The River

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MichaelB
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The River

#1 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 04, 2021 9:27 am

Confirmed as a 23 August Blu-ray release.
Jean Renoir's intoxicating first colour feature THE RIVER (1951) is a lyrical adaptation of Rumer Godden's autobiographical coming-of-age tale of an adolescent girl living with her English family on the banks of West Bengal during the waning years of British colonial life. Presented on Blu-ray in a high definition digital transfer from the restoration by the Film Foundation, this sumptuous Technicolor romance has been described by Martin Scorsese as ‘one of the most beautiful colour films ever made’.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: The River

#2 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue May 04, 2021 1:47 pm

My finger's been hovering over the Criterion release for the long time, glad I waited.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: The River

#3 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Tue May 04, 2021 5:05 pm

Looks like it's from the same restoration as the Criterion, and not in 4K. So is it an upgrade in any way? My Criterion blu-ray does have a kinda color flicker to it (you can see it in shots with the sea or sky in the background; it seems to go from light blue to light green and back). I don't know if that's worth springing for another blu, though.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: The River

#4 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:58 am

High Definition digital transfer from the restoration by the Film Foundation
2-disc limited edition
Introduction to The River by Indian filmmaker Kumar Shahani
India Matri Bhumi (1959, 91 mins): several stories depicting the landscapes and fauna of India are mixed with documentary footage in acclaimed filmmaker Roberto Rossellini’s rarely seen film
Around India with a Movie Camera (2018, 73 mins): with material drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive, Around India explores not only the people and places of over 70 years ago, but asks us to engage with broader themes of a shared history, shifting perspectives in the lead up to Indian independence and the ghosts of the past
Villenour (French India: Territory of Pondicherry) (1914, 4 mins)
Manufacturing Ropes and Marine Cables at Howrah, Near Calcutta (1909, 8 mins)
Trailer
Image gallery
Other extras TBC
Reversible sleeve offering a choice of original posters
**FIRST PRESSING ONLY** Illustrated booklet including new writing on the film as well as previously published archival material
Holy smoke.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The River

#5 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:07 am

What A Disgrace wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:58 am
India Matri Bhumi (1959, 91 mins): several stories depicting the landscapes and fauna of India are mixed with documentary footage in acclaimed filmmaker Roberto Rossellini’s rarely seen film
Holy smoke.
Kind of big thing they casually dropped in there!

Is this the superior French version though?

(And yes, will probably sell off my Criterion edition now.)

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ellipsis7
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Re: The River

#6 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:36 am

This is interesting... In advance of his Indian trip in December 1956 Renoir gave several contacts to Rossellini including THE RIVER assistant director & documentary filmmaker Harisadhan Dasgupta (he is credited as Hari S. Das Gupta on THE RIVER) whose 27 year old wife and mother of their two young children, Sonali Senoy Dasgupta, was then enlisted by Rossellini as a scriptwriter on the INDIA MATRI BHUMI project... A scandalous affair ensued, finally ending the Bergman-Rossellini's marriage well as the Dasgupta's union, with Sonali Dasgupta eventually becoming Rossellini's fourth wife. On the Indian subcontinent this scandal was as explosive as the Ingrid Bergman-Roberto Rossellini affair on STROMBOLI had been in Europe and America. The whole story of the film and the scandal is told in this 2008 book published by Penguin India...

Image

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DeprongMori
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Re: The River

#7 Post by DeprongMori » Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:41 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:07 am
What A Disgrace wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:58 am
India Matri Bhumi (1959, 91 mins): several stories depicting the landscapes and fauna of India are mixed with documentary footage in acclaimed filmmaker Roberto Rossellini’s rarely seen film
Holy smoke.
Kind of big thing they casually dropped in there!

Is this the superior French version though?

(And yes, will probably sell off my Criterion edition now.)
India: Matri Bhumi is currently screening on the Criterion Channel. Does anyone with familiarity with the film have any thoughts about the version being offered on CC?
Last edited by DeprongMori on Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The River

#8 Post by Calvin » Mon Aug 02, 2021 5:07 pm

I know the version on the BFI release will be the most recent restoration, which looks to be the Italian version





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Re: The River

#9 Post by MichaelB » Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:07 am

Full specs announced:
THE RIVER
A film by Jean Renoir

Released on 2-disc Limited Edition Blu-ray, iTunes and Amazon Prime on 30 August 2021


“One of the most beautiful colour films ever made” Martin Scorsese

Jean Renoir’s intoxicating first colour feature – shot entirely on location in India – is a lyrical adaptation of Rumer Godden’s autobiographical coming-of-age tale, of an adolescent girl living with her English family on the banks of West Bengal during the waning years of British colonial life.

Previously released on DVD, the BFI now brings THE RIVER to Blu-ray for its 70th Anniversary. Numerous extras include Roberto Rossellini’s 1959 film about India (part-documentary, part-fiction) and Around India with a Movie Camera, which features some of the earliest surviving film of India, drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive.

Exquisitely shot in luminous Technicolor by Renoir’s nephew Claude, The River is a visual tour de force and a glorious, meditative tribute to the sights and sounds of Indian culture.

Perhaps Renoir’s most symbolic and spiritual film, displaying great humanity and refreshing simplicity, The River received tremendous international acclaim and remains one of his most popular films.

Special features
• Presented in High Definition
India Matri Bhumi (1959, 90 mins): Roberto Rossellini’s part-documentary, part-fiction portrait of India
Around India with a Movie Camera (Sandhya Suri, 2018, 73 mins): drawn exclusively from the BFI National Archive and featuring some of the earliest surviving film of India
Around the River (Arnaud Mandagaran, 2008, 60 mins): a documentary about the production of The River
• Introduction by Kumar Shahani (2006, 16 mins): introduction by the Indian director and screenwriter
Villenour (French India: Territory of Pondicherry) (1914, 4 mins): a travelogue by Pathé Frères with gorgeous stencil-coloured images of French India
Manufacturing Ropes and Marine Cables at Howrah, Near Calcutta (1908, 8 mins): an instructional film by Pathé Frères depicting the jute industry
• Trailer
• Stills gallery
• 2-disc limited edition of 3,000 copies
• Illustrated booklet with essays by David Thompson and Dina Iordanova, an interview with Rumer Godden by David Thompson, an archival feature ‘Renoir in Calcutta’ by Satyajit Ray, notes on the special features and full credits

Product details
RRP: £22.99 / Cat. no. BFIB1427 / 12
France, India, USA / 1951 / colour / 99 minutes / English language, with optional subtitles for the Deaf and partial hearing | 1.33:1 aspect ratio // Disc 1: BD50, 1080p, 24fps, PCM 2.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit) // Disc 2 : BD50, 1080p, 24fps, PCM 2.0 mono audio (48kHz/16-bit)

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TMDaines
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Re: The River

#10 Post by TMDaines » Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:27 am

DeprongMori wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:41 pm
India: Matri Bhumi is currently screening on the Criterion Channel. Does anyone with familiarity with the film have any thoughts about the version being offered on CC?
Tag Gallagher has previously said that it is missing two minutes from the end and a couple of other shots in the middle. The colour restoration is considered to not be entirely accurate either. That said it is the only way to currently watch the film in HD. I presume the BFI will be releasing the same.

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Re: The River

#11 Post by tenia » Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:12 pm

TMDaines wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:27 am
The colour restoration is considered to not be entirely accurate either.
I can't say about the edit, but the text panel at the beginning of the movie states it has been restored in 2K in 2011 by L'immagine Ritrovata based on an internegative (except for the opening titles sourced from an interpositive), following the research of the best elements supported by Adriano Apra and using as a color reference a copy approved by Aldo Tonti, but the color grading still bears most of the time the usual Ritrovata stamp. I suppose that's where the claim of colors not being accurate stems from.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

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Re: The River

#12 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:19 pm

Well, I guess I won't be swapping my Criterion disc for the BFI's (though to be fair, I'm sure The River looks just as great on BFI's edition - but I already have Tag's file of India: Matri Bhumi so I'm set).

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Re: The River

#13 Post by tenia » Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:30 pm

I guess if you're mainly interested in the Rossellini and you don't like this type of color grading, then no, especiay since the main feature isn't sourced from a new restoration and is still based on a now quite old HD master. But the release most certainly is the best of the bunch overall though and without the doubt beat the Carlotta release, and IMO the Criterion too.

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Re: The River

#14 Post by TMDaines » Mon Aug 23, 2021 7:28 am

Yeah, I will still gratefully snap this up.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The River

#15 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:20 pm

tenia wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:30 pm
I guess if you're mainly interested in the Rossellini and you don't like this type of color grading, then no, especiay since the main feature isn't sourced from a new restoration and is still based on a now quite old HD master. But the release most certainly is the best of the bunch overall though and without the doubt beat the Carlotta release, and IMO the Criterion too.
Absolutely, if I didn't have this title already, I'd get it. It's more of a budget management issue.

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Re: The River

#16 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Aug 24, 2021 6:07 am

Tag Gallagher's copy (he let me have a DVD-R of it a while back) of INDIA MATRI BHUMI is the French version of the film, a print donated to Henri Langlois & the Cinematheque Francaise by Jeanne Severini, widow of the Italian Futurist painter Gino Severini, who lived in Paris for much of his adult life.

On the other hand the Cinema Ritrovato restoration is of the Italian version...
Il restauro digitale della versione italiana è stato realizzato a partire dai migliori elementi
conservati da Cinecittà Studios e dal CSC - Cineteca Nazionale.L'approfondita analisi dei materiali
e la preziosa collaborazione dello storico Adriano Aprà hanno consentito di stabilire quali fossero
gli elementi utili al restauro: l'internegativo per l'immagine, un interpositivo originale per i titoli,
una copia positiva proveniente dallo stesso internegativo per il suono, una copia positiva d'epoca
per la corretta sincronizzazione.L'immagine è stata scansionata a una risoluzione di 2K. Dopo la
scansione, le immagini sono state stabilizzate e pulite digitalmente eliminando i segni del tempo:
spuntinature, righe, graffi e segni visibili di giunte.La correzione colore si è rivelata estremamente
complessa poiché il colore era fortemente decaduto. Una copia d'epoca, conservata presso il CSC –
Cineteca Nazionale, e la copia stampata a Cinecittà negli anni Novanta si sono rivelate un prezioso
riferimento in questa fase per ritrovare le particolarità del lavoro del direttore della fotografia, Aldo
Tonti e dei diversi sistemi delle diverse pellicole utilizzate (Gevaert, Ferrarnia, Kodak).Per il suono,
dopo l'acquisizione, si è potuta effettuare la pulizia digitale e la riduzione dei rumori di fondo
causati dall’usura del tempo, mantenendo la dinamica e le particolarità del suono originale.Tutti gli
elementi reperiti, presentano, per tutta la lunghezza del film, piccole lacune di pochi fotogrammi,
che, quindi, non è stato possibile colmare.Il restauro è stato effettuato dalla Cineteca di Bologna
presso il laboratorio L'Immagine Ritrovata nel 2011.

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Re: The River

#17 Post by nitin » Sun Aug 29, 2021 7:29 am

Reading Chris' review about the PQ, I wonder if the Carlotta release is similar to the BFI or whether that is similar to the Criterion too and the BFI is the outlier?

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Re: The River

#18 Post by tenia » Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:32 am

I might be mistaken but the Carlotta and Criterion discs are based on the same master, aren't they ?
In any case, though I haven't done a direct A/B comparison, the BFI disc reminded me quite a lot of the Carlotta disc. Moreover, going by the BFI booklet tech details and the DVD Classik tech statement in their review of the Carlotta disc, it should indeed be sourced from the same master.

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Re: The River

#19 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:31 am

This set has just arrived... Spooling through, INDIA MATRI BHUMI looks good enough, given the previous commentary on the limitations of the Immagine Ritrovata restoration... A contributing factor not least - as the opening captions note - is the diverse variety of film stocks used for the shoot - Gevaert, Ferrania, Kodak, in both 16 & 35 mm gauges ... Certainly the colours are more vivid, despite the inevitable fading, than the desaturated (faded further to a sepia tint) tone of the Cinematheque Francaise copy of the French version... The soundtrack and Italian voicover, given the age of the project, are pretty crisp and clear...

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Re: The River

#20 Post by tag gallagher » Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:42 pm

Here's link to my restoration of the original French INDIA MATRI BHUMI, with corrected color (as best I could) and optional subtitles. The Italian "restoration" chops out about six minutes, which might easily have been restored from the French print (easily available), but wasn't: who knows why?

https://1fichier.com/?356yzfy1yg

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Re: The River

#21 Post by nitin » Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:45 pm

tenia wrote:
Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:32 am
I might be mistaken but the Carlotta and Criterion discs are based on the same master, aren't they ?
In any case, though I haven't done a direct A/B comparison, the BFI disc reminded me quite a lot of the Carlotta disc. Moreover, going by the BFI booklet tech details and the DVD Classik tech statement in their review of the Carlotta disc, it should indeed be sourced from the same master.
Hi tenia, I was referring to this part of Chris' review, it seems all use the base underlying restoration but Chris is suggesting the Criterion compared to the BFI had additional digital restoration done:

"Where things really differ between this edition and Criterion’s previous releases is how source damage is substantially heavier here, showing that Criterion did do additional digital restoration work of their own on their edition, BFI taking a more hands off approach on theirs. The opening of the film is particularly rough, with a lot of marks and scratches raining through, accompanied by pulsing and fluctuations in the colours. This varies from shot to shot as well. As the film continues things ease up considerably, but those marks still pop up sporadically, with some heavier moments here and there. Colours are stable for the most part, but there are instances throughout where they will begin to pulse a bit before stabilizing again. Criterion’s 2015 Blu-ray, along with their 2005 DVD, fixed a lot of these things without impacting the presentation in an overtly negative manner."

So I was wondering where the Carlotta release fit in.

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Re: The River

#22 Post by ellipsis7 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:46 am

tag gallagher wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:42 pm
Here's link to my restoration of the original French INDIA MATRI BHUMI, with corrected color (as best I could) and optional subtitles. The Italian "restoration" chops out about six minutes, which might easily have been restored from the French print (easily available), but wasn't: who knows why?

https://1fichier.com/?356yzfy1yg
Tag, what you are proposing, I guess, is a new "versione integrale"...

Both Adriano Apra's book Rossellini India 1957 and the Cinematheque Francaise's 1997 book India: Rossellini et les animaux give the running time of the French version as 95 minutes and the Italian version as 90 minutes. The CF book, on pp 28-29, details the differences between the two original versions;
Les deux versions d' India

India existe en deux versions, l'une en français - 95 minutes-, considérée par Rossellini comme l'originale, et l'autre en italien - 90 minutes. Ces deux versions, sensiblement identiques, présentent cependant quelques différences, parmi lesquelles :

Les épisodes :
Plusieurs séquences ont été écourtées dans la version italienne: le travail des éléphants en forêt, le second spectacle de marionnettes (premier épisode). Les plans documentaires témoignant de la construction du barrage sont plus nombreux dans la version française (deuxième épisode).
Dans la version italienne, ont également disparu du premier épisode les plans du tigre qui précédaient l'arrivée des éléphants (le tigre n'erre plus dans la jungle, avec les singes et les oiseaux), ainsi que celui des femmes venant chercher de l'eau à la rivière (on découvre directement la marionnettiste en plan serre).

La fin:
La principale différence entre les versions se situe à la fin du film. Dans la v.f., l'épisode du singe est suivi d'une série de plans embrassant la diversité des espèces (plans de troupeaux : chèvres, moutons, vaches, plans d'hommes et d'arbres), avant de revenir à Bombay. Ces plans intermédiaires n'existent pas dans Ia version italienne: fin de l'épisode, retour immédiat à Bombay, un zoom arrière, un zoom avant, un pano sur la foule, fondu au noir et «Fine». La v.f., après le pano sur la foule, enchaine encore six plans d'oiseaux et de ville, qui s'achèvent sur le long vol d'un oiseau clans le ciel.

Le commentaire :
II varie peu, d'une version a l'autre, mais n'est pas calé exactement sur les mêmes images. Curieusement, Rossellini choisit de prêter sa voix à l'ouvrier du barrage ... dans la version française.

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Re: The River

#23 Post by tag gallagher » Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:36 am

Well, please download my mkv. This is quite a bit different than our first glimpses of the French version which were from a vhs; then (better) a dvd (Fims sans frontières).

My mkv comes from a dvd I made containing both editions. To do this, I went through both video tracks shot by shot, chose the better looking shot, then did my best to correct color and contrast -- but I'm not a professional at that. I tried to make the best possible video track; a single track on my dvd. I replaced audio missing from the Italian version -- none of which has dialogue until the last minutes; two audio tracks. Then made subtitle tracks for each audio. My dvd took me about three months. I then sent this to everyone and posted it as widely as I could. What I was/am "proposing" is that, look how much better an amateur can do (to restore the images), imagine what a competent technician could do!

The narration is the same in both versions, but the Italian is a lazy translation, inferior.

It is not true that Rossellini made the cuts in the Italian edition. The people who say this did not see the Italian print prior to its "restoration." I saw it at Rome's planetarium in January 1971, and it was all there. But the print was in terrible condition, so it's not surprising that footage got lost. What is scandalous (or ought to be) are claims that this butchery is Rossellini's own re-editing. Total contempt for the movie and for Rossellini.

At the time the butchery surfaced, the French print (only ever one print) was lost, and the Italians distributed the butchery everywhere without any acknowledgement of what had occurred. And then, when the French print was found, no attempt was made to replace the footage.

L'Imagine Ritrovata, who digitized the Italian print, admit that I am correct about this, and say they will correct matters when someone finances that.

Meanwhile, do you think Criterion and the BFI would release any other movie with the last two minutes chopped off?

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Re: The River

#24 Post by tenia » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:52 am

To be fair though, the BFI released it as an extra, not the main feature.

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Re: The River

#25 Post by L.A. » Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:39 pm


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