Columbia/TriStar: We want A Matter of Life and Death on DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rain, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Alright, so I have not been successful in determining who owns the home video rights to the film. But I'm sure you know who you are. [​IMG]
    Since it appears that Criterion has no plans to release this film on DVD, as has been widely rumoured, perhaps whichever studio owns it might give this one consideration.
    I suspect Criterion has done reasonably well with their foray into Powell/Pressburger films on DVD, so how about it?
    Oh, and given that this film was shot in glorious Technicolor by the great Jack Cardiff, make sure it looks good please. [​IMG]
    And very preferably with the original British titles intact. [​IMG]
     
  2. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    YES YES YES!!!
    This film is a MUST HAVE on DVD. The first of the great Trilogy of films by Powell/Pressberger & Jack Cardiff. A timeless classic that ranks among the very best films.
    So to whomever owns it (Columbia?, Universal?, etc.) I'll buy 10 copies (1 for myself & 9 as gifts). [​IMG]
     
  3. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I would definitely purchase this-and any other Powell/Pressberger film-if released to DVD.
     
  4. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    This is my favorite film of all time and must be released on DVD.
    As far as I can tell, the rights to A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH are held in the US by Columbia TriStar.
    The last I heard, the movie had undergone a restoration, these are the only details I have at the moment:
    http://www.oscars.org/press/pressrel.../00.06.29.html
    Hopefully, Columbia TriStar can be convinced to release this marvelous film on DVD.
    Someone may want to edit the subject of this thread to mention Columbia TriStar.
     
  5. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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  6. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    An interesting excerpt from the article:

     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Second! (Or is that already too low a number? [​IMG] )
    Cees
     
  8. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Powell/Pressberger's A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH is my most-wanted film not yet on Region 1 DVD, and has held that status for several years; before that, it was my most-wanted film not on laserdisc.
    So, by all means, Columbia, please release this cinematic crown jewel on DVD in North America. After all, Sony seems to have sunk a considerable amount of $$$ to restore the film, and DVD would be an ideal way to quickly recoup that investment.
     
  9. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    "A Matter of Life and Death" is available on DVD on PAL Region 2, but while it is acceptable, it is only a very average transfer.

    (It is however a pleasure to see how much more attractive Kim Hunter is, out of her Ape Costume)

    On the other hand, I just purchased the new region 2 release of Powell and Pressburger's "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" and I have to say that it looks absolutely gorgeous.
    The picture is as sharp as a tack and the original English Technicolor is truly beautiful.
    It contains an interesting newly produced Documentary on the history of the film.

    Anybody with PAL Capable gear, should not hesitate in ordering it.
    It is a great transfer of a great classic.
     
  10. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I know this is a cliche, but count me in! We need more classics on DVD!
     
  11. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    The 19 Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger feature films constitute one of the most original and exhilarating body of works in cinema history, bookended by Powell’s sole projects THE EDGE OF THE WORLD and the masterful PEEPING TOM.

    They created some of the most radical and offbeat propaganda films of the War (THE SPY IN BLACK, CONTRABAND, 49TH PARALLEL, ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP, THE SILVER FLEET and A CANTERBURY TALE), which are as fascinating politically, emotionally and artistically today as they were misunderstood at the time!

    After the War (and the experimental success with Technicolor that was THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP), the Archers – as Powell and Pressburger were known, after the name of their production company – rarely returned to black-and-white (I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING!, THE END OF THE RIVER, THE SMALL BACK ROOM and ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT), concentrating instead on films that could only be described as “explosions of color and music” (which had more to do with the complex emotional states of the films’ characters rather than budgetary self-indulgence on the part of P&P). The films in this vein include A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, BLACK NARCISSUS, THE RED SHOES, THE ELUSIVE PIMPERNEL, GONE TO EARTH, THE TALES OF HOFFMAN, OH…ROSALINDA! and THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER PLATE). Not all were successful, both as films and in box office returns, but the best of them rank not just with the finest ever to come out of Britain but are among the greatest ever made!

    So far, only 5 of Powell’s films are available on Region 1 DVD: CONTRABAND (released by Kino On Video, but without any supplements) and four from Criterion - I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING!, BLACK NARCISSUS, THE RED SHOES and PEEPING TOM – with a healthy dose of Special Features to make one leap at the opportunity of purchasing these stellar digital editions even at Criterion’s hefty prices! Criterion also released three other titles on LD: 49TH PARALLEL, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP and THE TALES OF HOFFMAN. The latter two have been mentioned as possible DVD releases; HOFFMAN, especially, has been announced for years, but it has yet to materialize (allegedly because of the extensive restoration necessary to produce a quality print)!

    A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (perhaps the Archers’ finest hour, and certainly my favorite) would surely be up Criterion’s street but, seeing that they do not own the distribution rights in the U.S., let’s just hope that Columbia can do a rightly honorable job with this title. Ian Christie (who wrote a book on P&P, several of Criterion’s essays, and the “BFI Film Classics” entry on AMOLAD), Martin Scorsese (a staunch admirer of Powell’s oeuvre) and Powell’s widow – and Scorsese’s own film editor – Thelma Schoonmaker (considering this was Powell’s own favorite among his work) should be roped in to participate in an Audio Commentary for this most subliminally fascinating of films! Columbia can give Criterion a run for their money with their edition of A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (and it will be considerably cheaper): here’s hoping they are listening and won’t drag their feet about this release!
     
  12. Larry Bevil

    Larry Bevil Second Unit

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    I have Stairway To Heaven on VHS and thoroughly enjoy it. So, whichever version, or title, comes to DVD, it's a buy for me.
     
  13. Darrell Bratz

    Darrell Bratz Stunt Coordinator

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    This is by far my most-wanted title on DVD. It was my most-wanted laserdisc before that. I finally got a multi-region/PAL converting player, and the availability of AMOLAD is the main reason why. I'm still hoping for a region 1 release however, and would buy it instantly.

    Saw it theatrically in Santa Monica some years ago, and the lovely reissue poster (as Stairway To Heaven) is one of only two movie posters displayed in my home.

    And am still waiting for a chance just to see "Oh Rosalinda!!", let alone own it.
     
  14. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    So, if Columbia has restored this film, how much longer
    will we be waiting for it to come to DVD?


    Mark
     
  15. Fred_C

    Fred_C Agent

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    Columbia, Please release this on DVD..anamorphic please.
     
  16. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH wasn't wide screen, but it still needs to be on DVD... NOW!!!
     

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