Nighthawks & Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked

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What A Disgrace
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Nighthawks & Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked

#1 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:50 am

Nighthawks & Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked

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When Nighthawks was first released 30 years ago our world was undoubtedly a different place. Key gay rights had still yet to be won, and low-budget independent British films were influenced by international arthouse directors such as Pasolini, Fassbinder, Warhol/Morrisey, Wenders and Chantal Akerman. Nighthawks defies categorisation, its compelling cyclical structure interspersing the daily work of schoolteacher with his documentation of changing urban spaces and nights spent cruising bars and clubs in search of Mr Right. Leading a mixed cast of actors and non-professionals, Ken Robertson excels in a brave performance that confounded critics at the time. This stunning restoration by the BFI reveals Nighthawks to be one of the great undervalued films of the 1970s.

Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked was made thirteen years after Nighthawks, the film tells of the struggle to get Nighthawks made and released and the directors life as a gay man growing up in Britain. 2 disc Blu-ray and DVD editions include fully restored presentations and a number of rare short films.

Extras
- Its Ugly Head ( 13 minutes)
- On Allotments ( 31 minutes)
- Edward Hopper (47 minutes)
- What Can I do With a Male Nude (23 minutes)
- The Last Biscuit (26 minutes)
- Illustrated booklet

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criterionsnob
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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2 (?)

#2 Post by criterionsnob » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:49 am

What A Disgrace wrote:Seems to be coming March 30.

On Blu Ray, too
A Blu-ray of Strip Jack Naked seems a very odd choice, although I assume both films will fit on just one Blu-ray. I finally got around to watching the Second Run DVD a couple of nights ago. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like it was finished on video only, so transfer quality probably can't be improved much from the Second Run DVD. There were a lot of video glitches and appears to be from a video master that has been sitting around for years under improper storage conditions. Unless they're completely retransferring and recutting the film footage, they probably can't do much to improve it.

Great films, though. I'll be interested to see what extras are included.

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MichaelB
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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2 (?)

#3 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:13 pm

I'm not sure about Strip Jack Naked, but I can confirm that Nighthawks has had a new HD transfer - so that in itself presumably justifies the Blu-ray.

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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2 (?)

#4 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:08 am

Full specs announced:
Nighthawks – 30th Anniversary
A film by Ron Peck and Paul Hallam
With Ken Robertson, Stuart Craig Turton, Rachel Nicholas James

30 years since its first release, and now restored by the BFI, Nighthawks will be presented as part of the 23rd London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival on 27 and 28 March; on BFI DVD and Blu-ray from 30 March and in an extended run at BFI Southbank from 9 - 23 April.

Hugely controversial on its initial release, Nighthawks defies categorisation. Set to a haunting electronic score, its compelling cyclical structure portrays the daily work of a schoolteacher with his documentation of changing urban spaces and nights spent cruising bars and clubs in search of Mr Right.

Leading actor Ken Robertson, who excels in a brave performance, was the only professional member of the cast, and the film confounded critics at the time, but the recent restoration by the BFI reveals Nighthawks to be one of the great undervalued films of the 1970s.

Strip Jack Naked, made thirteen years after Nighthawks, puts the earlier film into a historical and personal context, with Ron Peck drawing on his own journey from closeted suburban teen to politically radicalised filmmaker. Its unusual honesty marks Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked as not just a lucid account of the responsibilities of a gay filmmaker, but as one of the most honest and abrasive British biographies ever made.

Special features on DVD edition
Its Ugly Head (1974), Ron Peck’s student film
On Allotments (1976), documentary by Four Corner Films
Edward Hopper (1981), Ron Peck’s documentary on the artist
Nighthawks pilot (1977), 16mm film made to interest potential investors and others in the project
What Can I Do with a Male Nude? (1985), Ron Peck’s video essay on censorship
The Last Biscuit (2005), a video essay by Paul Hallam and Andrea Luka Zimmerman
• Illustrated booklet with essays, reviews and new pieces by Ron Peck and Paul Hallam

Special features on Blu-ray edition

High definition features (with PCM audio):
Nighthawks (1978), newly transferred from the original negative
Its Ugly Head (1974)
On Allotments (1976)
Edward Hopper (1981)

Standard definition features:
Strip Jack Naked (1991), from original production video
Nighthawks pilot (1977)
What Can I Do with a Male Nude? (1985)
The Last Biscuit (2005)
• Illustrated booklet

Cert 18 / 2-disc set / colour / original aspect ratio 1.33:1
BFI DVD and Blu-ray release date: 30 March 2009
DVD Cat no. BFIVD832 / RRP £22.99 / 358 mins
Blu-ray Cat no. BFIB1015 RRP £24.99 / 204 mins (Blu-ray) / 167 mins DVD

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MichaelB
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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#5 Post by MichaelB » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:43 am

I can now confirm that the Nighthawks Blu-ray is region-free.

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criterionsnob
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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#6 Post by criterionsnob » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:22 am

Good news. Does that include all of the content, or just the movie?

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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#7 Post by MichaelB » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:03 pm

criterionsnob wrote:Good news. Does that include all of the content, or just the movie?
Region coding only affects the entire package, not individual items.

And as far as I'm aware, everything on the Blu-ray is in HD, so should be playable on any player with no PAL/NTSC complications. The second DVD disc will of course be PAL, but that's unavoidable (and desirable, especially as most of the content was mastered to PAL video in the first place).

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criterionsnob
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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#8 Post by criterionsnob » Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:57 pm

Thanks. That's smart to put all of the PAL/SD content on a regular DVD so people with region-free DVD players can play everything. I have some region-free Blu-ray discs with SD PAL content that I can't access.

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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#9 Post by MichaelB » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:00 pm

I've just got a final production copy of the Blu-ray edition, and I thought I should mention that the "booklet" is a whopping MoC-style 76 pages and properly bound.

Contents:
  • Nighthawks and 1970s British Realist Cinema by James Leggatt (p.1-6)
    Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked by Stephen Thrower (p.9-11)
    How not to disappear from that choice: Four Corners 1972-1985 by Carla Mitchell (p.13-19)
    Nighthawks: A Few Reflections by Ron Peck (p.22-26)
    Facsimile copy of production history, typed in mid-1978 (p.28-30)
    Facsimile of supportive letter from Lindsay Anderson (p.31)
    In the Shadow of the Mosque by Paul Hallam (p.34-42)
    Nighthawks credits and review by Natalie Heinrich (p.44-47)
    Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked credits and review by Michael O'Pray (p.48-49)
    Its Ugly Head credits and review by Michael Brooke (p.49-50)
    On Allotments credits and review by Ian Christie (p.51-52)
    Edward Hopper credits and review (p.52-54)
    What Can I Do With A Male Nude? credits and review by Mark Finch (p.54-56)
    The Last Biscuit credits and article by Paul Hallam (p.56-58)
    Biographies of Ron Peck, Paul Hallam, Joanna Davis, Wilf Thust, Andrea Luka Zimmerman (p.60-67)
    Detailed notes on each transfer (p.70-71)
    Acknowledgements (p.73)
    plus loads of stills, many in colour.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#10 Post by Dr Amicus » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:07 am

That looks like a hell of a booklet.

I already have the secondrun edition (I posted my thoughts on the film on their thread a couple of days ago), and I'm so tempted to double dip - especially as there is no overlap on the extras.

What are the short films like? There are quite a few and they sound interesting - how do they fit in with Peck's feature length work? Are they interesting addenda, or are they more substantial?

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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#11 Post by Dr Amicus » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:47 am

Has anyone got this yet? Or seen any reviews?

Apart from a 1 star review on Amazon (by someone annoyed that Strip Jack Naked was on DVD not Blu-Ray - I've added a comment explaining why) I haven't seen anything and want to know if I should upgrade from my excellent SecondRun editions.

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MichaelB
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Re: Nighthawks / Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#12 Post by MichaelB » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:31 am

Thanks for that - I added a comment too.

As for reviews, try this one:
This spectacular BD/DVD set containing Paul Hallam and Ron Peck's Nighthawks and Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked is certainly a prime candidate for a Blu-ray release of the year! I personally continue to be utterly impressed by BFI and their commitment to promoting important cinema. Very Highly Recommended.

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MichaelB
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Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#13 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:28 pm

Beaver - a somewhat redundant comparison with the Second Run edition (redundant because it's OOP and was never going to offer serious competition on the transfer front in any case).

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Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#14 Post by david hare » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:12 pm

No Michael, it's not really redundant - it's ideal for people who already have the Second Run and want to compare.

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MichaelB
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Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#15 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:29 am

I concede that that's a very fair point.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#16 Post by Dr Amicus » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:51 am

Can I repeat my request for thoughts on the short films? I have the Second Rund DVDs and am quite happy with them - the upgrade in picture quality looks impressive but maybe not quite enough to upgrade on its own. The booklet sounds very impressive though.

The only one of the short films I am familiar with by reputation is Male Nude. Having been very impressed by both Nighthawks films (Strip Jack Naked will be rather high on my 90s list), I would be interested in more of Peck's work.

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Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#17 Post by MichaelB » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:02 pm

Mondo Digital compares the various DVD releases and concludes that:
the only really satisfactory one comes directly from the BFI, who retransferred the first film directly from the original 16mm negative for DVD and Blu-Ray. The results are surprisingly rich and vibrant, leaping ahead of past transfers by leaps and bounds while maintaining the grain and grit of the original photography. The nightclub scenes which were murky and muted on past editions are now pulsating and crisply detailed, and the dialogue is much sharper and easier to understand.

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zedz
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Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#18 Post by zedz » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:52 pm

Dr Amicus wrote:Can I repeat my request for thoughts on the short films? I have the Second Rund DVDs and am quite happy with them - the upgrade in picture quality looks impressive but maybe not quite enough to upgrade on its own. The booklet sounds very impressive though.
Very belated reply, I know, but I only just picked up this set because, like you, I was quite happy with the Second Run releases.

At the current prices, this set is absolutely worth the double dip. There's no overlap on the extras, so the Second Run editions aren't made entirely redundant, and the additional shorts on the BFI are terrific.

Peck's Edward Hopper documentary is one stand-out: nearly an hour long and a perceptive, personal essay film about the painter with a great eye for appreciating the work itself.

The other highlight for me was Hallam's The Last Biscuit, a heartfelt and revealing portrait of a hoarder of weird personal stuff - his own and other people's. It's a good subject but it's also very nicely layered and assembled.

On Allotments is a really interesting, semi-structuralist, semi-verite collective film; the Nighthawks 'pilot' (more like a demo-reel) offers an interesting alternative take on the cruising material at the heart of the feature; the remaining Peck shorts are both worthwhile, providing important context for the two features. I did find Male Nude a little too cute, and Peck handled that kind of narration-driven form with much more assurance in the more personal Strip Jack Naked. And the accompanying book is hefty and excellent.

Of course, if you don't have the Second Run editions, this is really a no-brainer for the features alone.

gratchen

Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#19 Post by gratchen » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:52 am

Nighthawks was greatly enhanced by Strip Jack Naked but I would not recommend watching the two films back-to-back in one sitting. Half of its length is outtakes from Nighthawks and it is easy to see why these scenes were cut as they simply repeat what we've already seen and some of them go on for way too long

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Re: Nighthawks & Strip Jack Naked: Nighthawks 2

#20 Post by MichaelB » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:09 pm

The BFI has just posted a five-minute scene from Nighthawks on its YouTube channel.

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Re: Nighthawks & Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked

#21 Post by hamsterburger » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:31 am

Can anyone confirm wether the BFI blu-ray is OOP? It seems like it's out of stock at amazon and only availiable thru third party sellers.

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MichaelB
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Re: Nighthawks & Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked

#22 Post by MichaelB » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:48 am

The BFI owns it outright, so there's no reason for it to be - though stocks may have been affected by last summer's Sony depot fire.

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Re: Nighthawks & Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked

#23 Post by Orlac » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:20 pm

Isn't this one still out of stock/print?

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Re: Nighthawks & Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked

#24 Post by M Sanderson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:08 pm

Presuming so as I bought a pricy copy (new) a couple of months ago.

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