It is currently Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:00 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:30 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:26 pm
Location: Toronto,Canada
DVDBeaver comparison

As expected the Criterion kills the Eureka transfer. It's just a damn shame Criterion can't keep a handle on their cropping issues. This one is one of the worst I've noticed lately from them.


Top
 Profile  
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:51 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
From the DBD Beaver review:

Quote:
Criterion uses a very subtle process to bring out superior contrast and a sharper appearance in the images that they transfer to DVD.

This is precisely the reason that I prefer alternative releases of good quality to those of Criterion -- when given a choice. I hate their juicing up of contrast and sharpness. This impaired their otherwise nice release of "Tokyo Story". Happily, they were a bit lighter on the trigger finger with "Early Summer".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Back in Milan (Ind.)
Well, Gary seems to be uncertain as to which transfer he wants to declare as better. He seems to observe positive aspects in both transfers, and says that it really is up to the consumer as to which qualities they prefer. Perhaps Mark actually prefers sharpness and contrast and thus thinks the Criterion transfer is clearly superior. I love the work Nick & Co. do, but I do find it odd that no one is questioning the people who have declared the MoC transfer as the clear winner, yet we're jumping all over Mark for his decision.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 4:18 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:23 pm
Location: Germany
Andre Jurieu wrote:
I do find it odd that no one is questioning the people who have declared the MoC transfer as the clear winner, yet we're jumping all over Mark for his decision.

It's the David vs Goliath syndrome, Andre


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 6:22 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:10 am
Location: Hampshire, UK
Its a valid point, both tranfers have their merits and if you already own the MOC why on earth would you wish to double dip with the Criterion (okay darned spine No. perhaps) Bottom line for me is this film is finely available in two great editions, all that crap about this or that being the definitive is utter nonsense! Enjoy the film and forget about hyperbole - just take your pick. My Eureka copy looks mighty fine on my large screen, no doubt the Criterion would also...and if you feel your having sleepless nights, some advice - get a life!


Last edited by Subbuteo on Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:06 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:27 pm
Hey, this guy's right! I also have a large screen, but now it suddenly seems so futile. What were we thinking? Enough of this DVD nonsense! Late-period capitalism was starting to get on my nerves anyway. I'm most likely going to help out in Africa, what's everyone else doing?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:26 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:26 pm
Location: Toronto,Canada
It was just my personal opinion people. Despite MoC being highly integrated into this site I don't feel any obligation to give them or Criterion any bias. The one and only area the MoC pulls ahead is cropping. The Criterion is better in every other way. If anyone wants to really nerd-out over this PM me and we can talk.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:46 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
One of the interesting things I've noticed about the interviews on the Criterion disc is that one of the producers for the Adriano Apra and Father Virgillio Fantuzzi is Spencer Leigh, who did the documentary on the Jubilee disc.

I can't find it at the moment but I remember I think Narshty posting an interview with Spencer Leigh which mentioned that he was working on a documentary to go with a future Criterion of This Sporting Life and in the same interview he mentioned that he was looking forward to working more with Criterion - this looks to be one of those other projects.

EDIT: Found the interview:

Quote:
Fortunately I got to know the Criterion people and I've just started working for them as a freelance producer/director. I'm trying to develop projects about British filmmakers from the 60s to the present. I'm a huge movie fan, I'm interested in exposing these filmmakers to another audience that doesn't necessarily know them. I think through dvd and documentation you can do that.

Do the Criterion releases get released in the UK, or only America?

No it doesn't get released outside the US, but because it is such a well known collection, a lot of people that know about movies know Criterion. The Criterion Collection are dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world.and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality. I remember Dave and I would discuss films, we were both very keen on the British 'kitchen sink' dramas from the early sixties, the likes of Saturday Night Sunday Morning, This Sporting Life,and A Kind of Loving. These films appealed to me for many reasons. They were working class dramas, brilliantly acted with people like Allen Bates, Albert Finney and Richard Harris. Criterion will be releasing This Sporting Life, so I'm very excited about that.

I wanted to ask about Criterion - I hadn't been aware that you had worked on other projects with them. Did you first become involved with them because of the link with Derek Jarman* or did that come up because you suggested it? (*Spencer Leigh directed a documentary for Criterion's release of Jarman's Jubilee, as well as appearing in many of Jarman's later films himself)

No, I met the guy who owns the company, Peter Becker, through a mutual friend and we became good friends. He was quite surprised by my extensive knowledge of movies, and he would often discuss films that they were going to release. I remember once, well prior to working for them, he came over to my house in Los Angeles and showed me Mike Leigh's Naked. I was very impressed by it and I thought the performance by David Thewlis was brilliant and I was delighted when they released it as part of the collection. Anyway I met him and we had the common ground of the movies. He suggested I work on Jubilee because I knew many of the people from working on other Jarman projects.

The movie I'm working on at the moment, I originally went to see in 1987 - around the time I was doing Caravaggio or maybe a little later - I watched it and I thought 'oh God another Merchant Ivory Edwardian movie'I'm doing it as part of a whole series of releases for a Merchant Ivory Collection.

Which one is this?

Maurice. I've since changed my opinion, but it took me quite some time to go down the road and re-examine it. It was also the first lead performances of Hugh Grant and James Wilby who I recently interviewed who is a very nice chap. Movies are just an amazing thing. The way they effect individuals. For me it's about being involved with the medium, even if I'm not being an actor, which I'm not at this moment in time. But just the idea of... It's something that really excites me.

Edit: I've just spent the last two weekends looking through the Criterion and Masters of Cinema discs and my opinion on which one to buy is: both! Unless you just want to see the film then just get whichever is easiest.

The film itself (of course!), the Giotto/American release prologue and the reprinted 'Message of Francesco Giullare Di Dio' by Rossellini are the same on both releases. The other extras on the two discs however are unique to each and I think both companies should be commended for having unique features (although that does mean getting both for completists)

The Criterion has the three video interviews and in their booklet an interview with Rossellini, an article in defence of Rosselini's style by Andre Bazin and of course the usual critic essay.

It seems that Criterion have looked at the film in the context of Rossellini's career and the Masters of Cinema looks at the source material with a piece on the life of San Francesco and a reprint of a chapter of The Little Flowers of St Francis.

The MoC also has colour promotional photographs, a critic essay, the Scorcese introduction and a short critic introduction.

Two things really interest me. One is the deleted scene with the prostitute which was filmed and cut out at the last minute. I'm not sure why it was edited (perhaps because it would have been controversial at a time when Rossellini did not want to court any more controversy?) but from the look of the stills and description it seems like the scene would take place in the town square and church which the monks walk through at the end of the film. it seems a shame that this scene was removed as I think it would give the scene where Francesco and his followers walk through the town and go to the church to pray for a final time greater impact. You would see that the town has a relationship with them, while in the film as it stands their final visit is also their first filmic one.

The other thing that interests me is the restoration documentary on the Masters of Cinema disc. It is very interesting to see on the disc the 'Cinema Forever' promotional film. The project itself also relates to a number of Criterion releases, most obviously The White Sheik as that even has the 'Cinema Forever' logo on the back of the sleeve. Interestingly the promotional piece also mentions 81/2, I Vitelloni and I think Battle of Algiers amongst others and the Criterion editions do not seem to mention the 'Cinema Forever' project in the same way on the back of their releases. Would this mean that Criterion did their own restoration of these titles?

Either way this project and its relationship with both companies hopefully bodes well for more restored Italian films!

Personally I feel that neither release is better than the other, both have great menus and unique, well thought out extras. I'm thinking this as less of a 'coup' for one company or another, but as an interesting lesson in how one film can be approached from two different directions, both adding up to a more comprehensive appreciation of the material than either release on its own would.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:13 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN
I finally checked this out last night and was pleasantly surprised: a great spiritual movie without the usual preachiness. Simple and poetic. I particuarily enjoyed the leper scene and the "true happiness" scene and found it interesting that they were the two scenes cut for US release.
Damn shame the prositute scene is missing.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:11 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
What a lovely film! It completely fulfilled my high expectations and showed me a new side to Rossellini. In this film he manages to negotiate a huge range of moods with a deft touch: rural realism, near-farce, physical comedy, and that extraordinary, transcendent night-time encounter with the leper.

The Criterion transfer is superb to my eyes, and the extras are strong and to the point, covering a nice range of angles (personal, critical and religious).

One thing does strike me as seriously weird, though: the American prologue on the disc begins with a complete set of English titles / credits, then runs through the complete set of Italian titles / credits, then embarks on the English-narrated Giotto material. Surely this isn't how American audiences first experienced the film. Does anybody know the reason for this quirk?

As for the Criterion vs. MoC angle, I was slack about ordering the MoC, so when this was announced I waited for the reviews and went for Criterion because it was cheaper. Now I'm such a fan of the film I'm going to pick up the MoC as well on the strength of its extras.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:42 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
This was a lovely film. In many respects what I expected, a simple humorous neo-realist film with loads of Christianity, yet it also exceeded those expectations. Loved the sly performance for Francis. It was almost strange, and my favorite aspect of the film, that the characters until the last two or three stories didn't actually learn from their mistakes or even were made aware they didn't fulfill the moral. Maybe I'm over thinking that aspect, but a little incidental existentialism never hurt anyone. I am a bit confused by the leper scene though.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:20 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:19 pm
knives wrote:
I am a bit confused by the leper scene though.

This scene is the heart of the film, IMHO, and it serves as an example of what I love so much about post-war Italian cinema: its pure, unconditional love of humanity (warts, boils, and all) and the quest for genuine human connection and joy even in the in most adverse of situations.

This is one you may want to try watching again, but if it doesn't capture or move you then so be it... it's just the subjective nature of the medium. It may hit you in an entirely different way at a different stage in your life, and I would recommend revisiting every few years if you care to do so.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
I loved the film, anything that reminds me of Mickey Mouse gets that :wink: , but I'm not sure what Francis is trying to accomplish and why the leper just walks away.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:07 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:19 pm
knives wrote:
I loved the film, anything that reminds me of Mickey Mouse gets that :wink: , but I'm not sure what Francis is trying to accomplish and why the leper just walks away.

My interpretation is that Francis is trying to reach out and show warmth to someone who is suffering and has been cast out by society. The leper is either unable to or uninterested in accepting this warmth and just walks away... we don't have the leper's back story so it is left to us to ponder his mindset. The beauty of the scene is how the events impact Francis... there are any number of reasons that someone in his position would be moved or affected by this scenario, and again, that is left to us to interpret.

I think the simplicity and understated nature of the scene is half its beauty. Not sure how helpful that was, but there you have it. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:33 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Makes plenty of sense. Just one of those things where you need someone to confirm your suspicions I guess.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:34 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller
The leper scene, and the earlier brief scene when Francis tries to pray and is interrupted by the birds, to whom he then speaks, are the most sublime expressions of Christ's philosophy in the entire cinema. What is so masterful about Rossellini's treatment of these scenes, and the entire movie is the way he grounds the action in the purely physical world - as Tag Gallagher makes the point in his visual essay, you can feel the elements. the wind, the mud, the cold, and when Francis embraces the leper severel things are happening at once. He seeks to give and receive physical comfort from the embrace with another human, but he is also trying to emulate Chirst in the gospel stories, and trying to take over the leper's suffering, indeed all the suffering in the world. Ingrid Bergman also begins to do this in the second half of Europa 51 and is incarcerated as a psychopath because of it. The leper breaks away from Francis and shuffles on knowing there is no point to this, and Francis weeps - he weeps for the sorrows of the world, and he weeps that there is absolutely nothing he can do to allay the pain.

The leper scene is one of the most moving two minutes in all of cinema.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
I rewatched this today, and the experience is better then the first time. I think the contradictions is what I like best. It tries so hard to be simple yet has an almost existentialist morality to it, the moments of silence say everything but the dialouge nothing, all the dialouge is for the story yet comes off almost as incidental. What is still most shocking to me is that it is a very spiritual film, yet I would say there is no religion to it. Yes it comes from a christian morality and christian characters, but that felt so unimportant, at least from where I came from, to the whole scheme of the film.
My favorite moment would have to be with the bird. I can't even rationalize why to myself. That moment where Francis is childlike talking to the birds and asking for just a moment is oddly moving. Him holding that bird should be a statue. Maybe that's why I liked the film so much. It's a living sculpture.
The one thing that improved greatly for me was the moment with the barbarians. The first time around I could only see the humor and couldn't understand the confrontation at all. Now though I understand and love the Ghandi like situation where Ginapro becomes so foreign to Nicolaio that he doesn't know how to react. For the film to reveal that, and its other morals, through mickey mouse antics to me is what makes this film special.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:18 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:32 am
Location: New York, NY
Caught "The Flowers of St. Francis" for the first time over the weekend. I taped it from TCM-HD a few weeks back but the recording came out crappy so I tracked down a Criterion DVD at the public library.

My first Rossellini film (co-written by Fellini no less) and, as an Atheist that was raised Catholic, I was floored after to find out that Rossellini was an Atheist as well. This could open some of the movie's scenes to interpretations of ridicule by the director toward religion. The last vignette in particular, with the spinning monks, could be interpreted as Rossellini mocking the randomness and pointlessness of religious faith. On first viewing though I was taken aback by how respectful of his subject matter the director is. Like the best of his fellow Italian neo-realist directors Rossellini allows his non-actor monks and the power of what they're portraying (random vignettes from the lives of either St. Francis or his early disciples) to carry the film at the expense of dramatic momentum or even a compelling central figure. Only the segment with an over-the-top Aldo Fabrizi as a villain trying (and failing) to break Ginepro's passive resistance to abuse rings false (cool porcupine armor suit though 8-)). One can almost sense Rossellini's hand in sabotaging this Ginepro-Nicolaio vignette with overacting to call attention at how near-perfect the other nine segments are. If you're in the mood for an uplifting spiritual flick but don't want to swallow the cheese from a Hollywood 'sandal epic' "The Flowers of St. Francis" delivers the goods. You might be as surprised as this former Catholic was at how a leftist Italian filmmaker was a better cinematic interpreter of religious teachings back in the 50's than almost the entire American film industry over the past few decades (with notable exceptions like Robert Duvall's "The Apostle").


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:00 am
Location: USA
Showing on TCM November 16, 4:15 am Eastern, right after Nights of Cabiria.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:08 pm
Just bought this in the B&N 50% off sale so you're welcome for next months Bluray upgrade.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 45 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection