Otto Preminger

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Drucker
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Otto Preminger

#126 Post by Drucker » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:00 am

Bonjour Tristesse will be appearing in a new 35 MM print at NYC Film Forum April 27-May 3

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Lars Von Truffaut
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Re: Otto Preminger

#127 Post by Lars Von Truffaut » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:36 am

That's great news. I've been hoping that Criterion puts out a Seberg Eclipse with "Bonjour Tristese", "Saint Joan", and the Chabrols. Probably a pipe dream, but one I'll hold on to.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Otto Preminger

#128 Post by Gregory » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Yes, in addition to Saint Joan being a Warner Archive title, Criterion seem unwilling to do star-centered Eclipse sets (if the first five years' worth of the series is any indication).

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med
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:58 pm

Re: Otto Preminger

#129 Post by med » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:56 pm

What about the Sabu set?

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Otto Preminger

#130 Post by Gregory » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:23 pm

Oops, even the exclamation point in the title didn't impress that set into my memory. It'd be more accurate to say they generally have shown very little interest in star-themed sets, except perhaps when they form an extremely cohesive group, as with the three Sabu/Kordas.

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Quot
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:11 am

Re: Otto Preminger

#131 Post by Quot » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:49 pm

reno dakota wrote:
domino harvey wrote:I was (and am) one of the few defenders of the other Preminger-rescued Lubitsch project, A Royal Scandal
I loved every moment of this one, and can't remember when I've laughed as much at such clever word-play, so it surprises me to hear that it has few defenders. Is it possible that it just has few viewers?
I know these comments are rather old, but I just saw this film and completely agree. It's a fantastic film, much more Lubitsch than Preminger, imo, and yes, one of the funniest films I've seen in a long, long time. Tallulah Bankhead and Charles Coburn were both marvelous in their roles, and the wordplay is indeed very cleverly crafted. I really don't understand why it gets bad rep (born out of the whole Lubitsch vs Preminger debate, I guess), but it is undeserved. Preminger did a fine job and yes, it "feels" like a Lubitsch film through and through. The more exposure this film gets, the more its critical standing will rise, I believe.

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Otto Preminger

#132 Post by knives » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:24 am

Prepping for the '50s list and was wondering if there is an OAR release of The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell?

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domino harvey
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Re: Otto Preminger

#133 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:27 am

knives wrote:Prepping for the '50s list and was wondering if there is an OAR release of The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell?
The (OOP) Republic DVD is close enough, full screen but letterboxed at something close to 'Scope

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knives
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Re: Otto Preminger

#134 Post by knives » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:33 am

Do you just mean non-anamorphic letterboxing or something else?

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domino harvey
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Re: Otto Preminger

#135 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:39 am

Yes, the ratio is letterboxed within the academy ratio screen but like for European VHS, with a black border on all sides and not quite the full 'Scope frame. It's a poor DVD, no doubt, but I've sat through way worse bootlegs (including another Preminger from this decade, Porgy and Bess, which makes Billy Mitchell's transfer look 2k!)

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knives
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Re: Otto Preminger

#136 Post by knives » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:45 am

I can certainly live with VHS styling so I'm glad on that. I'm surprised at all of the OOPs he has for the decade. By itself In Harm's Way is through the roof. I probably won't bother with Porgy and Bess yet since I believe the bootlegs are a slightly edited down version.

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knives
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Re: Otto Preminger

#137 Post by knives » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:50 am

I'm surprised at no Dom post on Hurry Sundown. The DVD is characteristically unhelpful in developing a critical outlook on the film, but I must say I found it to be a good movie at least in the context of Preminger's late period insanity. It's really weird to watch this in dual with Carmen Jones which in many respects is the more modern film. The film has some slight similarities to Ray's Wind Across the Everglades (which I'll cop to liking more than most), but it doesn't have a Plummer equivalent character and seems to daringly be letting the habitat speak for itself. As a social picture I don't think it works since it stylizes itself in the weirdest way to almost approach a magical realism through it's sheer artificiality. Despite the location shooting the film paints itself like the opening scene of Blue Velvet.

Going back to what I started with though, the treatment of the black characters in the film is basically a less sexualized version of Carmen Jones, but it gets weird with the white characters who have this Huston grotesque look to them with exaggerated accents approaching a sort of expressionism at times (in a early scene there's this ugly woman who looks like a set of triangles. It's almost like a reversal of usual stereotypes where the affluent white characters are primates while the black characters are average folk. The film certainly has racial problems to it, but not that usually attributed (insofar as I've read) and certainly not in a clear cut way. It's split somewhere between modern and old presentations that I'm not sure if I should be offended by. The movie's just weird.

It's also excessively beautiful. The use of colour here is as good as it gets with striking whites, beiges, and reds. There's this cleanliness to that scheme that gets ruined on occasion in such a manner as to completely shock. I hate to go back to it, but in a lot of ways this film is like a lost Nicholas Ray film. It's just the sort of majesty you expect.

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britcom68
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Re: Otto Preminger

#138 Post by britcom68 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:55 am

The Human Factor. Although the exemplar Fujiwara book details some of the making and response to Preminger's final film, The Human Factor, I just finished reading an odd little memoir that greatly helped my understanding of Preminger's casting of Nicol Williamon and the film's relationship to the source novel. John Baxter's "A Pound of Paper" comes close to being mere breezey fan-driven observations (and obsessions) of films and their source materials, however, Baxter does give some good insights into Greene's novel and its adaptation by Preminger, including interviewing booksellers about their responses to the novel and film. Baxter's memoir has a rambling structure to it, many repetitions, however it was also a useful casual reference guide to Australian cinema and especially Baxter's involvement promoting Sci-Fi to audiences in Australia.

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rockysds
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Re: Otto Preminger

#139 Post by rockysds » Wed May 29, 2013 11:27 am

German blu-rays of The Cardinal and The Human Factor getting released in September.

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david hare
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Re: Otto Preminger

#140 Post by david hare » Wed May 29, 2013 6:07 pm

Very sorely tempted by these, but I would probably wait for reviews. Certainly for quality, and AR in the case of Human Factor. The low price amortizes the super high postage rates for one.

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david hare
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The Cardinal Blu-ray (Germany)

#141 Post by david hare » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:51 pm

Svet has included this German Concorde BD of The Cardinal in his top non US/UK for 2013. He also mentions it's from a restoration and gives it a big tick.

That was enough for me to order pronto. It is - I say this without the slightest hint of embarrassment - a favorite Preminger. I also noticed while ordering there is a German BD of Prem's last film, The Human Factor. This must be the same source as a 720p HDTV DL I have and I can safely say it too is excellent. For the curious it's also in correct AR of 1.66. This is a both maligned and unseen work which really needs revaluation. I think it's a major Preminger and perhaps surprisingly to some a very moving work.

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Ovader
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Re: Otto Preminger

#142 Post by Ovader » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:42 am

Adrian Martin on Twitter provided a link of this blog of Preminger's Noirs.
This blog specifically focuses on the films noirs of Otto Preminger.

LAURA, FALLEN ANGEL, WHIRLPOOL, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS and ANGEL FACE will be presented in chronological order during the next weeks… and months. Entries will include script or sequence analysis, individual essays, lively “dialogues” between the two writers heading the project (Olivier Eyquem and Despina Veneti), and an assortment of documents (photos, screenshots, ads, links, etc. )

Friends of Film Noir, Enjoy!

Props55
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:55 am

Re: Otto Preminger

#143 Post by Props55 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:06 pm

Interesting that THE THIRTEENTH LETTER is still the odd man out in the "Preminger noir" canon. There must be a rights issue at play here (it's a French Canadian set remake of LE CORBEAU) and I've never been able to catch it in any venue. Can't recall it ever showing up in rep cinemas and it was never to my knowledge programmed on WTBS-Superstation 17 back in the Turner days or on the old American Movie Classics in the '90s. Has it ever been aired on Fox Movie Channel? I'm really curious to see Michael Rennie in the Pierre Fresney role and would love to compare the Montreal lensing with Hitch's I CONFESS as well as the overlay of Catholic guilt.

Anybody have any ideas or info? Paging Mr. Hare or Domino.

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david hare
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Re: Otto Preminger

#144 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:55 pm

Your post prompted me to revisit a certain backchannel. Sure enough there is a bad looking NTSC AVI of this, presumably from a dupe of a dupe VHS of unknown provenance.

Last time I checked this years ago it looked so dreadful from the screens I simply passed on it, hoping one day we would see a legit release.

No such luck. There is clearly a copyright wrangle with the authors of the Clouzot screenplay, as there was/is with both writer and producer (Nebenzal) of Losey's M. This is another case of worst imaginable quality AVI through the back channels (ditto Porgy and Bess, and there are even two of them, completely different in their many and various visual crimes.)

On other things, redressing an earlier post of mine, I do have the German Human Factor and it's an excellent disc. (And a great Preminger IMO). And the Cardinal arrived late yesterday so I will soon be able to confirm if Svet's recommendation was sound. I'm sure it is, as always.

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domino harvey
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Re: Otto Preminger

#145 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:59 pm

I bought my copy years ago via DVD-R from iOffer (in the days before belonging to a back channel site) and I don't remember the source of the rip but I'm pretty sure it looked better than what's up on That Site Which Shall Not Be Named. I think it's one of Preminger's weakest films, certainly of the noir cycle, but there's a nice virtuoso elaborate visual sequence set in a church that shows the master at play quite nicely

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david hare
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Re: Otto Preminger

#146 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:18 pm

Thx, I'll be able to watch it in an hour or so, but I simply cannot comprehend how Prem could keep most of the sex/abortion/corruption material of the original in anything like plain shape. I'm not expecting much to be frank but as you know I'm a Prem completist.

Now that Dave Kehr is working at MoMA as a curator, he at least knows everything worth knowing about "lost" titles like this and Losey's M and others and is perhaps now in apposition to program them or at least start cleaning away the cobwebs.

EDIT: Later, and trying to watch this transfer is like a form of torture. I don't think I can finish it, and I certainly can't get any feel from the PQ for Prem's mise-en-scene. Christ!

Props55
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:55 am

Re: Otto Preminger

#147 Post by Props55 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:17 pm

Thanks for the input (and eyestrain!) gents. The general consensus on this title seems to conform with Domino's take. And like you David I wonder how Preminger was able to work through the off limits thematic and narrative threads. This was likely the beginning of his active pursuit of controversial material (and Fox/Zanuck would still have been the go-to studio for such a project) and I'm betting the result prompted him to break out on his own that much sooner.

It's a pity there doesn't seem to be a decent source (even a used 16 non-theatrical would do) as I think this must have been his first realy foray into location shooting. Again, I'd love to see it in conjunction to I CONFESS. The points of comparison are so intrigueing.

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david hare
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Re: Otto Preminger

#148 Post by david hare » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:27 pm

Yes, Montreal looks potentially stunning from the Ferry boat scene once you see past the haze of interlacing, chroma, ghosting and horizontal broadcast to tape tearing.

Rennie is also a very interesting actor for the doctor, neither attractive nor fully unsympathetic, and he has the potential to carry the ambivalence of the role. But the screenplay just can't go far enough. And I do think Clouzot's choice of Pierre Fresnay is unmatchable, a perfect merger of attractive and sinister. For me Clouzot's treatment of this material and his tone is exactly right, and a Premingerian take on it isn't really working for me, at least with this adaptation.

Further to yesterday's delivery, alas it was not the Cardinal from amazon.de but three Mahler Symphonies with Addabo and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra from amazon.uk. I needed a really giant fix of Abbado after his death last week. These are stunning Blu Rays, not only for audio but the production and - dare one even say it in the context or recorded broadcast live concerts (from multiple performances presumably) these have the most opportune and totally riveting mise en scene . Every cut and travelling shot has a purpose which is clearly prompted by the score, and the cutting back to Abbado himself is beyond criticism. These are the best produced Classical BD's I've ever watched. The director of all the Lucerne series is Michael Beyer. .

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manicsounds
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Re: The Cardinal Blu Ray (Germany)

#149 Post by manicsounds » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:26 pm

david hare wrote:Svet has included this German Concorde BD of The Cardinal in his top non US/UK for 2013. He also mentions it's from a restoration and gives it a big tick.

That was enough for me to order pronto. It is - I say this without the slightest hint of embarrassment - a favorite Preminger. I also noticed while ordering there is a German BD of Prem's last film, The Human Factor. This must be the same source as a 720p HDTV DL I have and I can safely say it too is excellent. For the curious it's also in correct AR of 1.66. This is a both maligned and unseen work which really needs revaluation. I think it's a major Preminger and perhaps surprisingly to some a very moving work.
dvdbeaver review, says it's very weak.
Colors do look pretty washed out.

Stefan Andersson
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am

Re: Otto Preminger

#150 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:54 am

Torsten Kaiser, TLEFilms, Germany, supervised the Cardinal resto. He posted on the blu-ray.com forum:
THE CARDINAL has many, if not to say huge troubles stemming both from production/photochemical post production and condition of the existing materials. We did the very best we could with these elements in Picture and Sound.
For extensive info in English about the German resto of Cardinal, go here. Alternatively, go here.

At bottom of page, click on "To the restoration projects". New page opens. At bottom of this page, click on The Cardinal for technical info. Click on another title for info about that title (info about several other Preminger titles available, including enlightening info about screen ratio and framing of the Man With The Golden Arm. The first page about The Man With The Golden Arm includes a link to a separate page showing how the film has been framed and mis-framed for various TV and DVD purposes. You can find this link highlighted in the next to last line of the text on the first page).

More technical info, in German. Also includes technical info about The Man With The Golden Arm.

For more info about restoration, framing and mis-framing of The Man With The Golden Arm, scroll down for several posts by Torsten Kaiser.

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