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 Post subject: Napoleon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:42 pm 
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Theatrical release, followed by Blu-ray and DVD later this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:14 pm
This has long been my holy grail release, and while I have some questions (how they'll incorporate the triptych, whether a stateside release with the Davis score is inbound), it's been a very, very long time since silent film fans had such cause for celebration.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:49 pm 
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The link doesn't seem to say that the BD/DVD will be this year - it says that the theatrical release will be in November, which to me indicates it's more likely for Q1 next year on home media.

Criterion/Janus have to be a partner on this, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:56 pm 
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Time to retire as Coppola Killer and get rid of my "motto"!


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:14 pm
denti alligator wrote:
Time to retire as Coppola Killer and get rid of my "motto"!

Would Coppola even be able to block the film in the UK?

Ribs wrote:
The link doesn't seem to say that the BD/DVD will be this year - it says that the theatrical release will be in November, which to me indicates it's more likely for Q1 next year on home media.

Criterion/Janus have to be a partner on this, right?

This source seems to indicate that the film will get a home video release in the fall:

http://www.theartsshelf.com/2016/01/28/ ... -releases/

Quote:
From Autumn 2016, for the first time ever, audiences across the UK will be able to experience this extraordinary cinematic masterpiece with Carl Davis’ magnificent score when the film goes on theatrical release in UK cinemas and is available on BFI DVD/Blu-ray and BFI Player.

...

The simultaneous BFI Blu-ray/DVD release of the film is the first, of this full version, anywhere in the world and will include the recording of the score and a significant package of extras.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:35 pm 
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Ribs wrote:
The link doesn't seem to say that the BD/DVD will be this year - it says that the theatrical release will be in November, which to me indicates it's more likely for Q1 next year on home media.

Criterion/Janus have to be a partner on this, right?

Well, there is a phantom page for Abel Gance.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:18 am 
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AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

What is this world coming to!? The Apu Trilogy just last autumn, A Brighter Summer Day and Othello (eventually) coming out, this is not just icing on the cake, this is beyond any food-related figure of speech there is.

From the link provided above by WorstFella it certainly looks like the BFI are not going the Janus route with this one (theatrical run first, Blu-ray second), for which I'm glad, since I'll most likely see this in 2016. Although considering the scale of the project and the inherent challenges in putting it together, I wouldn't be too surprised to see delays after the release date is confirmed.

But merely knowing that it's coming is amazing news. Just the other day I was thinking of some must-have silents I'd love to watch again, but I wouldn't have dared to even hope for this. Time to wear my bicorne for work, then.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:48 am 
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Well, I think it should be obvious how I feel about this one. Long overdue, and now, all we need is Hollywood, but that is a much easier task, even if it must still be on...DVD.

I'd love to know how BFI finally managed record the Carl Davis score, because I remember reading that the cost of that alone would likely make a home video release impossible.

And it doesn't matter for me, but I'm hoping that BFI is just able to make this one region free (or at least Region AB) and effectively become the US/UK source for this. Honestly, it seems stupid to have Criterion release it in the USA, when a special site (and perhaps a co-distribution deal, like the Polish Scorsese box) can just simply be set up to allow for American orders of the BFI edition.

EDIT: Never mind, I have just read in the other thread that, as recently as 2015, a certain relative of one Nicolas Cage is still seeming dick-ish about this film. I guess we should all be grateful that he has "allowed" this to come to fruition, and accept that the BFI release is certain to be locked and very much UK-only, unless attitudes have drastically changed.

Having said that, nothing can ever, ever top seeing this (twice) back in 2012 at the SFSFF. Thankfully, that was absolutely pristine 35mm film projection. Unfortunately, this news probably means future screenings could be DCP, although, one would hope for using 35mm projection for as long as possible, particularly as the screenings are such expensive and rare jewels.


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 Post subject: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:48 am 
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There is almost certainly no chance that this will be region-free, and I imagine the BFI has come under considerable contractual pressure to ensure that this is as UK-only as it's possible to make it - but of course there's nothing they can do about people importing it.

And here's the official BFI announcement:

Quote:
The BFI today announces a new chapter in the epic history of one of the world’s greatest films: Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927). In the culmination of a 50-year project, Academy Award-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow and the BFI National Archive have completed a new digitally restored version of Abel Gance’s cinematic triumph. From Autumn 2016, for the first time ever, audiences across the UK will be able to experience this extraordinary cinematic masterpiece with Carl Davis’ magnificent score when the film goes on theatrical release in UK cinemas and is available on BFI DVD/Blu-ray and BFI Player.

This legendary 5 ½ hour film was first presented, partially restored, at the BFI London Film Festival in 1980. The latest digital restoration of Napoleon will have its premiere screening with a live performance by the Philharmonia Orchestra of Carl Davis’ score (the longest ever composed for a silent film) in early November 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall.

This project has been achieved thanks to major work undertaken by the experts of the BFI National Archive and Photoplay Productions working with Dragon DI post-production in Wales, and to the generosity of Carl Davis and Jean Boht, who have made possible the recording of the score by the Philharmonia. The original restoration of the 35mm film elements in 2000 was funded by the generous support of the Eric Anker-Petersen charity, with the support of many archives around the world but especially the Cinémathèque Française and the Centre Nationale de la Cinématographie in Paris.

Heather Stewart, Creative Director, BFI said, “Several generations of staff at the BFI have worked on this project. Napoleon is a landmark in the history of cinema and we are grateful to all of the great talents who have helped us along the way but especially, of course, Kevin Brownlow for his indefatigable championing of the film and Carl Davis for his amazing score.”

Kevin Brownlow, Photoplay Productions said, “'This is a tremendous step forward for film history.'

Carl Davis, composer said, ““Thanks to the BFI we have this splendid DVD (Blu-ray). In the words of Napoleon ‘At last!’ “

This new version of Napoleon will allow audiences to see the film’s original tinting and toning, including colour combinations which could not be achieved in the existing 35mm print. Integration of sections sourced from a wide range of elements have also been improved by detailed digital image repair and alignment.

The film has been entirely re-graded and received extensive digital clean-up throughout, all of which offers significant improvements in overall picture quality. This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who spent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954. Brownlow and his colleagues at Photoplay, initially the late David Gill, and then Patrick Stanbury, worked with the BFI National Archive on a series of restorations. The film version has been screened only 4 times in the UK since the year 2000 at memorable events with full orchestra performing the original score by composer Carl Davis.

Running at over 5½ hours on screen, the film demands a huge investment of resources, from projectionists, musicians, conductor and audiences; in a live performance with intervals the experience adds up to over 8 hours from start to finish. Napoleon offers one of the most richly rewarding and thrilling experiences in the history of cinema, a brilliant pairing of music and film, comparable to grand opera in its intensity, offering dazzling scenes of unparalleled brilliance, with full scale historical recreations of episodes from the personal and political life of Napoleon from the French Revolution to the heroic arrival of French troops in Italy marking the beginning of the First Italian campaign of 1796.

Following the premiere of the digital restoration of Napoleon it will be released in cinemas UK-wide in its music-synched version. The simultaneous BFI Blu-ray/DVD release of the film is the first, of this full version, anywhere in the world and will include the recording of the score and a significant package of extras. Napoleon will also be available to view on BFI Player.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:54 am 
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At long last, a reason for me to buy a region-free Blu-Ray player. If Coppola fucks this up he's going to find a lot worse than a horse's head in his bed.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:09 am 
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There are already rumblings of discontent at the 6 1/2 hour restoration being prepared by CNC (with Coppola's blessing? Input?). Perhaps a more informed soul like Ann Harding or Clé du ciel could give amore authoratative resumé of the state of play


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:17 am 
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Roscoe wrote:
At long last, a reason for me to buy a region-free Blu-Ray player. If Coppola fucks this up he's going to find a lot worse than a horse's head in his bed.


Well there's dozens of reasons to have been region-free already! But there's also a possibility that Criterion could release this as well.

AK: your post summed up my thoughts exactly, and you can add Out 1 to the home video blessings us folks have gotten the last year and a half or so!


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:14 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:19 pm
If Criterion releases this, does it still seem like Coppola will insist on his score and only his score being included? If the latter, then the BFI is the easy winner.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:22 am 
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NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
There are already rumblings of discontent at the 6 1/2 hour restoration being prepared by CNC (with Coppola's blessing? Input?). Perhaps a more informed soul like Ann Harding or Clé du ciel could give amore authoratative resumé of the state of play

I am really pleased the BFI is making a DVD/Blu-ray of the Napoleon with the Carl Davis score and the Brownlow restoration. I can imagine the CF is slightly annoyed by the competition.*understatement*


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Well looks like McCrutchy is right:

Looks like Robert A. Harris and a different restoration of the film is anticipated to be finished by 2017
Quote:
Asked restoration expert Robert A. Harris if BFI's plans affect the previously-announced NAPOLEON restoration he is undertaking with Francis Coppola and Cinematheque Francaise. His reply:

"The two are not connected. We donated the UK rights to the BFI and Photoplay (Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stansbury) back in the early days of the project, in recognition of the work they had done over the years.

Zoetrope/Film Preserve [Coppola and Harris' companies] own all world rights with the exception of the UK and France, which was donated to the Cinematheque by Claude Lelouch.

A few years ago, the Cinematheque did an inventory of Napoleon elements, many unseen since 1971, and discovered portions of the original camera negative, as well as other missing elements.

While we applaud the BFI's latest efforts, we have been working with the Cinematheque toward the preparation of a more cohesive, and higher quality presentation, based upon Abel's Apollo version of the film.

We anticipate to be complete in 2017."


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Yes, hence my comments about this being very much a UK-only release.

I think it's extraordinarily unlikely that Criterion or anybody else would be able to get the US rights to the Brownlow/Davis version, although it's my own personal first choice as it's the one I'm most familiar with.

(Although I'll certainly be seeing the Cinematheque version too, when it's ready.)


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:24 pm 
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I look forward to the forced IDs on the Harris version.

A bouquet for Napoleon.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:28 pm 
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Location: OOP is the only answer
Or a Carmine Coppola score stuck on repeat :P


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:35 pm 
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I originally started this post before the one above with Robert A. Harris's info on the proposed 2017 release of the CF restoration. I'm going to keep it intact, for clarity:
criterion10 wrote:
If Criterion releases this, does it still seem like Coppola will insist on his score and only his score being included? If the latter, then the BFI is the easy winner.


Which is exactly why I don't see this being released in the US, ever. If the US is "lucky", maybe our bearded progenitor of all things Napoleon will deign to release a certain cut, scored a certain way, but that's a maybe, and it also assumes that this BFI release actually does get to happen (I won't believe it until the unwrapped and unboxed Blu-ray Disc.is actually loaded into my player, and the film begins) in order to put pressure on him.

I think we can already infer that the 240-minute cut isn't pleasing anyone anymore, since Coppola has had umpteen chances to release it on DVD, and surely could have had it remastered and released on Blu-ray. As far as I know, the last time it saw a release, beyond a couple quietly released Australian and German DVDs, was back in 1986 (LD) and 1991 (VHS).from Zoetrope and MCA Universal.

And even if Coppola did finally prepare the 240-minute cut for Blu-ray and DVD, I'm not entirely sure Criterion would want to be involved with such a release for this film, especially considering the shitstorm of whining and tepid reviews it would create. Criterion are in the business of definitive versions, not hobbled ones, and this is hardly a matter of, say, incorrect aspect ratio, or a missing few minutes from an international version. This would be a Criterion Blu-ray, going up against a BFI Blu-ray, with the Criterion missing some ninety minutes of footage compared to the BFI edition. And that's just to start with.

So unless Coppola and the CF can actually best Brownlow's version, and keep Coppola happy, I think the BFI release is going to be the best we will get, and to be honest, I'm utterly stunned we're getting even that.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:49 pm 
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McCrutchy wrote:
I think we can already infer that the 240-minute cut isn't pleasing anyone anymore, since Coppola has had umpteen chances to release it on DVD, and surely could have had it remastered and released on Blu-ray. As far as I know, the last time it saw a release, beyond a couple quietly released Australian and German DVDs, was back in 1986 (LD) and 1991 (VHS).from Zoetrope and MCA Universal.

It was due to come out in the UK a few years ago, via StudioCanal, but got torpedoed by rights issues - presumably the BFI complained.

Although the release was cancelled after review copies went out, so I can confirm that it was definitely the Coppola version - and, bizarrely, the whole thing was in anamorphic 1.37:1 apart from the final triptych, a very unsatisfactory way of presenting the vast majority of the film. In fact, I was revving up to give the transfer both barrels when my piece got spiked.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:05 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
McCrutchy wrote:
I think we can already infer that the 240-minute cut isn't pleasing anyone anymore, since Coppola has had umpteen chances to release it on DVD, and surely could have had it remastered and released on Blu-ray. As far as I know, the last time it saw a release, beyond a couple quietly released Australian and German DVDs, was back in 1986 (LD) and 1991 (VHS).from Zoetrope and MCA Universal.

It was due to come out in the UK a few years ago, via StudioCanal, but got torpedoed by rights issues - presumably the BFI complained.

Although the release was cancelled after review copies went out, so I can confirm that it was definitely the Coppola version - and, bizarrely, the whole thing was in anamorphic 1.37:1 apart from the final triptych, a very unsatisfactory way of presenting the vast majority of the film. In fact, I was revving up to give the transfer both barrels when my piece got spiked.


The German DVD from 2014 has a back cover image on Amazon.de, pretty much proving that it, too, is the Coppola cut. A user review also states that it has English intertitles with German subtitles, and runs 222:36:

Image

I assume that it uses the same presentation style, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:19 pm 
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I've read today on DVD Classik that the French Coppola/CF restoration should be 45 min longer than what the BFI should be restoration (the Bronlow version).
So it seems Coppola has finally agreed nobody wants his cut anymore, and since it might be better to get some money at some point than not at all (this, or he has some taxes to pay very soon), he finally caved in.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:39 pm 
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TMDaines wrote:
I look forward to the forced IDs on the Harris version.

A bouquet for Napoleon.

Though I expect they'll look quite different, as there are no obvious spelling mistakes in your example.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:31 pm 
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A bouquet for Nappolleon.


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 Post subject: Re: Napoleon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:39 pm 
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No, a bouquet for Napoloni


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