Salo CC vs Salo R2

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Veli-Matti Reitti, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. Veli-Matti Reitti

    Veli-Matti Reitti Stunt Coordinator

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    Since the criterion version of this masterpiece is almost impossible to find anymore except through ebay where you'll be forced to pay ridiculous amounts for it if you somehow manage to land the winning bid. From what i've read and heard the transfer looks great and i wouldn't mind owning a copy of it but due to the price difference i'll probably have to buy my first R2 DVD.

    Is the R2 version released by BFI is any good? Is it uncut? Anyone know where i can find a reliable review of the DVD? A comparison between the two would be nice to read as well. Does anyone here actually own both versions? Or have seen them both?
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The R2 version is quite good and is uncut. There are no extras at all. I have not seen the Criterion version, so I am unable to make any comparison. But even without knowing, it is a pretty easy choice, given the cost of the Criterion version.

    I don’t know of any reviews specific to the DVD, although there are a good many about the movie itself.

    With the usual caveats on recommending Salò, I really recommend the R2 DVD. This is not a movie that makes (even) the art house circuit here, and as it is a very important movie (regardless of what one might think about the subject manner and treatment), so I think this the best option.
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I have the R2 disc and the Criterion LD. I haven't done an A-B comparison but to my eyeballs the picture looks pretty much the same. However the subtitles are different. The R2 contains a different translation of the dialogue. I cannot say which one more faithfully represents Pasolini's wishes, but I appreciate having two "versions" of the dialogue.

    The R2 DVD does have some very mild supplements. A small gallery with a few movie posters, and the text of Pasolini's published "introduction" to the film. I believe there was the option to hear the introductory comments read by a narrator but I'm not sure.

    Pasolini is one of my favorite filmmakers. I'm looking forward to this fall's release of DECAMERON and hopefully we will see OEDIPUS REX and THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW in the near future.
     
  4. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Could someone explain what all the fuss is about with this film? I've done multiple searches all over the place and I can't come up with a satisfying explanation as to why this is so controversial. I know it has risque content, but its reputation is unprecedented. Why?
     
  5. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    Yeah, get the R2 MGM/BFI release. The R2 is from a slightly better print of the film and is about 30 seconds longer. I had both and the differences between the two were slight.
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Quote:



    Could someone explain what all the fuss is about with this film?





    I don’t know all the reasons, but I’ll give you some of my views (in no particular order, just as they occur to me).

    1.The subject matter itself: There is a significant portion of the population that is adamantly opposed to the book (120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade) on which the film is based. While I can’t pretend to speak for those in opposition, many of them would likely burn all copies of the book, if possible. So too, the movie.
    2.The setting of the film: Pasolini moves De Sade to fascist Italy at the close of WWII. While it might be one thing to put an unpalatable subject in another time and place, its another altogether to place in the present. Of course 1943–44 (or thereabouts) is not the mid-70s, when the film was released, but in the scheme of things its pretty close. Pasolini is commenting directly on the motives and actions of those living (at least as a class).
    3.The graphic portrayals in the film: This is unrelieved. Just as in De Sade’s books, the viewer is not spared the very graphic nature of the acts, as they are filmed directly. For example scene after scene of torture, of rape, of the most violent murder, of the forced eating of feces. The famous cover of the Criterion edition, where the cutting off an innocent’s tongue is shown. And unlike the reader, the viewer can’t scan forward or skip passages.
    4.The brutal, uncaring characterization of the protagonists: Pasolini has transformed 18th centaury, French aristocrats into 20th centaury fascists. Regardless they care not of the humiliation, the pain, the suffering the death of the young men and women who have been chosen by them to suffer for their pleasure. There is never any justification given for their actions (such as insanity or even a mildly troubled childhood). They just act for their desires without consideration of others.
    5.The fact that Pasolini is a genius and this is a work of the highest, technical order: We react even more strongly to all of the above because it is so well done. It would be bad enough, but easy to dismiss, were this a lesser work.
    6.The fact that this is a true work of art: Now we are in to my opinion, of course and I would only argue its artistic merits with someone whose opinion I held in high regard, as the subject matter is so volatile that a good many can’t get past that. I am not sure that it is a defect to not be able to see this as a work of art; rather it may say something about those of us who can (and I’m not being flip).
    7.The fact that Pasolini actually was killed in controversial circumstances shortly after this film was released: Pasolini was well known as a frequenter of the ‘rough’ trade. His death, caused by his homosexual activities was highly publicized and many, openly declared that he deserved what he got.

    I hope that this helps. Pasolini was one of those multi-talented individuals, like Jean Cocteau, who seemed to be able to achieve almost any artistic or intellectual discipline. But who never really satisfied the public’s perception of what an artist should be. As a side note, Pasolini is given a writing (by Fellini) credit for his contribution to Nights of Cabiria. According to the notes or commentary on the Criterion edition, much of the language of the streets was written by Pasolini, so that the film would be more authentic, than if the writing were only by Fellini, et. al.

    I think that this is a film well worth the effort, but you need a strong dose of something mindless afterwards.
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    And one more thing, Paul. I have some views as to what this movie is all about, but my reply was too long already. [​IMG]
     
  8. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    How about the fact that most of the actors are obviously very young? They are almost certainly well under age 18, but they movie is filled with full frontal child nudity and simulated rape/sex/torture by 40+ year old men and women. There are other controversial films, but Salo is by far the "king" of them all.



    Have you seen it? Just watch it once and you'll completely understand (although I don't reccommend it).
     
  9. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Jeff, could you please point out the differences? I wasn't aware there were any, and I don't think I can watch the film twice in succession, even for purposes of comparison.
     
  10. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    matt's replay pretty much sums up why i don't care for this film AT ALL, and makes me wonder why some people love it so much in spite of the facts he brings up.
     
  11. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Thanks Lew. [​IMG]
    I'd like to give it a try, but I feel some mild apprehension.
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  13. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    I saw it recently here on Long Island at an art house theater to finally see what all the fuss was.

    And it lived up to its infamous reputation. This is the kind of film you could get up and walk out over. It is relentless in its depravity.

    Some of the moviegoers I saw it with did leave the theater. And not because of the sex, but because of the scene where people are forced to eat s**t.

    I'm glad I saw the movie but it isn't one I would search out to own. It's the kind of movie that makes you feel you need a shower after seeing. It makes you feel helpless against man's inhumanity against one another.

    I guess the director got the reaction he wanted from the audience. So it can be labeled a success.
     
  14. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    The UK DVD contains about 30 extra seconds. There's no extra graphic footage featured however, it's just the reading of a poem.

    Articles (from SIGHT AND SOUND, among others) from the time of the film's original release indicate that there is probably some more graphic footage featured on the original negative, and this footage has never been included in the international release prints. There were a few extra bits and pieces during the final torture sequence that were evidently judged a bit too much over the edge, including a scene with a female actress and some rats, and another sequence which I've read about but won't descibe here. (The idea that the still-deleted sequences consist of the MOST offensive parts of the finale should give you some idea of how 'strong' they probable are). I don't think the missing scenes are that lengthy, but they apparently do exist. The Pasolini estate is evidently in no hurry to reveal this footage to the public, however, which probably indicates why Criterion and and UK distributor were forced to master their DVD's from release prints, and not the original negative.

    Regardless, the film remains a stomach-churning masterpiece. I'm glad it's available (relatively) uncut to curious viewers, but it's definitely not for everyone.
     
  15. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Stunt Coordinator

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    While i own the Criterion version , and wouldnt have it any other way , this movie is SHITE. Im in the frame of mind that sometimes less is more , like the Reservior Dogs' ear slicing scene. Sometimes leaving something to your imagination is worse than seeing it.
     
  16. John Woo

    John Woo Auditioning

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    From those replies, I know I'll never be seeing it.

    There are better movies out there, it sounds like.
     
  17. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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  18. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    It was on TV here last night. I taped it and watched it today.
    I wish I could un-watch it. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jeff Wilson

    Jeff Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    If it makes anyone feel better, the "feces" was apparently made out of Swiss chocolate and orange marmalade. Also, for anyone thinking the movie is too extreme, by all means STAY AWAY FROM THE BOOK. The book contains unbelievably depraved stuff in it, far more so than the film. For those who want to further investigate the film, check out the British Film Institute monogram from their BFI Modern Classics series.
     
  20. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    DVDBeaver has a comparsion between the Criterion R1 version and the BFI R2 version.
    The image on the R2 version looks alot better - much more natural looking than the Criterion, which has an awful amount of green in the picture.
    http://207.136.67.23/film/dvdcompare/salo.htm
     

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