Powell and Pressburger (UK releases)

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Lino
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#101 Post by Lino » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:13 pm

DVDManiacs reviews the new UK SE of Peeping Tom.

Greathinker

#102 Post by Greathinker » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:46 pm

Lino wrote:DVDManiacs reviews the new UK SE of Peeping Tom.
Strange review; he tears into it for the video while at the same time saying that it's an improvement over the many previous releases. Also there isn't a word about the most important extra, Ian Christie's commentary-- was it dropped? Sure as hell hope not.

This guy also claims that Peeping Tom's OAR is 1.78, is that true? I thought it was 1.66?

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nick
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#103 Post by nick » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:14 pm

Greathinker wrote:This guy also claims that Peeping Tom's OAR is 1.78, is that true? I thought it was 1.66?
Actually he makes note of them not using the correct aspect ratio
DVDManiacs.net wrote:Anamorphically presented at 1.78:1 which looks more like 1.73:1 here as it is matted at the sides, Optimum has missed a trick here in not using the OAR like the existing Criterion disc.
The only problem with this is that the Criterion, although stated on the box at 1.66:1, is actually 1.78:1 as seen over here.

Greathinker

#104 Post by Greathinker » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:28 pm

I don't understand what you're getting at Nick. He claims Peeping Tom's OAR is 1.78 like the Criterion, whether they advertised it at 1.66 or not. I'm wondering what the actual OAR is for this film, since its already obvious from the review that optimum didn't get it right.

Another, more optimistic review at DVD Outsider

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Tommaso
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#105 Post by Tommaso » Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:39 am

The caps on dvdmaniacs again support my assumption that 1.66 is correct. I find the framing at the top far too tight. The colours, however, seem to be far more natural than the reddish Criterion, but I guess we will have to wait for a Beaver comparison to come to final conclusions. I feel urged to double dip, though, simply for the Christie commentary. His job on CC's "Canterbury Tale" and "IKWIG" was plain fabulous.

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#106 Post by MichaelB » Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:56 am

If analysis of a captured frame in Photoshop is a reliable guide, the aspect ratio of the Optimum DVD is about 1.73:1. I think that's probably pretty accurate - even by eye, it's obviously narrower than 1.78:1 (for starters, there are black bars at the sides of the anamorphic frame), but not quite narrow enough for full 1.66:1. (UPDATE: Just read the DVD Maniacs review, which also claims 1.73:1. I suspect great minds are thinking alike.)

The Christie commentary is well worth a listen. I'm loath to draw direct comparisons between it and the Laura Mulvey commentary on the Criterion disc (for starters, I haven't listened to the latter in about five years), but the impression I get is that Christie is intended for the intelligent layman while Mulvey is more likely to appeal to the hardcore academic. Christie supplies plenty of analysis, but also a lot of behind-the-scenes information, as well as a great deal of cultural context (you learn a huge amount about the late 1950s Soho sleaze trade).

Much though I enjoyed the Leo Marks documentary on the Criterion disc, I think the Optimum documentaries have more to say about the film itself - so while both releases are excellent, the Optimum would narrowly be my first recommendation for this title.

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Tommaso
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#107 Post by Tommaso » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:49 am

The Mulvey commentary, incidentally, is available on its own in written form (only very slightly rephrased) in the excellent collection of essays edited by Ian Christie and Andrew Moor, Michael Powell - International Perspectives on an English Film Maker, published in 2005 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Powell. A fascinating, thoughtful collection, even if there's nothing much on the lesser known films.

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Kinsayder
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#108 Post by Kinsayder » Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:16 pm

Greathinker wrote:What's the status of A Matter of Life and Death and Oh Rosalinda!...? The french releases are never going to see the light of day it seems. Are there any plans else where for these, particularly with the new restoration of AMOLAND?
A French release of A Matter of Life and Death is now scheduled for September 18th. The publisher is Seven 7 rather than Warner France, who did the recent P&P boxes. The Seven 7 website makes no mention of this being a restored edition. No extras to speak of, either. This may well just be the Carlton edition with French subs added.

Greathinker

#109 Post by Greathinker » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:23 pm

The Tales of Hoffman will be out soon, Sep 3rd. I can't find any specs. Wonder how the colors will turn out.

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#110 Post by starmanof51 » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:51 pm

Greathinker wrote:The Tales of Hoffman will be out soon, Sep 3rd. I can't find any specs. Wonder how the colors will turn out.
119 minute running time? A mistake, or the cut version?

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Tommaso
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#111 Post by Tommaso » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:17 am

PAL speed-up, simply. 128 mins - 4% would probably result in 119 mins. But don't ask me to calculate this precisely....

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Rsdio
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#112 Post by Rsdio » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:51 am

It still seems a little less, 4% off 128 would be about 123/124 minutes.

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Tommaso
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#113 Post by Tommaso » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:23 am

It's confusing, imdb says 128 mins., the cover of the CC says 127, but I just checked the CC disc in my player, and it runs 124 mins and 47 secs, including the CC/Janus logos. As this is definitely the full version , it seems save to assume that the 119 min R2 is complete as well.

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david hare
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#114 Post by david hare » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:53 am

The timing is fine, I am sure, but the 1.66 ratio really needs adhering to. All the scenes with Mark and Anna Massey end up severely cropped with Bohm's head chopped in anything less than 1.66.

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#115 Post by starmanof51 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:42 am

davidhare wrote:The timing is fine, I am sure, but the 1.66 ratio really needs adhering to. All the scenes with Mark and Anna Massey end up severely cropped with Bohm's head chopped in anything less than 1.66.
Hope I'm not being dense, but why would this be anything other than Academy ratio?

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Tommaso
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#116 Post by Tommaso » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:04 am

It was perhaps shot open matte, but I don't know how it was exhibited initially. Criterion's 1.33 always looked completely right to me. Dave, I assume you're talking about "Peeping Tom", though, not "Tales of Hoffmann"? And here I agree completely with you, it should be 1.66. Both CC and Optimum (which I find better colourwise, not to speak of the Christie commentary which far outdoes Mulvey) got it wrong.

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#117 Post by starmanof51 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:17 am

Tommaso wrote:Dave, I assume you're talking about "Peeping Tom", though, not "Tales of Hoffmann"?
Ah yes. I thought we were onto Hoffmann, not Peeping Tom, thus my confusion. But obviously references to Massey/Bohm show otherwise. I shouldn't post at 5am (at the least).

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david hare
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#118 Post by david hare » Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:30 pm

Sorry, I should have made it clear that I meant Peeping Tom. Another late night post!

Greathinker

#119 Post by Greathinker » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:11 pm

Any word yet on Tales? It would seem that there's no extras, though I'm most interested in seeing if the color has changed.

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Person
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#120 Post by Person » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:23 pm

No reviews show up for Hoffmann at DVD-Basen, but has the German transfer been compared to the Criterion?

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Tommaso
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Re: Powell and Pressburger Region 2 DVDs

#121 Post by Tommaso » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:05 am

The French company "Les films de ma vie" has recently released four Powell films on disc. These are "The Phantom Light", "Red Ensign", "They're a weird mob", and making its dvd debut, "The Fire Raisers" (1934). A little bit of info can be found at this place. They're all available at amazon France for 9,99 Euros, but it seems you have to do a re-burn to get rid of the subs. Still, "The Fire Raisers" might be worth the effort.

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david hare
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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - ITV BluRay Region B

#122 Post by david hare » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:56 am

The new ITV Blu Ray of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, fixed Region B. Disc sports a healthy bitrate and is a BD50 running 42.3 gig. The extras are a Scorsese intro in 1080p including a restoration demonstration, a re-run from the old Carlton in SD of the old 25 minute “A Profile of...” with Ian Christie et al for which the audio playback on my Oppo 93 is faulty and intermittently drops out. (I am not really bothered by this as I think it also appears on the standard def DVD.)
The quality of the restoration is outstanding and fine grain is perfectly preserved, color has been totally restored although I have a nagging sense that ITV have pushed the bias slightly towards pink in the opening chapters, to the point where Brit Military khaki is more brown than greeny-brown. I suspect there might be some color bias in the ITV which Criterion may well render quite differently and hopefully more nuetrally depending on how their colorist views a reference IB print. I suggest viewing the 1080p resto demonstration short in which several shots are far more unbiased and frankly more “poppy” for color than in the movie folder. This slight reservation aside, this is for the moment a fine transfer although, Crit whenever it gets around to it, might well improve on the faint pink bias, and indeed on a couple of wide shots which are not quite as detailed as they perhaps could have been given the high overall bitrate of the encode. If they can deal with these two issues that will make their BD definitive. One thing that one can now reasonably guess is which was the reel missing the three strip elements... it’s clearly the last reel which shows some small level of contrast pushing and manipulation not evident anywhere else in the restoration. Screens are as usual from png to jpg at reduced resolution of 720.
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triodelover
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Re: Powell and Pressburger (UK releases)

#123 Post by triodelover » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:46 pm

David, do you mind if I'm a bit more enthusiastic about this release than you? :D I watched it last Friday night and I was overjoyed, particularly following the disappointment of the recent Les enfants du paradis. I'll defer to your expertise on the color balance, but in motion I didn't see anything untoward. I was watching the early scenes of the Boer War sequence closely and in particularly the uniforms of the period to see how the rich, intense colors came off. In the scene in the lobby of the bath house I thought Candy's red tunic, grey cape and black helmet were spot-on. Nothing crushed or blown out and the red as true as I've scene in anything from the period. (In fact, I'd put this one up there with the Gaumont French Cancan as the best Blus in my collection in this respect). The depth of field in scenes like the convent dining hall and Candy's London dining room (particularity the scene with Theo after his POW release) was impressive and the detail, starting with the intro tapestry credits, was superb. It's far better than the best SD, the French Warner issue. The audio was a huge step up from the generally muddled audio on every SD version I've heard. My wife and I loved the whole presentation.

I'm sure the Crit package will win on extras, if for nothing else other than porting over the Powell/Scorsese commentary from the SD. Based on their history with color issues though (e.g. Le Cercle Rouge, I'm less certain that CC will offer a definitive version, but more like an alternative, equally good option that, like the ITV, will be nearly perfect but not quite. At any rate, for lovers of the film there's a lot of joy to be had here.
Last edited by triodelover on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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david hare
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Re: Powell and Pressburger (UK releases)

#124 Post by david hare » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:05 pm

No of course I don't mind!!

I want to point out three examples however - I can no longer post screens as I deleted the BDMV from my hard drive and I dont see any point in taking grabs from the SD.

First, the Army invading the Turkish bath in the opening ten minutes. As they burst into the steamroom you can clearly distinguish the bright green belts, and rucksacks and non clothing from the much browner khaki uniforms. In the movie files the green is far less clear.

Now, the first big travelling wide shot in the Cafe from the band to the customers below and the waiters carrying steins of beer. Whites are dead pitch Tech IB white, and all other colors, primaries and acids are startling and pop, in the movie files the white is just off, and color, indeed fine detail is less sharp then the resto Doc.

Finally the other great travelling right to left from the concert and the hand written sign across the lake to the massed German officers. In the Doco again detail is sharper, green is far more vibrant and color palette is more "poppy".

It strikes me ITV has toned down the saturation by a notch and dialed up the white balance to lukewarm. We watched it projected again last night (my third viewing now) and the husband was knocked out by it. I am just this side of cooling and I wish they had gone the extra half mile saving me the likely expense of buying a Crit version in two years time.

A question for you (and anyone else) - do you think there has been some restoration of previously Churchill censored dialogue? I could only account for two instances now and I remember more. One only during Theo's telephone call to Blimp from Victoria Station, and another one only during their long conversation by the fire later that night. I ditched the old Carlton long ago so I can't make any comparison.
Last edited by david hare on Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tommaso
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Re: Powell and Pressburger (UK releases)

#125 Post by Tommaso » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:26 pm

I have to say that this looks pretty stunning to my eyes, remembering the over-red face of Blimp in the first screenshot on the old Criterion disc, for example. But there has been a lot of disagreement on the right colours on those P&P-movies (I'm still very unconvinced about the colours of the Sony "A matter of life and death" if compared to the old and otherwise very deficient Carlton), so I really hope that Criterion will present their new version soon to see whether it looks any different. They did full justice to "The Red Shoes" after all, and I want all those "Blimp" extras, too... But Heavens, this ITV disc for the moment seems to present the film as well as never before.

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