Recent Fassbinder releases from Wellspring - any reviews ?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Deepak Shenoy, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    I am specifically interested in Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven and Chinese Roulette. Has anyone seen these DVDs ? If so, is the picture quality on par with the early Wellspring releases (like Merchant of Four Seasons, Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, etc) ? Any extras ?
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    My review of Chinese Roulette for dOc is in the works. Image quality is quite good, no real extras to speak of.
     
  3. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I've got them all so I can let you know, though my Chinese Roulette hasn't arrived.

    Mother Kusters is pretty good, on par with Merchant of Four Seasons but with fewer artifacts since it doesn't have a ton of extras crammed on the disc. All of the discs look a bit on the soft side but Mother Kusters has a clean print and only very occasional motion artifacting. The only extra is a re-release trailer for Beware of a Holy Whore.

    Of the Wellspring discs, I would rate Effi Briest and Fox And His Friends as the best and Beware of a Holy Whore and Niklashausen Journey the worst. None of them are as good as Fantoma's disc of Whity, but of course that's anamorphic scope rather than 4:3. It will be interesting to see what improvement Criterion's Fear Eats The Soul disc offers over the Wellspring DVD's, some of which I think are coming from PAL masters.
     
  4. WillardK

    WillardK Second Unit

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    That's not good news about Beware. I got mine finally but haven't viewed it yet. Niklashausen was done for TV remember, as was Rio.

    I thought Kusters looked great, definitely better than Four Seasons which with Katzelmacher has the most artifacting of any in the series so far. Those were the first discs and none have looked as bad since (mind, I've never seen Katzelmacher look even nearly THIS good so I'm not complaining... much). Petra is one of the best and doesn't look soft at all on my set. I'd say it looks at least as good if not better than Fantoma's Whity... but that's just an opinion.
     
  5. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    Thanks guys. I guess I will go ahead and pick up the 2 titles I am interested in. From the early reviews (http://www.mondo-digital.com/whity.html) it seems that Criterion did a great job (as usual) on Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (the fact that it is a 2-disc set also came as a pleasant surprise). Can't wait for this title as well as the BRD Triogy (hopefully due before the end of the year).
     
  6. WillardK

    WillardK Second Unit

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    Brook...

    What is it about the Beware disc that earns such a low grade? I watched it last night and thought it looked wonderful, really. There's some grain, but if memory serves the image is grainy when projected in a theater (and the prints I saw weren't as brilliant with color). I'm wondering if Wellspring/Fox-Lorber is having a difficult time improving it's reputation after producing some of the more notoriously bad discs from years ago (I have Poison which is so bad it should have been recalled).

    The amazing sequence near the end with a fast camera spin had some jitteriness which might be due to motion artifacting, I'm not sure. Is this what you were referring to?

    I've noticed even Criterions can have distracting artifacts, i.e. the recent Spellbound. Like you I suppose, I'm getting all of the Fassbinder series and with the exception of the first set I've been very very pleased with them. I still question the inclusion of a 5.1 track, but overall they seem just a notch below a highest mark review (which I'd reserve for stunners like Juliet of the Spirits.)

    I'm not an expert and my set-up would make no one envious, so I'm asking with sincerity: what earns these discs such low merit in your opinion? (Even Fantoma's Whity has enough problems with darker scenes to prevent me from rating it higher than the Wellsprings.)
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    First, which I should have mentioned, I'm watching on a 32" Sony DV set with only S-Video.

    I thought Beware was very soft, almost to the point of VHS quality and there seemed to be a jerkiness to the movement of individuals across the screen which to me, could be frame-dropping from a less-than-adequate PAL to NTSC conversion.

    Petra does look great in general, but there is 1 reel, and a couple of other occasions, where the transfer becomes noticeably softer and less detailed. That reel also exhibits some print damange which isn't present during the rest of the film.

    I'm not expecting perfection, but to me they all look a little softer than I think they should, and I think we'll get to see the difference with Fear Eats The Soul. I don't think they're bad discs by any means, look at some of Fox/Lorber's Eric Rohmer DVD's if you want to see some BAD discs, and I'm buying every one they've put out. But if these movies are the best they can look, than I will be happy to be proved wrong.
     
  8. WillardK

    WillardK Second Unit

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  9. Mike Sutton

    Mike Sutton Extra

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    Thanks for the heads-up on this. I adore "Chinese Roulette". Am I right in thinking that "Fear Eats The Soul" is on the way from Criterion ?
     
  10. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Yup... and this month! [​IMG]
     
  11. Mike Sutton

    Mike Sutton Extra

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    Splendid news. Thankyou very much.
     

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