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A Few Words About While we wait for A few words about...™ Lawrence of Arabia -- in 4k/UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    And it has the expanded "balcony / terrace" scene. :)


    But it doesn't have the difficult to hear dialog between Allenby and Lawrence as they walk down the stairs just before the intermission "I fight like Clausewitz, then you fight like Saxe!"
     
  2. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    Also, and please correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm not a student of military strategists of the 17th - 18th century, but I assume that Allenby was referring to Carl von Clausewitz (1780 - 1831 Major-General Russian-German Legion), and Maurice de Saxe (1696 – 1750 Maurice, Count of Saxony, Marshal General of France).
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Which was a bit returned to the film in the reconstruction.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  7. owen35

    owen35 Stunt Coordinator

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    This is terrific news!!! Can't wait to hear more about it!!


    Here is the press release in English and a link to it:


    At the occasion of The Toute la mémoire du monde festival, Costa-Gavras, Chairman of La Cinémathèque française and Francis Ford Coppola (American Zoetrope) have officially declared, after six years groundwork, that restoration work is to begin on Abel Gance’s 1927 masterpiece, Napoleon.






    The work will be supervised by Georges Mourier and supported by France’s National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image (CNC).






    According to french film historian Philippe Esnault, Napoleon is truly a wild tree towering above the tame gardens of French cinema. Over 90 years, the movie has constantly fascinated. Its creative energy is huge; its destiny unique and strange. Widely acclaimed when it was made, it fell into oblivion within twenty years. By the year 2000, twenty-two different versions had been made; five celluloid restorations undertaken. Nothing like it has ever been known.





    Even in 1927, Napoleon was screened in two different versions. The first, four hours long, was premiered at the Paris Opera and included three “triptychs” or three-screen sequences. The second was nine and a half hours long. It was shown at the Apollo Theater, without “triptychs”. This latter version provided the basis for Abel Gance’s “definitive” version, running at around six and half hours. Then between 1927 and 1971, Abel Gance himself produced several new cuts. And in the meantime, from 1949 on, Cinémathèque founder Henri Langlois and Marie Epstein embarked on a long process of conservation and restoration. Their aim was to produce the most complete silent version possible. Several other restoration attempts ensued, within the constraints of the means and knowledge available at the time, including three Kevin Brownlow versions (1973, 1982 and 2000) and one by Bambi Ballard (1992).


    By 2007 however, the situation had become confusing. Successive interventions over the years, with different objectives and applying different work methods had produced a confusing history and made it impossible to know which version might be considered original.


    Accordingly, La Cinémathèque française, to which director Claude Lelouch had granted French rights to the film, commissioned film historian and director Georges Mourier to conduct a comprehensive audit of all the material available. Between 2008 and 2014, some thousand cans were inspected, in France and around the world. 400 of these cans had been untouched since 1971. No previous restoration had included them. At the same time, between 2002 and 2010, La Cinémathèque française classified and catalogued its huge Gance paper archive. That too had been unavailable to previous restorers. And it yielded a capital document, the Rosetta stone of the Napoleon saga: a running order for the Apollo version, complete with precise footage figures.








    New documentary evidence and the Cinémathèque’s extensive stock audit have transformed the way we see Napoleon. We now know that the movie exists in the form of two distinct negatives, both original, reflecting two distinct projects. Every restoration since 1949 mined the Opera and Apollo versions indiscriminately, erasing the specific differences between the two projects. Today, after six years preliminary groundwork, La Cinémathèque française is ready to undertake the first ever digital restoration of this legendary film. Restoration work will take place at Paris’ historic Éclair film lab.


    Francis Ford Coppola and Robert A. Harris, owners of the world rights to Abel Gance’s film, have agreed to partner for this venture.


    In 1979, Kevin Brownlow’s reconstruction debuted at The Telluride Film Festival, with the help of Tom Luddy and Bill Pence, and the world was reintroduced to Abel Gance's masterpiece. Mr. Harris and Mr. Luddy with the blessing of Mr. Coppola, arranged a test screening of Napoleon at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, in order to allow Carmine Coppola and Abel Gance time to discuss the task of creating a score for Napoleon.


    On January 23, 1981, the first live show debuted at Radio City Music Hall. This was a historic event, as it was the first time a large full symphonic performance had been undertaken since the Silent Era. Francis Ford Coppola will adapt Carmine Coppola’s score in accordance with the new findings, in view of worldwide distribution.


    France’s CNC has provided meaningful financial support to the project in order to launch this ambitious restoration. Nevertheless, this colossal project will only succeed with new financing. La Cinémathèque française launches in 2015 a vast campaign seeking additional sponsors, to allow the public to discover this masterpiece of worldwide cinema.






    “Cinema”, according to Abel Gance, “is the music of light”. Restoring Napoleon in its original Apollo version, including the three-screen finale, will at last enable audiences to see a definitive six-and-a- half-hour version. They will at last see the film as the musical composition Abel Gance intended it to be in 1927. They will see the music of light.


    Make a date for 2017. Discover a masterpiece such as it has not been seen for ninety years.
     
  8. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Cinematographer

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    C'est magnifique!
     
  9. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Cinematographer

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    I visited Martin's warehouse over a decade ago, and incredible collection!


    Vincent
     
  10. owen35

    owen35 Stunt Coordinator

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    Now I wish I had paid more attention in my French classes!!
     
  11. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    Will there be an online kick starter fund for this amazingly ambitious restoration project? I'm sure that cinemaphiles worldwide would eagerly contribute to it...
     
  12. Allansfirebird

    Allansfirebird Supporting Actor

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    If Coppola is involved, I think all the financing is already secured.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    img094.
     
    ahollis and Robin9 like this.
  14. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    Would that be Mr. Lean looking through the viewfinder at Mr. Guinness?
     
  15. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    It looks like Mr. Lean at the left. Jack Hildyard could be one of the gentlemen at the camera.
     
  16. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    Ask them to please turn 'round. ;)
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Most likely Jack Hildyard at viewfinder, and DL in cap at left.


    They were busy.


    RAH
     
  18. Malcolm Bmoor

    Malcolm Bmoor Stunt Coordinator

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    The accurate history of the most crucial work on NAPOLEON is available, mainly in Kevin Brownlow's book

    NAPOLEON - ABEL GANCE'S CLASSIC FILM, published in 1983.


    Following the success of the Thames HOLLYWOOD series a full scale performance of NAPLOEON, complete with Triptych, with Carl Davis's score, was presented at The Empire Leicester Square. Other performances followed.


    The American premiere, with a second score compiled by Carmine Coppola followed some time later and rights issues prevented the full length restoration as it then stood, and subsequently developed with additional material with the Carl Davis score, from being presented in the US.


    Whatever new work is undertaken comprising techniques unavailable during the many many years of work undertaken by Kevin Brownlow will be most welcome but it's important to make people aware of the situation in a way absent from that Coppola centred press release that this is a newly funded return to the project.


    The situation with materials stored by the Cinémathèque is detailed in the book and that crucial first restoration involved gathering scraps from many sources whilst dealing with variable French cooperation.


    There had been many Carl Davis Silent Era scores before Carmine Coppola became the second composer to work on (a shorter version of) NAPOLEON and whilst I don't expect the average US enthusiast to be aware of the many years of UK sponsorship of Silent Era Live Cinema, first by Thames and then by Channel Four, that press release is deliberately creating a false impression as to how it came about that NAPOLEON was re-presented to the public in the 1980s.
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Reed Grele likes this.
  20. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    I stumbled across that analysis of the Jaws beach scene a few days ago and shared it with my filmmaking students. I thought it was well done.
     

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