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Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:26 am
Yes, I have also seen some of the screencaps, and the picture quality is usually far better than I would have expected. Eclipse sells as low-par what other companies offer as regular releases. So far i think it's worth all of the money.
Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:09 pm
House of Games, Milky Way, and Cria Cuervos have recently been announced.
Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:43 am
La Joven is also coming out in August, so it's turning out to be a good month for Buuel. Not overly excited about the other two.
Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:02 pm
Good news for all fans of Nestor Almendros (definitely count me in) and, of course, Terence Malick (dito):
Days of Heaven will be released in Autumn.
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:07 am
Malick's formal aestheticism deserves the Criterion threatment. If I'm not mistaken, Days of Heaven was Almendros's first American film.
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:34 am
Not quite. He had already photographed some American independents in the late 60s, and in the 70s he had been hired for Monte Hellman's Cockfighter (1974) prior to Days of Heaven. I'm just now watching Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) btw. Maybe I should check out Cockfighter next.
The problem I have with Almendros' films on Video or DVD is that imo his lighting of scenes (or his use of natural light) can be crucial to the experience of the film, as it isn't only an aesthetic choice but influences my perception of the character's feelings, sets the mood for the whole film. I recently watched the introspective Mes petites amoureuses (1974) again, and the difference between the mediocre image on DVD and the exceptional beauty of the 35mm print I had previously seen was striking. One totally couldn't see what was so exceptional about his work on this one, and I would say that his cinematography for Eustache is some of the best you'll ever get to see!
After this experience I kept wondering how many films I had failed to appreciate because I hadn't been able to watch a good copy of them. It's like Van Gogh's paintings without the vibrant colors!
So we have to be deeply thankful to companies like Criterion who try to offer us the best possible image and audio (another crucial aspect) they can get. Still more important though is the work of archivists and restorers who take care of the original prints. For to see a film as intended by its creators and in its full glory you have to see it on film. So I'm not sure if HD will actually be such an improvement, at least for the vast cultural legacy which films from the 19th and 20th century represent.
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:20 pm
I do think you shouldn't disregard Wexler's contributions to Days of Heaven (and American film in general). Having a chance to revisit Days of Heaven it didn't quite enthrall me as I perhaps expected it to. Even though Criterion will do a better job than the Paramount dvd, I still get a little irked when easily available films get "The Criterion Treatment" over completely unavailable or films with poor picture and audio quality and impossible to read subtitled VHS tapes.
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:42 pm
Interesting. In that case, Days could be considered as his first "Hollywood" film. I'd probably still watch a mediocre quality product of Mes petites amoureuses, but I am sypathetic towards the point you made. Let's just consider Malick's The New World which remains a great film no matter what your viewing source is, but the degree of sublimity created by Malick and Lubezki is the highest in a theatrical setting.
You're Van Gogh reference reminded me of the exquisite La Gueule ouverte which was shot by Almendros (Pialat, of course, in case you aren't sure).
"For to see a film as intended by its creators and in its full glory you have to see it on film."
Ideally, yes, but when you consider the vagaries of distribution this becomes a monumental task. That's why retrospectives are so important, even though they're limited to major cities. I can't wait for the full-scale Garrel retro coming up in a few months.
Having seen films on HD/Blu-ray, I'd say that it is an improvement. How long does it take for Criterion and other companies to fully adapt it is another matter, of course.
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:06 pm
I have only seen screenshots (or pictures taken with a digital camera) of HD and Blu-Ray films, and they do look terrific (e.g. Casablanca, The Departed). But I'm wondering if it is a good thing if they look even better than the print itself (sharpness, contrast, and stuff like that).
I'd definitely also appreciate it more if Criterion would restore obscure films or titles that are difficult to obtain. But I guess even they have to make some money
Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:30 pm
Antonioni's retro is coming up soon (starts in 8 days) and I'd like to catch as many films as I can. I think sometimes HD gets a little out of hand, and I'm not ready to switch over from DVD's, unless of course they are scratch proof and won't skip like ultra-sensitive DVD's do.