Early Luis Bunuel films on DVD... any word?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joseph Young, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    I performed an HTF search on 3 of Luis Bunuel's early films and came up empty. I apologize if this topic has been raised previously.
    Given the notoriety of Un Chien Andalou (Andalusian Dog, 1929) , L'Âge d'or (The Age of Gold, 1930) and Las Hurdes (Land Without Bread, 1932), you'd think some of these films might have been given special treatment on DVD by now.
    I am *not* implying that Bunuel's career has been overlooked on DVD. To the contrary -- Criterion is responsible for getting many of his greatest films released. Notably, the second disc of The Discrete Charm of the Bourgoise contains a wonderful, enlightening documentary on Bunuel's life which contains several clips from these early films.
    Lastly, I apologize if I mispronounced any film titles, or if my post is not accurate in any way. I am relatively new to posting here and enjoy the discourse! I would appreciate any enlightened souls' responses. [​IMG]
    Cheers,
    Joseph
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    None of those films have been release or are presently slated (though hopefully Criterion has the rights).
    While it's no substitute, you might be interested in picking up Jean Epstein's THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, on a very good DVD from All Day Entertainment. Bunuel was assistant director on this film and was reputedly fired by Epstein for criticizing the films of Abel Gance, who was a great hero of Epstein's (and all the cinematic impressionists) and whose wife had a key role in Usher ("Madeleine").
    Here's a review of that disc:
    http://www.mondo-digital.com/usher.html
     
  3. CamiloCamacho

    CamiloCamacho Stunt Coordinator

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    From what i have heard there is no version of this movie on Zone 1. Although Un Chien Andalou is avalaible on zone 2 japan, on amazon japan.
    (Other buñuel films, are avalaible on france and spain,
    El&Ensayo de un crimen in a double feature, Los Olvidados on [url=http://www.dvdgo.com)
    ------------------
     
  4. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the information! I will be looking into these other titles. They all sound very interesting.
    Off subject: (sorry) My acquaintances in the Bay Area opened a dance club, about ten years ago, called the House of Usher, and it later reincarnated as Roderick's Chamber. I find it interesting that the soundtrack to this film contains music likened to 'dead can dance.' How appropriate. [​IMG]
    Cheers,
    Joseph
     
  5. Todd Beachler

    Todd Beachler Stunt Coordinator

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    Any recent news for Un Chien Andalou coming to DVD?
     
  6. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    Las Hurdes is on the French Olvidados disc
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    L'Age D'Or is supposed to be coming this year from Kino.
     
  8. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    I would give my left arm (from the elbow to the wrist) for El Ángel Exterminador (The Exterminating Angel).
     
  9. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    there are also several Bunuel releases in Spain if you can understand Spanish (there are no english subs on the discs)
     
  10. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    I would hope that Criterion can indeed get the rights to any Bunuel film. From what I know, they have only put out The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and That Obscure Object of Desire-both fabulous Criterion editions. I will take all the Bunuel I can get.
    Edit: Criterion also has put out Diary of a Chambermaid on DVD.
    Bruce
     
  11. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I believe Criterion will be issuing The Phantom Of Liberty sometime this year.
     
  12. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    What I would love to see released is the never-on-video film THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE, which routinely gets high marks from critics. I've never seen it, and would think this 1952 color film would be ideal material for a Criterion release. Has anyone had the privilege of actually watching this movie?
     
  13. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    If the films-sans-frontieres region-free/NTSC "double-feature" discs are still available, get 'em! The titles are "Los Olvidados" / "Las Hurdes" (no subs on the latter title, and subs are crucial for the very dark humor of the film), and "El" / "The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz". Except for the unfortunate lack of subs on "Las Hurdes", these discs are definitely recommended. IMO, "El" and "Los Olvidados" are a couple of his very best works.

    I think "Viridiana" is my most anticipated Bunuel on DVD (when? when?), but it depends on mood...
     
  14. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  15. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

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    Ted, it features French narration, no subs.
     
  16. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    Quote (originally posted by Dick):

    “What I would love to see released is the never-on-video film THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE, which routinely gets high marks from critics. I've never seen it, and would think this 1952 color film would be ideal material for a Criterion release. Has anyone had the privilege of actually watching this movie?”

    I have watched Luis Bunuel’s THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE (1952) twice, though only dubbed in Italian. Bunuel manages to make the famous Daniel Defoe story all his own: apart from a few striking surrealistic images, his typical attacks on religion and the bourgoisie are evident even here - with Crusoe playing God the moment he sets foot on the island, and never really accepting Friday as his equal! The film IS one of his finest efforts – as well as a veritable showcase for (the underrated) Dan O’Herlihy, who copped a surprising Best Actor Oscar nomination for this role. It was also Bunuel's first film in color, a process he would largely forsake till BELLE DE JOUR fifteen yers later.

    I don’t know who owns the DVD rights for this film, but it is indeed ideal Criterion fare and I would certainly pick it up in an instant – even if it were to be given a bare-bones release!

    As regards to other Bunuel films, I noticed that Milestone Films (who usually release their DVDs through Image Entertainment) had previously put out 4 early and obscure Bunuels on VHS: SUSANA (1950), A WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE (1951), EL BRUTO (1952) and WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1953). Hopefully, a DVD edition for these films (none of which I have watched) is not too far away!

    Finally, I too would like to recommend the two “Films Sans Frontieres” DVDs of LOS OLVIDADOS (1950)/TERRE SANS PAIN (1932) and EL (1952)/LA VIE CRIMINELLE D’ARCHIBALD DE LA CRUZ (1955). Buy them, if you can still find them – we may not see any of them on R1 DVD for a long time yet!!
     
  17. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Good news! I just got a press release from VCI Entertainment, a solid (if sometimes unspectacular) DVD producer specializing in vintage fare, touting that it has aquired new authoring suites to speed up its releases. It concludes with this exciting info:
     
  18. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    I believe the BFI will be issuing a double feature DVD of Un Chien Andalou and L'age d'Or - they're currently doing the rounds in cinemas.
     
  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Does the original silent version of Un chien andalou still exist?

    The 1960 re-release has some obnoxious cropping on the left side due to the addition of the soundtrack and has VERY poor image quality.
     
  20. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    So what foreign DVD's of Bunuel's films have English subs?
     

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