More Criterions confirmed - Kurosawa, Antonioni, Powell and more!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Anthony Thorne, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    The American Museum of the Moving Image recently hosted a panel dicussion with Criterion president Peter Becker and Criterion Tech Director Lee Kline on November 14th. During their chat, they happened to spill the beans on a number of upcoming titles.

    Jean Renoir's THE RIVER is forthcoming. The transfer of this title will be done by digitally re-compositing
    the original 3-strip Technicolor negative, which currently has some shrinkage problems. This project is being co-financed by the British Film Institute.

    Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI is being re-released from a new High Definition transfer. Peter Becker noted that a number of early non-anamorphic Criterion titles (some additional Kurosawa possibly among them) will likely be re-released with new transfers.

    Michael Powell's 49TH PARALLEL and A CANTERBURY TALE are in the works. Antonioni's THE ECLIPSE (seen to great effect in Scorsese's MY VOYAGE TO ITALY doco) is also on the way. The forthcoming MGM RAGING BULL DVD will feature the original Criterion commentary, and Criterion indicate they are open to considering future licensing of their earlier commentary tracks on a case by case basis. I bet 2005 will be an expensive year for Criterion fans.
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    All mouth-watering stuff - thanks Anthony [​IMG]
     
  3. Derek Estes

    Derek Estes Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank You Anthony! This is fantastic news! Mouth-watering indeed!
     
  4. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Great news about Raging Bull commentary track.

    Does anybody have the transcript to the full low down ?
     
  5. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    I'll keep my fingers crossed for those rumored re-releases to include Amarcord and Andrei Rublev. Seven Samurai can definitely use a new transfer, maybe spread over two discs. The current one appears to be over-compressed.
     
  6. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Whoa, this is all superb news. Great to see some reputable confirmation of the long-rumored Seven Samurai re-release. As for early non-anamorphic transfers being upgraded to 16X9, bring on Yojimbo! I saw it in a theater a couple of weeks ago, and while I have no idea if it was a new/restored print or not, I thought it looked pretty great, so maybe that's possible.
     
  7. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I'll join you in the finger-crossing.

    I'll be picking up The Eclipse - one of my favorite Antonioni films.

    Hopefully future Criterion/MGM arrangements will result in MGM's foreign titles getting licensed out to Criterion.
    Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring deserve so much better (not to mention the other foreign catalog titles that MGM doesn't care about).
     
  8. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I'll double-dip for Seven Samurai [​IMG] & also pick-up 49th Parallel.
     
  9. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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  10. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    A Criterion release of Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring. I know it's highly unlikely, but we can dream, can't we?

    The current MGM discs of those movies, to put it mildly, SUCK! Grainy, lousy, non-16x9 enhanced, with subtitles placed so low that they're unviewable on most widescreen displays. Ugh!
     
  11. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Oscar asked if anyone had a transcript. Here's some other details that Dave Cheung - a Mobius forum regular - noted after his visit.

    All current restorations are done on Hi-Def. This provides top quality for future DVD releases, but the cost is too prohibitive to print these to film.

    Lee Kline located good negative materials of THE LEOPARD in England that were originally considered lost. Criterion and DOP Giuseppe Rotunno spent a long while getting the transfer up to Rotunno's exacting standards - Rotunno was very happy with the result.

    Becker stays in regular contact with John Woo and Terence Chang, and annually checks to see if the rights issues that prevented a Criterion BULLET IN THE HEAD can be resolved. (My note - any future criterion BULLET would hopefully be a more extensive restoration than the recent abortive HKL release - missing all sorts of scenes - in the UK).

    Sven Nykvist didn't supervise the transfer of Criterion's recent FANNY AND ALEXANDER due to unspecified health reasons.

    Finally, the nitrate negative from KING KONG that Criterion used on their LD transfer two decades ago is, according to Becker, now completely lost... Read into that what you will.
     
  12. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    Good riddance to it. The one used by Turner Home Entertainment on their LD release was far superior and was entirely 35mm (Criterion had some 16mm segments).
     
  13. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    I didn't know that Criterion used 16mm elements for their KING. If Warner are using the Turner materials then (beyond the obvious advances in telecine tech two decades later) the new Warner disc will be leaps and bounds better.
     
  14. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Yikes! 49th Parallel and A Canterbury Tale! Great!

    A new hi-def 16x9 of Andrei Rublev would make me one happy bunny, also.

    We all had the feeling that a new Seven Samurai set was is in works, but confirmation is always cool.

    MGM getting the Raging Bull commentary is also great news. Bravo!

    Fabulous news, Anthony. Much appreciated!
     
  15. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    I remember about two years ago that Powell's Tales of Hoffmann was either announced or (more likely) strongly rumored to be a Criterion release. Not that the announced Powell films aren't promising, but does anyone have any idea what happened to that release?
     
  16. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    The segments that were censored from the late 30's reissue were from 16mm on the Criterion LD since no 35mm elements were thought to exist. Turner found an intact 35mm negative (or print?) in Europe sometime around 1990 (I may be off by a year or so here).

    The Criterion LD was superb for its time, but it pales in comparison to the Turner release.
     
  17. Voon Jiet

    Voon Jiet Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the great news! I am especially delighted about Seven Samurai and the Raging Bull commentary.
     
  18. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Hold on, is Criterion releasing King Kong on DVD? Or is it WB? Either way, I hope the Criterion commentary is included, since it was the first audio commentary track ever produced.
     
  19. Paul Strilka

    Paul Strilka Stunt Coordinator

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    This past weekend I finally went to upgrade my old criterion "Brazil" Laserdisc with the DVD until I read it was a non anamorphic transfer.
    I held off. I hope they get around to fixing it this year.
     
  20. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Could this possibly mean that we might finally see reissues of Criterion's current OOP titles like Dead Ringers, The Killer or Hard Boiled?
     

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