470 Wise Blood

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kinjitsu
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470 Wise Blood

#1 Post by kinjitsu » Fri May 30, 2008 6:38 am

Wise Blood

[img]http://criterion_production.s3.amazonaws.com/release_images/2101/470_box_348x490_w100.jpg[/img]

In this acclaimed adaptation of the first novel by legendary Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, John Huston brings to life a world of vivid, poetic American eccentricity. Brad Dourif, in an impassioned performance, is Hazel Motes, who, fresh out of the army, attempts to open the first Church Without Christ in the small town of Taulkinham. Populated with inspired performances that seem to spring right from O’Connor’s pages, Huston’s Wise Blood is an incisive portrait of spirituality and evangelicalism, as well as a faithful, loving evocation of one writer’s vision.

Disc Features

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- New interviews with actor Brad Dourif, writer Benedict Fitzgerald, and writer-producer Michael Fitzgerald
- Rare archival audio recording of author Flannery O’Connor reading her short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find
- Creativity with Bill Moyers: John Huston, a 28-minute television program from 1982 in which the director discusses his life and work
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Francine Prose

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skuhn8
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Re: Wise Blood (John Huston, 1979)

#2 Post by skuhn8 » Fri May 30, 2008 6:48 am

Michael wrote:I have not seen Wise Blood yet but I am tivo-ing it right now. It's playing on the Movie Channel and before it started, I noticed the Janus logo. Future Criterion release?

What I don't understand is how The Dead - an impossibly luminous masterpiece - is not available on DVD anywhere. To CC folks, please consider making it our family.
Supposedly a very good DVD of The Dead in the UK. They even have the sequal out on DVD at a great price.

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Michael
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#3 Post by Michael » Fri May 30, 2008 6:58 am

Thanks! I just looked it up on xploitedcinema.com to see if they carry it. There's also DVD from Spain. But still.. I think it'd make a perfect home in the CC.

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justeleblanc
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#4 Post by justeleblanc » Fri May 30, 2008 11:19 am

This has already been confirmed as a future Criterion release. It's making its rounds on television.

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Matt
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#5 Post by Matt » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:59 pm

Announced: 12 May 2009

Details in first post.

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domino harvey
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#6 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:46 pm

And this is upper-tier priced why?

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#7 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:41 pm

Because it includes the words of a writer named Francine Prose. Just wait until John Novelist tapes a video intro-- the price points will jump like a needle on a turntable.

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david hare
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#8 Post by david hare » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:39 am

I couldn't believe it either. At that price I want BluRay and the reveries of Hubert Wax-Lyrical.

At least the movie is a great one. Now if only someone could re-issue Fat City.

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Antoine Doinel
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#9 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:18 am

I'm guessing the literary equivalent of "sync rights" (the exact terminology for the rights of published works used as a basis for a film is escaping me right now) for O'Connor's novel probably cost a pretty penny hence the upper tier price.

richast2
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#10 Post by richast2 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:40 am

Brad Dourif is a crazy, crazy man. That just needed to be said somewhere in this thread.

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Michael
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#11 Post by Michael » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:21 am

For those of you who have seen Wise Blood, what do you think of it?

It's still playing many times on cable. I watched it twice and still don't know what to make of it. Flannery O'Connor is my #1 favorite American writer and I read everything she wrote. Wise Blood is a fantastic novel. I didn't get from Huston's vision the same vibe I get from Flannery's book. The book is a lot more visual - the pink glow of the diner, a lonely gorilla in the middle of somewhere, etc. but the film still weaves in the book's decaying coldness and the grotesque beauty of certain characters, esp. the obese whore who could make home easily in Gummo.

I'm now reading Flannery, a biography by Brad Gooch out today. Terrific so far.

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dr. calamari
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#12 Post by dr. calamari » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:09 pm

I couldn't believe it either. At that price I want BluRay and the reveries of Hubert Wax-Lyrical.
Unfortunately, Hubert Wax-Lyrical has priced himself out of the market...Smedley Tedious-Exposition and Vanessa Belaboring-The-Obvious can still be gotten at current prices, but only if you commit within the next few hours. Their agents are waiting anxiously by the telephone...don't delay.

drakula
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#13 Post by drakula » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:20 pm

I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I really think the film misunderstands the tone of Flannery O'Connor's novel. Huston made the film satirical, but I thought O'Connor was being fairly unironic, and that accounted for the best (and most disturbing) passages in the book - like the museum and the gorilla. There was so much danger and menace in the lunacy it presented. Huston, on the other hand, treated these parts of the film, and even Brad Dourif's 'malaise,' as pure comedy, turning it into another film with kooky Southern characters.

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Binker
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#14 Post by Binker » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:36 pm

Michael wrote:For those of you who have seen Wise Blood, what do you think of it?
It didn't do much for me. Fat City either. I watched them pretty much back to back, so they're linked for me. I respect the performances Huston is able to draw out, and I suppose there's something to be said for employing stark realism in the depiction of poverty and all the depression, anger, ignorance, pain and ideological confusion that goes along with it, but neither film drew me in on any emotional or intellectual level. They're both such humorless and utterly serious films and the characters within them are just brutal to observe, not because they're so spectacularly evil or stupid, but precisely because they aren't. The films are portraits of quietly dumb people destroying themselves. (needless to say I didn't find Wise Blood at all funny)

Definitely (in Wise Blood's case) a different vibe from the novel, which I agree is cold in a different way.

karmajuice
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#15 Post by karmajuice » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:38 pm

Having lived in the South for the vast majority of my life, I can verify that Southerners are, in fact, frequently kooky.

For whatever that's worth.

(I haven't read the book or seen the film, but maybe misunderstands is more a matter of reinterprets -- whether that's a good interpretation or not, that's another matter.)

drakula
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#16 Post by drakula » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:02 pm

karmajuice wrote:(I haven't read the book or seen the film, but maybe misunderstands is more a matter of reinterprets -- whether that's a good interpretation or not, that's another matter.)
That might be true. I've never lived in the South, but do we really need another movie that presents Southerners as plain idiots? (Okay, that was rhetoric)

ezmbmh
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#17 Post by ezmbmh » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:11 pm

drakula wrote:I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I really think the film misunderstands the tone of Flannery O'Connor's novel. Huston made the film satirical, but I thought O'Connor was being fairly unironic, and that accounted for the best (and most disturbing) passages in the book - like the museum and the gorilla. There was so much danger and menace in the lunacy it presented. Huston, on the other hand, treated these parts of the film, and even Brad Dourif's 'malaise,' as pure comedy, turning it into another film with kooky Southern characters.
I disagree entirely. I'm pretty familiar with both the book and the film and I think you're understating the humor in O'Connor and missing the seriousness in Huston. O'Connor's genius lies partly in how she can do both--be utterly serious while making you guffaw along the way. I've always been impressed with how Huston captures this in the film, and the absolutely terrific performances from Dourif, Stanton, Amy Wright manage to be both funny and convey the weird desperate need they all have for some kind of legitimacy--status for Stanton, family for Wright, sainthood for Dourif.

And I can't see--sorry--how you can eliminate irony from anything Flannery O'Connor ever wrote. If you mean irony = sarcasm, yes, but central to her whole approach was that we're all of us buffoons, slapsticking our way, some to grace and some to earthly damnation. I think this may be Huston's best late film (with The Dead) and that he manages to convey the essentials of the book better than just about any adaptation I can think of.

On the other hand, if anybody can explain Prizzi's Honor to me, I'd be grateful

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Cronenfly
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#18 Post by Cronenfly » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:04 pm

For anyone (like me) who's pissed at this being an upper-tier/don't want to wait to see the movie until May, the R2 Second Sight release (which, according to John Hodson, has a transfer based off the same Janus print the CC almost surely will be from) is 11.98 (less VAT) at Amazon UK right now, which is an even better price when the GBP's relatively poor standing is considered. It loses the Huston interview, the O'Connor reading, and the Prose essay, but gains Amy Wright as an interviewee (unless her name was accidentally left off of the CC listing). And though I'm not sure how Dourif's voice will adjust to PAL speedup, by god I'm willing to find out.

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Cronenfly
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#19 Post by Cronenfly » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:05 pm

Beaver comparison between the CC and the Second Sight, the latter of which I don't regret buying one bit, especially seeing as the interviews have been shortened (or excised, in the case of Amy Wright's) on the CC, not to mention the fact that image quality looks virtually identical between the two.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#20 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:14 pm

richast2 wrote:Brad Dourif is a crazy, crazy man. That just needed to be said somewhere in this thread.
Yea, he pretty much got that across to me in flying spades in Exorcist 3.
Cronenfly wrote:Beaver comparison between the CC and the Second Sight, the latter of which I don't regret buying one bit, especially seeing as the interviews have been shortened (or excised, in the case of Amy Wright's) on the CC...

I think this chopping apart of extras is their most unfortunate practice. I really regret most of all when they bust up Cineastes Notre Temps episodes.

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cdnchris
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#21 Post by cdnchris » Wed May 06, 2009 1:17 pm


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tenia
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#22 Post by tenia » Wed May 06, 2009 3:15 pm

Is the master the same than the Carlotta edition released a year ago ?

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Finch
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#23 Post by Finch » Wed May 06, 2009 4:36 pm

Chris thanks for the review which was a very good read but one question about the "mild recommendation": is this solely due to what you consider a rather steep price for what's on offer (even if the extras that they do offer appear to be excellent) or that the film itself didn't get an outright rave (my understanding of your take on the film was that you think it good though not great?) or a combination of both?

I would certainly agree that 40 dollars seems excessive given that they have shortened the interviews and that another extra is a recording of the short story. I'm not keen on those features and while I'm not the biggest fan of audio commentaries either, in this instance I'd have gladly swapped the recording for a commentary by Dourif and/or other cast and crew members.

I haven't seen it myself but was always going to blind buy this, especially now that the transfer and the (few) extras have gotten high marks. The Criterion will cost me more than the Second Sight but I still want their booklet and their package is more attractive (though SS have picked a cool cover as well).

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cdnchris
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#24 Post by cdnchris » Wed May 06, 2009 5:04 pm

It's based more on price/value than anything else. I loved the film, actually, but do admit I was caught a little off guard by it because I actually wasn't expecting something so funny and, well, strange. I'm still thinking about it and want to watch it again. Dourif was amazing (though I don't think he has to work hard to look crazy) as was everyone else.

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Finch
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Re: 470 Wise Blood

#25 Post by Finch » Wed May 06, 2009 5:20 pm

Thanks for the feedback Chris. You've also stoked my expectations for the film further. This could end up getting my vote for the most pleasant surprise of the year (like last year's May release of The Furies, not the best Mann as such but certainly my personal favourite).

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