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Robert Harris on The Bits - 11/12/02 column - OFFICIAL THREAD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Hunt, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    Robert Harris' new column is now available at The Digital Bits. In this installment, Robert talks about an important classic film recently released on DVD by Criterion, and the work of several great painters of color and light throughout the history of the film medium.
    Powell and Pressburger, Color and Light
    As always, click on the link to read Robert's comments and then come on back here to this official thread at the HTF to discuss as you will. Enjoy!
     
  2. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Mr. Harris, as usual, is exemplary in his taste and writing. I own all the Powell/Pressburger films which exist on DVD, including my most recent purchase, ...Col. Blimp.

    One movie seems to have been left off the list, which I also own, Peeping Tom. The DVD is Criterion.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I'm really interested in Blimp now... Perhaps I'll put it on my "to get" list for the future.
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Great article, once again, Robert.

     
  5. Adrian Correia

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    Anton Woolbrook's monologue, attempting to return to England, is one of the greatest moments in film history. This film is absolutely perfect.
     
  6. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I recently screened the disc with a young NON-film buff friend of mine. I was pleased as punch that he really liked it.
    All of the Criterion P&P DVDs are lovely. Hopefully we'll see some more in the future.
    Definitely a worthy subject for your article, Robert. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    Mr. Harris,

    I think you forgot one thing about The Archers..."The Wild Heart" (1952) is actually "Gone To Earth" (1950)...but in edited form. David O. Selznick re-edited this film and retooled it to suit his purposes (sort of speak) for American release.

    Hail The Archers!
     
  8. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    another fantastic article. I have gone and ordered The Life and Death after reading this article 5 minutes ago.
    Thanks again Mr Harris
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    One possible sidetrack of interest to Robert's article may be the work of some of the Archers' collaborators with other filmmakers that are available on DVD in Region 1.

    Hein Heckroth, for instance, was the Production Designer on Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain".

    Alfred Junge designed Hitchcock's "Young and Innocent" and original British "The Man Who Knew Too Much". (Neither of them have been done justice on R1 DVD yet, but they have been available from numerous public domain release specialists with questionable legality).

    Jack Cardiff was the cinematographer on "The Barefoot Contessa" and "The Vikings" in addition to more recent films such as "Rambo: First Blood Part 2".

    Georges Périnal was the cinematographer for René Clair's "Le Million" and "À Nous la Liberté" as well as Cocteau's "Blood of a Poet". He also shot Charlie Chaplin's "A King in New York".

    Powell and Perinal were both involved with the 1940 version of "The Thief of Baghdad", which will be released in early December. It was sort of the "Star Wars" of its time, and I hope MGM does it justice. Powell's somewhat infamous post-Archers effort "Peeping Tom" is also available from Criterion.

    Regards,
     
  10. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    That was a beautiful post, RAH. Powell & Pressburger were quite a force - true artists of Cinema. Their legacy will live forever. I love Criterion's, Colonel Blimp DVD - it's a beauty. The transfer is superb and the commentary - oh the commentary... a delight, amazing. I love The Tales Of Hoffman and I patiently await Criterion's DVD. [​IMG] A glorious phantasmagoria of Cinema, ballet, opera and Technicolor majesty - it's truly something else. And Sir Thomas Beecham conducted the score - ah! They don't make 'em like that anymore. It's almost too much! [​IMG]
    Fantastic! [​IMG]
    Gordy
     
  11. steven harrison

    steven harrison Auditioning

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    damn that criterion! the list of DVDs i want from them is Ridiculous: Bob le Flambeur, Orphic Trilogy, Good Morning!, Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Monterey Pop... the list goes on and on... but more notably their future releases (particularly Solaris, Contempt, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) are driving me up the wall!

    i have no money

    ...and will have even less... sigh.

    Nathan Arizona, Sr.: You got a table and chairs, you gotta dinette set. You gotta table and no chairs, you got dick.
     
  12. Kevin Harper

    Kevin Harper Agent

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    I have always loved The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp , the Criterion DVD makes me love it even more. What a film! It certainly belies its age and the colours are gorgeous. There are moments that are just stunning...the use of montage, music, the acting (Walbrook's speech is a real tearjerker) and every other aspect of the film is perfect. It was very much ahead of its time in many respects. Bits of it look like they belong in the sixties and the whole attitude towards relationships and Deborah Kerr's liberated performances (all three) are very unusual for a British film. If you love P&P you have to own this film. I would dearly love to see Criterion do A Matter of Life and Death in a similar way. I have the R2 release which is acceptable but a full-blown SE would be great.
     
  13. Doug D

    Doug D Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm surprised nobody's commenting on the big news, namely the Stan Brakhage multi-disc set! It's wonderful to hear official confirmation that this is coming out (and soon, at that). For a long time, it seemed like Brakhage might never even authorize a video release of his films, so this is unexpected, surprising, and wonderful.

    I've never seen MOTHLIGHT, so I'm very looking forward to that.
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Stan Brakhage was only willing to release via Criterion, and this after consultations regarding transfers and a high level of hands on quality control.

    While other possibilities were offered in the past, they were dismissed for various reasons.

    Criterion is doing full justice to Stan's work.

    All of the titles included on the discs were transferred from newly produced interpositives and fine grains, 16 or 35mm as was the case. The transfer film elements will now be donated to AMPAS to futher preserve Stan's work.

    RAH
     
  15. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I received Colonel Blimp a few days ago and am absolutely enraptured with both the film and disc.

    I am utterly thrilled with the news of how wonderful the Brakhage set is going to look - I knew it was coming out, but this confirmation of its quality is simply wonderful news!
     
  16. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    If Gary Tooze's review hadn't sold me already on Colonel Blimp, which I bought sight unseen, RAH's article would have driven it home like a rusty iron spike to the grundies.
    Criterion's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp DVD is indeed wonderful, both in content and in presentation. A truly wonderful film, and a fabulous transfer of said film to boot. The supplements are naturally highlighted by the commentary track; even if the track is 14 years old and Powell's speech is at times slow (but when I reach 82, I hope I can be as lucid!), it's fabulous. The addition of the original cartoons and the accompanying documentary are also quality supplemental material.
    I couldn't recommend this disc more, as well as Criterion's other P&P releases. I especially adore The Red Shoes, but Black Narcissus is an absolute knockout.
    Bravo, and thanks to Mr. Harris for a great article.
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Thanks very much for the article, Robert. I found it quite interesting.

    As I’m a very big P&P fan, I did not need the review to confirm my purchase. Even so, your thoughtful comments are much appreciated.

    Somewhere on one of the Criterion’s, Jack Cardiff says that his (non-technical) training consisted in large part of studying paintings. Just thinking of The Red Shoes and especially, Black Narcissus, it is an easy statement with which to agree.
     
  18. Doug D

    Doug D Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert,

    Do you know if this restoration work will by any chance result in a touring Brakhage retrospective any time soon?
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There was no "restoration" work, nor do I know if any is necessary. The original elements have been well taken care of over the years.

    The new elements produced, materials on some 30 titles, will serve as redundant preservation elements.

    A tour would be welcome. I would be nice to see new prints do a museum cycle.

    RAH
     
  20. Doug D

    Doug D Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the clarification - I guess I misinterpreted what "newly produced interpositives" implied.

    Do you know if any of the recent hand-painted films and/or hand-etched films are included in the collection, or is it focused more on older work?
     

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