

How would BD not do it justice? Fps?



#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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Posted March 17 2014 - 12:41 PM

Well, I attended the Los Angeles screening of the wonderful 1921 LOVES OF PHARAOH, then promptly ordered the blu-ray from Alpha-Omega when it came up for sale.  It is one of the most beautiful transfers I've ever seen and I've viewed it countless times since purchase.  A proper blu-ray of CABIRIA could be jaw-dropping.  Still, on the big screen the experience is much more intense.  God, I hope someone does this!







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