Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

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What A Disgrace
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Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

#1 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:12 am

Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom

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Banned, censored and reviled the world over since its release, Pasolini's final and most controversial masterpiece is presented here fully uncut and uncensored in a brand new restoration.

Salo did not receive UK certification until late 2000, when it was passed uncut. The BFI then released it on DVD in 2001 and, despite being out of print for a number of years, the title still ranked amongst BFI's all-time top 10 best-selling DVDs.

The film's content and imagery is extreme and it retains the power to shock, repel and distress even today. A brutal allegory based on the novel 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade, the film is a cinematic milestone - culturally significant, politically vital and visually stunning.

Extras
- Includes both Italian-language and English-language versions
- 'Ostia - the Death of Paolini' by Coil: the band's 1986 track with new video accompaniment.
- Original Italian trailer
- Open Your Eyes! (2008, 21 mins): Pasolini and his actors at work and in interview on the set of Salo. (DVD only)
- Walking with Pasolini (Roberto Purvis, 2008, 21 mins): documentary featuring Neil Bartlett, David Forgacs, Noam Chomsky and Craig Lapper (Chief Examiner, BBFC) (DVD only)
- Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die (1981, 58 mins) Philo Bregstein's classic documentary on the life and death of Pier Paolo Pasolini (DVD only)
- Fade to Black (Nigel Algar, 2001, 24 mins) Documentary with Mark Kermode exploring the ongoing relevance and power of Pasolini's controversial masterpiece, with Bernardo Bertolucci and other leading directors (DVD only)
- Ostia (Julian Cole, 1991, 26 mins) a short film about the last days of Pasolini, starring Derek Jarman, with optional director's commentary (DVD only).
- 32-page booklet with introduction by Sam Rohdie, reviews, BBFC correspondence, stills, and on-set photographs

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MichaelB
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#2 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:36 am

Full details on Salò now confirmed:

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Press release

BFI to release Salò on Blu-ray and DVD with stunning special features

3 July 2008 – The BFI announces that its first Blu-ray title Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom will be released on 22 September. The film will also be re-issued on DVD. Both formats will contain a wealth of stunning extras.

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s final and most controversial film has been banned, censored and reviled the world over since its first release in 1975. It did not receive UK certification until late 2000, when it was passed uncut.

The film’s content and imagery is extreme and it retains the power to shock, repel and distress. A brutal allegory based on the novel 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade, the film is a cinematic milestone – culturally significant, politically vital and visually stunning.

DISC ONE (DVD & Blu-ray)
* Fully Complete & Uncut, telecined from original Italian restoration negatives
* DVD: 1.85:1 (16x9 Enhanced) / PAL DVD9 / DD mono (320 kbps)
* BD: 1.85:1 (1080p, 24fps) / BD25 / PCM mono
* Original Italian language version (with optional English subtitles)
* Original English language version (with optional HoH subtitles)
* Original Italian trailer (with optional English subtitles)
* Coil - Ostia (the Death of Pasolini) The original 1987 track from Coil's celebrated second album, Horse Rotorvator, with a newly created video accompaniment, shot especially for this release, by Peter Christopherson.

DISC TWO (Standard Def PAL DVD Disc, to be included in both DVD & BD editions)
* On set footage and interviews (1974, 25m) – newly created documentary using full colour footage shot in 1974 by acclaimed film journalist and Pasolini expert Gideon Bachmann.
* Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die (1981, 58m) Philo Bregstein's classic documentary on the life and death of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
* Fade to Black (2001, 25m) – documentary with Mark Kermode exploring the ongoing relevance and power of Pasolini's controversial masterpiece, with Bernardo Bertolucci and other leading directors.
* Ostia (1991, 25m, with optional director commentary track) – Julian Cole's short film about the last days of Pasolini, starring Derek Jarman.

Fully illustrated booklet
* Newly commissioned essay by Sam Rohdie (Italian film scholar and author on Pasolini)
* Sight & Sound article by Gideon Bachmann incorporating his on-set diary
* 1979 review of the film by Gilbert Adair
* James Ferman letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions
* Cast and credits for the film
* Pasolini biography by Italian film specialist Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
* Photographs of Pasolini at work on set
Oh, and I'm reasonably certain that the Blu-Ray edition won't be region-coded - though I'm not sure about the DVD.
Last edited by MichaelB on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kinsayder
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#3 Post by Kinsayder » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:21 am

So Blu-ray buyers get a different nipple?

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GaryC
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#4 Post by GaryC » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:57 am

35mm cinema prints were matted into 1.85:1 (I projected the one that was available for UK club showings in 1985), so it's interesting that the DVD is in 1.66:1.

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colinr0380
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#5 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:14 am

Kinsayder wrote:So Blu-ray buyers get a different nipple?
Perhaps it is a lenticular cover where the title moves about to expose and cover up different parts? :wink:

The BFI is certainly upping the ante on Criterion with the Ostia and Whoever Says The Truth Shall Die films and the Coil music video.

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Gigi M.
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BFI Salo

#6 Post by Gigi M. » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:31 am

What A Disgrace wrote:BFI is also moving into the Blu Ray business. Their first Blu Ray is a Salo.
Specs for the upcoming BFI Salo Blu Ray:
Disc 1: Main Feature

* Fully Complete & Uncut, telecined from original Italian restoration negatives
* 1.85:1 (1080p, 24fps) / BD25 / PCM mono
* Original Italian language version (with optional English subtitles)
* Original English language version (with optional HoH subtitles)
* Original Italian trailer (with optional English subtitles)
* Coil - Ostia (the Death of Pasolini) The original 1987 track from Coil's celebrated second album, Horse Rotorvator, with a newly created video accompaniment, shot especially for this release, by Peter Christopherson.


Disc 2: Extra Features - A standard definition PAL DVD with the following content:

* On set footage and interviews (1974, 25m) – newly created documentary using full colour footage shot in 1974 by acclaimed film journalist and Pasolini expert Gideon Bachmann.
* Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die (1981, 58m) Philo Bregstein's classic documentary on the life and death of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
* Fade to Black (2001, 25m) – documentary with Mark Kermode exploring the ongoing relevance and power of Pasolini's controversial masterpiece, with Bernardo Bertolucci and other leading directors.
* Ostia (1991, 25m, with optional director commentary track) – Julian Cole's short film about the last days of Pasolini, starring Derek Jarman.


Fully illustrated booklet

* Newly commissioned essay by Sam Rohdie (Italian film scholar and author on Pasolini)
* Sight & Sound article by Gideon Bachmann incorporating his on-set diary
* 1979 review of the film by Gilbert Adair
* James Ferman letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions
* Cast and credits for the film
* Pasolini biography by Italian film specialist Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
* Photographs of Pasolini at work on set
Is this baby is not region encoded, this is the one to get.

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MichaelB
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#7 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:23 am

Gigi M. wrote:Is this baby is not region encoded, this is the one to get.
I've yet to confirm this directly with the disc's producer, but my understanding is that the Blu-Ray is not region-coded.
GaryC wrote:35mm cinema prints were matted into 1.85:1 (I projected the one that was available for UK club showings in 1985), so it's interesting that the DVD is in 1.66:1.
Contrary to what the original press release claimed, the BFI DVD and Blu-Ray are indeed 1.85:1.

I've just spoken to the person directly responsible for the transfer, and he said:
Salo is 1.85:1. Prior 1.66:1 versions most likely cropped left and right somewhat. The film was shot without a hard matte, but the framing varies throughout the film depending on setup. 1.85:1 delivers the fullest consistent picture area - and I scanned directly from the negative.
So I hope that clears that up!

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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#8 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:24 am

DVD Times claims it's region-free, although I'm not sure where they're getting that from.

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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#9 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:17 am

Gigi M. wrote:Spec from the upcoming BFI Blu Ray
Wow, those are some good extras. The one with Coil is a nice little treat, too. (Too bad that LP is OOP.) The Mark Kermode doc sounds really good. I wish Criterion could have got their hands on it.

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MichaelB
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#10 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:28 am

Jean-Luc Garbo wrote:The Mark Kermode doc sounds really good. I wish Criterion could have got their hands on it.
Actually, that's one of the few extras that is common to both versions - but the inclusion of Whoever Speaks The Truth Shall Die makes the BFI version a clear winner for me.

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Gary Tooze
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#11 Post by Gary Tooze » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:34 am

I've been told by BFI it is region-free and 1.85 NOT 1.66.
Best,
Gary

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Tommaso
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#12 Post by Tommaso » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:53 pm

colinr0380 wrote:The BFI is certainly upping the ante on Criterion with the Ostia and Whoever Says The Truth Shall Die films and the Coil music video.
Very much so! Though I have to confess that I'm probably the only person around here who actually prefers the CC cover over the BFI one.

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Ivy Mike
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#13 Post by Ivy Mike » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:29 pm

Interesting specs. Wonder if we'll see a similar transfer for both this and the CC release (still a little unclear about when CC would be releasing a blu version of this film).

I'm not familiar with PCM mono, has that been done before on a blu-ray release? If I'm hooked up via optical do you think I'd be able to get the full resolution of a mono PCM signal, or would it be a downscaled bit-rate (since obviously optical can't handle PCM 5.1, but that's far more channels of information)?

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Person
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#14 Post by Person » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:47 pm

No nipple = no sale. :wink:

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Barmy
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#15 Post by Barmy » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:15 pm

I can't believe they are using naked hotties to flog this thing. Salo may have been responsible for the worst posters/cover art of any film.

ImageImageImage

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GaryC
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#16 Post by GaryC » Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:31 am

You should see the cover of the copy I bought in Budapest (for 900 forints or about £3 sterling) last November - it uses a still from the full-frontal wedding sequence.

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pro-bassoonist
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#17 Post by pro-bassoonist » Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:41 am

Image

Pro-B

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Tommaso
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#18 Post by Tommaso » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:13 am

Not that bad, in my view. I find the BFI one a little too sensationalistic, or at least a little too obvious.

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sevenarts
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#19 Post by sevenarts » Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:55 am

Wow, the Coil special features and the Cole/Jarman short really make the BFI the obvious buy here. Horse Rotorvator is an amazing album, that's an amazing song, and I can't wait to see what Christopherson's new video is like.

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Tommaso
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#20 Post by Tommaso » Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:29 am

He could superimpose images of the dead Pasolini and the dead Balance... probably not a good taste idea, though.
I have the feeling that the BFI extras seem to be more intent on exploring the 'aftermath' of Pasolini and his cultural influence, whereas the CC extras seem to focus more on the film itself. I bet their booklet will blow away the BFI one in this respect; in an ideal world I'd be getting both editions; but all in all, BFI is ahead precisely because of these two extras you mention.
Has anyone seen that Cole film? Seeing Jarman as Pasolini must be a real treat, I suppose.

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MichaelB
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#21 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:01 pm

Tommaso wrote:Has anyone seen that Cole film? Seeing Jarman as Pasolini must be a real treat, I suppose.
I have a copy, but I haven't watched it - it was originally supposed to go on the BFI's Caravaggio disc but got pulled at literally the last minute (unresolved rights issues, possibly). If I can find my pre-release checkdisc, I'll dig it out and have a look.
Last edited by MichaelB on Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sevenarts
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#22 Post by sevenarts » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:28 pm

Tommaso wrote:He could superimpose images of the dead Pasolini and the dead Balance... probably not a good taste idea, though.
Considering that shortly after Balance's death I received a postcard in the mail from Threshold House that featured a photo of Balance in his coffin, I'm not sure that's out of the question.

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Tommaso
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#23 Post by Tommaso » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 pm

sevenarts wrote:Considering that shortly after Balance's death I received a postcard in the mail from Threshold House that featured a photo of Balance in his coffin, I'm not sure that's out of the question.
Yes, I got that one, too, and felt both touched and irritated at the same time. I keep the postcard in my treasure box, though. Still, it's four years on now, and with all due admiration for Balance, I think equating him with Pasolini would be somewhat misguided (not in relative importance in their fields, but in general worldview and also considering the way of their respective deaths).

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#24 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:39 pm

Tommaso wrote:Though I have to confess that I'm probably the only person around here who actually prefers the CC cover over the BFI one.
No, I'm with you in much preferring the Criterion cover with the tally marks. Much more evocative once that particular image has been seen in context of where it comes in the film as well!

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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#25 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:50 pm

I really don't need two copies of all things this film, but those BFI extras are certainly good. I suppose that finding a used copy might not be difficult after it gets released, but having two copies of Salo might be a little strange. I like that German poster above - that'd be a good image for the BFI.

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