Disney: Please consider a special edition of BELOVED

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MarcusUdeh, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    To Buena Vista Home Entertainment:

    The DVD format is a great avenue for ignored films to garner a renewed cult interest. An example of this
    came in 1999 from Fox with the release of their movie Ravenous. The DVD was an unexpected success, due in part to then debuting avant-garde DVD producer David Britten Prior. His devotion to uncompromising A/V presentation and the most dynamic use of the DVD format during the supplemental portions has made him the leader of the pack of ballsy DVD producers. With this particular DVD producer in mind and the concept of ignored works receiving Diamond treatment on the DVD format – I am requesting that the title in your library Beloved be reworked for a new multi-disc definitive edition.

    An adaptation of a Nobel Prize in literature – this film was a labor of love for its star-producer, whom fought to get her vision on the screen for ten years. Oprah Winfrey is America’s number one media icon and arguably the most dynamic personality in contemporary history. When she began searching for a director, she approached Jane Campion – Oscar winner and acclaimed director of The Piano. Ms. Campion felt she didn’t know enough about African American culture to convey a proper emotional texture. Then Jodie Foster was asked to direct who coincidently wrote a college dissertation on the novel version. She declined to direct also because didn’t believe that Beloved was filmable from her prospective. Australian director Peter Weir told Oprah he couldn't quite see her in the movie. Finally after many other searches for a director Oprah came into contact with another Oscar winner, Jonathan Demme, whom Oprah says as a Black soul and could understand the African American experience.


    An excerpt from Moviemaker Magazine, Jonathan Demme says; “It had a complicated reception. It’s funny, because I feel that what we’ve read about Beloved in magazines and the newspapers may present one perspective on how the movie fared and what the movie’s story was. But, the thing is, I love the movie and I’m so proud of it and I thank God and Walt Disney—and Oprah—that I was able to make that picture. I love that it’s part of our American movie literature, but
    I think that we ended up selling that picture with an evident degree of ‘it’s take your medicine time, America.’ I think the intentions behind that attitude were pure, but it probably just wasn’t a smart approach. Also, the picture probably opened much too wide. If we had the opportunity to market it again, we would have been much more low-key about it: open it up smaller and give it a chance to find its audience. “

    “The first time I saw it, I thought they were going to have to carry me out," Oprah Winfrey says of Beloved, the film based on Toni Morrison's unforgettable Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in which Oprah stars as Sethe, a mother who is haunted by the daughter she killed to keep her from being a slave. "Every single image caused such intense, deeply-felt emotions."

    Toni Morrison's reaction to the film delighted Oprah. "On the actors -- a beautifully bejeweled performance," says Morrison. "I was amazed and pleased -- from the first showing, even when I was anticipating what was going to happen -- it's unprecedented. Spectacular -- It has teeth and doesn't bite its tongue."

    Maya Angelou, author and longtime friend, emerged from the premiere crying. Actress Uma Thurman said she couldn't remember the last time she'd seen something "so compelling and profound".

    Please Buena Vista, Oprah Winfrey, David Britten Prior and Jonathan Demme consider this concept.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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  3. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    People the man thanked God, Walt Disney and Oprah - why not have this film revisited?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    Does everyone here have some kind of hidden vendetta against Oprah? If not then most you haven't seen this movie?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ThomasEdison

    ThomasEdison Extra

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    Never seen it but after reading your post I would be interested in seeing it on DVD.
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Is this really an ignored, cult film?

    That said, I am kinda surprised that it hasn't been released on DVD yet. I'm sure it will appear before long.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    It has been released on DVD. I have seen it (my mother owns it). I'm sorry, but it is just not a very good film. Disjointed, hard to follow, not very good acting by Oprah or the daughter (I enjoyed Oprah in The Color Purple, she showed her limitations here) and it was way, way too "sledge hammer over the head" with the message. Only my opinion, but one that is shared with a bunch of the critics. Sometimes a filmmaker's "labor of love" translates into a film that loves to be laborious - this is definitely one of them.
     
  8. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Beloved is a wonderful film made with heart and integrity and passion. Sure, it deserves a quality DVD presentation -- many films do -- but the bottom line drives the engines of commerce. Beloved took a bath at the box office and was viewed as an attempt by Ms. Winfrey to win Oscar gold...the same way Amistad was cycnically viewed as another attempt by Spielberg to rack up some more industry acclaim. In some corners of this world, despite the quality of the film, there are those who seriously believe the only reason Spielberg made Schindler's List was to finally win the Oscar that had long eluded him. I heard the same charges made against Amistad and Schindler's List that I heard made against Beloved...as if the films were some sort of political extortion to force the Academy into praising or rewarding a creative team.

    Beloved is a brave film. It is definitely worth your attention if you've missed it.
     
  9. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    hmmm. Sounds interesting.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It has nothing to do with Oprah. There are a number of problems with your presentation:
    1. You didn't include the film's title in the title of the thread.
    2. Your appeal was directed to a studio and, as such, it's in the wrong forum. We have a Studio Feedback forum for these purposes.
    3. If you were looking to generate discussion among the membership, it might have helped if you'd told eveyone more about the film's plot and subject matter. It wasn't in theaters for very long, and most people didn't get a chance to see it.
    4. As noted, the film has indeed been released to DVD. I'll bet it didn't sell a lot of discs, just as it didn't sell a lot of tickets. [/list=1]
      I saw Beloved during its brief theatrical release. I consider it a failure, but a noble one.

      Would you like this thread moved to Studio Feedback?

      M.
     
  11. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    Sure, could you change the title too?


    [​IMG]
     
  12. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    I know, this thread is for a possible SE DVD release

    [c][​IMG][/c]
     
  13. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Read the book about about 10 years ago. Or at least I tried to. Beloved is the only book I have ever read that I didn't just not like, but had strong negative reactions to the point that I couldn't finish reading it. I think it was the chapter with the description of the voyage of the ship that finally made me put it down for good.

    Great Expectations is the only other book I've ever read that I had a similar reaction to, but I managed to finish reading that one.

    Not trying to thread fart, but that is my way of answering the question about interest in the film on DVD. Nothing against Oprah, either, though she and I tend not to have the same taste in literature.
     
  14. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  15. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    Is anyone from Oprah's staff a member at this forum?
     
  16. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    To some extent, Marcus, I feel you.

    But let me offer a little commercial context to the DVD picture of a film you're obviously personally fond of.

    A couple of months ago, Di$ney announced SEs of Crimson Tide and Enemy Of the State for a May 4, 2004 street date.

    A couple of weeks ago, they cancelled/postponed those releases. No explanation. No new street date.

    Perhaps you've heard of the producer of these films? He's a little independent guy who just recently dipped into the film biz. His name is Jerry Bruckheimer. [​IMG]

    My point is that if Di$ney--after taking yeaaaars to presumably produce anamorphic SEs of Will Smith and Denzel pics--is now cancelling/delaying films from a producer who had a film globally gross $600M+ for the studio last year (Pirates Of the Caribbean), that should inform your understanding of where the Mouse House is coming from.

    The SEs we're seeing from Di$ney now are of Miramax films: Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting and The English Patient. (This is of course ironic, since Miramax was embarrassing Di$ney with the nice SE content of their DVDs released around 1999-2000 via their Canadian distribber Alliance Atlantis. Mouschwitz quashed this quickly. Remember that anamorphic Canadian Good Will Hunting?)

    Its taken Di$ney seven years to release an SE DVD of a film that won Best Picture.

    I'd keep my eyes out for a Horse Whisperer SE. When Di$ney re-does that, then they might be in the mood to do re-do Beloved. They'll prolly stroke Redford before Oprah.

    -p
     
  18. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    I love Oprah - I hope you might be wrong?
     
  19. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    Well I think it's time I get people thinking about this movie again since Jonathan Demme does have a new major studio project ready for release.
     
  20. MarcusUdeh

    MarcusUdeh Supporting Actor

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    2005 is approaching and it would be excellent if Ms. Winfrey whom recently grave away flat-screen TVs for her annual Christmas show would consider having Buena Vista Home Entertainment license this title over to Criterion. The dream of course was to have the Kubrickian DVD producer David Prior orchestrate the proceedings although he could do something new and exclusive for the Buena Vista’s eventual high definition optical disc version.

    As for possible supplements, I would appreciate an Oprah commentary with author Toni Morrison. Absolutely no EPK material ported over in this edition. No deleted scenes either since I believe the movie in its completed form deserves one’s full attention. The movie should be a brand new high definition anamorphic transfer approved by Oprah and the 172m-feature split over two discs. For those wondering why I have not included Jonathan Demme’s input in my pipe dream specs is because I feel Jonathan was a director for hire. Oprah wanted an acclaimed filmmaker to helm her personal project.

    §Winfrey and Morrison scene-specific commentary
    §Isolated Score
    §TV Spots
    §The Oprah Winfrey Show: Beloved episode
    §All-new Oprah approved high-def anamorphic (1.85:1) transfer
    §Art Gallery: Paintings & Images inspired by the film
    §DTS 6.1 and Dolby 5.1 audio
     

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