293 The Flowers of St. Francis

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backstreetsbackalright
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293 The Flowers of St. Francis

#1 Post by backstreetsbackalright » Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:02 pm

The Flowers of St. Francis

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In a series of simple and joyous vignettes, director Roberto Rossellini and co-writer Federico Fellini lovingly convey the universal teachings of the People's Saint: humility, compassion, faith, and sacrifice. Gorgeously photographed to evoke the medieval paintings of Saint Francis's time, and cast with monks from the Nocera Inferiore Monastery, The Flowers of St. Francis is a timeless and moving portrait of the search for spiritual enlightenment.

Special Features

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Exclusive new video interviews, conducted in 2004, with actress Isabella Rossellini, film historian Adriano Aprà, and film critic Father Virgilio Fantuzzi
- The American-release prologue, situating the film in its historical context through paintings and frescoes
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- Plus: a 36-page booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Peter Brunette and reprinted writings by Roberto Rossellini and critic André Bazin

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Jun-Dai
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#2 Post by Jun-Dai » Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:04 pm

backstreetsbackalright wrote:Very great to see some Rossellini. Though too bad its stepping on MoC's toes. I predict the set will be rounded out with Naked.
More information on the film: MoC - imdb
Last edited by Jun-Dai on Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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#3 Post by ellipsis7 » Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:21 pm

Wonder how it could add to the MoC release? A commentary track? Or maybe it is a direct port in (with NTSC transfer)... Great to see Rossellini in the CC, hope for more, wonder why MoC were not aware of this (or else sworn to secrecy)...

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#4 Post by Cinephrenic » Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:11 pm

Too bad it wasnt Open City, Paisan, or Voyage to Italy first. But great to see more Rossellini finally.

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#5 Post by FilmFanSea » Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:15 pm

By coincidence, my Eureka arrived in the mail just this afternoon.

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#6 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:00 pm

Well I think MoC have won out this time... Will keep CC on their toes...

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#7 Post by Jun-Dai » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:04 pm

Wow. MoC snagged a Scorsese extra and Criterion didn't. I'm astounded. Way to go y'all!

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#8 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:05 pm

Criterion seems to have found a new pest in the business. MoC series is growing interesting were Criterion is behind. Maybe The Naked Island is next perhaps?

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#9 Post by ellipsis7 » Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:09 am

Well, I guess I'll have to keep waiting and waiting.
Maybe not so long... Doug Cummings of MoC answered in the Moc Francesco strand -
ellipsis wrote:Maybe MoC might consider EUROPA 51 for future treatment?

Trust me, it has been considered. It's probably my favorite Rossellini film.

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#10 Post by mbalson » Sat Jun 04, 2005 4:19 am

I'm willing to bet that the Criterion will have a significantly better transfer than the MoC. That's not to say that the MoC isn't outstanding, it's just not as sharp or detailed as I would expect the Criterion to be.

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#11 Post by daniel p » Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:12 am

My sentiments exactly... in fact, I was about to reply with something along the same lines.

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#12 Post by Cinéslob » Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:35 am

FilmFanSea wrote:By coincidence, my Eureka arrived in the mail just this afternoon.
Same here. I don't think there'll be much between the two however, so I very much doubt I'll regret purchasing the excellent MoC version.

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#13 Post by King of Kong » Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:47 am

Worth a blind purchase? I've never seen a Rossellini - is this a good intro?

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#14 Post by ellipsis7 » Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:21 am

Rossellini's work falls into several phases, the early Neo Realist, the mid period Bergman films overlapping with films exploring in some way faith (of which this is is one) and moving on through INDIA to later period pieces (many for TV).. All periods produced really interesting work, a fair share of which is great...

So it it is difficult to say there is a 'typical' Rossellini film, however FLOWERS OF ST FRANCIS qualifies in that it is quintessential Rossellini in his handling of the subject matter, with characteristic naturalnerss and unaffected style...

Martin Scorsese writes in his introduction to the MoC disc... "I had never imagined that a filmmaker would dare to treat the life of a saint with so little solemnnity, and with so much warmth and humanity" Indeed Scorsese's MY VOYAGE TO ITALY spends substantial time talking about Rossellini, and places FRANCIS into the context of the other films...

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#15 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:22 pm

Its a magnificent film. But with the MoC having just been released, I think it was bad timing on Criterion's part to announce it. I'm more than happy with the MoC disc. I may rent the Criterion ro compare, and for the interviews.

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#16 Post by Sai » Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:31 pm

What I absolutely loved about this movie is how it's about religious people, while not trying to win the audience over to christianity (or any other faith). Just like La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, it's more about how people deal with their beliefs and how it helps them live or makes them live. I know it sounds weird, but I have some trouble with, for example, the climax of Ordet. Sudden divine intervention in an otherwise realistic film takes the movie out of reality, and therefore takes me out of the movie.
My appreciation for this film grew even more when I read the excerpt from the original story in the MoC booklet, full of divine flames and whatnot. I think it's extremely daring of Rosselini to give us this small matter-of-fact story, without miracles and divine intervention. It's very human, loving, warm and funny even.
You could argue that this 'small', sometimes even banal approach makes it fall short of being a masterpiece, and you could argue that exactly this small approach makes it a masterpiece. Masterpiece or not, it's a wonderful film.

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#17 Post by backstreetsbackalright » Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:48 pm

Sai wrote:What I absolutely loved about this movie is how it's about religious people, while not trying to win the audience over to christianity (or any other faith).
Remarkably, the same is pretty much true with his Jesus pic, The Messiah, which is also pretty great.

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#18 Post by GringoTex » Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:18 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:Its a magnificent film. But with the MoC having just been released, I think it was bad timing on Criterion's part to announce it. I'm more than happy with the MoC disc. I may rent the Criterion ro compare, and for the interviews.
Is there that much competiton between the two regions to make a difference? I know some North Americans by Region 2 dvds but I have no idea how many. It seems fairly common for the same film to be released in Region 1 and Region 2 within months of each other. Maybe perpee can give us some insight on the market and whether region 1 and region 2 production compnies see themselves as market competitors.

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#19 Post by peerpee » Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:39 pm

This isn't the thread for it, but.... it's not about "regions", it's about PAL vs NTSC.

NTSC shits all over PAL in the global marketplace because the whole of Europe can play NTSC or PAL "out of the box". PAL cannot be played by 99% of Americans. End of story.

Hollywood/America have realised this and are flooding Europe with NTSC discs. In comparison, hardly any PAL discs cross the pond the other way.

There is no level-playing field, the EU don't realise what's going on, and there's effectively zero competition between NTSC and PAL because NTSC discs win everytime.

Why don't European companies release NTSC discs then? Because licensors stipulate in their contracts that European licensees must release PAL.

Please create a new thread if you want to discuss this further. Thanks!

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#20 Post by GringoTex » Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:46 pm

peerpee wrote:Please create a new thread if you want to discuss this further. Thanks!
PAL vs. NTSC in the marketplace

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#21 Post by peerpee » Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:46 pm

from HVE:
- New restored, high-definition digital transfer
- Exclusive new video interviews, conducted in 2004, with actress Isabella Rossellini; and writer and film historian Adriano Aprà; film critic Father Virgilio Fantuzzi
- The American-release prologue, situating the film in its historical contest through paintings and frescoes
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- Plus: a 36-page booklet featuring new essays by film scholar Peter Brunette and reprinted by writings by Roberto Rossellini and critic Andrè Bazin

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#22 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:02 am

So MoC is the only DVD release of the complete European edition, as originally created by RR... He had no part in making the US prologue of the modified version, if I remember correctly...

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#23 Post by zedz » Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:42 am

From the specs posted, I'm assuming that the American prologue is an additional feature on the disc. I don't see any indication that the version of the film is not Rossellini's original.

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#24 Post by peerpee » Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:45 am

ellipsis7 wrote:So MoC is the only DVD release of the complete European edition, as originally created by RR... He had no part in making the US prologue of the modified version, if I remember correctly...
What Criterion refer to as the "American-release prologue" is what MoC referred to as the "Giotto prologue". I'm pretty sure they'll be releasing the complete Italian restoration of the film (the same as the MoC version), and providing the prologue as a separate extra (like the MoC version does).

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#25 Post by mogwai » Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:09 am

DVDTalk review.

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