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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Artist -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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I tend to keep my Blu-rays alphabetically. And occasionally I notice that somehow, fate has placed two discs next to one another, with tangible connections between the two.

In the same strange way, I've received, and am reporting on two Kevin Brownlow restorations. First Chaplin's 1925 The Gold Rush, and now the 1929 Kinograph production, The Artist.

Lost, and presumed gone, for decades, two prints were located in Europe, both incorrectly inventoried under translations of the original title. Between the two, Photoplay Productions, has once again pulled a rabbit out of the proverbial hat with a gorgeous reconstruction and restoration.

The gray scale, as seen in the new dupes almost glistens in the way that nitrate might. Blacks are controlled, and never seem to reach the highest densities. The overall look is beautiful.

Basically the tale of a young ingenue, that meets, is taken under the wing of, and ultimately forms a relationship with an older actor, this is a storyline we've now seen many times. Multiple versions of A Star is Born, Singin' in the Rain, etc.

But looking back to this now 82 year-old document of the late silent / early sound era, it seems fresh. Other wonders abound. The original discs were also found. With a soundtrack digitally re-mastered and beautifully cleaned, and harvested from those discs, the score brings the film to life as it did those many decades ago.

Also hidden away, and unheard since the film's original release is an entire musical sequence by the great Bernard Herrmann, composed when he was only 18. It would be this same theme that would later become an essential part of Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo."

An ultimately enchanting film. See it when it tours near you, with a live symphony orchestra, or now, courtesy of The Weinstein Company and Sony Pictures on Blu-ray.

If only Mr. Valentin and Ms. Miller had survived to see their work restored and preserved.

Image - 4

Audio - 3.5

Recommended.

RAH
 

Kevin EK

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Is there any truth to the online rumor about Bernard Herrmann? I read somewhere that he demanded that Paramount provide him with the very same musicians when he re-recorded the theme for use in Vertigo. Some of these guys were in their late 80s apparently. There's a further rumor that he was so pleased with the Vertigo sessions that he had the old 1929 Kinograph music track replaced with the 1958 recording. One has to wonder how the archivists were able to find that original 1929 track. It must be priceless. This gives me hope that one day we really will see the original Orson Welles cut of The Magnificent Ambersons...
 

Robert Harris

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Kevin EK said:
Is there any truth to the online rumor about Bernard Herrmann? I read somewhere that he demanded that Paramount provide him with the very same musicians when he re-recorded the theme for use in Vertigo. Some of these guys were in their late 80s apparently. There's a further rumor that he was so pleased with the Vertigo sessions that he had the old 1929 Kinograph music track replaced with the 1958 recording. One has to wonder how the archivists were able to find that original 1929 track. It must be priceless. This gives me hope that one day we really will see the original Orson Welles cut of The Magnificent Ambersons...
It's in South America
 

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