965 Wanda

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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paa400
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965 Wanda

#1 Post by paa400 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:38 am

Wanda

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With her first and only film—a hard-luck drama she wrote, directed, and starred in—Barbara Loden turned in a groundbreaking work of American independent cinema, bringing to life a kind of character seldom seen on-screen. Set amid a soot-choked Pennsylvania landscape, and shot in an intensely intimate vérité style, the film takes up with distant and soft-spoken Wanda (Loden), who has left her husband, lost custody of her children, and now finds herself alone, drifting between dingy bars and motels, where she falls prey to a series of callous men—including a bank robber who ropes her into his next criminal scheme. A difficult-to-see masterpiece that has nonetheless exerted an outsize influence on generations of artists and filmmakers, Wanda is a compassionate and wrenching portrait of a woman stranded on society's margins.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 2K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation, and Gucci, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
I Am Wanda, an hour-long documentary by Katja Raganelli featuring an interview with director Barbara Loden filmed in 1980
• Audio recording of Loden speaking to students at the American Film Institute in 1971
• Segment from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring Loden
The Frontier Experience, a short educational film from 1975 about a pioneer woman's struggle to survive, directed by and starring Loden
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin

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Arn777
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#2 Post by Arn777 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:59 am

paa400 wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:38 am
I was wondering if anyone had seen the french DVD release of Wanda?
Yes I have. It's a good one, considering it was a low budget film and the dvd manages to keep that feel with lots of film grain, and some interesting supplements.

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Ashirg
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#3 Post by Ashirg » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:09 pm

Wanda is being released in region 1 by a new studio Parlour Pictures

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FilmFanSea
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#4 Post by FilmFanSea » Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:51 am

Ashirg wrote:Wanda is being released in region 1 by a new studio Parlour Pictures
DVD Savant has reviewed the new (barebones) R1 release. This is the first release by Parlour Pictures. Would be nice if Gary could compare this release with the mk2 disc from France, but I'd be willing to bet the French release easily outclasses the R1.

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jesus the mexican boi
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#5 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:31 pm

We had previously speculated that Barbara Loden's highly regarded indie classic WANDA might find a home in the Criterion Collection, and while it still may, it has been released by an independent outfit called Parlour. Here's Savant's review:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=22742

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Cold Bishop
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#6 Post by Cold Bishop » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:52 pm

Nice... Especially considering I was picking up a bootleg. (How foolish of me not to know there was a french dvd)?

One of those films I've always wanted to see, but that has always eluded me. Now I'm off to Netflix....

Anonymous

#7 Post by Anonymous » Sat Aug 12, 2006 5:59 pm

FYI: The new domestic Parlour DVD is a vastly superior transfer to the muddy region 2 disc. A pleasing 1.66:1 transfer and razor sharp with excellent color saturation make it well worth the $22.00 from Amazon.com. If you are looking for extras, like the appearance with John Lennon and Yoko on the Mike Douglas show, you might want to get the French DVD as well, but if you want to see the film in its best presentation, the domestic release is definitely the way to go. :D

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FilmFanSea
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#8 Post by FilmFanSea » Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:41 am

cinechick wrote:FYI: The new domestic Parlour DVD is a vastly superior transfer to the muddy region 2 disc. A pleasing 1.66:1 transfer and razor sharp with excellent color saturation make it well worth the $22.00 from Amazon.com. If you are looking for extras, like the appearance with John Lennon and Yoko on the Mike Douglas show, you might want to get the French DVD as well, but if you want to see the film in its best presentation, the domestic release is definitely the way to go. :D
Welcome, cinechick, and thanks for the information. I'm surprised that the Parlour DVD outclasses the French mk2 (I've seen neither at this point), but you're the first person on this forum who has reported seeing them both. I still hope Gary (at DVD Beaver) can compare screencaps, but I'm rooting for Parlour to come out on top.

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Peacock
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Re: Wanda

#9 Post by Peacock » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:22 pm

The John and Yoko Interview with Barbara Loden can be found here:

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Re: Wanda

#10 Post by SheriffAmbrose » Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:52 pm

Thanks a lot. I've never seen this and I was literally just talking about it today.

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Ovader
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Re: Wanda

#11 Post by Ovader » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:27 am

New restored version to be screened.
In the United States the release of a DVD in 2006 brought the film to a somewhat wider audience. It is about to get more attention with a full restoration from the 16-millimeter original that may be truer visually to Ms. Loden’s and Mr. Proferes’s intentions than any previous version. The restored version, the work of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, with support from Gucci and the Film Foundation, will be screened on Thursday in Venice and on Oct. 27 at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Wanda

#12 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:55 pm

Janus just released a trailer for a new re-issue that will play in theaters across the country, starting with Metrograph in NYC.

This is long overdue - back in 2010, a great-looking restoration premiered at MoMA (edit: i just noticed the last post in this thread is actually about that screening), but it seemed to more or less disappear after that. It was the first and only time I've seen the film, and it was quite the event.

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Re: Wanda

#13 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:52 pm

I finished watching this today. I can’t say I’m a fan. Felt zero for the characters. It seemed like a poor attempt of creating a Cassavetes’ style film.

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domino harvey
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Re: Wanda

#14 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:04 pm

Bingo. Typical 70s aimless "character" piece romanticized of late due to its scarcity more than its quality (a la Out 1 before the Arrow release) plus the very real desire to canonize a film by an overlooked female director. I am ready to mute mentions of it from my Twitter so I don't have to read another ridiculous hyperbolic claim of its "masterpiece" status from Criterion

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#15 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:53 pm

domino harvey wrote:I am ready to mute mentions of it from my Twitter so I don't have to read another ridiculous hyperbolic claim of its "masterpiece" status from Criterion
I already did so after Janus started banging the gong for it multiple times a day.

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#16 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:42 pm

LQ is teaching a course on this one in November and hopefully at some point will have some educational material to share here for those who do find value in it! Judging from critics & civilians I follow on Letterboxd (and ones I live with), they're indeed out there. I'm waiting to see it in the theater that night.

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#17 Post by beamish14 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:20 pm

I really love this film. It’s telling that Elia Kazan, being the SOB that he was, completely denigrated it in his biography with a few paragraphs of arrogant dismissiveness, yet tried (and failed) to emulate its style in The Visitors. He also apparently told Frank Perry to eliminate Loden from The Swimmer, which is insane

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#18 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:04 pm

Werewolf by Night wrote:
domino harvey wrote:I am ready to mute mentions of it from my Twitter so I don't have to read another ridiculous hyperbolic claim of its "masterpiece" status from Criterion
I already did so after Janus started banging the gong for it multiple times a day.
Ok. I get it if there are those that like it. But to call this a masterpiece is ridiculous. On what level could this be a masterpiece. Acting- no, character development- no way, narrative- uh uh, technical aspect- don’t think so... I’m sure the restoration and bluray will look spiffy, but that is not enough to call it a masterpiece.

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#19 Post by All the Best People » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:15 pm

I actually agree that this is a film more interesting for its existence than what it actually ended up being. It does seem a fair number of people, women particularly, connected with it contemporaneously and continue to do so, however. I wish I had connected with it.

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#20 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:18 pm

beamish14 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:20 pm
Elia Kazan [...] tried (and failed) to emulate its style in The Visitors.
He was merely making a film in the manner many if not most American films were being made at the time. Wanda has zero claims on innovation for or perfection of this kind of style

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#21 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:32 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:04 pm
Werewolf by Night wrote:
domino harvey wrote:I am ready to mute mentions of it from my Twitter so I don't have to read another ridiculous hyperbolic claim of its "masterpiece" status from Criterion
I already did so after Janus started banging the gong for it multiple times a day.
Ok. I get it if there are those that like it. But to call this a masterpiece is ridiculous. On what level could this be a masterpiece. Acting- no, character development- no way, narrative- uh uh, technical aspect- don’t think so... I’m sure the restoration and bluray will look spiffy, but that is not enough to call it a masterpiece.
Isn't this sort of thing inherently subjective? Those who don't like this film, with talk of shutting out any positive impressions of it or dismantling it with (again, totally subjective) faux-logic are coming off rather poorly in a way that is uncommon on this forum. I say that as someone who might very well end up hating it, but jeez, God forbid other people are celebrating a movie you don't like from 50 years ago (or vice versa!)

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#22 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:39 pm

There were a few days there where there were multiple Wanda posts, each one accompanied by big talk that used to only appear in trailers for studio films twenty years prior to its original release. I'm 100% allowed to be annoyed by anything on my timeline, and that's not the same as wanting to shut down any and all positive impressions of it from my life. I have no trouble understanding or believing people can and do legitimately love this movie. I, personally, hate most of the late 60s/early 70s American cinema practices that this film embodies, and by no means is this the first time I've made that clear, nor is this even remotely the first film I've used as an example. I actually think the film will find a lot of happy viewers here. I also think the enormous amount of heavy lifting Criterion is doing to make this a zeitgeist title and/or a rediscovered masterpiece is going to lead to a lot of disappointment in other viewers (like we're seeing already).

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Gregory
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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#23 Post by Gregory » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:49 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:18 pm
beamish14 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:20 pm
Elia Kazan [...] tried (and failed) to emulate its style in The Visitors.
He was merely making a film in the manner many if not most American films were being made at the time. Wanda has zero claims on innovation for or perfection of this kind of style
I think it's pretty significant that first Wanda and then The Visitors were both shot and edited by Nicholas T Proferes, though, a choice that suggests Kazan was seeking results that would be similar specifically to Wanda. I'm not saying that the latter innovated any style, but I the claim that Kazan was emulating it may be entirely correct (I haven't read his book).

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#24 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:35 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:39 pm
There were a few days there where there were multiple Wanda posts, each one accompanied by big talk that used to only appear in trailers for studio films twenty years prior to its original release. I'm 100% allowed to be annoyed by anything on my timeline, and that's not the same as wanting to shut down any and all positive impressions of it from my life. I have no trouble understanding or believing people can and do legitimately love this movie. I, personally, hate most of the late 60s/early 70s American cinema practices that this film embodies, and by no means is this the first time I've made that clear, nor is this even remotely the first film I've used as an example. I actually think the film will find a lot of happy viewers here. I also think the enormous amount of heavy lifting Criterion is doing to make this a zeitgeist title and/or a rediscovered masterpiece is going to lead to a lot of disappointment in other viewers (like we're seeing already).
In no way were you obligated to defend yourself this way when I was merely pointing out how it was possibly coming off to those without a dog in this, but I appreciate the added context regardless.

Anyone can obviously think whatever they want but it's probably unrealistic to expect that there is even a loosely organized effort to boost the reputation of a movie that might sell a few thousand copies on Blu-ray and make a quarter million dollars at the box office, so any suggestion otherwise seems to solely exist to rain on others' parades. Even if not meant that way. To me - which, again: subjective

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Re: Forthcoming: Wanda

#25 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:38 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:32 pm
FrauBlucher wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:04 pm
Werewolf by Night wrote:I already did so after Janus started banging the gong for it multiple times a day.
Ok. I get it if there are those that like it. But to call this a masterpiece is ridiculous. On what level could this be a masterpiece. Acting- no, character development- no way, narrative- uh uh, technical aspect- don’t think so... I’m sure the restoration and bluray will look spiffy, but that is not enough to call it a masterpiece.
Isn't this sort of thing inherently subjective? Those who don't like this film, with talk of shutting out any positive impressions of it or dismantling it with (again, totally subjective) faux-logic are coming off rather poorly in a way that is uncommon on this forum. I say that as someone who might very well end up hating it, but jeez, God forbid other people are celebrating a movie you don't like from 50 years ago (or vice versa!)
I didn't hate it (if I did I would've turned it off). I felt more indifference about it. That being said I certainly don't want to shut out any positive impressions. There are folks who like this and will like it. But for Criterion and Janus to promote this as some kind of masterpiece is silly. As Domino suggests there will be many disappointed due to the exaggerated praise by the two companies.

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