beauty and the beast (criterion) reissue - have you seen what's on it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew markworthy, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    I guess this has been mentioned in other threads, but I thought it worthwhile to alert HTFers about what's on the new Criterion version of Belle et la Bete. I thought it was 'only' a better restored version, but in fact, there's a *lot* more on it:

    Commentary by writer/cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling
    Commentary by film historian Arthur Knight
    Theatrical trailer
    New high-definition transfer
    Original opera written for the film by renowned composer Philip Glass
    Screening at the Majestic, 1995 documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew
    Interview with cinematographer Henri Alekan
    Rare behind-the-scenes and publicity stills
    Original 1945 trailer narrated and directed by Cocteau
    A note about the film by Cocteau
    Film restoration demonstration
    1995 restoration trailer
    A reprint of Mme. Leprince de Beaumont's original fable translated from the French
    Notes by Francis Steegmuller, from the definitive book Cocteau: A Biography
    New and improved English subtitle translation

    [source: Play 247]

    Amongst other things, the whole Philip Glass opera (I realise this will not appeal to everyone!) that several of us expressed a longing for in an earlier thread.

    A shame that this marvellous release seems to have sneaked out under the radar whilst trash like Straw Dogs (also coming out on Criterion, for those who haven't heard) will no doubt get a lot more publicity.
     
  2. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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  3. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    I bought the original and bought the reissue without a moment's hesitation. It is, without a doubt, worth every penny. The restoration is magnificent, and Philip Glass's opera is a worthy (if a tad too Philip Glassian) addition. The documentary is brand-new and excellent (featuring the late, great Jean Marais). There's also a new commentary track that exists alongside the pre-existing commentary by Arthur Knight.

    DVD of the year without a doubt, so far. But then again, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas: CC comes out tomorrow... [​IMG]
     
  4. andrew markworthy

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    Randy, thanks for the link.
     
  5. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Andrew, no offence, but this release has hardly "sneaked out under the radar"! You must have been hiding from your computer to have missed out on all the info and updates (not to mention copious threads discussing the release on HTF alone)!

    Still, as long as you're up to speed and in the know. I'd recommend purchasing it from www.cd-wow.com for £21.99 - they're an outstanding supplier; fast, reliable, highly courteous and inexpensive.

    And I'd be very hesitant indeed to refer to Straw Dogs as "trash" - it may be uncompromising, but it's also a fiercely intelligent and moving piece of cinema, dealing just as much with marital breakdown as brute animal instincts. Hopefully the supplements on the disc will go into all this more depth (I can't wait for Stephen Prince's commentary, after his outstanding dissection of Red Beard).
     
  6. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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  7. andrew markworthy

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    Jon, I did a thread search before launching this thread, and couldn't find a thread about it! I know it's been mentioned in threads elsewhere, but this should be a 'shout it from the rooftops' event.

    And sorry, but I'm unrepentant about Straw Dogs - I have *never* seen a justification for the way the rape scene was handled (either in its censored or uncensored form). IMHO, it's a nasty misogynistic piece. Sorry, but that's the way I feel about it.
     
  8. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Veering heavily off-topic now (see what throwaway comments lead to, dammit?! [​IMG]), I could only see the rape scene as "misogynistic" if it was either leering or erotic, and it is unquestionably neither. My good friend Mike Sutton wrote a review of it which puts it far more eloquently than what I could, so enjoy!

    My copy of Beauty and the Beast is winging its way to me from CD-Wow after being shipped this morning and should be here on Wednesday! Hooray! [​IMG]
     
  9. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I think that perhaps I should stop reading threads about Criterion DVDS as everytime I buy one.

    Thanks again for the comments

    Oscar

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

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    Aside from the obvious improvments, I really like the
    new commentary with Sir Christopher Frayling, and
    the documentary which has Marais talking about the
    film with one of the women that played a brat sister.

    Very nice.

    Mark
     

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