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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:00 pm 
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Location: Transylvania
Minkin wrote:
Now if only we could get a Pete Smith collection.
Been waiting for this for years.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:26 am 
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Minkin wrote:
Well thanks to this forum for not letting me know sooner that WB has finally released Traveltalks on DVD....R. I have finally ended my self-imposed ban on all DVD-R products, as this is something I could never pass up. Volume 1 came out in May and Volume 2 came out a couple weeks ago (there's enough shorts to fill four volumes, so I really hope they do all four, and not just kill the series like WB is so apt to do... Looney Tunes blurays).

Each volume has three discs and 60 shorts. Although it looks like Glimpses of Australia is repeated on both sets by mistake, that's a rather amusing short - as Fitzpatrick (the narrator / etc) really hammers in that Australia is some kind of "white man's paradise".

For any of you who haven't seen any Traveltalks (they play as filler on TCM between films) - they are astounding travelogues made between 1930 through the mid 50s. Seeing a Pre-WW2 world in technicolor is certainly a highlight. Its also incredible how much modernization has taken place in such a short span. The Netherlands films are one strange example - as it seems like everyone was still stuck in the 1600s there: even in 1950 (wearing traditional clothes, living off the sea, etc - and its not just some tourist act).

Of course Fitzpatrick can be terribly overly sentimental and very belittling of his subjects ("those native have no concept of a higher being like God"), but its part of the charm. He always ends the short "with reluctance we leave" and typically a shot of a sunset. He also really loves Niagara Falls for some reason.

A few highlights:

Romantic Nevada - A trip to Reno, which instead focuses entirely on the whole divorce culture that has arisen there.
Paris of Parade - a visit to the world's fair with some impressive architecture created by the various nations
Land of the Quintuplets - Some Canadian family gave birth to quintuplets which became a huge tourist attraction, its like a baby zoo.
Any of the National Parks shorts are fantastic as well.

So I can't recommend these shorts enough. It helps that I love travelogues, but there's enough charm and historical intrigue in these for anybody. I just don't know why it took WB so long to release them (other than a Kino VHS, or one added as a bonus feature here and there). Hell, they even released the Dogville shorts several years before this! Now if only we could get a Pete Smith collection.

I believe the reason is twofold, 1) tcm relies on old airmasters, long ago ingested into a broadcast server. The transfers and the originating airmasters are probably obsolete. WB archive doesn't want to release obsolete masters (not after the first year of archive releases, at least).

2) asset management produces new masters to fulfill insurance requirements and there's a physical limit to how many new masters warner can produce in a year, given the number of film scanners they have, one frame goes through each scanner at a time, whether it is benhur or Pete smith. And basically, warner archive doesn't have a lot of input into which projects asset management prioritizes for new masters.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
Gregory wrote:
Thanks for the tip, as I'd overlooked these releases as well.
Minkin wrote:
Well thanks to this forum for not letting me know sooner that WB has finally released Traveltalks on DVD....R. I have finally ended my self-imposed ban on all DVD-R products, as this is something I could never pass up.
If you avoid ordering them from Amazon, the initial runs of each set should be on pressed discs, like other WAC multi-disc sets, right?
For anyone else interested in the Traveltalks Shorts sets, I just received Vol. 1 from Deep Discount and the discs do appear to be pressed.
Looking forward to "Glimpses of" Austria, Kentucky, Guatemala, Florida, Java, Ceylon, etc.!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Gregory wrote:
Gregory wrote:
Thanks for the tip, as I'd overlooked these releases as well.
Minkin wrote:
Well thanks to this forum for not letting me know sooner that WB has finally released Traveltalks on DVD....R. I have finally ended my self-imposed ban on all DVD-R products, as this is something I could never pass up.
If you avoid ordering them from Amazon, the initial runs of each set should be on pressed discs, like other WAC multi-disc sets, right?
For anyone else interested in the Traveltalks Shorts sets, I just received Vol. 1 from Deep Discount and the discs do appear to be pressed.
Looking forward to "Glimpses of" Austria, Kentucky, Guatemala, Florida, Java, Ceylon, etc.!

That's good to know. I have a hard time being 100% sure either way (probably because I've never bought a DVD-R before). I'll have to double check now.

As to Fitzpatrick's creative titles: He uses "Glimpses of __" 18 times, "Colorful __" 9 times, and "Picturesque __" 5 times. Based on title alone, the three I've most wanted to see are:

Papua and Kalabahai, Weird Haunts of Strange People (1933)
Land of the Ugly Duckling (1953) (though this might just be about Denmark)
Fiji and Samoa, the Cannibal Isles (1933)

These are all great and I highly recommend everyone looks into these sets.

@Movielocke - I fully understand the problems of Warner Archive and that they probably don't want to release masters (that based on the Turner indent on TCM) are probably from the early 90s. The Traveltalks discs must be a huge undertaking with 60 shorts each and about 8-10 minutes per short. Still, I can't understand or forgive a company who puts out the Dogville shorts before their silent features or Oscar winning shorts, etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:23 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
Volume three of the TravelTalks coming next month


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Excellent!

I'm glad to see that these are selling. There should be a 4th volume and then every Traveltalks will have been covered. I just really hope that they don't pull a typical WB/Disney and abandon the series before the last volume gets released. Is there any precedent for such in the Archive?

This also reminds me of my annoyances with TCM. At some point in the last year+ they stopped listing Extras on their website schedule/ my DVR. They still air the Extras, but you'd have to record the entire film / wait for it to end and hope that there might be an Extra between the next film showing (and it seems that less than 50% of the time there's an Extra). Thus my happiness with these DVDs.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 pm
Location: Texas
From WB's newsletter concerning the Traveltalks:

Quote:
Fitzpatrick Traveltalks: V3 - To paraphrase the peripatetic producer of these Technicolor® travelogues, it is with this third volume that we reluctantly say farewell to the “voice of the globe,” James A. FitzPatrick. And as a final treat, two supersized travel specials are included – James A. FitzPatrick’s Mighty Manhattan: New York’s Wonder City and the non-FitzPatrick production Rome, The Eternal City, which gives us a glimpse of Cinecittà (and Deborah Kerr!) during the production of Quo Vadis.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Feego wrote:
From WB's newsletter concerning the Traveltalks:

Quote:
Fitzpatrick Traveltalks: V3 - To paraphrase the peripatetic producer of these Technicolor® travelogues, it is with this third volume that we reluctantly say farewell to the “voice of the globe,” James A. FitzPatrick. And as a final treat, two supersized travel specials are included – James A. FitzPatrick’s Mighty Manhattan: New York’s Wonder City and the non-FitzPatrick production Rome, The Eternal City, which gives us a glimpse of Cinecittà (and Deborah Kerr!) during the production of Quo Vadis.


To paraphrase my reaction:

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fucking bastards.

Why can't WB ever finish anything? Wither Looney Tunes / Tom & Jerry Blus while we're at it.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:45 pm
Minkin wrote:
This also reminds me of my annoyances with TCM. At some point in the last year+ they stopped listing Extras on their website schedule/ my DVR. They still air the Extras, but you'd have to record the entire film / wait for it to end and hope that there might be an Extra between the next film showing (and it seems that less than 50% of the time there's an Extra). Thus my happiness with these DVDs.

TCM now lists some, if not all, of the Extras they air on the monthly schedule. Tonight (actually tomorrow morning), there's a FitzPatrick Traveltalk about Washington, D.C. and an incredible MGM Technicolor short called "Hollywood Party."


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