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A few words about...™ Oliver! -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About Twilight Time Sony Pictures Blu-ray

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#81 of 148 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted November 19 2013 - 01:46 PM

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As for the very existence of intermissions, and the genius of planning the best position for them in the service of actual suspenseful situations, look no further than those of Doctor Zhivago and 2001: A Space Odyssey.  I treasure the memories of audiences audibly gasping at these moments.  Talk about inspiring good intermission conversations...  They knew how to do it.

Doctor Zhivago also had one of the great Act II openers.  With the curtains closed and the lights not yet completely dimmed, you could hear that train rumbling along through the theatre speakers for what seemed like almost a minute, before the curtains began to slowly part, the train gave out a loud whistle and a huge mass of blackness on the emerging 70mm screen gave way to the Ural Mountains as the train came roaring out of a tunnel.


Edited by Rob_Ray, November 19 2013 - 01:46 PM.


#82 of 148 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted November 19 2013 - 01:46 PM

Yes!



#83 of 148 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:01 PM

Doctor Zhivago also had one of the great Act II openers.  With the curtains closed and the lights not yet completely dimmed, you could hear that train rumbling along through the theatre speakers for what seemed like almost a minute, before the curtains began to slowly part, the train gave out a loud whistle and a huge mass of blackness on the emerging 70mm screen gave way to the Ural Mountains as the train came roaring out of a tunnel.

 

And a great deal of wear on the original 35mm elements.

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#84 of 148 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:01 PM

And the fuse lighting and dancing out of the darkness in Mad World.
Yes, these strange things happen all the time - PT Anderson, Magnolia

#85 of 148 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:02 PM

Double YES. That was one hell of a second act opening. As was The Sound of Music in which several days or weeks passed between Act 1 and Act 2.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#86 of 148 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:06 PM

Goodness gracious! It's like some of you have never been to a Broadway show (they do tour the country, you know), since you are baffled by the notion of reserved seating, intermissions, and no food or drink allowed! I'll bet you didn't even know that for Roadshow presentations you were also expected to wear your Sunday best.

I'm not baffled by an intermission as much as I find it odd that anyone would want a movie to stop for a short amount of time during the movie. I've never watched a movie and thought how much I was enjoying the story and that a short break would somehow enhance the movie. That being said, if I had seen movies with intermissions, I'm sure I would have a fond memories of them and the theater going experience of that era.

 

 

 

I guess a short answer to those who don't understand why an intermission should be retained on home video releases...

Just to clarify, I have no problem with them retaining the intermission on video. If there was an intermission in the theaters then the disc should maintain it. While I want the movie to continue, I would even watch the intermission in deference to that being the way that it originally played.

 

I certainly get the idea of creating suspense with a 'cliffhanger' intermission (I'm a huge proponent of watching serialized TV shows week to week rather than watching an entire season in a few days because I think it enhances the serialized storytelling experience) but it seems needless when we're talking about a story that runs a total of about 3 hours.


Edited by TravisR, November 19 2013 - 02:08 PM.


#87 of 148 OFFLINE   John Maher_289910

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:06 PM

Goodness gracious! It's like some of you have never been to a Broadway show (they do tour the country, you know), since you are baffled by the notion of reserved seating, intermissions, and no food or drink allowed! I'll bet you didn't even know that for Roadshow presentations you were also expected to wear your Sunday best.

And reserved seating.  You were shown to specific seats, by an usher with a flashlight!  For those who are saying they didn't have this and that at their local theaters, I was referring, strictly, to road show presentations.  Neighborhood theaters were not road show venues.  Those were exclusive to, in Philadelphia, Center City (or downtown in other cities), first-run houses.  Also, we could take food into the theater, it was only drink that was only allowed in the lobby, and that was true even for our neighborhood theaters, back in the 50s and 60s.



#88 of 148 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:07 PM

For the record, theatre owners received extremely specific instruction.  This is one example:

 

Attached File  Mad World - Misc Tech (dragged).pdf   396.93KB   169 downloads


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#89 of 148 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:39 PM

For the record, theatre owners received extremely specific instruction. This is one example: Mad World - Misc Tech (dragged).pdf

That is fantastic.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#90 of 148 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted November 19 2013 - 02:47 PM

For the record, theatre owners received extremely specific instruction.  This is one example:

 

Posted ImageMad World - Misc Tech (dragged).pdf

Those were the days.

 

The Star! laserdisc and DVD supplement section has similarly detailed instructions for proper presentation.


Edited by Rob_Ray, November 19 2013 - 02:48 PM.


#91 of 148 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted November 19 2013 - 03:08 PM

Those were the days.The Star! laserdisc and DVD supplement section has similarly detailed instructions for proper presentation.

But didn't the DVD leave off the intermission?
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#92 of 148 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted November 19 2013 - 03:14 PM

But didn't the DVD leave off the intermission?

Yes.  Fox Video was obviously unclear on the concept.


Edited by Rob_Ray, November 19 2013 - 03:14 PM.


#93 of 148 OFFLINE   John Maher_289910

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Posted November 19 2013 - 05:39 PM

Fox also got the color wrong on the DVD of STAR!

 

I still haven't received my OLIVER! Blu-ray.  Does Screen Archives walk them to their destinations?!



#94 of 148 OFFLINE   bujaki

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Posted November 19 2013 - 06:26 PM

I got my shipment of Oliver!,etc. today, and I ordered day one at 3pm! Why so many others got it so long before me is a mystery. But it's OK, it's here.



#95 of 148 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted November 19 2013 - 06:35 PM

I got my shipment of Oliver!,etc. today, and I ordered day one at 3pm! Why so many others got it so long before me is a mystery. But it's OK, it's here.

Same here.  I think those of us who ordered all three titles got our orders processed last.  My friends who ordered Oliver! by itself got their copies last week.  Mine came yesterday.



#96 of 148 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted November 19 2013 - 06:42 PM

Doctor Zhivago also had one of the great Act II openers.  With the curtains closed and the lights not yet completely dimmed, you could hear that train rumbling along through the theatre speakers for what seemed like almost a minute, before the curtains began to slowly part, the train gave out a loud whistle and a huge mass of blackness on the emerging 70mm screen gave way to the Ural Mountains as the train came roaring out of a tunnel.

Yes, a great Act II opening. 

 

But, when the picture came, you could once again see the graininess of one of the worst 35->70 blowups of all time.

 

I projected the film in 35mm (roadshow) for nearly a year and the 35mm prints actually looked better than the 70mm prints.  

 

Still a great film.



#97 of 148 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted November 19 2013 - 07:16 PM

As much as I want Star! on Blu-ray, I want the color to be done correctly. That DVD looked nothing like I saw on its premiere engagement.

 

The Oliver! Blu-ray is very much like I remember.



#98 of 148 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted November 19 2013 - 07:50 PM

I kid you not, I could read an entire book consisting of notes to theater managers and projectionists.

 

But I'm wondering -- besides road show presentations -- how many other movies would such things have been created for?  Maybe not a lot?  Were instructions regarding elements of presentation other than overtures and intermissions, etc., very common?



#99 of 148 OFFLINE   Cineman

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Posted November 19 2013 - 08:26 PM

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I'm not baffled by an intermission as much as I find it odd that anyone would want a movie to stop for a short amount of time during the movie. I've never watched a movie and thought how much I was enjoying the story and that a short break would somehow enhance the movie. That being said, if I had seen movies with intermissions, I'm sure I would have a fond memories of them and the theater going experience of that era.

 

 

 

Just to clarify, I have no problem with them retaining the intermission on video. If there was an intermission in the theaters then the disc should maintain it. While I want the movie to continue, I would even watch the intermission in deference to that being the way that it originally played.

 

I certainly get the idea of creating suspense with a 'cliffhanger' intermission (I'm a huge proponent of watching serialized TV shows week to week rather than watching an entire season in a few days because I think it enhances the serialized storytelling experience) but it seems needless when we're talking about a story that runs a total of about 3 hours.

 

There was an "enhancing the experience" element to those intermissions of the past that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet. If it has been alluded to elsewhere in this thread, forgive me for repeating it here:

 

Assuming the length of the film warranted it, the break not only allowed for a trip to the potty and another (or first) trip to the concession stand but, quite memorably in several instances that I experienced first hand, gave us the chance to turn to one another to remark on how great it has been so far. Consequently, it "enhanced" the communal experience in that it encouraged us to share our enthusiasm for what has come already. Yes, there was a time when filmmakers were so confident in what they had delivered at roughly the half-way mark that they could insert a formal break in the narrative to give us all a chance to express our appreciation for it among our friends and family.

 

I can recall times when what we had watched just before that intermission break was so good, so impressive, we could not wait for the lights to come up during that break so we could turn to one another and share our thoughts. It made the event more fun and enhanced the experience! Notable examples off the top of my head were the intermission breaks during LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, FUNNY GIRL, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. The first "half" of those particular movies before the intermission was so good, so impressive, we were bursting with enthusiasm and could not wait to talk about it. And it is as if the filmmakers knew very well that what they'd delivered up to that moment would not only deserve our enthusiasm but would give us the chance to share it and thereby enhance the enthusiasm for what was to come.

 

Providing something great and then teasing the audience by making them wait a few moments for the rest was an element of showmanship that filmmakers of the past understood very well. That second dimming of the lights and second curtain opening generated a well-earned second shot of adrenaline for those movie-going events.

 

Dare I say...it might not speak so well for modern fare that there would not likely be very much positive to talk about, to enthuse about at roughly the halfway mark, even in the biggest budget, most supposedly "prestigious event" offerings, to survive an intermission break much less for the audience reaction to be improved by one. Of course, that is just my opinion about it.      



#100 of 148 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted November 19 2013 - 08:43 PM

I kid you not, I could read an entire book consisting of notes to theater managers and projectionists. But I'm wondering -- besides road show presentations -- how many other movies would such things have been created for?  Maybe not a lot?  Were instructions regarding elements of presentation other than overtures and intermissions, etc., very common?

When I was in the booth we would get notes on occasion. I remember one from Redford about the multi-aspect ratios for The Horse Whisperer for example.Usually you'd get a note in the cans when there was something unusual or specific to be done, it was maybe something you saw a few times a year.
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