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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:06 pm 
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EddieLarkin wrote:
Also perplexing is the fact this is not available to buy on Amazon despite being out for such a short time. Posts on Blu-ray.com suggest that it may never have been available to buy from Amazon directly since the listing went up, even though it has a price and everything.


There has been issues with supplying at Lobster from the pressing manufacturer, and then, I understood they had other issues. That's why the product pages have been very long to be uploaded, and now, it seems Amazon don't hold stock for now.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:08 pm 
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I've seen Serge Bromberg in person with his great roadshow of stories, and music playing - and the the clip that I saw from Bowers was wonderful.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:11 pm 
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A frank assessment of the state of the restoration/release-to-home video tempo today, versus that of the last decade.

What a difference.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:12 pm 
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I completely agree with your post, especially regarding the American companies. When did Kino last release a silent of any kind not licensed from Murnau-Stiftung, and thus available in at least two other editions already?

But is MoC any better these days? Their output has become much less adventurous (by their former standards) in the last two years. Don't know whether this has anything to do with Nick's departure, perhaps not. Probably this is all a result not just of the lack of physical stores, but much more of the blu ray craze which makes people rather buy a film for the third time (after they had bought it already on VHS and later on dvd) than to actively seek out something unseen. And then they bash a label like Edition Filmmuseum if they release something like the Benning films, only because these don't look like the latest super-expensive restorations. We've seen these things here on this forum.

On a positive note, surprisingly it was Murnau-Stiftung which - in spite of the "Varieté" disaster - gave us a few unexpected and fine leftfield releases in the last two years: Zelnik's "Die Weber" (1927), Fanck's "Im Kampf mit dem Berge" (1921), or Wauer's "Richard Wagner" (1913). And of course Edition Filmmuseum still do their valiant and invaluable work with all those Lamprechts, Vertovs, Kalatzozovs etc. So at least in Germany things don't look that bad (and actually a bit better than some years ago). There are also such fine online projects like the EFG 1914 collection (containing a mindblowing resto of Grune's "Am Rande der Welt", for instance). But let's face it: these are all state-funded projects and releases where profit is secondary or no object at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:31 pm 
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Tommaso wrote:
I completely agree with your post, especially regarding the American companies. When did Kino last release a silent of any kind not licensed from Murnau-Stiftung, and thus available in at least two other editions already?

They've had a pretty good track record, relative to others. The Penalty, The Devil's Needle collection, and Les Vampires. (though, the latter with frame-rate issues I believe).

Also, Flicker Alley's output is noteworthy. Again, quantity-wise nothing special, but The Late Mathias Pascal is a great release that lives outside the typical cannon. This, in addition to their Sennett and Chaplin collections, and Nanook of the North.

Of course, 4 releases I can think of in ...well about 4 years...nothing to brag about.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:33 pm 
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*cough*


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:43 pm 
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Well said Tommy. I think the last time we saw a non FWMS resto from Kino may have been, what, the Les Vampires Blu or the Devils Needle & Other Tales of Vice and Redemption?

Yes, I did forget all about Edition Filmmuseum. I must check for the copy of Am Rande... fabbo film and with a great turn by Herr Schreck as a sinister agent.

EDIT: Yes, of course, and the sublimely brutal The Penalty, which I am determined to eventually do a commentary for.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:29 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Well said Tommy. I think the last time we saw a non FWMS resto from Kino may have been, what, the Les Vampires Blu or the Devils Needle & Other Tales of Vice and Redemption?

I think Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is their most recent non-FWMS restoration Blu-ray release, and Foolish Wives before that. The Max Linder Collection would be their most recent if they hadn't relegated it to DVD. Thankfully it came later in France direct from Lobster.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:38 pm 
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Drucker wrote:

They've had a pretty good track record, relative to others. The Penalty, The Devil's Needle collection, and Les Vampires. (though, the latter with frame-rate issues I believe).


"The Penalty" and "Les Vampires" have been available on dvd for many years before they got blu releases, and it was the lack of films NEW to home video that Schreck was talking about in his blog. "Mathias Pascal" from Flicker Alley indeed is a very fine release, yes.


swo17 wrote:


All right, a release that would never have happened without that kickstarter campaign. It will probably be very worthwhile, but the fact that this has to be audience-financed simply illustrates the problem that Schreck was talking about.

But perhaps indeed crowd-funding may become more and more at least some sort of a solution. I would be very glad to give Murnau-Stiftung a bit of my money in advance if they could set up even only something like Warner Archive to get out some of the masterpieces on which they're sitting.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Tommaso wrote:
There are also such fine online projects like the EFG 1914 collection (containing a mindblowing resto of Grune's "Am Rande der Welt", for instance).

Didn't know about this, thanks. Such a pity that there are so few English intertitled films in their collection though.

I'm sure most people here will know it, but the BFI Player has a very quirky collection of silents. They have specific collections centered around 1914, 1915 and Mitchell & Kenyon, along with other random assortments. It's such a pity that their site is so obscure to navigate (a filter where I can just select all silent fiction please) as - although I haven't come across anything masterful - there's some really fun stuff in there. I especially like the sci-fi they have: PIRATES OF 1920, the animated EVER BEEN HAD?, THE FUGITIVE FUTURIST, etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:39 pm 
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Drucker wrote:
Also, Flicker Alley's output is noteworthy. Again, quantity-wise nothing special, but The Late Mathias Pascal is a great release that lives outside the typical cannon. This, in addition to their Sennett and Chaplin collections, and Nanook of the North.
Of course, 4 releases I can think of in ...well about 4 years...nothing to brag about.
I agree that Flicker Alley's stuff is noteworthy, and they've released considerably more silents than that in the past four years. Of course some of it is DVD-only and some isn't brand new to home video, but I'd suggest it's plenty to get excited about in an otherwise bleak U.S. market for silents.

Tommaso wrote:
swo17 wrote:
All right, a release that would never have happened without that kickstarter campaign. It will probably be very worthwhile, but the fact that this has to be audience-financed simply illustrates the problem that Schreck was talking about.
But perhaps indeed crowd-funding may become more and more at least some sort of a solution. I would be very glad to give Murnau-Stiftung a bit of my money in advance if they could set up even only something like Warner Archive to get out some of the masterpieces on which they're sitting.
A more positive way of looking at it is that while there are certainly big problems in the post-DVD boom market, and it's probably difficult to sell even 1,000 copies of most silent releases that aren't big, familiar names/titles, here's a campaign in which over 400 people have shown that there's still strong niche interest in silents. They're either giving money to this effort without getting much back or are contributing at a higher level for something they won't receive until next year. And these particular films are, I think, generally pretty obscure, and more of cultural/scholarly interest than whatever artistic/cinephile merits they have. I'd think unavailable "arthouse" silents could generate at least as much interest as obviously culturally relevant but (as the Kickstarter itself puts it) "truly bizarre" stuff such as "Eleven P.M."
So while it's a very tough market because there are few people devoted to silents, and few in general willing to pay to own physical media, here's a way for those who do fall into that category to make something happen by paying something in advance. Overcoming the up-front financing problem can make a big difference for small labels. I hope Flicker Alley is paying attention to this and will use crowd-funding for something other than MOD discs.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 7:40 pm 
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What's the story with The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Has anyone heard anything on a restoration?


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 9:36 am 
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Got an email from Nasjonalbiblioteket (National Library) in Oslo and last week they released Pan (Harald Schwenzen, 1922) on DVD and with English subtitles.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 11:45 am 
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For anyone wanting a preview of Pan, its playing the SF Silent Film Festival on the 30th.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 1:17 pm 
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Wonder how many of these will end up on disc.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 4:56 pm 
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Quote:
During the next four years, the Studio will restore approximately 15 silent film titles from Universal's early years.


Is there mention anywhere of the actual titles they have chosen to 'restore'?


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 4:58 pm 
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List has not yet been finalized.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 6:48 pm 
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I hope that among them are some of John Ford's early Westerns, like Straight Shooting--although this already exists in a very fine print from, I believe, the LoC.

And doesn't Universal own (most of) the pre-'48 Paramounts? That would add a whole bunch of possibilities, although given that the occasion is the anniversary of Universal Pictures, perhaps they are concentrating on films originating at that studio.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:15 pm 
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Universal doesn't own Paramount's silents as they stayed with the studio and only sound films went with the TV package.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:37 pm 
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ah, that's right. bring on the Fords, then.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 7:48 pm 
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It seems kinda funny that we are having difficulty thinking of what 15 films Universal would possibly even do. Some of their best silent films seem to have ended up at Kino (Man Who Laughs, other Chaney films, Blind Husbands, etc) or elsewhere (Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback, etc). Did Kino/etc end up with the rights to these films or are they going PD-bandit (like they did/do with their various "Library of Congress" films - most of which should be owned by WB)? It just seems odd that so much of the early Universal catalog has ended up being released by non-Universal companies. I also wonder how quickly Universal will learn that they won't be earning much back on some of these restorations (if they put the Blu out themselves, which hopefully won't be the case and they'll license it out) - as it seems the major studios have tried dipping their toes in silent film on blu, but immediately canceled any future prospects (Paramount - Wings, WB - Big Parade).

Is there a list somewhere of Universal's silent output (that isn't lost)?


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 11:35 pm 
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Not sure about other titles, but The Man Who Laughs was licensed by Kino from Universal.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 9:46 am 
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Here's a list that goes through 1922 or so. Some great film titles in there, most of 'em lost no doubt: Custard's Last Stand, Oh! Tessie!, Should Waiters Marry?, Wild Lions and Ferocious Cheese, etc.

Universal wasn't really a major player until the MCA/Lew Wasserman era. In the silent era they were pretty minor. They made a lot of Westerns, most of 'em starring folks that only specialists would know about now (Harry Carey and Hoot Gibson are exceptions). Some of the directors—Ford, Wyler, Browning—are probably bigger marquee names now than the stars. It'll be interesting to see what they choose to restore; hopefully it won't just be the same chestnuts (Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cat and the Canary) that are already in wide circulation. A little set of Ford's extant Universal Westerns would be a logical place for them to begin.


Last edited by whaleallright on Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Just saw Murnau's Der letzte Mann at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival last night. The opening restoration credits notes a 2011/2012 2K scan. As Eureka MOC (and Kino) have been diligently releasing Murnau's films to Blu, I'm hoping this portends an impending release on Blu for this one.

Given the issues with the source materials, as expected there are still scratches, missing and damaged frames, but overall it looked wonderful. The new score performed by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra was a delight and received a standing ovation. I wouldn't mind a bit if this found its way to an alternate soundtrack on someone's release.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:05 pm 

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Image

The Assunta Spina DVD from Bologna is now available at Amazon.it. The disc features the 1993 restoration, plus two more Neapolitan melodramas from the 1912, Tempestuous Love (21 minutes) and The Fascination of Violence (13 minutes, starring Francesca Bertini). Some screenshots here.


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