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A Few Words About A few words about...™ J'Accuse (post 1938 re-issue) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    While I would have preferred the original 1938 cut of Abel Gance's J'Accuse, we have what we have, as delivered by Gaumont and Olive.

    We have some extra footage, and some original footage missing, but it serves the purpose, as the many important bits are generally intact. The downside of the re-issue is a happy ending, and the loss of Diaz rejoining his long-dead allies.

    It was released in a heavily cut version in the U.S. in late 1939.

    J'Accuse is one of the great anti-war films. In a very different way, but right up there with Renoir's Grand Illusion and Kubrick's Paths of Glory.

    Different, in that it appears more fragmented, possibly less professional, and uses horror to make it point. Think the progenitor of Night of the Living Dead.

    The elements have been nicely restored, with picture generally appearing quite beautiful, and audio, which was a pastiche at the time, still showing some of its rough assemblage.

    Gance not only used a great deal of stock footage for the re-make of his own 1918 film (available, but apparently out of print, from Flicker Alley), but also quite a bit of stock footage. Of necessity, image quality can change from shot to shot, but that's what it looked like originally.

    An extremely important film, I'm thrilled that Olive has stepped up to the plate and released this one. Once you see it, you'll never lose the images.

    Victor Francen's performance, as Jean Diaz is one of the great ones! After leaving France, he went on to have a very respectable career in Hollywood.

    Before anyone asks, I have no idea why the re-issue version was used.

    Image - 3.5

    Audio - 3.5

    4k Up-rez - 3.75

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Very Highly Recommended

    RAH
     
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  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    His cameo in The Mask Of Dimitrios is superb.
     
  3. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Could there be any greater timing for another Gance film to be released on BD?
    Certainly this is something to whet the appetites for those of us awaiting the BD arrival of "Napoleon".
    Olive has definitely got game.:thumbs-up-smiley:
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    A better, ie more original cut of the film is available, albeit out of print, along with Gance's Beethoven and Lucrece Borgia, on the Image Entertainment label.

    Olive is far better quality, however.

    Beware Bootlegs stolen by Korean thieves, with the help of their government.
     
  5. Message #5 of 12 Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    When you say Bootlegs, which of the aforementioned Gance titles are you refering to?
    And -God help us - but are you saying that these bootlegs have now seeped into the flow of our own American supply?
    If so, then what are the tell-tale signs and marketplaces to watch out for?

    Hopefully, Amazon will be cognizant and pro-active towards these Bootlegged Gance titles;
    for, as we know, they had unwittingly enabled the Spanish Bootlegs of "Ryan's Daughter".

    BTW, folks, RAH is far from making an overstatement concerning "their government".
    I have witnessed first-hand the voluminous titles from the American catalog that are on display in the South Korean marketplaces and streets. It is rampant and not at all hard to find.:angry:
     
  6. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    I will be supporting and purchasing Olive's latest offering of "J'Accuse".:)
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Korean bootlegs of J'accuse, Lucrece, Beethoven, and of course, Napoleon, which has been properly accredited and approved by the Korean government.

    I've attempted to discuss with them, but they seem to give an all-knowing smirk, and a "go away, kid, don't bother us..."

    There may be some fine Korean people, but there government, when it comes to intellectual property are a hateful bunch of ignominious twits, who should be run out of the world on a rail.

    RAH
     
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  8. Message #8 of 12 Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    I even wonder if the Korean filmmakers, themselves, would have any influence on their government, as well?
    I wonder if real Anti-Piracy conferences could be held and begin within such venues as the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), held annually in October.
    Could such a backing, show of support and cooperation begin with the committee(s) and organizers of BIFF, itself?
    I can't imagine that such Korean filmmakers as Kim Dae-hwan, Ahn Sun-kyoung, Yoon Sung-hyun, Park Jung-bum and So Sang-min; all of whom were recipients of BIFF awards; would want their intellectual properties pirated, either. But if the likes of BIFF were to honor such an annual conference on Anit-Piracy, it should certainly not be limited to just the Korean filmmakers; as there are a multitude of directors from other Asian countries who also attend this event. Who of recent attendance at BIFF are the future Ang Lee's, Yoji Yamada's or Wong Kar-wai's who should now express their national and global solidarity in favor of protecting the works of all artists.
     
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  9. Message #9 of 12 Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
    PMF

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    Is this an indicator that there will be more of Abel Gance's works made available, down the road?
    Also, what is the single most Gance title that you would hope to see made available on BD?
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    His war era productions always had a dynamism to them, but the reality of the situation is probably best explained in a comment that he made to me regarding that era and filmmaking.

    He said that "he made films in order to live..."

    Then thought a moment and corrected himself.

    "in order not to die..."
     
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  11. Message #11 of 12 Nov 22, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
    Stefan Andersson

    Stefan Andersson Second Unit

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  12. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Wow , that really explains so much. Thank you for sharing that comment.
     

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