History of Cinema

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Keith M., Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Keith M.

    Keith M. Second Unit

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    I was actually looking for more information on the Battleship Potemkin dvd being released on 2/24 and found that there is a 12dvd set coming out called "History of Cinema" which will include numerous films such as Battleship Potemkin, Birth of a Nation, and I see pictures of Buster Keaton on the box hmmm...

    Description
    "A unique assortment of silent screen gems that revolutionized cinema as we know it. Truly amazing collections for cinema fans! "


    Anyone have any info on this collection or line of dvds coming out 2/24??

    Is this the Battleship Potemkin release to buy or the old one previously released?

    BTW, Each of the titles in the box set are being released separately for a price of $6.99 on amazon...
     
  2. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I would say: Save your money.

    It's being released by Delta--one of the kings of crummy Public Domain releases. Expect muddy transfers of unrestored elements, no better than cheap VHS.

    If you really care about silent films, do yourself a favor and stick to releases from Kino, Image, and Warner--in particular, anything which has been produced or restored by either Kevin Brownlow or David Shepard. (Also, Criterion is at work on the definitive releases of Eisenstein's silent films--hope to see that set this year.)

    For a longer happier life, I suggest that you avoid releases by Alpha, Delta, Madacy, etc. Their prices are low for a reason ...
     
  3. Keith M.

    Keith M. Second Unit

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    Thanks Brian...

    Thats what I was afraid of...

    Any dates on the Criterion version of Battleship Potemkin?

    And which Birth of a Nation release is the one to own?
     
  4. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    Re: Criterion's pending Eisenstein: The Silent Years. I suspect someone will ask about its status at the chat this evening.

    As for The Birth of a Nation, I might suggest renting it first, especially if you haven't seen it before. There's no question that it was hugely influential, but its racist agenda is quite difficult to stomach in 2004.

    I've looked, but can't find any online comparisons of the Image and Kino editions. AFAIK, they are both based on David Shepard's 1992 restoration, so I wouldn't expect major differences.

    I own Kino's 2002 Griffith Masterworks box set. It has some fine supplementary material. In addition to The Birth of a Nation (1915), it also includes Intolerance (1916), Broken Blossoms (1919), Orphans in the Storm (1921), and over 30 shorts from the years 1908 to 1913. The only major work of Griffith's missing from this collection is Way Down East (1920)--which is available from Image. The box set retails for $100, but can be found for around $70 online. I believe all of the titles are also available separately (~$17).

    DVD Empire has the 1999 Image editions (which have some of the same supplements, it appears) for a little over $13 apiece (they offer free shipping for purchases of 3 or more titles). If you don't want all of these, I would recommend starting with Intolerance and Broken Blossoms.
     
  5. Keith M.

    Keith M. Second Unit

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    Brian:

    Thanks again for the great information.

    I really dont rent dvds so I think I will just buy the Kino version of Birth of a Nation. It appears it includes 7 Griffith shorts...
     

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