248 Videodrome

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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cdnchris
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#51 Post by cdnchris » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:55 am


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MitchPerrywinkle
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#52 Post by MitchPerrywinkle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:32 pm

So I saw this for the first time about a month ago during a horror movie marathon with some friends, and though I had seen some of Cronenberg's other films ("The Fly" and "A History of Violence") I was still disturbed by this film. It's a strange film, and I'm not sure if it entirely works (it seems a little too abstract in places for it's own good), yet it bears a strong social critique beneath the gore and special effects. It's downright eerie how prophetic the film was twenty years before "Saw" and "Hostel" hit theaters and how people would dub them with the moniker of "Torture Porn". Cronenberg knew that our culture was very rapidly beginning to lose the distinction between sexuality and violence (much like the main character's distinction between reality and hallucination), and how both could be easily exploited by the media for money and power. Yet even when we 'rebel' against the system
SpoilerShow
as James Woods does near the end,
there's always someone else to take it's place. In the end, it may already be too late.

Overall, a highly intelligent social indictment of the media and how it influences our perception of reality. I might have to see it again in the future to determine if it's a masterpiece, but I'm certainly glad Criterion has it in their catalogue.

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manicsounds
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#53 Post by manicsounds » Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:57 am

Very glad they kept the Betamax looking case with the slipcase for the Blu-ray. It was one of the best packaging designs out there, and the lovely and disturbing menus are intact too.

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JesusoFmonteVideo
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#54 Post by JesusoFmonteVideo » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:50 am


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manicsounds
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#55 Post by manicsounds » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:02 am

Apparently, the Universal Europe edition of "Videodrome" has significantly more picture than the Criterion, making it look like the Criterion severely zoomed in for information.

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dwk
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#56 Post by dwk » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:21 pm

Way too much headroom in the Universal Europe release.

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stevewhamola
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#57 Post by stevewhamola » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:33 pm

I wouldn't discredit the Criterion entirely. CC's edition is advertised as a "restored high-definition digital transfer of the unrated version" approved by both director and cinematographer. And if the framing was wrong on the DVD, surely it would have been corrected on the Blu (ala Rushmore).

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mfunk9786
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#58 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:27 am

dwk wrote:Way too much headroom in the Universal Europe release.
This. Those stills look awful.

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tenia
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#59 Post by tenia » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:37 am

mfunk9786 wrote:
dwk wrote:Way too much headroom in the Universal Europe release.
This. Those stills look awful.
Clearly. Probably post-processes to death, as usual with Universal. I'm really afraid of what will be released from them newt year. They announced a marvelous year of tremendous restaurations, but if they can't handle properly a transfer, what's the point ?

Anyway, I still have an issue with the Criterion (which I don't own yet in HD) : comparing the CC VS Uni, the CC seems heavily cropped, but more than this, the cropping being not centered, the compositions seems now quite off-centered.

GG Pan
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#60 Post by GG Pan » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:58 am

colinr0380 wrote:I love that sense of there being a 'big event' occuring but that after such a scene there is an aftermath and that different people around 'the event' have experienced or witnessed the scene in different ways. It adds a sense of verisimillitude but also is an interesting way of showing how information about the event is expanding beyond the semi-public space of an exclusive, invitation only kind of event to the wider knowledge of the outside world - that very brief moment when a shocking event is still a relatively intimate experience and there is a world outside that is still relatively innocent of the knowledge of what has taken place.
This is something I've noticed more on my (many) repeat viewings of Videodrome. I find something darkly funny about it, that Barry Convex's gurgled screaming is still being picked up by the microphone & amplified by the auditorium speakers, and everyone in the lobby seems strangely uncurious about this gurgled shrieking, as if it's part of the trade show. :)

Repeat viewings have led me to find more of the humor in Cronenberg's films. I think you have to watch Videodrome 3 times before you can really pick up on the humor. The first viewing should be a totally immersive & unsettling mindfuck of an experience. The 2nd viewing is to watch the film with a different perspective and/or appreciate the craftsmanship & artistry of cast & crew.

And I haven't even mentioned the additional 2 viewings with the excellent audio commentaries. James Woods is a rare actor who can delivery a commentary as intelligent, observant & engaging as the director [too bad Debbie Harry's less perceptive comments are spliced in].

I LOVE this film.

black&huge
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#61 Post by black&huge » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:52 pm

Question: is the transfer outdated/could use an update? I am wanting to get this for the flash sale going on right now. Looked at the beaver comparison caps to the arrow blu which says and looks identical and i know the arrow has more features so which version should I get?

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dwk
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#62 Post by dwk » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:09 pm

Very few titles wouldn't benefit from a new 4K scan, but the transfer is fine. As for your second question, I think the Cronenberg commentary on the Criterion is of far more value than anything exclusive to the Arrow.

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Gregor Samsa
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#63 Post by Gregor Samsa » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:19 am

dwk wrote:Very few titles wouldn't benefit from a new 4K scan, but the transfer is fine. As for your second question, I think the Cronenberg commentary on the Criterion is of far more value than anything exclusive to the Arrow.
The Criterion commentaries are excellent, but the Arrow does have important extras in its own right like the deleted scenes from the TV version.

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dwk
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#64 Post by dwk » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:34 am

Guess I'd forgotten those scenes from the TV version. Still, I think I'd still prioritize Cronenberg's commentary over the deleted scenes. But that is just me.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 248 Videodrome

#65 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:55 pm

This film continues to grow on me considerably over time and I now see it as a kind of parent film to Assayas’ demonlover which obviously owes a lot to it. This lives in less of an intangible space of existential dread (which isn't saying much, considering that film dominates that title) and opts for more external manifestations as attempts to make tangible the anxiety of moral flexibility toward nihilism in the wake of globalization. The narrative doesn’t necessarily feel cohesive but its unpredictability and at times nonsensical threaded directions feel more and more in step with the idea of identity disintegration that comes with relieving oneself of values and convictions, and this is presented exceptionally well. The commentary on media as both an outlet to project our Freudian sexual and aggressive drives, as well as a weaponized influence of mind-controlled violence, is spoken about openly but the threat of this isn’t fleshed out to obnoxious levels and instead the film exists in murkier space of contradictory people, which could even be read as scratching at humanistic if they weren’t so aloof and given more space to emerge from their mysteries; but the “deviant” kinks are recognized without an overflow of camp and certainly not judgment (Debbie Harry's character in particular is one that is allowed to be complex in her nature, embracing the hypocrisy in mankind which I see as incredibly validating and humanistic, but her eccentricities and vague sense of self trump that reading and overshadows a very interesting character). In some ways this is the closest Cronenberg came to making a John Waters film. The exciting twist here is that in the overwhelming abundance of content, the absence of philosophy causes the characters to turn towards the only ones that exist: those of extreme sensations, philosophies of videodrome, psychosexual impulses of escapism through self-destruction; or on the other hand, an ironic desperation in manipulating and sabotaging the public as the only way of preventing the social apocalypse through nationalist global comparison.

The film not only validates cynicism specifically around cultural fear, but it’s lightweight and entertaining enough to welcome a nightmarish rollercoaster ride in safety (the opposite of the Assayas film), while remaining unsettling in giving few holds for the audience to grasp onto character, so we instead identify most with the atmospheric pressure which is weaponized to prompt us to confront our own philosophies. Though because these are vague and there isn't a forced position we are trapped in, we can choose our adventure to be one of admiration and awe rather than self-analysis, and the film works broadly enough on both levels to make an impact, even if not as piercing of one as other films that spark existential dissection verging on crisis. I'm not sure if this is a strength or not, but there's enough room for readings across that spectrum. And the idea of where women fit into this picture as objects, signifiers, guides, the independent variables that initiate change in the male or the dependent ones on which society controls (or both) is a whole other conversation I don't have a great handle on, aside from that - probably rather generous - reading of Harry's role.

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