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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jon Robertson, Oct 30, 2003.
Jon, you are definitely the bearer of good news these days!
As good as 2003 was, 2004 is looking even more promising for classic movies
Is it just me, or are nearly all of Warner's back catalogue releases absolutely shit-hot these days?
I'm glad I lost out on that eBay auction for a copy of The Damned on VHS.
Blowup will be mine.
I saw the uncut version of The Damned at an arthouse a few months ago, and the print was great. I also saw The Leopard, and hopefully the rumours are true and Criterion are going to release it next year. It will be great to revisit Death In Venice, as I haven't seen it years.
It has been a long, long wait for Blow-Up. Great stuff. Here's hoping that Warner will release The Passenger in the near future, also. I heard that Jack Nicholson actually owns the film outright now - is this true?
Great news, Jon! Top man!
Excellent news; pity they appear to be bare-bones releases, but we can hope for some superb Warners transfers.
BTW, reading Piers Paul Read's biog. of Alec Guinness at the moment. Apparently Guinness turned down the role of Gustav von Aschenbach in Death in Venice; now that would have been a piece of perfect casting IMHO, though Bogarde was excellent.
So many films, so little time...
I adore Death in Venice and it's been one of my most wanted DVDs since I saw the BFI's new print this summer and found it overwhelming.
Despite what you may have heard, it's not an old man's dirty obsession with a little boy - it's about growing old, slowing down and nearing death, but desperately wanting to turn round and get one's youth back more than anything in the world. The scene where Dirk Bogarde goes to get "painted" is simply heartbreaking.
Absolutely fantastic news!!!!
Fine comments, Mr Robertson!
I missed the Death In Venice screening. Great print, huh? Excellent. It's a beautiful film. Bogarde is unforgetable.
I can't wait to have these three classics in my collection again.
Any update on another controversial Warners film from that same period, The Devils? And does Warners seem to be softening its stance on releasing unrated or X-rated catalog titles, such as The Damned?
I was just thinking the same thing, Scott! If they can release the uncut version of The Damned then I would think that Warner would see the logic in releasing that deliriously great gem that is The Devils. Strangely, I was thinking about Aldous Huxley today. Probably because I'm re-reading Nietzsche's, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Just a little light reading before bedtime.
If Warner releases The Devils uncut, I will take back every negative thing I ever said about them.
For those interested, here are the details I received today from WB which I have cut & pasted.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PRESS RELEASE ATTACHED
International Award Winners from Antonioni & Visconti ...
Death in Venice
Three Masterpieces from two of the world's greatest directors
debut on DVD February 17
DVDs Include All-New Widescreen Digital Transfers,
Commentaries and Featurettes
BURBANK, Calif., December 29, 2003 -On February 17, Warner Home Video proudly introduces on DVD three internationally acclaimed award-winners from two of the greatest movie directors ever. These incomparable foreign films - Michelangelo Antonioni's Blowup, Luchino Visconti's The Damned and Death in Venice -make their DVD debuts complete with all-new widescreen digital transfers, commentaries and featurettes. All titles will be available for just $19.98 SRP.
Winner of 1966 Best Picture and Director Awards from the National Society of Film Critics, Michelangelo Antonioni's Blowup is an influential, stylish study of paranoid intrigue and disorientation. It is also a time capsule look at mod London, a mindscape of the era's fashions, free love, parties, music (Herbie Hancock wrote the score and The Yardbirds riff at a club) and hip languor. David Hemmings (Gangs of New York, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) plays a jaded photographer enlivened by the mysteries in his photos. Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, Howard's End, Girl Interrupted) is the elusive woman pictured in them. And the enigma of what is seen, what is not seen, what the camera sees is waiting to be solved.
Commentary by Peter Brunette, author of The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni
Music-only audio track
Luchino Visconti's The Damned follows a German family's decline as the Nazi party rises. Dirk Bogarde (Oh What a Lovely War, Blythe Spirit) stars as a schemer who makes a Macbeth-like move to take over a steelworks and munitions empire on the eve of Hitler's campaign to eliminate all opposition. Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem and Charlotte Rampling (Swimming Pool) play others ensnared in family and political turmoil. And Helmut Berger makes his startling debut as the family heir, a handsome dandy who evolves into a sinister embodiment of unrepentant evil.
The story begins on the night of the Reichstag Fire in February 1933 and ends shortly after the infamous "Night of the Long Knives" in June 1934. In between it's one of the most spellbinding studies of corruption ever, noted for hypnotic moods and overwhelming visual splendor.
Visconti featurette, profiling the master director at work on the set
Earning its creator a Cannes Film Festival Special 25th Anniversary Prize, Death in Venice shows Visconti at his best. Director Luchino Visconti's stirring transformation of Thomas Mann's classic novel -- with a soundtrack feast of Gustav Mahler music and another haunting Bogarde performance -- is "a masterwork of power and beauty" (critic William Wolf).
Abroad on a rest holiday, composer Gustav Aschenbach (Bogarde) is to all the world reserved and civilized. But when he glimpses someone who inspires him to give way to a secret passion, it foreshadows his doom. Like Aschenbach, the hero of the film, Visconti is an artist obsessed: his movies are awash in mood, period detail and seething emotions beneath placid surfaces.
Behind-the-scenes featurette: Visconti's Venice
A Tour of Venice stills Gallery
Run Time: 111 Minutes
Run Time: 150 Minutes
Death in Venice
Rating: (Original Rating) USAG
Run Time: 130 Minutes
Thanks for the specs.
Since Blow-up is coming with an an "all-new widescreen digital transfers", I hope that means it'll be anamorphic.
Here's the artwork (like in my signature):
Too bad Warner's still using the snapper case for this release.
The Damned runs only 150 minutes? So it's the same censored R-rated version as usual? Dare I say Warner have just damned themselves?
Blowup is confirmed to be anamorphic (although I was 99% sure it would be, I'm always paranoid):
Can we expect some outrage over the DVD release over the framing of the new DVD of BLOW UP?
Back when it was released on laserdisc, in full frame by MGM and letterboxed by Criterion, one of the big laserdisc critics did a comparison of it.
The letterboxing (and properly framed theatrical prints) cut out the majority of Vanessa Redgrave's toplessness (and it was one of the first major films to have nudity). But the full frame shows it.
I can see a lot of people freaking out when it is released, saying that Warner screwed it up, but that is the correct presentation of it.
That Blowup comparison review is here.
The framing on the new DVD is more likely to be 1.78:1 than 1.85:1. But we'll soon see.
Warner framed Day For Night at 1.78:1.