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Weird But Cool Suggestion For a Home Theater Double Feature: Two Sides Of Venice (1 Viewer)

Dick

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Rick
I just finished watching SUMMERTIME (David Lean, 1955, with Katherine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi) on a German Region B Blu-ray from Concorde, and was excited about how beautiful the film is. I'd seen it before, but the color and clarity of this disc made the experience very new and really awesome. Like AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, it's basically a minor story hung on a travelogue, and it makes Venice look like the first place we would want to schedule first on our travel itineraries. Only caveat to this release: about 6-7 minutes toward the end display a bit of Technicolor separation, but it's not a deal-breaker.

The Hepburn/Brazzi romance is kind of beside the point next to the scenery, although it does well represent her as a lonely and repressed spinster traveling as a tourist to Italy for reasons even she doesn't seem to know at first. Slowly she begins to assimilate, and by the end of the film, a full-blown romance has bloomed. But she can't quite get over the fact that Brazzi is married, and so the relationship remains unconsummated. Still, you are left with the impression that she will much more easily welcome love back in America having had this experience.

It's a fairly short film (100m), so it could be one half of a double feature. But paired with what? The other really good Lean romance (also unconsummated...geese!), BRIEF ENCOUNTER? Well, how about using some wild imagination and pairing it with another film made almost entirely in Venice, showing a whole different side to the city?

And I thought...What better film to pair this with (and many of you will wonder what the hell is wrong with me) than Nicolas Roeg's frightening thriller, DON'T LOOK NOW (1973)? Having seen Venice at its best, all colorful and festive and populated with tourists and beautiful canals and bridges and buildings, let's now take a look at the dark side...

DON'T LOOK NOW has now had a beautiful Criterion release that contains the natural grain structure completely absent from the (oddly Roeg-approved) UK edition. It depicts Venice in its off-season as a decadent, frightening maze of narrow streets and dubious people, very often at night, with a possibly supernatural element. This is such a polar-opposite view of the city from SUMMERTIME that I think the two films paired could make for a great post-show discussion regarding how a cinematographer and director and editor can present two disparate views of exactly the same place. It's about subject matter and plot, of course, but also about the choices of lighting and angles and cutting.

I just love challenging my small audiences. This will be fun!
 
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Dick

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How about double feature from 2 great directors. Death in Venice (Visconti) and Othello (Welles).

This and countless other double-feature suggestions would be great, but I started this thread for the purpose of getting reactions to this particular proposal. :)
 

Trancas

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Eric
I think Fellini's Toby Dammit would be a better matchup for the depressing Don't Look Now.
 

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