La Strada

Discussion in 'DVD' started by BruceKimmel, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    After The White Sheik, I was a bit concerned about Criterion and La Strada. The White Sheik's transfer was too dark, was missing its Part Two card and the shot that precedes it and was contrasty, a real shame given it's one of my all-time favorite films.

    So, I'm happy to report that they have redeemed themselves and come up with a transfer for La Strada that is the equal of their great transfers of 8 1/2 and Juliet of the Spirits. In fact, I have never seen La Strada look better - it's as though years of grime and guck has been wiped away and one can finally see how beautifully photographed the film really is. And what a film. Don't think - get off your butt cheeks and buy it NOW.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I had my dvd since last week, but unfortunately, I haven't had time to watch it. Too many dvds to view with too little time available to do so. Anyhow, thanks for the positive feedback on "La Strada".





    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    The reviews so far seem to indicate that it has a great transfer... but it's always good to hear someone who isn't a reviewer confirm that.

    I have it on pre-order - it's released next week in Canada.

    It's a great film that ranks up there with Fellini's best works.
     
  4. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    I have this one on order and am delighted to hear of it's treatment by Criterion. Because of the reputation of La Strada in the context of international film history it's great to see Criterion put out it's consistently (for the most part) excellent effort by giving us once again the best transfer available.

    Joel
     
  5. Michael Alex

    Michael Alex Extra

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    I haven't received mine yet, but dvdbeaver.com has posted a number of screenshots from the disc, which look nothing short of stunning.
     
  6. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    Stunning is the word. There's also a very interesting bunch of Fellini interviews on Disc Two.

    I've seen La Strada so many times and this transfer is simply a revelation.

    It's interesting to me, however, how much slack people cut Criterion on the odd occasions when they screw up. If Columbia had done The White Sheik and anyone actually knew the film well, the outcry would have been loud and long. But I have never read one word of criticism about the Criterion DVD of The White Sheik. For a shot to be missing and a title card to be missing (those two items have been a part of every single print I've ever seen of the film, including the one I owned - and it's a part of all previous video releases) is just astonishing. Then look at the main titles - there's a background image of Sordi on his horse that you're supposed to see clearly. It's so dark (the whole transfer is) that you can't even make out what it is.

    But with La Strada they got it perfect. I can't imagine a better transfer and this and Once Upon a Time in the West have made my year.
     
  7. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I'm very surprised to hear about The White Sheik. The original elements were clearly in rough shape, but the majority of the film looked about as good as it could to my eyes, and the brightness and contrast seemed to be fine. It's disappointing to hear about the missing title card and shot though, and I did think the background of the opening credits looked unusually dark. I absolutely loved the film, however - it's utterly sublime and easily one of Fellini's very best works.

    Can't wait for my copy of La Strada, though! It looks like it's going to be an absolute winner!
     
  8. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    White Sheik is one of the greats and I've loved it since the day I first set eyes on it. I had a terrific 16mm print with amazing contrast so I'm probably being overly critical of the DVD in general (but NOT the opening credit sequence, which is unforgivable) - it's just a shame given their immaculate transfers of the other Fellinis).

    It's also fun that they gave us the English dub, too, as an option - even though it's not nearly as good, it does have Quinn and Basehart doing their own voices (both are obviously dubbed in the original Italian, but they are clearly speaking English).
     
  9. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I was amazed to learn La Strada's transfer was made directly from the original camera negative, which results in the mind-bogglingly beautiful image we have. I can't imagine how Criterion got access to it, but thank God they did!
     

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