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Press Release Film Movement Press Release: The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 19 Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


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    "A sweeping adventure filled with tigers, snakes, romance and the
    camp-connoisseur favorite Debra Paget...More than three hours of expressionistic color and wild plot developments await."
    -- Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
    "A clear precursor to the Indiana Jones series...Perhaps Lang's most open-aired use of color, and wonderful, late-period entertainment."
    -- Jeffrey Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

    THIS DECEMBER, JOURNEY TO AN EXOTIC LAND WITH
    A STUNNING 4K RESTORATION OF A LEGENDARY, LAVISH SERIALIZED CLIFFHANGER FROM ONE OF CINEMA'S TITANS


    FRITZ LANG'S INDIAN EPIC

    Street Date: December 10, 2019
    Blu-ray/DVD/Digital: $49.95/$39.95


    Available on Blu-ray for the First Time in North America,
    This Extras-Laden 2-Disc Set Includes the Feature-Length Adventures
    The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb; Bonuses Include Audio Commentaries by Film Historian David Kalat, the INDIAN EPIC Documentary, Mark Rappaport's Video Essay "Debra Paget, For Example" and More!
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    Fritz Lang's Indian Epic (Digitally Restored)

    SYNOPSIS
    After more than two decades of exile in Hollywood, master filmmaker Fritz Lang triumphantly returned to his native Germany to direct a lavish two-part serialized cliffhanger from a story he co-authored almost forty years earlier: 1959's THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB, which together would become known as FRITZ LANG'S INDIAN EPIC.

    A cinematic link between the classic silent serials and the modern action/adventures of Indiana Jones and The Mummy, FRITZ LANG'S INDIAN EPIC was the director's penultimate work. Operating outside the Hollywood system and given more freedom and resources than he had seen in years, Lang returned to remake the exotic adventure The Indian Tomb, which he originally helped to pen in 1921 but didn't have the opportunity to direct himself. With breathtaking location shoots, a large international cast, elaborate sets and a jungle's worth of danger and treachery, Lang crafted a blend of evocative images and montage that, in the twilight of his career, once again proved him a virtuoso of film form.
    In THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR, Western architect Harold Berger (Paul Hubschmid), called to India by Chandra, the Maharaja of Eschnapur, falls in love with the beautiful temple dancer Seetha (Debra Paget), although she is promised to the Maharaja. Their betrayal ignites the wrath of a vengeful Chandra, who is fighting his own battle for power with his scheming half-brother, Ramigani, leading to the lovers' daring escape into the desert.
    In Part Two, THE INDIAN TOMB, the doomed lovers are rescued by sympathetic desert villagers, only to be later given up for ransom. Seetha is captured and sent back to Eschnapur, where she must perform a death-defying (and famouosly erotic) temple dance to prove her innocence. Meanwhile, Ramigani incites a revolt against the Maharaja and uses both Berger and Seetha as pawns in his plot to seize the throne.

    Initially released in America as Journey to the Lost City, a radically condensed 90-minute version, these exotic masterpieces are finally presented in all their original splendor, featuring over 3 hours of breathtaking cinematography and cliff-hanging suspense, in this new 4K restored edition.
    BONUS FEATURES
    • Audio commentaries by film historian David Kalat
    • The Indian Epic documentary
    • "Debra Paget, For Example", a video essay by filmmaker Mark Rappaport
    • 20-page booklet with an essay by film scholar Tom Gunning
    PROGRAM INFORMATION
    Type:
    Blu-ray/DVD/Digital (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)
    Running Time: 203 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Widescreen
    Audio: Mono
    Language: German with English subtitles
    About Film Movement
    Founded in 2002 as one of the first-ever subscription film services with its DVD-of-the-Month club, Film Movement is now a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide. Film Movement's theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com. Visit www.filmmovementplus.com for more information about Film Movement Plus, the new subscription streaming service from Film Movement.

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    Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

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  2. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    While I'm very much looking forward to it, I wish they had included the English language track as well. And a 1.37 aspect ratio in 1959? Really? While I have no doubt Lang shot it in full frame, was it released theatrically in that aspect ratio?
     
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  3. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    In Germany not that uncommon, even in ‘59.
     
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  4. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I saw this as a two-parter as a child in Puerto Rico. I even remember the ending of Part One announcing: Coming soon: Part Two: The Indian Tomb. I didn't know it had been condensed into one film until I moved to New York and saw it advertised in TV Guide. The horror!
    Thomas, by '59 even my small town theater had thrown away the 1.37 plate and showed everything WS. Therefore, I saw these films in 1.85.
     
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  5. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    A nice surprise that these got a new 4k scan - probably based on the status of Fritz Lang.

    I saw the German Blu-rays some years ago and they were from older master and Ok but not really able to show the splendor of the unusually exotic locations so with this new 4k restoration people should be in for a visual treat.

    As for the aspect ratio I would think that they were shot protected for at least 1.66:1 as it would have been matted that way in a number of cinemas back in the day even in Europa. Does not matter much though when these are released full frame.
     
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  6. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    Fritz Lang famously hated widescreen so it wouldn't surprise me if he composed these specifically for 1.33:1.
     
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  7. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    I remember him saying that cinemascope was only good for snakes and funerals in Le Mepris but that was of course staged to a degree. He had made a bunch of widescreen movies before these, just not Cinemascope. Interesting treatment about his widescreen era movies here:
    http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2010/12/19/ratio-cination/
    I found that overall these two played better at ca. 1.66:1, would be interesting to know what they were shot for.
     
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  8. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    The 1.37 ratio has been used in every single DVD and BD release of the movies so far. It's a pity the new edition doesn't take a guess on it and at least mask to 1.66. Lang had already made two movies at RKO in 1956 which were proteced for both widescreen and open matte. They look ridiculous in 1.37, and far better in 1.85 and 2.00 respectively. Not to mention using Scope for the superb Moonfleet (a recent Warner Archive in a first gen transfer of staggering quality) in which contrary to the "snakes and funerals" attribution to him he uses the Scope frame with great skill and expression. Lang had a DP on the two Indian Tomb pictures with whom he did not get along with at all, the aptly named Richard Angst. Whatever the tensions arising from that relationship, there are several interior/studio setups in which the footrom keeps exposing the ends of flooring giving way to concrete. One such is Debra Paget's hoochy cooch reoutine from the trailer above. I talked about this years ago in email with Lang scholar and author, Bernard Eisenschitz and he agreed the films should be masked in some kind of mid-range widescreen.

    Having said all that the trailer looks very nice, much more refined grading than the German German BDs.
     
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  9. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    I'll try using the zoom feature on my remote to see how it looks and if it doesn't look right, I'll watch it full frame.
     
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  10. Darby67

    Darby67 Screenwriter

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    Day one purchase for me! I can now upgrade from the Fantoma Films DVDs from 2001.
     
  11. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    In the US, where these films were combined and played with a different title, they were, of course, shown in 1.85. There is ample head room in almost every shot in the film and 1.66 would have been a good compromise. All the Edgar Wallace krimis are widescreen including Lang's own The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse just a bit later.
     
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  12. Message #12 of 19 Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
    lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

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    Well, yes. Of course, we all know that but don't email Film Movement with that info as they'll just ignore it, or respond that this is what the director wanted. I emailed them about the Eric Rohmer films from the 70's & 80's they released in 1:33:1, and they wrote me back that Rohmer is on record saying this is his preferred ratio, even though the films were projected in 1;85:1 and even though in 1:33:1 most of the frame is taken up by floors and ceilings. Anyway, it was nice of them to respond. I also emailed Arrow, who have released the Rohmer films in Region B, and they said the same thing: "This is Rohmer's preferred ratio." Well, yes, in the time of home video from 15-20 years ago, when the TVs were all 1:33:1, perhaps they preferred the full frame, but certainly not now. And as far as Lang preferring Academy ratio, due to that line in Godard's "Le Mepris" I've read a number of interviews with Lang from the 1960's where he said Godard wrote that line and he really didn't feel that way at all, though he thought it was pretty funny, as well as controversial. Godard, unlike Lang and Rohmer, is a director who has consistently composed for 1:33:1 (unless he was shooting 'scope) and always composed right to the edge of the frame, even though that guaranteed that the tops of heads would be cut off in projection.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

    As an Amazon Associate Home Theater Forum will earn from qualifying purchases.

     
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  14. Message #14 of 19 Nov 19, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Good to hear that the wider framing that we used when watching it was probably intented, there was a lot of open space in those frames at 1.37:1.

    Yep, Lang had made those RKO Scope and Warnerscope movies and especially Warnerscope was not much different from CInemascope at all and as you say Moonfleet does not look as if Lang did not know what to do with the wider frame.

    People with a good zoom function somewhere in the signal chain should be fine, I always have used OPPO players and Lumagen scalers in the last 10 years and both have the ability to zoom to something like 1.66:1 and I am sure there are other BD players that can do it, too. Of course with a projector and proper matting it also shouldn't be an issue, not sure about most TV's.
     
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  15. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    That baloney about snakes and funerals was either scripted by Godard, or Lang impro’ed it for a scene in Contempt. He doesn’t talk much about widescreen generally but he did talk about finding scope interesting to work with to Bogdanovich. Moonfleet is a masterpiece and for a Scope movie made in 1955, it has incredibly dark lighting, creating a very deep color palette. I really recommend the new Warner Archive Blu which is absolutely the best it has ever looked. As usual they made an interpos from the camera neg and did the workflow in 2k. It’s a knockout.
     
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  16. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

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    There was an interview in 1969 with Lang in "Jump Cut" a Canadian film journal, where he stated that line in "Le Mepris" was written by Godard, and that while it caused trouble with producers, he found the line amusing, Of course, Lang was notorious for making things up (for example, his interview with William Friedkin) but that sounds about right.

    As far as MOONFLEEET is concerned, the Warner disc is definitely on my to buy list at the next sale, along with GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING and WAGONMASTER. .
     
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  17. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I've yet to receive Great Day In The Morning, but the Blu-ray discs of Moonfleet and Wagon Master present those films better than I have ever previously seen. You're going to be pleased.
     
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  18. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Screenwriter

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    I want an UHD but will probably get the BD if none is coming. I have a cherished childhood memory of these films. Back then Debra Paget was the most beautiful woman ever and the snake dance a wonder to behold. :):laugh:
     
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  19. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    That snake dance is something else, Debra Paget looks glorious. And that is my cherished memory from three years ago :)
     
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