Revolution

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

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McCrutchy
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Re: Revolution

#26 Post by McCrutchy » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:03 pm

MichaelB wrote:
McCrutchy wrote:Well according to his scan, the feature file is "single-layered" (i.e., not bigger than a BD-25) at 16,676,413,440 bytes, but then he goes on to say that the cuts are seamlessly branched, which doesn't make sense with a disc size of 44,915,421,136 bytes, considering that there is only an 11-minute difference in the cuts and there is only one 12-minute extra on the Blu-ray...
It's more complicated than that, because quite a bit of the footage in the director's cut has a different soundtrack.

But then that would still mean that the one cut received a markedly poorer encode than the other, considering the space left to fill.

Unless of course, Gary just messed up the copy/paste of the info.

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AidanKing
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Re: Revolution

#27 Post by AidanKing » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:42 pm

There's a pretty good article in the print edition of this month's Sight and Sound on Revolution. It actually also tries to reclaim Chariots of Fire as a radical film, which I think may be pushing it a bit.

j99 wrote:
I remember the negative reviews at the time and didn't bother with it; Derek Jarman was particularly scathing towards Hudson and the whole Goldcrest operation.
I think Derek Jarman's points were valid in that a lot of money was being spent on more mainstream films rather than more formally radical work, and his type of filmmaking was disparaged by people like Alan Parker, but to some extent it's a shame that left-leaning filmmakers in Britain weren't able to find common cause in the 1980s. Whatever the faults of the Goldcrest operation, the last three films were politically progressive, and designed to get those views over to the general public, in a way that I don't think has happened to the same extent in British film since.

It's a long time since I saw Revolution and it's obviously not as strong a work as Heaven's Gate, but I do remember feeling at the time that there were a lot of similarities between the two films and that Revolution might be ripe for reassessment in the same way at some point in the future.
Last edited by AidanKing on Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Revolution

#28 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:49 pm

AidanKing wrote:It's a long time since I saw Revolution and it's obvioulsy not as strong a work as Heaven's Gate, but I do remember feeling at the time that there were a lot of similarities between the two films and that Revolution might be ripe for reassessment in the same way at some point in the future.
That very much seems to be the BFI's (and presumably Hudson's) intention with this package - the booklet doesn't remotely gloss over the theatrical version's faults or minimise its disastrous critical reception, though I'm glad they included both cuts.

Not least because for all the theatrical version's many glaring flaws, that's the film that the vast majority of the reviews covered, and burying and forgetting it would do a pretty significant part of mid-1980s British film history a historical disservice.

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antnield
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Re: Revolution

#29 Post by antnield » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:29 am


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MichaelB
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Re: Revolution

#30 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:38 am


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antnield
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Re: Revolution

#31 Post by antnield » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:44 pm


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MichaelB
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Re: Revolution

#32 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:06 am

I had a friend round for dinner last night who used to work as a script editor on EastEnders in the 1990s, so naturally I showed her the cover of the Revolution package.

She burst out laughing and said she had no idea of Sid Owen's illustrious cinematic past - I imagine under normal circumstances playing a significant supporting role to Al Pacino in a big-budget feature film would be a fairly big deal, but evidently not in this case.

McCrutchy
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Re: Revolution

#33 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:56 am

Beaver has amended their specs and it now appears seamless branching was used:
Runtime: 1:55:32 Theatrical 2:06:32.751 in 1080P

Disc Size: 44,915,421,136 bytes

Feature Size: 34,001,824,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.96 Mbps

Chapters: 12
This makes more sense, but it's still not entirely clear. I don't think he's adding the file sizes together, but they obviously wouldn't be the same, so he has only specified the file size of one version (my guess would be the longer cut).

I wish he would just post the entire .txt file that BDInfo spits out after a scan via a hyperlink.

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MichaelB
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Re: Revolution

#34 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:04 am

Why don't you take it up with Gary Tooze directly? He's not exactly hard to contact.

McCrutchy
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Re: Revolution

#35 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:08 am

MichaelB wrote:Why don't you take it up with Gary Tooze directly? He's not exactly hard to contact.
At this point, it's easier to simply wait and scan the disc myself (it looks like I'm the only person who is interested, to know, anyway).

j99
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Re: Revolution

#36 Post by j99 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:50 am

I saw this at the weekend for the first time, and I wasn't convinced. I feel the problem lies with the script and the lack of character development. It would have been preferable if there was some kind of backstory or prologue, instead what's on offer is a hastily arranged "romance" between Pacino and Kinski in order to drive the narrative forward. And boy is this one of the most wooden and unconvincing romances I've ever witnessed on film; absolutely no chemistry between the two whatsoever. I also felt it was a mistake to cut the scene between Kinski and her father when she pleads with him to offer financial support to the Amercan rebels, which he agrees to but doesn't go through with. At least this offers an explanation for her grievance towards her family, and explains her disassociation from them. The Kinski character and her family aren't explained nor developed at all; neither is the Donald Sutherland character who is given no context; he just wanders around aimlessly, mumbling incoherently, until he's ambushed on a beach, and which by that time there's relief all round in the knowledge that we won't have to put up with his Yorkshire/Irish brogue anymore. They should be substantial characters, not bit part players in a series of cobbled together set pieces.

Far too many plot holes, one dimensional characters, bad performances and general incoherence for my liking. The criticism was justified and it shouldn't be termed a "British Heaven's Gate" because the Director's Cut of that film fills in the missing links of the theatrical version to produce something watchable, even if it had the advantage of a sufficient amount of extra footage which Revolution lacks. The added narration to plug in the gaps is not enough; it only draws attention to the film's failures. Goldcrest chose the wrong the director and the wrong film; they should have gone with Bill Douglas and the film should have been Comrades at a fraction of the cost. 18 million quid down the drain.

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Aunt Peg
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Re: Revolution

#37 Post by Aunt Peg » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:31 am

I have finally gotten around to watching Hugh Hudson's director's cut and was very impressed.

I hated the 1985 version with a passion at the time of it's release and the recut and along with time have improved the film beyond my expectations.

The extra's were particularly interesting as well.

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John Cope
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Re: Revolution

#38 Post by John Cope » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:48 pm

Watched the "Revisited" cut of this much derided film last night and came away thinking that it was far better than its reputation. I'm not sure how much this has to do with the recut itself as I don't remember whether I ever even saw the theatrical version, though I suppose I probably at least caught parts of it on HBO back in the 80's when my own critical acumen wasn't much.

Anyway, this version at least is remarkable in any number of ways, including just the very idea of making a film on this subject that is as radically irresolute as this one is about national loyalties. It is, in that sense perhaps, radically libertarian in a first principle sort of way with the Pacino character's only real loyalties being to his blood kin and to himself. That this is later developed and transformed into a more subtle, nuanced nationalist sympathy is a tribute to the complexity of the picture with its portrait of contemptible leadership on both sides and the confused conditions of ground level combat.

The recut introduces an extensive voice over narration from Pacino's character which, while often seeking simply to clarify the narrative, goes a long way toward fortifying an overall Malickian sensibility. This is captured in the pastoral flow of the picture's imagery as well but the narration in particular achieves just the right tone to evoke and convey a dreamlike sense of third person remove, reflective if not ever exactly objective. The poetic phrasing of these ruminations is not at peak Malick level accomplishment for associative expansiveness but it does allow for and encourage an approach like that to the film itself. And it also has the effect of making the reappearances of Kinski's character more acceptable perhaps than they evidently were not for many critics at the time of the film's original release. Here, rather than just happening to conveniently appear at many random and far flung locations (though I actually have less of a problem with this on the face of it than some apparently do), she becomes an almost angelic figure (that's even explicitly stated as much in the narration) who represents the ideal of liberty pursued.

The problems I do have with the film are few really and mostly have to do with some of the moments of awkward humor or broad caricature; but even here the dreamlike sweeping tone of the picture, as more thoroughly established in this cut, accommodates these seeming deviations, situating the often comic caricatures of the British, for instance, as examples of their own kind of symbolic distance or disconnected remove, what we're led to think eventually lost them the war.

In the final analysis, it's a film that frustrates some as it's never quite as good as it seems like it could or should be and I guess that's indicated by the compromised history of the film, as admitted to by director Hudson himself. The Malick sweep enforced in this cut helps a lot to smooth over some of what must have been rocky scene transitions in the theatrical version but it can't quite save the handling of Kinski's final scene which is needlessly obscure, confused and confusing (part of this no doubt has to do with a romantic reunion ending which no one ever seemed sure about at all and is removed here). Perhaps Hudson's initial idea to produce this as a silent film would have been the right way to go (we get glimpses of what that might have been like in Pacino's performance); unfortunately, in modern Hollywood, then or now, actually realizing such an ambition would been as elusive as the ideal of liberty the characters flail for throughout.

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