54 / BD 23 A Blonde in Love

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Cash Flagg
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54 / BD 23 A Blonde in Love

#1 Post by Cash Flagg » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:52 pm

A Blonde in Love

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A subtle and beautifully observed social satire which maintains a remarkable balance between despair and hope, A Blonde in Love is widely regarded as one of the great films of the 60s.

This bittersweet romance from Miloš Forman, the multiple Oscar-winning director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, unfolds as a sweetly seductive film but also provides a wry critique of life under totalitarianism. Forman is able to distil universal truths from the simplest of situations and present them with a sharp yet compassionate eye.
A Blonde in Love remains a tender and beautifully observed story about the seemingly impossible odds of young romance and youthful aspiration under totalitarianism.

Aided by Miroslav Ondríček's wonderful camerawork, and with Ivan Passer (director of Intimate Lighting) as assistant director and co-scriptwriter, the pleasures to be gained here are immense.

Presented in an all-new digital restoration with remastered picture and sound.

Special Features
• Digitally remastered with newly restored picture and sound.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Booklet featuring a new appreciation by writer and film
historian Michael Brooke.

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antnield
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Re: A Blonde in Love (Forman, 1965)

#2 Post by antnield » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:11 pm

Cash Flagg wrote:A Blonde in Love (Loves of a Blonde)
Amazon wrote:Milos Forman s 1965 feature (Oscar-nominated as Best Foreign Language Film that year) is a bitter comic tale of a young Czech girl who falls in love with a musician after a one-night stand and follows him to Prague where she moves in with him and his disapproving parents, throwing all of their lives into chaos. A wry comedy that evolves from an implicit critique of government policy, corruption and ineptitude, A Blonde in Love is a tender and beautifully observed story about the impossible odds of young romance in Communist Czechoslovakia. It is also important as one of the first works of a world-renowned director, showing the beginnings of the style and pre-occupations prominent in many of Forman's subsequently acclaimed films including Fireman s Ball, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ragtime, The People vs Larry Flint and Amadeus.
Amazon pre-order, release date November 8th
Release date is now Jan 24th 2011.

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#3 Post by MichaelB » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:44 pm

I've just submitted the booklet text.

When I was doing a bit of digging into its tremendous box-office performance in Czechoslovakia (according to Forman, it was the second biggest hit ever at one point, and the figures seem to support this), I compiled a chart showing its domestic popularity in comparison with Forman's other films and all the other Czech titles that Second Run have released or announced:

A Blonde in Love - 2,255,858
The Firemen's Ball - 1,348,547
Marketa Lazarová - 1,251,048
Romeo, Juliet and Darkness - 1,202,677
Black Peter - 978,142
Larks on a String - 750,803
Morgiana - 595,959
The Cremator - 590,242
Audition/Talent Competition - 545,161
Intimate Lighting - 345,129
The Valley of the Bees - 329,671
The Ear - 272,785
Adelheid - 258,247
Daisies - 213,782
Valerie and her Week of Wonders - 196,923
The Party and the Guests - 86,124
Diamonds of the Night - 76,001

(The figures are ticket sales between the original release and 1995 - I imagine they wouldn't be that different today, unless any had a big theatrical reissue in the last fifteen years).

Interesting to see the very high placing for Romeo, Juliet and Darkness, which I always assumed was one of the more obscure titles in Second Run's catalogue - and also that Larks on a String was a solid hit despite not opening in public until 1990 (though My Sweet Little Village had become an all-time box-office champ not much earlier, with a whopping 4,428,556 admissions, so Jiří Menzel clearly had a substantial following). And it's amusing to see Diamonds of the Night at the bottom of the list, as it was officially registered as a box office hit on account of being sold abroad as part of a package containing far more lucrative titles - Czech Communist accounting regarded them as being equally successful even when they blatantly weren't.

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zedz
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#4 Post by zedz » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:15 pm

Interesting information Michael. Would The Ear's admits all be latter-day as well? Or did that enjoy a brief release at the time, before it was buried? I'm also curious about the release history of Party and the Guests now. Was it officially suppressed or otherwise kneecapped? Or just deeply uncommercial?

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#5 Post by MichaelB » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:35 pm

zedz wrote:Interesting information Michael. Would The Ear's admits all be latter-day as well? Or did that enjoy a brief release at the time, before it was buried? I'm also curious about the release history of Party and the Guests now. Was it officially suppressed or otherwise kneecapped? Or just deeply uncommercial?
Yes, The Ear would have been from 1990 as well: like Menzel's film, it was shelved on completion. As for The Party and the Guests, it was belatedly released in early 1968, some two years after it was made, but I imagine it was given pretty limited circulation as a very hot political potato - and the "deeply uncommercial" suggestion is almost certainly valid too.

I'd love to know more about its audience reception in Czechoslovakia, as it seems to me that totalitarian allegories made in totalitarian countries are just the sort of things that generally go down better internationally than at home. After all, if you actually lived in such a state, would you really pick that film as an enjoyable evening out? Especially given that the quality and quantity of Czech cinema during the Prague Spring would guarantee that there'd be loads of attractive alternatives?

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#6 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:40 pm

I now have a final production version hot off the press, so here are framegrabs.

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Bikey
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#7 Post by Bikey » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:50 am

Some nice reviews for this coming in - here's UK's Empire and Total Film.

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#8 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:10 am

...not to mention DVD Outsider's L.K. Weston - who, unlike the mags, actually seems to have had a copy of the finished product!

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Zinoviev
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#9 Post by Zinoviev » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:28 am

MichaelB, based on what you've seen, how would you compare the image quality and subtitles with the Criterion disc?

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#10 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:46 am

Visually, I'd definitely say it's better - here's evidence in the form of my grabs from the Second Run DVD and the DVD Beaver grabs that I deliberately copied. Crucially, I think there's been more cleanup - you can still see the tramlines that bedevilled the Criterion disc, indicating that both releases have a common source, but they're much fainter.

I can't comment on the subtitles because although I now have a copy of the final version, I haven't sat down to watch it yet - it's not really a major priority given that I saw quite enough of the film when writing the booklet! So I'm most familiar with an interim DVD-R version whose subtitles hadn't yet been signed off - but even with that in mind I don't recall any problems.

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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#11 Post by rs98762001 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:10 pm

Second Run's subtitles tend to be meticulous so I doubt there's any concern there.

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#12 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:25 pm

I can absolutely attest to this - Second Run's production budgets may be tiny compared with their rivals, but being meticulous over subtitles costs comparatively little, and it's one of their main selling points.

I can't wait for them to get round to the Skolimowski titles, as they've promised that whatever the masters are like, the subtitles will be a huge improvement on the Polish editions.

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Zinoviev
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#13 Post by Zinoviev » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:40 pm

Great news; thanks for the update. Can't wait to pick this one up.

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Bikey
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#14 Post by Bikey » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:27 am

Now live at our website

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#15 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:45 am

Glad you found a use for the Peter John Dyer piece - it's more about Peter and Pavla than A Blonde in Love, but it's well worth circulating.

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Bikey
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#16 Post by Bikey » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:58 am

Thanks Michael.
We wanted to use it somewhere and thought it would sit nicely on the site.

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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#17 Post by max_cherry » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:38 am

Well, the new DVDBeaver comparison gives Criterion upper hand over Second Run...

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#18 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:01 am

To be honest, there's very little in it - I think there's more visible damage on the Criterion, and the Beaver's screencaps bear this out. Just look at the tramlines in the first two pictures.

It's also worth highlighting that despite not apparently being a proper extra (surely that canard must have been laid to rest by now?), the booklet is twenty pages long and crammed with info. It contains pretty much everything from Forman's interview on the Criterion disc (usually in more detail), as well as lots of unique material about the film's release and reception - a mega-blockbuster in Czechoslovakia, a huge critical hit in Britain and America, a censorship cause célèbre in Australia and Argentina.

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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#19 Post by max_cherry » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:37 am

MichaelB wrote:To be honest, there's very little in it

Judging from grabs SecRun definitely softer, stretched horisontally a bit, and smth happened with whites (my english is poor enough to be more specific; whites are "busted"? anyway, look at 6th grabs - face of a girl with guitar). On the contrary - yes, SecRun booklet. For me, I prefer booklets to on-disc interviews/commentaries. But in this case - judging from grabs only - its' {better PQ} of Criterion vs. {booklet + lower price} of Second Run.

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manicsounds
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#20 Post by manicsounds » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:46 am

Looks like that "Stripe" that runs through the middle of the frame through the first half of the movie is still there....

Can you believe that I started to watch this DVD about 6 or 7 years ago, halfway though, fell asleep because it was so late at night, and up until now, have never finished it? The movie never ended for me, whether that is a good thing or not.

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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#21 Post by jbeall » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:10 pm

My copy shipped today, and I'm looking forward to re-watching (I first saw this about eight years ago). The image looks fine to me, but at this point I don't expect to ever see a Czech New Wave film fully restored.

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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#22 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:29 am


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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#23 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:24 am

The Arts Desk (with clip).
Subtitledonline.com
Daily Express - not much of a review, but they do at least give it four stars.

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MichaelB
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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#24 Post by MichaelB » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:10 pm


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Re: 54 A Blonde in Love

#25 Post by MichaelB » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:28 am

BBC Radio 4's The Film Programme.

The main bit starts at 15:05, reviewing Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (also made by a Czech in the mid-1960s), with the review of A Blonde in Love at 19:30.

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