Question about new Fassbinder DVDs (Wellspring)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rain, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    So Wellspring has released Fox and His Friends and The Merchant of Four Seasons on DVD.
    Unfortunately, I can only locate the latter at the moment, though it is the former I am far more interested in.
    Now here's the problem. IMDB gives no aspect ratio for either film, though given their time period one would assume somewhere between 1.66:1 to 1.85:1. However, I notice the DVD of The Merchant of Four Seasons is full frame.
    Though I'm not sure, I'm having a hard time believing this is OAR.
    So I guess my questions are:
    1. Anyone know the OAR for either film (please provide your source)?
    2. Anyone have the Fox and His Friends DVD yet and, if so, what aspect ratio is it presented in?
    Thank you.
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    DVDEmpire says that Fox and His Friends is also full frame.
    I think the odds of both of these films having an OAR of 1.37:1 is very, very slim.
    So much for Wellspring's claim of increasing the quality of their output.
    I was going to get both of these titles. Unless someone can present some compelling evidence that both of these titles have an OAR of 1.37:1 (very doubtful), I'm not getting either.
    Should we expect their upcoming release of Ran to also be formatted to fit a 4:3 TV?
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2000
    Messages:
    763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, 1.37:1 is actually correct for both of these films. I don't have Fox yet, but the aspect ratio is addressed in info included with Merchant. They basically state that these new prints that have been struck up by the Fassbinder Foundation are done at the ratios that Fassbinder preferred. Wim Wenders was also involved with the DVD transfer for Merchant, his favorite Fassbinder, and he certainly wouldn't have approved it if it had been cropped.

    The disc looks really good, by the way. Amazing colors and perfect contrast. There are a couple of itty-bitty glitches whereby the image pauses for a split second at the start of certain scenes, but it's a pretty amazing transfer otherwise. One of Wellspring's finest efforts and cause for optimism for future Fassbinder releases and the upcoming re-release of Ran.
     
  4. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2000
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agree on the quality Don, though I haven't watched Fox yet.

    Rain, Fassbinder did a lot of his films with the German television market in mind. It wouldn't surprise me if he had similar thoughts to Kubrick his compositions/AR's.
     
  5. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Feeling a little better, feeling a little better....

     
  6. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got "Fox" yesterday ("Merchant" isn't due till next week, but Brook's got it!).

    It looks fantastic - you're gonna love it. But unlike "Merchant", which was originally shot for West German television like so much of Fassbinder's work (including the miniseries "Berlin Alexanderplatz"), it's my understanding that "Fox" was originally a theatrical release. So, the aspect ratio thingie is a bit more muddled, I believe.

    Nonetheless, in my brief sample of the disc last night, I believe this was addressed in the "About the Disc" section. As I recall, the aspect ratio was determined by the Fassbinder Foundation, which also oversaw the transfer of the film along with Wim Wenders and another person (not Michael Ballhaus unfortunately).

    Based on my very brief sampling last night, this disc looks like a winner. Bodes very well, I think, for upcoming Wellspring releases (not the least of which being "Ran").
     
  7. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not that this necessarily means anything, but here's some food for thought on the aspect ratio question.
    It occurs to me that there are some relatively modern German films that seem to have an OAR of 1.37:1.
    What about Aguirre, The Wrath of God, which I'm pretty sure was a theatrical film? Or what about Colonel Redl? The Anchor Bay disc is 1.37:1 and they are not usually in the habit of taking liberties with aspect ratio.
    Things that make me go "hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...." [​IMG]
    ____________________________
    And now for my next question: Anyone have any idea whether Wellspring is planning to release Berlin Alexanderplatz at some point?
     
  8. DonaldB

    DonaldB Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2000
    Messages:
    763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, Aguirre and many of Fassbinder's films were composed full frame. As a person whose livelihood is in no small way dependent on an ability to assess visual composition, let me assure you that the framing in The Merchant of Four Seasons is impeccable.
     
  9. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the reviews everyone. I'm so excited by the good news, I can't wait for my copies to arrive in the mail.

    I'm hoping that 2003 will be a banner year for Fassbinder films on DVD.
     
  10. Kim Donald

    Kim Donald Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Kim Donald Houde-Martens
    When I saw "The Merchant of Four Seasons" in a Fassbinder Retrospect last year here in Berlin it was projected 1.37:1. The Fassbinder films being released in the US are the same Transfers done by the RWF Foundation.
    So Far RWF Foundation in Germany has released four films
    "Der Amerikanische Soldat"
    "The Merchant of Four Seasons"
    "Katzelmacher"
    "Angst essen Seele auf"
    all with English subs and at 1.37:1 .
    Waiting for the next wave to be released.
    kd
     
  11. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alright, alright, you've convinced me. I'm going to proceed with the plan to buy these.
    Does anyone have any idea what Fassbinder titles Wellspring might be planning next?
    Also, it is still not clear to me if they have the rights to Berlin Alexanderplatz. I've read a fair bit about the Fassbinder films being restored and reissued, but I've not seen any mention of this one.
     
  12. James Roberts

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 1999
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to some pre-order lists I have seen, we can expect "Katzelmacher" in September and "The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant" in October (Petra Von Kant will most likely be a Masterworks Edition). I haven't heard of any other titles yet.
     
  13. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2000
    Messages:
    9,467
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hope you are right James, Bitter Tears was the first Fassbinder I saw, and is my favorite. Katzelmacher makes sense since it is out in Germany.

    I'm wondering about American Soldier, neither of the Wellspring discs list it in Fassbinder's filmography.

    I know it's frustrating Rain, I haven't heard anything about Alexanderplatz and it isn't on the list of films restored by the Fassbinder Foundation.

    Could anyone who has the German discs comment on the extras? I know that the 2nd discs of each have the same 2 documentaries that are on the Wellspring Merchant of Four Seasons disc. But I heard someone comment in passing that each of the German discs also has extras on the disc with the film, like interviews, etc.

    I don't want to own 2 copies of the same disc, but for example if Wellspring's Katzelmacher is bare bones but the German one has unique extras, I would spring for the German disc.
     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Kim Donald

    Kim Donald Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Kim Donald Houde-Martens
    From the E-M-S website The next releases in Germany are
    August 2002
    Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
    Götter der Pest
    Liebe ist kälter als der Tod
    Satansbraten
    Oktober 2002
    Chinesisches Roulette
    Die Ehe der Maria Braun
    Faustrecht der Freiheit
    Rio das Mortes
    I wonder if I should buy the US version of Fox as it does not seem to be getting a German release??
    I wish someone would release "Berlin Alexanderplatz" Ever since seeing Ben Becker in the stage play last year I have wanted to re watch this, I can't even find a rental VHS [​IMG] copy here in Berlin.
    kd
     
  16. Jay Gregory

    Jay Gregory Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2000
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    One other question about these DVDs:

    Are the subtitles optional?
     
  18. Carrol M

    Carrol M Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2001
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there any news on ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL getting a Region 1 release?

    Carrol
     
  19. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Carrol,
    I believe that is one of the titles Criterion may be releasing. Last I heard it was like a maybe for 2003.
    Now how about someone answering my question? [​IMG]
     
  20. Kim Donald

    Kim Donald Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Kim Donald Houde-Martens
    Thanks Jay, I'll pick up the german version.
    Rain all the German releases have optional english subs but I think you are asking about the R1 releases sorry don't know.
    kd
     

Share This Page