865 Blow-Up

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Robin Davies
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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#76 Post by Robin Davies » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:49 pm

feihong wrote: Even the Jack Nicholson commentary on The Passenger is far more intellectually stimulating than the Blowup commentary.
The Brunette one isn't quite as bad as Nicholson's which has to be one of the worst I've ever heard. "I could tell so many stories about Antonioni". Well go on then! He only has one good anecdote and he'd already told that in his recollections on the l'Avventura release. The rest is mostly mistakes and statements of the obvious. "Still one shot... Still one shot..."

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feihong
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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#77 Post by feihong » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:20 pm

I guess it's apples and oranges. Nicholson won me over right away with his introductory statements––"a man...comes to the desert...and he's looking for something....and that's as much of a story as Michelangelo Antonioni wants or needs"––I'm paraphrasing...but for me Nicholson's good-natured, open rambling, even if it is bereft of content, is better than Brunette's insistence that no, none of this means anything definite. There's a closure to Brunette's view of the film that really grates, so I guess that's why I hate that commentary so much. He's done with the film, and it seems to tire him––as if the commentary is only belaboring the point for him. Whereas I like to think I can at least feel Nicholson's love for the film and the experience of it, even if he doesn't get into it in the depth I wish he would.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#78 Post by Norbie » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:22 pm

Ribs wrote:A book!
I hope it's not a mistake and they don't really mean a booklet.

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FakeBonanza
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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#79 Post by FakeBonanza » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:05 pm

Norbie wrote:
Ribs wrote:A book!
I hope it's not a mistake and they don't really mean a booklet.
I would think that "a book" means they're including the Cortazar story, but that also seems like something they'd have had sorted out by now if it were going to happen.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#80 Post by swo17 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:07 pm

Norbie wrote:
Ribs wrote:A book!
I hope it's not a mistake and they don't really mean a booklet.
That's what happened with The New World.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#81 Post by oh yeah » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:58 pm

feihong wrote:I guess it's apples and oranges. Nicholson won me over right away with his introductory statements––"a man...comes to the desert...and he's looking for something....and that's as much of a story as Michelangelo Antonioni wants or needs"––I'm paraphrasing...but for me Nicholson's good-natured, open rambling, even if it is bereft of content, is better than Brunette's insistence that no, none of this means anything definite. There's a closure to Brunette's view of the film that really grates, so I guess that's why I hate that commentary so much. He's done with the film, and it seems to tire him––as if the commentary is only belaboring the point for him. Whereas I like to think I can at least feel Nicholson's love for the film and the experience of it, even if he doesn't get into it in the depth I wish he would.
I also enjoyed Jack's commentary on The Passenger, and I remembered him having some interesting anecdotes. One of them, which is especially relevant now with the recent controversy, was his talking about how zonked out Maria Schneider was on the set, often unable to stand up straight and such. (He wasn't being gossip-y or judgmental about it, just honest). I seem to recall him saying that she had back surgery or some kind of legitimate pain which required painkillers, but regardless of the source of them it seems clear that she was heavily self-medicating in the wake of the LTIP shoot and aftermath. Hearing this from Jack lent an extra little layer of pathos to her scenes for me, and also made me able to recognize just how opiated or sedated she really does seem in much of her performance! Then again, I think this works somehow, it's a performance as relaxed and lazy as the afternoon sun and shambling Spanish towns the film depicts so hypnotically. But I digress...

I liked Jack's commentary in a similar way that I like Abel Ferrara's: it's not so much the "what" as it is the "how" of what they say.

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Ribs
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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#82 Post by Ribs » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:13 pm

I think the new Criterion definition of "including a book" is "digipak with a perfect-bound booklet," which for those keeping track was what we got almost exclusively in the year of the dual format digipaks. Considering what movie this is I expect it will have very splashy, art-laden packaging.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#83 Post by DeprongMori » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:27 pm

I'm curious what consensus is around the aspect ratio issue. All prior DVD releases have been at 1.78:1, but the Criterion is listed as 1.85:1. There seems to be some evidence that it was shot in 1.66:1. The Criterion laser disc release was in 1.66:1 as well.

I have not seen the film screened for close to 40 years and don't recall what the ratio was. Your thoughts?

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865 Blow-Up

#84 Post by movielocke » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:38 am

DeprongMori wrote:I'm curious what consensus is around the aspect ratio issue. All prior DVD releases have been at 1.78:1, but the Criterion is listed as 1.85:1. There seems to be some evidence that it was shot in 1.66:1. The Criterion laser disc release was in 1.66:1 as well.

I have not seen the film screened for close to 40 years and don't recall what the ratio was. Your thoughts?
it may have been soft matted to 1.66 on projection prints or in camera, leading to home video thinking that was the correct ratio, or it was presented that way as a preferred analog era compromise between full resolution open matte and low resolution widescreen.

And 1.66 did look pretty good on VHS. because of overscan, on one of our old 13" TVs you couldn't even see the top bar on a 1.66 presentation

Or it may have been presented as 1.66 under the mistaken 80s-90s era assumption that all arty and/or European films were always 1.66 because 1.66 is so exotic and therefore higher class and awesome etc.

1.78 is dead wrong and was a dreadfully common WB practice on a lot of 1.85 and 1.66 films for quite a long time.

1.66 was very rarely used in the United States, and after a decade or so of widescreen, 1.66, (never the dominant local ratio in England) phased out of use in England and became moderately uncommon there--according to the published exhibitor guides of the era that listed the intended projection ratio etc.

Odds are very high that 1.85 is the ratio intended for original theatrical exhibition.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#85 Post by Ovader » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:39 am

Curious if any of the remaining Yardbirds were interviewed for the 52 minute doc on the film to provide context of the music scene and their place within it? In the Yardbirds 1992 documentary Jeff Beck freely expresses his contempt for Antonioni "pompous oaf, etc." so we have that footage from his POV! :wink:

Add: I contacted the drummer and he said he talked about that in an interview some time ago and supposes that would be part of the extras.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#86 Post by jbeall » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:46 pm

FakeBonanza wrote:
Norbie wrote:
Ribs wrote:A book!
I hope it's not a mistake and they don't really mean a booklet.
I would think that "a book" means they're including the Cortazar story, but that also seems like something they'd have had sorted out by now if it were going to happen.
I wouldn't count on this unless something has changed with Cortazar's estate. When I was in grad school, a professor tried to include the story in a course packet, but the estate wanted a dollar per page, which would drive up the packet's cost by $10. (The prof. put the story collection on reserve at the library and told us to make copies on our own. Ahh, the good old days of skirting/violating copyright law!)

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#87 Post by Robin Davies » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:15 am

The Cortazar story is included in the 1971 compilation of essays Focus on Blow-Up edited by Roy Huss. Second-hand copies can be found fairly cheaply.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#88 Post by jsteffe » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:11 pm

I recommend just going ahead and purchasing the collection of Cortazar stories. The story "Blow-Up" is very good, but it's not even the best story in the collection by a long shot. The entire collection brims with imagination.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#89 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:15 pm

Ovader wrote:In the Yardbirds 1992 documentary Jeff Beck freely expresses his contempt for Antonioni "pompous oaf, etc." so we have that footage from his POV! :wink:
I love Jeff's music but this clip clearly reminds one of how he inspired Nigel Tufnel.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#90 Post by JSC » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:50 am

Maybe it's just that Antonioni had an issue with musicians. There's some
other documentary where Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour are not exactly
heaping praise on him over Pink Floyd's involvement with Zabriskie Point.
I also remember reading somewhere that Antonioni and John Fahey had a
brawl in Rome around the same time. Then again, Jerry Garcia apparently
enjoyed adding his material to ZP.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#91 Post by Ovader » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:56 pm

JSC wrote:Maybe it's just that Antonioni had an issue with musicians...
I also remember reading somewhere that Antonioni and John Fahey had a
brawl in Rome around the same time.
Fahey mentions that incident in an interview here. Scroll down a bit to read the remarks.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#92 Post by Mungo » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:48 pm

The book sounds like it'll be pretty loaded with supplements. It definitely is a book. To quote Criterion's website:

"...Featuring an essay by film scholar David Forgacs, an updated 1966 account of the film’s shooting by Stig Björkman, the questionnaires the director distributed to photographers and painters while developing the film, and the 1959 Julio Cortázar short story on which the film is loosely based"

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#93 Post by oh yeah » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:48 am

Forget if this has been discussed here already, but I find it puzzling and kind of funny how many people seem to believe that the Warner DVD of Blowup was missing some crucial "deleted scenes" which were present in the film when shown in theaters.

Just check out this hilariously misguided and incorrect Amazon review, which has long been the "most helpful" one for some reason. Recently people are commenting on it, mindlessly wondering whether the Criterion release will once and for all restore these imaginary "deleted scenes" which they're convinced were present in the theatrical cut.

I honestly think this film just does such a great job of playing with memory and perception that it makes sense a lot of people would mistakenly believe they saw something in it that they didn't actually see... How very apt!

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#94 Post by Randall Maysin » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:23 am

That's funny, I was under the impression that there was supposed to be some material deleted from the Warners dvd, namely stuff involving a naked Vanessa Redgrave. and I'm almost positive I've seen stills of her completely nude, in character. She definitely doesn't get naked in the version on the Warners dvd!

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#95 Post by swo17 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:34 am

That's a criticism of the framing. Given that Criterion's release is in 1.85:1, it will presumably follow the WB release in this regard.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#96 Post by med » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:03 am

oh yeah wrote:Forget if this has been discussed here already, but I find it puzzling and kind of funny how many people seem to believe that the Warner DVD of Blowup was missing some crucial "deleted scenes" which were present in the film when shown in theaters.

Just check out this hilariously misguided and incorrect Amazon review, which has long been the "most helpful" one for some reason. Recently people are commenting on it, mindlessly wondering whether the Criterion release will once and for all restore these imaginary "deleted scenes" which they're convinced were present in the theatrical cut.

I honestly think this film just does such a great job of playing with memory and perception that it makes sense a lot of people would mistakenly believe they saw something in it that they didn't actually see... How very apt!
Are you saying there weren't scenes involving Sinbad playing a genie?

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#97 Post by cdnchris » Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:30 pm

I've always loved how Sinbad has rung in that has never happened yet people insist he was.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#98 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:09 pm

The king of denial. Hearing him talk about Bill Cosby on Maron's show confirmed it for me.

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#99 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:40 am

Randall Maysin wrote:That's funny, I was under the impression that there was supposed to be some material deleted from the Warners dvd, namely stuff involving a naked Vanessa Redgrave. and I'm almost positive I've seen stills of her completely nude, in character. She definitely doesn't get naked in the version on the Warners dvd!
there is nothing about this in the web site moviecensorship database ? (apparently no- it's an interesting database : they compare screenshots with timings from different source TV broacast/VHS/DVD from different countries, Blu-Ray (of course) etc..)

I was thinking that this rumor was a joke (although it's an existential question) : I was so excited by Criterion's announcement of Blow Up (since with the Passenger that's my most-wanting Antonioni still-not-released on BR) that I've tried to grab an HD transfer of this movie (which I didn't see since a very long time). I found an WEB-HD transfer (720p) (running time 1:51 (no Warner logo or it has been cut - starts with PREMIER production opening) and Vanessa Redgrave isn't nude (contrary to Jane Birkin and the combo-double-dip whatever you'll call it pantyhose scene). All is suggestion - Vanessa Redgrave is naked, ok, but she still wears a tie (so, technically she is not totally nude on this scene (except if there is a delete scene or scene which would have been cut where she would be without a tie)- the tie thing adds a lot to the erotic power of the scene.
Mind you, it's like when I saw "Marnie" when I was very young. The scene in the boat was such an erotic shock for me :oops: :) . When her wardroab fell down. I could believe that I saw her totally naked. Hitchcock did several times this kind of editing, but I think that Marnie is the best one. From an erotic point of view. I've seen the Blu-Ray again recently and that's still work :oops:
perhaps this comments about Vanessa Redgrave's nudity comes from the power of editing/cinematography and the power of suggestion from M.Antonioni ?
The rest of the scene, it's obvious that all has been done intentionally to not film her breast or her back, she's hidden by a wooden beam, or any object in the room which can hide what we would like to see. We don't see her behind (well just a small part and less than Mireille Darc dress in "Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire").
My guess is all that camera work was obviously totally intentional. Vanessa Redgrave perhaps also didn't want to appear nude in Blow Up.
That said, I would not be disappointed if Criterion transfer was somehow different to the transfer I've seen... :oops: :-$

It was nice to and fun to see the Yardbirds (this band configuration), especially a juvenile Jimmy Page... And Jeff Beck... :lol: did Antonioni asked him to break his Marshall amp like Pete Towshend from the Who ? perhaps initially he wanted to cast The Who ? (remember how he selected "Pink Floyd" after having heard Careful with that Axe, Eugene, they propose a lot of musical theme for the explosion scene; then it turned out to be in the end a re-record of Careful With That Axe Eugene)

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Re: 865 Blow-Up

#100 Post by Robin Davies » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:38 am

Rupert Pupkin wrote:It was nice to and fun to see the Yardbirds (this band configuration), especially a juvenile Jimmy Page... And Jeff Beck... :lol: did Antonioni asked him to break his Marshall amp like Pete Towshend from the Who ? perhaps initially he wanted to cast The Who ?
According to the excellent book YOUR FACE HERE: BRITISH CULT MOVIES SINCE THE SIXTIES the Who "declined the invitation. Perhaps co-manager Chris Stamp was angry about the way his brother Terence had been cast aside." "Antonioni was adamant that there should be a guitar-trashing sequence and so Jeff Beck was called upon to give what turned out to be a not very convincing display of pique."

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