A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Birth of a Nation -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Tom Logan

    Tom Logan Stunt Coordinator

    May 23, 2003
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  2. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

    Dec 19, 2012
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    I'd seriously like to hear Reg's score. If it provoked that great of a reaction from a modern audience, it must be at the very least worth a listen. Too bad Kino and MOC didn't give us a choice of a few different scores to hear.
  3. titch

    titch Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 7, 2012
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    Real Name:
    Kevin Oppegaard
    Mr Harris should try to get hold of the BFI's spectacular Collector's Centenary Edition, a region B-locked release that came out November 2015. It is easily available from Amazon UK. In this newly restored version, 95% of it is made from an original 35 mm step-printed nitrate print of the 1921 reissue from the Museum of Modern Art, with key damaged or missing sections copied by a duplicate fine grain held by the British Film Institute. Damaged sections were further improved from The Library of Congress' extensive nitrate holdings for Birth. The quality of this transfer far surpasses the previous US Kino and UK Masters Of Cinema blu ray editions. In addition, there is a newly orchestrated score to fit the transfer. While retaining the majority of Joseph Carl Breil's plan, there are some substitutions (eg. Francesca da Rimini by Tchaikovsky instead of Grieg's In The Hall Of The Mountain King for the bombardment of Atlanta). It sounds superb either in LPCM 2.0 audio (48k/24-bit) or 5.1 DTS Master Audio (48k). What Patrick Stanbury, Rob Byrne, David Gill and Kevin Brownlow have achieved is monumental. I haven't seen any silent film close to this quality - it is really stunning projected onto a 150 inch screen. There is a second blu-ray disc with extensive special features, including a discussion which the BFI held for the Centenary showing. Birth Of A Nation is too controversial, incendiary and despised in the USA for any centenary anniversary last year but the film, as Kevin Brownlow elegantly writes in a chapter the extensive liner notes ("We Can Never Censor The Past"), it is the first masterwork of American cinema. It is quite extraordinary seeing it again in this edition.

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