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#1001

Post by weirdboy »

Good thing I do not have a 4k player yet. Although I am pretty sure I had enough sense to get a 4K TV when I had to replace my old one.
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#1002

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Criterion's latest releases (for January 2021):

Minding the Gap (2018, Bing Liu)
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019, Martin Scorsese)

And then some upgrades:
The Ascent (1977, Larisa Shepitko)
Three Films by Luis Bunuel box set (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty and That Obscure Object of Desire)
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#1003

Post by OldAle1 »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: October 15th, 2020, 6:07 pm Criterion's latest releases (for January 2021):

Minding the Gap (2018, Bing Liu)
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (2019, Martin Scorsese)

And then some upgrades:
The Ascent (1977, Larisa Shepitko)
Three Films by Luis Bunuel box set (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty and That Obscure Object of Desire)
That is an awesome lineup, I may pre-order all of them (haven't seen the Scorsese/Dylan doc actually but I would buy that blind). I reviewed Minding the Gap at a little more length than I usually do in February 2019 when I saw it for the Oscars challenge and I'll reprint that here; certainly I think anybody interested in documentaries, and particularly in documentaries about the human condition right now, might want to check it out -

PBS, with most of the swear words bleeped; if I'd know they were still doing that, I might not have watched it. But I'm glad I did - I really don't keep up with new docs, even award nominees, so I had no idea that this was filmed near where I grew up, and live now. Rockford, IL is 15 minutes away, it's where I do most of my grocery shopping, eat out a bit, and see most movies. When I was a kid I thought it was the "big city" and I loved going to the largest mall in town, Cherryvale (curiously not represented here as far as I could see - maybe skateboarders are banned, I dunno). It's been a fairly bleak, impoverished, and crime-ridden city since the late 80s at least when the largest local employer, defense contractor Sundstrand Corporation (now Hamilton Sundstrand) lost what was then the largest lawsuit by the US government against a corporation, for fraud I think, and laid off a huge chunk of it's workforce, including my dad. So this is a pretty personally-relevant film to me in some respects, though I'm a generation older than the director and his two best buddies Kiere and Zack, all skateboarding fanatics who grew up in the early 2000s and are now, in their mid-20s, facing futures only slightly less uncertain than their childhoods, all of which were beset by serious family problems. The director, judging by his family house which is in one of the nicer neighborhoods, grew up in slightly more upscale circumstances - the other two seem to be from lower-middle or working-class environments though none seems to have experienced dire poverty or homelessness or anything that serious. The problems that emerge are mostly ones of masculinity, of fathers being absent or too strictly disciplinarian, though Zack's mother was the one to run away, and certainly his experiences inform his issues with his girlfriend and son (he's the only one as of the end of the film who is depicted as having a relationship or kids - it's rather curious that we see no evidence of any romances or sexual relationships in the cases of the other two). All of the kids/young men (this was filmed over many years) speak of their desires to get out of Rockford, and the visuals depict a fairly barren and desolate place, as we occasionally hear voiceovers confirming the high crime rate, the rate of emigration, the unemployment, etc. These are valuable, but they do present a more one-sided view of the city than strict accuracy would demand - there is some life coming back, and while we occasionally see scenes of the guys skateboarding along State Street, the main East-West thoroughfare that runs through downtown (other US residents may know it as US 20), we don't see the signs of life picking back up that I've noticed in the 5 1/2 years I've been back in the area. But this isn't a huge failure as the film is not meant too be a portrait of the city but a look both at the specific lives of these young men, shaped by lack of opportunity and families that weren't always supportive, and of the larger issues that impact not just Rockford or other mid-sized American cities but the country and most of the planet - how to we grow up and stay sane in this world that is changing, both culturally and economically, faster than ever?

I haven't gotten to the filmmaking, which is fine as far as the low-fi aesthetics go - shot mostly by Bing Liu with probably a few different relatively cheap digital cameras, it's not glamorous but it's not overly grungy either - perhaps as I said it doesn't depict the whole of the city, the parts that I know for example, but it isn't poverty-porn either. And the editing is really quite brilliant, building it's stories to a fitting conclusion that could almost seem scripted. The film's focus on race - Bing is of Chinese descent, Keire is African-American, and Zack is white - is interesting, in that it's really not a focus at all. Keire does mention some issues at a couple of points, and Bing's mother married a white guy (his stepfather) and he has a mixed-race half-brother, so the issue is always there on the margins, but it's not front and center, which I liked because it's really not front and center in this area; not that race doesn't matter here, but I do feel like there is more racial mixing, and less prejudice in this general area than in much of the country. Maybe in this one case, people have come together more over their shared problems? I don't know, but that's my experience and it seems to be that of Bing and his costars as well.
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#1004

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

I'm somewhat indifferent to Bob Dylan myself, but Minding the Gap is something I've had my eye on since it came out, and as it was a Hulu release (which I don't subscribe to), I haven't seen it yet. Very intrigued by this kind of doc, and your write-up on it only makes me more interested.
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#1005

Post by OldAle1 »

Given your "industrial wasteland" location I think you'd find a lot of relevance to it also.
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#1006

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

OldAle1 wrote: October 15th, 2020, 6:28 pm Given your "industrial wasteland" location I think you'd find a lot of relevance to it also.
Heh, indeed. Rockford, IL doesn't sound too far off from the type of area I spent most of my childhood in (though mine was probably a bit more suburban and middle-class from the sound of it). Also, Bing Liu is from the same generation as me (I'm only 2 years older), and while I unfortunately sucked at skateboarding myself, I was always interested in the subculture and several of my best friends during middle school (early 2000s) were enthusiastic and quite skilled skaters, so that aspect of this film attracts me as well. Looking forward to it.
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#1007

Post by brokenface »

Minding the Gap was great, one of best docs of recent years I've seen. Been on iplayer for ages for UK people.

Rolling Thunder Revue is kinda fun, semi-mockumentary.
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#1008

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Minding the Gap was definitely the best doc I watched that year it was nommed for the Oscar.
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#1009

Post by brokenface »

This month's criterion announcements:

Smooth Talk
Mandabi
Man Push Cart
Chop Shop
The Parallax View

Parallax View is so long overdue for this, delighted with that. And the two Bahrani films are gems, particularly Man Push Cart
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#1010

Post by funkybusiness »

as someone who has never seen The Right Stuff: Levon Helm was in the movies?
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#1011

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

I’m interested in Smooth Talk, haven’t seen it and hadn’t even heard of it until recently, but it looks right up my alley.
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#1012

Post by funkybusiness »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: November 14th, 2020, 9:19 am I’m interested in Smooth Talk, haven’t seen it and hadn’t even heard of it until recently, but it looks right up my alley.
same. That cover is great. I'd buy that as a poster and put it on the front of my trapper keeper.
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#1013

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

funkybusiness wrote: November 14th, 2020, 9:24 am
GruesomeTwosome wrote: November 14th, 2020, 9:19 am I’m interested in Smooth Talk, haven’t seen it and hadn’t even heard of it until recently, but it looks right up my alley.
same. That cover is great. I'd buy that as a poster and put it on the front of my trapper keeper.
Yep, that artwork really struck me too, perfect poster material, indeed! Though personally I think I’ll stick with the Richard Grieco poster on the front of my Trapper Keeper.
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#1014

Post by kongs_speech »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: November 14th, 2020, 9:19 am I’m interested in Smooth Talk, haven’t seen it and hadn’t even heard of it until recently, but it looks right up my alley.
Smooth Talk is based on my favorite short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. I finally had a chance to see it this year at the virtual New York Film Festival, and it was an easy 5/5. I'll undoubtedly be picking up this disc.
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#1015

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

kongs_speech wrote: November 14th, 2020, 3:51 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote: November 14th, 2020, 9:19 am I’m interested in Smooth Talk, haven’t seen it and hadn’t even heard of it until recently, but it looks right up my alley.
Smooth Talk is based on my favorite short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. I finally had a chance to see it this year at the virtual New York Film Festival, and it was an easy 5/5. I'll undoubtedly be picking up this disc.
Very cool, that’s encouraging to hear! :thumbsup:
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#1016

Post by kongs_speech »

Region free / Region B Tsai fans: did y'all know about this? Comes out on the 23rd! I can soon finally cross it off my watchlist.

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https://arrowfilms.com/product-detail/g ... NDRUNBD035
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#1017

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In addition to preordering the aforementioned Goodbye Dragon Inn, I went on a small eBay DVD binge.

8 Women (Ozon)
Perfect Love (Breillat)
Sex is Comedy (Breillat)
Visage (Tsai)
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#1018

Post by Knaldskalle »

Holy smokes! I only just learned that Pathe released a limited edition blu-ray of the restored version of Abel Gance's La Roue (1923) back in June. It's a 4-disc set with the movie now taking up 3 discs on its own and a runtime of 418 minutes (that's just short of 7 hours). By comparison, the DVD I saw some years ago was "only" 263 minutes, so they almost doubled the runtime.

It's coming back into print, though, being released again on January 6 2021. Price: 60 Euros (it's $77 shipped to the US).

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I really want this, but that price tag... :blink:

Does anybody know more about this? Is there a (cheaper) regular edition in the works? Does anyone know if it's scheduled for release in other markets (eg. Germany, UK, US)?
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#1019

Post by kongs_speech »

Knaldskalle wrote: November 29th, 2020, 9:33 pm Holy smokes! I only just learned that Pathe released a limited edition blu-ray of the restored version of Abel Gance's La Roue (1923) back in June. It's a 4-disc set with the movie now taking up 3 discs on its own and a runtime of 418 minutes (that's just short of 7 hours). By comparison, the DVD I saw some years ago was "only" 263 minutes, so they almost doubled the runtime.

It's coming back into print, though, being released again on January 6 2021. Price: 60 Euros (it's $77 shipped to the US).

Image

I really want this, but that price tag... :blink:

Does anybody know more about this? Is there a (cheaper) regular edition in the works? Does anyone know if it's scheduled for release in other markets (eg. Germany, UK, US)?
What an odd coincidence, I'm watching the 263 minute cut right now. It's excellent. I want that, but it's out of my price range.
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#1020

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Great new. This been high on my to see list for ages. But the price is very steep indeed. Hoping too there will be a regular edition after the limited edition sold out
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#1021

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Would've thought there's a reasonable chance either BFI or Eureka would license it if possible
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#1022

Post by Knaldskalle »

brokenface wrote: November 30th, 2020, 7:31 am Would've thought there's a reasonable chance either BFI or Eureka would license it if possible
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for something like that. I should write Flicker Alley and ask them if they have any plans for it...
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#1023

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#1024

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Cool beans, nice to finally get the release date on that. Ashes of Time is notably absent though. :(
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#1025

Post by Timec »

WKW has been tinkering with some of the films, so you might want to hang on to any discs you already have if you care about having the originals. Here's his explanation for the changes.

In particular, he apparently "shortened" some scenes in Happy Together and changed the aspect ratio of Fallen Angels from 1.85:1 to 2.39:1.

I was hoping Criterion would just release the original and "updated" versions of those two, but it doesn't look like that'll be the case.
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#1026

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

Timec wrote: December 10th, 2020, 6:37 pm changed the aspect ratio of Fallen Angels from 1.85:1 to 2.39:1.
I wish there were screenshot comparisons because I don't really get how this is supposed to work. It doesn't sound like it's cutting frame nor expanding frame, but rather stretching everything out. That doesn't seem right, though.
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I read that as "we flicked a switch wrong and distorted the video, and I said "cool that's now how the film should look" but we weren't able to release that way. Now we can so we're going with that distorted video that I thought looked cool."

That seems like a really bold and controversial choice, so much so that I feel I must be reading it wrong.
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#1027

Post by kongs_speech »

I don't know if I want this or not. It sadly isn't a complete set, and though I've only seen one of the films included (In the Mood for Love), the changes for the rest seem so considerable that I'll definitely wait for reviews. I'd hate to have my first experience with Fallen Angels be a shitty Lucas-ing that nobody likes.
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#1028

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I already have In The Mood For Love so I'll be keeping that.
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#1029

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Yeah I already own individual WKW films so not sure about box set, especially with the weird Lucas-esque changes.
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#1030

Post by Knaldskalle »

PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 10th, 2020, 9:02 pm I read that as "we flicked a switch wrong and distorted the video, and I said "cool that's now how the film should look" but we weren't able to release that way. Now we can so we're going with that distorted video that I thought looked cool."

That seems like a really bold and controversial choice, so much so that I feel I must be reading it wrong.
I'm reading it the same way. Makes me think he did indeed "Lucas" the films. Especially since the end says "these are not the same films and we're no longer the same audience."

And what about those who just want to see the movies as they were first released?
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#1031

Post by funkybusiness »

I saw screens on twitter a few days past. He literally just chopped the top and bottom of the image off. and he switched some color sequences to black and white and, most bizarrely, really poorly color-highlighted some objects, like the jukebox, in black and white scenes. It's completely mystifying. I dunno wtf he's doing.

and the bits from Happy Together that were missing from the damaged negative uuuuh just sequence those bits in from an existing source like, I dunno, the decade old blu-ray on my shelf, dude.

No wonder he can't get any project completed nowadays. He's completely lost it.

will I be purchasing this Criterion set? ehh probably n--
Alternate version of Days of Being Wild featuring different edits of the film’s prologue and final scenes, on home video for the first time
count me in.

that may seem paradoxical, but that's all it takes. alternate cuts. put the new things you cooked up alongside the originals. that's all you gotta do WKW! Hopefully this message will reach him. and hopefully he'll be able to see it thru his black-out sunglasses.
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#1032

Post by funkybusiness »

and 2046 still looks 720p but hopefully that's just shitty internet compression.
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#1033

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

LOL, that is so bad:

The BW of the second screenshot is even worse than the cropping, somehow.
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#1034

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WTF this is not a restoration it is a molestation.
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#1035

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

I think Wong forgot to take his sunglasses off when he made all these weird changes.
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#1036

Post by Knaldskalle »

Wow. And somehow the glowing jukebox isn't even the worst thing...
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#1037

Post by GruesomeTwosome »

Criterion's March releases: (aside from the already announced Wong Kar Wai box set):

Touki bouki (1973, Djibril Diop Mambety) - released previously though in the Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project set
Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974, Jacques Rivette)
Defending Your Life (1991, Albert Brooks)
Secrets & Lies (1996, Mike Leigh)

Damn, OldAle is gonna love these announcements, I think the Rivette film and Defending Your Life are big favorites of his. I'm happy to see Secrets & Lies get a Blu-ray release, it seems to have been strangely hard to find on disc in the US for a film that was an Academy Award Best Picture nominee and a Palme d'Or winner.
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#1038

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

I updated the ICM list. Does the WKW set not have a spine number?
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#1039

Post by zuma »

PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 15th, 2020, 7:35 pm I updated the ICM list. Does the WKW set not have a spine number?
It does not. Same as the Fellini set
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#1040

Post by kongs_speech »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: December 15th, 2020, 7:27 pm Criterion's March releases: (aside from the already announced Wong Kar Wai box set):

Touki bouki (1973, Djibril Diop Mambety) - released previously though in the Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project set
Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974, Jacques Rivette)
Defending Your Life (1991, Albert Brooks)
Secrets & Lies (1996, Mike Leigh)

Damn, OldAle is gonna love these announcements, I think the Rivette film and Defending Your Life are big favorites of his. I'm happy to see Secrets & Lies get a Blu-ray release, it seems to have been strangely hard to find on disc in the US for a film that was an Academy Award Best Picture nominee and a Palme d'Or winner.
With this list, I think it's the best Criterion month I've ever seen. I will buy all of them, especially Celine and Julie, which is probably top 15 of all time for me.
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