1041 The Comfort of Strangers

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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Forrest Taft
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1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#1 Post by Forrest Taft » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:17 pm

The Comfort of Strangers

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Adapting the acclaimed novel by Ian McEwan, playwright and screenwriter Harold Pinter lends his trademark unnerving dialogue and air of creeping menace to this spellbinding study of power, control, and the frighteningly thin line between pleasure and pain. Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson are the prey, a beautiful British couple working on their relationship while on holiday in Venice; Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren are the hunters who draw them into the sinister web of their opulent, old-world palazzo. What plays out is an unsettling, sadomasochistic seduction imbued with an atmosphere of sumptuous dread by the elegantly gliding tracking shots of cinematographer Dante Spinotti, lush score by Angelo Badalamenti, and carefully controlled direction of Paul Schrader, who choreographs a mesmerizing pas de quatre of sustained erotic and emotional tension.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Dante Spinotti, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interviews with Spinotti, director Paul Schrader, actor Christopher Walken, and editor Bill Pankow
• Interviews from 1981 and 2001 with novelist Ian McEwan and actor Natasha Richardson
• Trailers
• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• PLUS: An essay by critic Maitland McDonagh

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DRW.mov
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Re: Criterion Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#2 Post by DRW.mov » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:21 pm

Forrest Taft wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:17 pm
Paul Schrader wrote on Facebook that Criterion is working on Comfort of Strangers. May be old news to some, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.
That’s news to me. If they use anything other than the original Klimt inspired artwork for the cover they’ll be making a huge mistake.

black&huge
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Re: Criterion Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#3 Post by black&huge » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:50 pm

Forrest Taft wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:17 pm
Paul Schrader wrote on Facebook that Criterion is working on Comfort of Strangers. May be old news to some, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.
I hope they double up and put it out with Light Sleeper

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Forrest Taft
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Re: Criterion Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#4 Post by Forrest Taft » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:02 pm

I doubt it. It was when someone asked about Light Sleeper that Schrader said they where working on Strangers. I recommend last years Oz release of Light Sleeper, btw. It was great seeing the movie again after all these years, it’s very good.

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Re: Forthcoming: the Comfort of Strangers

#5 Post by dda1996a » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:18 am

Light Sleeper is fantastic and is Schrader's best film alongside Mishima and American Gigolo. Might even the best of the bunch. Weird that of all his other films Criterion is going for Strangers. The Canyons needs love!

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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#6 Post by M Sanderson » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:25 am

Presumably they’re working on a fresh scan?

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DeprongMori
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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#7 Post by DeprongMori » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:06 pm

M Sanderson wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:25 am
Presumably they’re working on a fresh scan?
I’d guess they’d use the same HD source as BFI’s 2018 release of the film. It’s an excellent release, BTW.

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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#8 Post by M Sanderson » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:44 pm

it's acceptable

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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#9 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:19 pm

I'm in the middle of watching this on the Channel and I noticed some anomalies with regards to dialogue and other audio issues, and one weird point where the entire sound and dialogue between two scenes near each other are transposed. It doesn't feel like an issue with the Channel itself but the source, because I wasn't hearing any of the usual distortion or drop-outs that might happen otherwise.

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tachyonEvan
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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#10 Post by tachyonEvan » Wed May 13, 2020 1:16 pm

Courtesy of - who else - Schrader himself on Facebook - this will be coming from Criterion, "restored," in August.

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domino harvey
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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#11 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 13, 2020 1:22 pm

Vindication for me guessing this every month this year

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#12 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed May 13, 2020 6:33 pm

I'll be interested to see what kind of supplements they put together. Hoping for something on Harold Pinter

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swo17
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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#13 Post by swo17 » Wed May 13, 2020 6:35 pm

The most important question: Can they top the BFI cover?

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#14 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed May 13, 2020 6:53 pm

I forgot about the BFI version. And no they can't

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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#15 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat May 16, 2020 3:55 am

DeprongMori wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:06 pm
M Sanderson wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:25 am
Presumably they’re working on a fresh scan?
I’d guess they’d use the same HD source as BFI’s 2018 release of the film. It’s an excellent release, BTW.
Schrader mentioned on his Facebook that Criterion got the original negative while BFI didn’t, so the restoration will be from a different source, along with participation of Dante Spinotti.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#16 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed May 20, 2020 6:52 am

So what's the version on the Criterion Channel I saw?

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dwk
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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#17 Post by dwk » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:15 pm


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DarkImbecile
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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#18 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:17 pm

Would The Beaver of Strangers have been better or worse?

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Re: Forthcoming: The Comfort of Strangers

#19 Post by jsteffe » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:32 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:55 am
Schrader mentioned on his Facebook that Criterion got the original negative while BFI didn’t, so the restoration will be from a different source, along with participation of Dante Spinotti.
Based on the DVD Beaver captures, the difference is quite obvious! The new restoration is more luminous, and the faces stand out. In general the Criterion manages the highlights better.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#20 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:33 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:17 pm
Would The Beaver of Strangers have been better or worse?
The Comfort Beaver Strangers or Beaver Comfort of Strangers would have been the best.

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tenia
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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#21 Post by tenia » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:12 pm

Gary says it's 1.85 when it's 1.66, his unreliable caps make it hard to judge the grading, and for all I see here, I wondered which caps were the newer ones because the 1.66 ones look extremely soft and not really an upgrade.

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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#22 Post by tenia » Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:47 am

Blu-ray.com's review is up.
Svet's usual babbling aside (especially his bit about Hardcore and American Gigolo), it definitely looks weird to me, visually wise. Some of the caps don't look at all like a new 4K restoration, but with a thicker aspect more typical for older HD masters. And there is at least 1 cap with a worrying noise-y video-ish aspect.

Chris, when you get it, will you be able to state here what the element used for the restoration ? This doesn't look like the usual "artefacts" of using an IP or IN rather than the OCN either.

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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#23 Post by cdnchris » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:59 am

Yep, I'll relay the info when I get it.

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david hare
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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#24 Post by david hare » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:57 pm

Two points, before I actually see this. It was never never screened commercially in 1.66. Yet the transfer they have used from this 4K clearly comes from an already hard matted or scan level 1.66 masking made perhaps at some discretionary whim. I was perfectrly happy with the BFI frankly and the additional issues Rémy is seeing are worrying

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tenia
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Re: 1041 The Comfort of Strangers

#25 Post by tenia » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:51 pm

I can't say about the ratio because it might something Schrader originally wanted but couldn't at the time, and is now using the opportunity. Why not.
But those caps, from a texture perspective...
As I regularly remind, it's actually quite possible to relatively accurately guess a restoration workflow (including solely from caps), but if I had to guess on this one, I'd say older HD master, not 4k restoration (even less so from OCN).

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