"Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) - Wanted in 16x9!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Temple, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    I absolutely love this beautiful film. Even though not really classified as "horror" it sure is creepy enough to be. That pan flute melody is really haunting and this is one of the few films that I thought about for days after I saw it for the first time.

    I'm not familiar with Criterion. Picnic is the only Criterion disc in my collection. How often do they re-release non-anamorphic titles in 16x9? As I understand it, the UK disc is 16x9 and extra-less while the Austrailian disc is a 2-Disc SE with a non-anamorphic transfer.

    How many of you would be interested in a Region 1 NTSC 16x9 enhanced SE DVD of Picnic at Hanging Rock?
     
  2. Jae_E

    Jae_E Agent

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    Count me in! A good many of the early Criterions were non-anamorphic (as they were with some of the studios), but lately I think there have been some re-releases ("Charade" comes to mind) with the 16x9 enhancement...and I remember reading someone from Criterion being quoted as saying they would like to re-visit some of their early titles.
     
  3. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    Is it played by Zamfir? [​IMG] (Sports Night reference for anyone who doesn't get it.)

    I've never seen this movie, but I keep meaning to put it on my Netflix queque. After I'm done with Rashomon, Bicycle Thief and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (interesting mix, huh?), I'll watch this.
     
  4. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    Your best bet might be to buy the German edition Picknick am Valentinstag
    as it has the superior 16x9 transfer; and some extras, including the deleted scenes from the original version-tho dubbed in German;

    Ive heard back from John Mulvaney at Criterion, and he said no chance of a retransfer.

    I have the Austrailian 2 disc edition, which was originally advertised on the AV Channel website as 16x9 enhanced! yet it is 4:3 Widescreen.
    When I wrote to them regarding this, they assured me it WAS 16x9 enhanced. I wrote back it was not-as I had the edition in my hands-I never heard back from them. the creeps.
     
  5. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Yeah, I get the feeling that AV Channel flubbed on the transfer and accidentally transfered in 4:3 instead of anamorphic 16:9. But it is worth buying for disc 2. I have it and I also have the German edition, which has a stunning anamorphic transfer.

    See the comparisons at DVD Beaver
     
  6. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Count me in as another who would like a 16x9 re-release.

    Of course with HD DVD coming out - I may just wait for a high-def release instead.
     
  7. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    Oh, damn. I hate to hear that. I wonder why, especially considering that the current disc has been around since 1998. After seven years, you'd think a re-release would be in order.

    I'd love to buckle down and buy from another region, but that's not possible for me right now. I do have an el-cheapo APEX AD-1100W (old 512K model). I read up on how to make it region free, was just about to do it, and found out that - even after being made region free - it wouldn't convert PAL to NTSC. Basically, I need to find a cheap DVD player that can do both; be made region free and convert PAL to NTSC. Maybe one of these days.
     
  8. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I have the Australian 2-disc, but now want he Kinowelt. It's not listed at Amazon.de - anyone know where it can be found?
     
  9. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    How often do they re-release non-anamorphic titles in 16x9?

    They stopped doing it a long time ago, but "Picnic..." is a very early spine # in the collection. Still a good disc to own though.
     
  10. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    There's always the possibility that Criterion no longer holds the rights to the title.

    Also, are we absolutely sure that their original film-to-tape transfer wasn't HD? I recall that the packaging said it was transfered using the Philips Spirit-Datacine, which is an HD machine. Could it be that they did the actual transfer in HD (and thus, 16:9), but did the downconversion to 4:3 letterbox instead of anamorphic 16:9 (kind of like the Warner Kubricks)?

    Vincent
     
  11. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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  12. Keith I

    Keith I FoS

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    I would also love an anamorphic widescreen version. I wonder who owns the rights after Criterion's deal expires?
    -
     
  13. Gereon_B

    Gereon_B Extra

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    The DVD from the so-called "SZ-Collection" quoted above is technically identical with the German DVD from Kinowelt, but it is missing the supplements. The "SZ" is a German newspaper that has started a DVD collection last week, and Picnic is no. 43 (so it's coming out sometime next year).
     
  14. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I believe the rights revert to Fox after Criterion's license runs out.
     
  15. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Actually, yes, it is played by Zamfir! I never watched Sports Night, so I don't get that specific reference, but I remember chuckling in the theater (must have been about 6 or 7 years ago) when I saw his name in the credits, since he's been known for so long in the US as "Master of the Pan Flute" from late-night infomercials (and I assume Sports Night based their reference on that as well). But yes, the melody is very haunting and effective.
     
  16. Jeff Newcomb

    Jeff Newcomb Second Unit

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    The Criterion disc isn't going anywhere. The film is not licensed from Fox or anyone else. Criterion's parent company, Janus Films, is the U.S. rights-holder and distributor of the film, and has been for many years.
     
  17. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    Zamfir was an unknown when PAHR came out-at least here in the USA-only later did he become part of the "AS SEEN ON TV!" late-night marketing hype;

    Gordon may well be correct about rights reversion for Europe.
    But back to threads intent-

    maybe we should ask Criterion to reconsider an SE 16x9 enhanced and including the deleted scenes...

    oh, and thanks, Gereon for the info!
     
  18. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Not to stray too far off topic, but I'd love see Warner do a SE of The Mosquito Coast. I'm sure there are more than a few stories the cast and a crew could tell. Ford's best performance, in my book. Ali Fox has become something of a modern anti-hero, hasn't he?

    The current transfer is servicable: it's anamorphic and fairly sharp, but could be better. It's a DVD-5.

    I love Weir's films. Fascinating filmmaker.
     
  19. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Fearless is in more need of a nice, shiny new SE. IMO, of course. [​IMG]

    Regarding Picnic at Hanging Rock: I now own the German disc, which is already my fourth dvd version of this great film. I'm still in doubt about getting the Australian disc, but a disc containing the theatrical cut is what's really missing.....
     
  20. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Never a truer word spoken! It slipped my mind, momentarily. In addition to greatly admiring Weir, I healthily worship Jeff Bridges. Why is The Last American Hero still languishing in the vaults?

    Mark, you obviously love Picnic as much as I do, so stop fretting and get the R4: http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/228235

    [​IMG]

    The 2-hour documentary is amazing.

    BTW: Mark, have you heard any news in the Netherlands about Antonioni's The Passenger (1975) being released on DVD in your homeland? I heard a rumour of a rumour about a possible release.
     

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