Sure hope the eventual domestic DVD of NAPOLEON looks better than this...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dick, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Just rented the Region 2 disc of Gance's NAPOLEON from Nicheflix, and am horribly disappointed. The image is so soft it really qualifies as being blurry. My VHS looks better than this, although not tinted. I wonder if Mr. Harris will have any input on any future DVD release of this, presumably from Universal, and I hope such a release is in the planning stages...!
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Robert Harris mentioned that the transfer is near 20 years old by now...

    Plus, it looks like it's simply the NTSC transfer PAL-ized.

    Imagine how wonderful the film could look if it were transferred on a Spirit Datacine from the 5 1/2 hr. cut, digitally restored (like Metropolis), and given plenty of room to breathe on DVD. Even without the extra digital restoration, just transferring the official BFI version with today's technology would yield wonderful results.


    To be truthful, even a DVD with the old (but still superb for its time) transfer would be great to me. The VHS is out of print and the laserdisc is a rare collector's item. Universal, even if they license it to Kino or Criterion, needs to make possibly the greatest silent film availible to the public again.

    (and Kevin Brownlow's book on Napoleon really ought to be put back in print, too.)
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I agree with everything that Patrick said. There really ought to be a big push to get the recent 330-minute restoration on DVD, but I wonder if anyone other than Brownlow is trying. Personally, I would like to see it handed over to Criterion, but as long as a high-quality transfer is made and encoded properly, I'm too bothered who puts it out. It's a stunning film, long overdue on DVD.
     
  4. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    what is the title of Brownlow's book on Abel Gance's Napoleon then ?

    I would like to locate this book
     
  5. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    It's called Napoleon: Abel Gance's Classic Film and was originally published in the U.S. by Knopf.

    There is a used edition of the original hardback edition available now at Amazon.co.uk for £10.59

    Or another edition for £25.00

    Well worth getting.
     
  6. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Gordy

    thanks for the info about the title and will explore this

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  8. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I picked up the book on half.com and it is an excellent read (though of course sorely out of date now). You'd think Brownlow could work out something with BFI to release his most current version of Napoleon on DVD, even if it couldn't be released in the states due to Coppola's rights.
     
  9. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I don't think that the BFI owns the British video rights. I can't remember who distributed the VHS in the UK.

    Something should be worked out. You'd think that Coppola would want to see the 330-minute version made available to film buffs, he obviously loves the film.

    I'll e-mail the BFI about this.
     
  10. obscurelabel

    obscurelabel Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone else seen this in a theater? I saw it when it toured in 1980 (I believe, may have been 1979), at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, with orchestra, Moehler organ, and Carmine Coppola conducting his score. The full triptych scenes at the end were incredible. It remains the most memorable cinema experience of my life!
     
  11. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Larry, I saw Napoleon under the same conditions at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles. Like you, it was one of the most exhilirating movie going experiences of my life (the audience went insane, there were even tears!) and proof positive that no matter how state of art, home theatre will never EVER, match the theatrical experience.
     

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