49 The Passenger

Discuss Blu-rays released by Indicator and the films on them.

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Gordon
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#26 Post by Gordon » Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:23 pm

I have a DVD-r of the film, which was made from the Japanese DVD. My copy has burned-in Japanese subtitles, but captures do not have the subs. Did you take cpatures of frames that do not contain subs?

It 's a great film and the transfer on the Japanese disc (which was made from the Laserdisc, apparently) is decent enough. The colors are off a bit, though; the colour scheme should be bluer in the darker scenes.

The DVD-r that I own was from Super Happy Fun.

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Arn777
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#27 Post by Arn777 » Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:04 pm

The Japanese DVD has removable Japanese subtitles.

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Gordon
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#28 Post by Gordon » Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:07 pm

Oh, I see. I guess that the Super Happy Fun DVD is ripped from the Laserdisc, then.

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david hare
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#29 Post by david hare » Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:48 pm

A friend who has seen the Euro 125 minute version advises me this longer cut adds two complete short scenes.

Somewhat OT perhaps but, given that the Japanese/SuperhappyFun DVDRs of this are from a Laserdisk, I was interested to see Gary's screencaps of Zabriskie Point bootleg which looks decidedly inferior in PQ, shaprness, etc to the Passenger. I still have the MGM/UA Laser of ZP from 1996 which is extremely good, and I'm frankly surprised this hasn't turned up on various "gray" sites as well, given the long-awaited no show of this title from Warner.

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Gordon
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#30 Post by Gordon » Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:52 am

Gary's DVD-r of Zabriskie Point was made from a letterboxed VHS. I' was not aware that there ever were letterboxed VHS editions of the film. I was aware there was a very good letterboxed LD.

Be no means an excellent film, but it is interesting in places and I'd love to see a vibrant, razor-sharp anamorphic DVD transfer soon from Warner. Info regarding a new 35mm print and DVD (with a May release, which has obviously been delayed) was posted here.

We definitely need more Antonioni on DVD with great transfers. If only all of his best/important films could be treated like L'Avventura and L'Eclisse by Criterion.

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david hare
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#31 Post by david hare » Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:34 am

It kills me --- LD was excellent (and one of the very last LDs from MGM/UA) my own DVDR burn of it is SO much better than Gary's VHS example. The print is obviously gorgeous, (looks like an IB print) and I have no doubt it would make a superb DVD. And I disagree with you about its merits. For one thing it's only the second (or is it third, if you count Red Desert) Antonioni excursion into the desert, and it is remarkable for that alone. For another, several of us made many comments about this in an earlier incarnation of the forum which I don't want to recap now - it being OT and all...

Franchemente! If you're in any way interested in Antonioni you have to to have this... so WHERE is the fucking Warner disc?

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#32 Post by DrewReiber » Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:27 pm

flixyflox wrote:If you're in any way interested in Antonioni you have to to have this... so WHERE is the fucking Warner disc?
Probably in the same place they're keeping their transfers of Warner Independent Picture's Eye to Eye and Eros, on a shelf waiting for WHV's marketing people to get around to releasing them as part of an overall Antonioni promotion.

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david hare
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#33 Post by david hare » Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:29 pm

A friend keeps reminding me to point out (and I keep forgetting):

The European 125 minute version, title Professione Reporter is now in the hands of Columbia/Sony who will presumably now be seeking out theatrical markets before the title eventually makes itsway onto DVD.

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Gordon
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#34 Post by Gordon » Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:28 am

The European 125 minute version, title Professione Reporter is now in the hands of Columbia/Sony who will presumably now be seeking out theatrical markets before the title eventually makes itsway onto DVD.
Oh, joy! Wait, where did your friend hear aboot this? I'm sure that Sony acquired the O-neg from Italy (or is it stored in the U.S.?) and are making new prints and a HD-transfer. This seems to be the common practice at Sony when the acquire new films.

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david hare
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#35 Post by david hare » Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:00 pm

I am absolutely certain of this, in which case the moderator needs to switch the thread over to DVD News or International DVD News (after checking of course.) In any case it is no longer a Warner title anywhere in the world.

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ellipsis7
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#36 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:39 am


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Andre Jurieu
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#37 Post by Andre Jurieu » Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:42 am

Guys, in June Jeff posted this same news regarding Sony acquiring the US rights and re-releasing the film in October. It's on the first page of the thread.

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ellipsis7
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#38 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:29 am

Yes, you will see I had quite a part in ferreting this out in the 1st place! It seemed then to get lost among the later assembled discussants in this thread... Thus my post is intended to be a necessary reiteration rather than fresh news...

BWilson
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#39 Post by BWilson » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:35 pm

I'm I the only one aware of this? I saw the poster at my local arthouse last night.

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Andre Jurieu
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#40 Post by Andre Jurieu » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:39 pm

BWilson wrote:I'm I the only one aware of this?
It's been discussed over in this thread, where Narshty and Jeff have both mentioned the upcoming re-release, though I have no idea why it remains in the Warners General Discussion section.

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#41 Post by BWilson » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:45 pm

Andre Jurieu wrote:though I have no idea why it remains in the Warners General Discussion section.

No wonder I didn't know about it.

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Kirkinson
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#42 Post by Kirkinson » Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:00 pm

It is significant to point out, however, that the running time on Sony's web site is now stated as 126 minutes whereas before it was 119. So that confirms flixyflox's earlier report that Sony is releasing the European cut.

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david hare
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#43 Post by david hare » Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:39 pm

I have to confess that my earlier post relating Sony had the 126 minute version was based on a misapprehension and in fact their earlier press releases indicated the shorter version! This new news is very heartening, BUT I am totally confused by the US re-release print (opening at the NYFF) which is advertised as the 119 minute "preferred director's version." Excuse me???

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tavernier
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#44 Post by tavernier » Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:19 pm

The New York Film Festival's website http://www.filmlinc.com lists the version of THE PASSENGER that they're screening as 119 minutes.

Edit: I just found out from the Film Society of Lincoln Center that the website is wrong: they will be showing the 126-minute version (Antonioni's original cut) at the NY Film Festival, and that Sony Pictures Classics will also be re-releasing that longer version.

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ellipsis7
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#45 Post by ellipsis7 » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:34 pm

Antonioni retro (similar to that at NFT London in June) at AMPAS LA in September.... Kicks off with An Academy Salute to Michelangelo Antonioni and a screening of the new Sony print of THE PASSENGER (Showing R/T of 123 mins). MA to be present, with his GAZE OF MICHELANGELO short preceding the feature... Details here...

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#46 Post by yoshimori » Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:03 pm

a bit o/t, but I thought I'd pass along this 'report' from a friend of mine re last night's screening of the new print of The Passenger at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

"Yah. Still lots of gaps in the sound. And the best print in the world isn't gonna miracle this clunkily acted, awkwardly organized, horribly lit flic into a masterpiece. The evening's real highlight came pre-screening. Marsha Kinder, some kind of USC Film Theory prof, after a intro that was all about how L'avventura changed her life -- check the program, Marsha! -- 'moderated' a panel discussion including Jack, Antonioni, his wife, and a little man, presumably a translator, who never stopped whispering into the maestro's ear. The prof first asked Jack if he could talk about why the film had been out of circulation so long. He seemed to take it personally and said, "well, back then I thought genius film makers' films were getting a bit too much exposure, and I didn't want to see that happen." OK. He then went on to enthuse, way way way over the top, about what a 'great man' Antonioni was. "Look at him", pointing to the immobile man in the wheel chair, "how ELEGANT, how MANLY." He said this several times. We were starting to think that either Jack was drunk or that he was, shockingly, making fun of the guy. Jack wouldn't give up the mic, and Antonioni's wife kept staring at Nicholson with suspicion while the little man whispered. Kinder didn't even try to stop him or steer the discussion. Strangely, Jack then went off on what a GREAT ELEGANT MANLY WRITER AND DIRECTOR Antonioni was. "Watch me say 'Water'," he said. He couldn't express how much he'd learned from a man who "believed actors were volumes passing through space." Was he joking? By now Antonioni's wife looks like she wants to kill Jack. Then, Jack goes off on what a COMIC genius Antonioni was. He described the plot of The Passenger as if it were a light Shakespearean comedy of false identity. "It cracks me up!" There was a brief back and forth between Jack and Marsha -- Nicholson saying Antonioni was unique, sui generis; Kinder suggesting we could see his legacy in directors like Erice; Nicholson saying that, well, if this were a DEBATING SOCIETY I guess I could point to Carl Dreyer as an influence on Antonioni, too -- but the piece de resistance coming when Jack decided it was time to hear from the ELEGANT MANLY stroke victim himself. Nicholson then picked up a mic and walked over to Antonioni, kneeled before him and stuck the mic right in his face. Everyone was shocked. Kinder stood up, held her mic to her face, but couldn't seem to say anything. By now the audience, who'd been in stitches at Jack's humor earlier, had no idea what was going on. Jack just kept kneeling, jabbing the mic towards the mute man in the wheelchair, saying something like "Speak. Speak." Finally, Kinder said that she'd "got the signal" that the time allotted for the panel was over. Jack got up, led the audience in applause for the maestro, and then, edging the wife aside, wheeled him off the stage himself. Wow."

Were any of the LA board members there?

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Gordon
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#47 Post by Gordon » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:05 pm

Jack Nicholson hasn't said anything sincere since 1987. He's a buffoon.
But I love his 70s films. I can imagine how Mrs Antonioni felt.
Just get the 125-minute version out on DVD with a great anamorphic
transfer, Sony.

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kinjitsu
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#48 Post by kinjitsu » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:00 pm

Yah. Still lots of gaps in the sound. And the best print in the world isn't gonna miracle this clunkily acted, awkwardly organized, horribly lit flic into a masterpiece.
I suppose that is a matter of opinion:
David Thompson wrote:The Passenger (1975), in which Jack Nicholson is a disillusioned foreign correspondent. In a fly-blown hotel in North Africa, he meets another man — a look-alike. This stranger dies, and without apparent thought or any explanation, Jack takes on his identity. He simply unhooks himself from the vehicle of his own life and transfers to another. This blind journey will take him to Germany, to Barcelona and southern Spain. It will encounter Maria Schneider in a Gaudí building — a passerby, or maybe the angel of death. And in one of the greatest journeys through space ever executed in movies, the spirit of the reporter will rise from his bed, pass through the railings on another hotel window and slip out into the dusty evening courtyard of a place called the Hotel de la Gloria.

The return of The Passenger is an occasion. For years, the film that flopped on opening has been owned and protected by Jack Nicholson. Now it is restored and coming to DVD, and on September 15, Antonioni will be in Los Angeles to present it in a gala screening at the Academy. Yet, fate has worked out like an Antonioni film: The director is over 90, mentally present, but the victim of a stroke — and so not quite here, or even there. It is a state to which his art was always aspiring. He is a great filmmaker, but he is an architect, too — the provider of squares, courtyards and enclosures where we long to live, no matter that they may signal our futility. -- LA Weekly
Last edited by kinjitsu on Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dylan
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#49 Post by Dylan » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:00 pm

Good God, what a travesty that must have been. Jack Nicholson seemed completely different in his narration on the Criterion DVD of "L' Avventura," different in that he seemed more loving of the artist Antonioni is, and not even the least bit of the mockerer he seemed to be at that screening. My guess is that Nicholson was somewhat intoxicated, or more likely that he was sincerely trying to inject dry humor into the conference (which, obviously, went completely out of hand). I hope he didn't offend Antonioni, but then again, Nicholson keeping "The Passenger" to himself for thirty years isn't exactly treating Antonioni fairly, either.

I've posted this elsewhere, but (like most) I haven't seen this film, and as a great admirer of Antonioni, I look incredibly forward to it.

Dylan

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david hare
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#50 Post by david hare » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:02 am

Jesus Yoshimori, who's your friend?

(This had been a reasonably smart thread...)

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