Any chance of a re-release for Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Marc Colella, Jul 17, 2003.

  1. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Is there any chance of a re-release of Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring?

    The lack of anamorphic transfers for both of these is keeping me from picking them up.

    Is there a Region 0 release for these that's anamorphic?

    I hate the fact that these titles aren't in my collection.


    EDIT: Can someone add a question mark to the header? It may be considered misleading with one.
     
  2. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    I second the motion. I usually give MGM slack cause they usually do an excellent job, but WHAT where they thinking? likewise with ANGELS AND INSECTS-flat!
     
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I agree, these discs suck. They are nothing more than the old laserdisc transfers with the added benefit of excessive (and unnecessary if they had used dual layer) compression artifacts. These deserve a proper anamorphic release. I am very tempted to get the PAL versions.
     
  4. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I've emailed and snail-mailed requests for new transfers of these titles, but have heard nothing. Probably they didn't sell well the first time around (well, duh, since all home theater forums and print reviews warned people away from them) so they decided not to revisit... a backward kind of logic, but I'd not be surprised to find it frequently used among studios.
     
  5. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    the way these two titles were treated, alnong with Who'll Stop The Rain, are the main reason MGM has been on my $#!% list for the last few years.
    Jeff hit 'em right on the head- the LDs still look better because they don't suffer the horrible compresion artifacting.

    these films were also the main reason i bought a Malata ( i had the R2 versions sitting on my self about 6 months before i was able to buy a player to watch, just so i was sure the didn't go oop before i got 'em).
    sad fact though, apart from the 16:9 enhancement, the movies still don't look anywhere as good as they should.
    watchable on a very large screen, but just barely.

    unless the rights to the Orion catalog move somewhere else, i doubt MGM would go back a do these justice.
     
  6. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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  7. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    DVD beaver did some comparisons of R1 and R2 and as Paul stated, it really seems that even the 16x9 R2 versions are sub-par (the french DVD was not reviewed and that may be better).

    http://207.136.67.23/film/dvdcompare/jeandeflorette.htm

    BTW, the color in the R2 version which is very warm/yellow looking is identical to the color on the old P/S laserdisc and IMO is the way the film-makers intended the film to look. It adds a warm/mystical look to the movie that adds to the flavor of the film. I think the color-temp MGM DVD is cold/dead in comparison even though it may appear to produce more accurate flesh-tones.

    Folks, not ONLY is the R1 version a crappy 4x3 lbxed image that's RIDDLED with artifacting and EE from start-to-finish, but it also suffers some of the WORST PAL-NTSC conversion artifacts in the history of video. Yes...it's a converted PAL master and NOT a 24 fps-NTSC transfer!!!

    MGM should be ashamed for both the DVD versions of these films *and* the fact that they stated total BS when in their chat they said "no studio could have done a better job with the DVDs" which *clearly* is wrong since the R2 versions at least look a *little* better and are native 16x9.

    These films deserve new reference 1080P 24 HD transfers and decent downconversions. No PAL-NTSC conversion crap either.

    It's a sin.

    BTW, I have yet to figure out why "studio produced" PAL-NTSC converted discs show such horrendous artifacing (Pride & Prejudice) when a cheap consumer-grade DVD player like the Malata can play a PAL disc and convert to NTSC on-the-fly with nary a motion/pan conversion artifact to be seen. What gives?

    -dave
     
  8. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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  9. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    the screenshots here are very misleading.
    apart from the color differences, the R1 looks like a superbit next to the R2 anamorphic images.
    the problem is, compression once the image is actually moving.
    these may actually be state of the art....(for 1996!) but i believe these came out in 2001 so there is absolutely no excuse here.

    it's amazing that the most inane schlock can get stunningly crafted transfers over at MGM, and yet some of the finest films they still actually retain the rights to, get tossed off like an afterthought.
    Billy Wilders the Apartment, should also look much better than it does, even though it is 16:9 enhanced.
    and the aforementioned Who'll Stop The Rain is a complete joke with a non-enhanced 1.75 AR, and the first 15 minutes actually being out of focus!?

    looking over the screen shots of the R2, it may be a case of high frequency filtering.
    they both used a low bit rate, and if the film had grainy stock to begin with, that would account for a lot of the horrible artifacting on the MGM, and the softer but more stable looking R2 as they tried to get around that by applying the HFF.

    i wish someone would get on the ball with these.
    i used to actually make phone calls to image back in the early 90's pleading with them to release a widescreen versions of these.
    i still have that beautiful boxset, even though i never pull out my player anymore.
     
  10. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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  11. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    I saw those screenshots but they are misleading. I owned both the R1 and R2 versions and the R2 version blows away the MGM release. They may not be perfect but the anamorphic R2 releases look very good. The R1 versions are probably some of the worst transfers MGM has ever released. The Pathe/Fox R2 versions are the only way to go with these 2 films. I am perfectly satisfied with these and probably would not replace them with new versions even if MGM did re-do them in R1.

    Jeff
     
  12. Steve Y

    Steve Y Supporting Actor

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    Truly a shame. Not only are both films swimming in a sea of compression artifacts; the subtitles are oversized and very poorly placed over the border of the non-anamorphic film image. It looks very, very sloppy.

    I wish very badly that these films had been licensed to Criterion.

    s
     
  13. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    that's another gripe i have with the R2 Manon- the subs are much larger than normal, and not really positioned discretely.

    great if you are watching the film on a 13" tv in the bedroom, but kind of annoying if its on any kind of big screen.

    seriously, these are the largest subs i have ever seen, overlapping about 1/3 of the actual image- it's a 2.35 ratio movie and they could have put them so that they were unobtrusively, mostly in the black bar...but noooooooooo.

    the more i think about the way these films have gotten shafted, the more upset i am.


    at least La Belle Noiseuse and Un Couer En Hiver came in this week-La Belle looks good (but one of the damn discs was loose in the package and is scratched to hell)- haven checked out Un Coeur yet, but i have a little more faith in Artificial Eye than Pathe' at this point.
     
  14. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    This is a very depressing thread. I'm almost sorry I brought up the question.

    What really makes me angry is that it seems the great films (especially the independant and foreign ones) get terrible DVD treatment - while crappy Hollywood films get done right on DVD.

    If MGM doesn't feel the need to do these titles justice, then license them out for Christ sakes.
     
  15. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I agree with the sentiment. This pair are prime candidates for even a bare bones Criterion release.
     
  16. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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  17. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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  18. Bill McCamy

    Bill McCamy Second Unit

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    I too got rid of my copies, without even opening "Manon." "Jean de Florette" was unwatchable on a 4x3 set. On a 16x9 set that unwatchable image had to be window boxed (and letterboxed) to read the subtitles since they were half in the black space below the image. Why would anyone produce a foreign film that is unintelligible, as well as unwatchable, on the newer 16x9 sets?
     
  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  20. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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