The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.
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MichaelB
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#26 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:12 pm

I'd go for English, personally. Both tracks are dubbed, but English is a better match for the lip movements of the leads.

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knives
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#27 Post by knives » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:48 pm

Also if you're a native english speaker it is sometimes just easier to go with the english version of these films.

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dwk
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#28 Post by dwk » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:16 am

I'd say English is either preferable or acceptable for most of Argento's films. The one exception being The Stendhal Syndrome. Even though Asia Argento performed it in English, the actress that they used for English dub doesn't fit, so the film plays a lot better in Italian with Asia Argento's actual voice.

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Adam X
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#29 Post by Adam X » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:38 am

Personally, I almost always go with Italian (or whichever language is the film's country of origin); the exception being films that feature one or more significant characters being dubbed in English by the actual actor/s (eg the Leone/Eastwood westerns, Argento's Phenomena). The Italian dub is almost always of better quality, with regard to performance & nuance. Even when a number of giallo's are set in, or feature characters, from the UK/US, I still find it hard to get over the generally wooden-to-actrocious English dubs. Some prefer English due to having first seen them that way, but I don't have that attachment myself, and have no problem with occasional lip sync issues, as neither dub is the live audio.

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kindaikun
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#30 Post by kindaikun » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:16 am

I'd totally agree with Adam, I always watch my gialli in Italian. They just sound fake in English, maybe this doesn't bother you if English isn't your first language but it always bothers me. General rule of thumb for me is what language was the script written in originally and what language does the director speak. Doesn't always hold true but can be useful when in doubt. There are times when I'll want to hear a particular actors specific performance in their original language but even then, it's more of a novelty than anything else.

Finally got my set today, looking forward to diving in.
Shame it doesn't include the Kim Newman and Alan Jones commentary, I'll just have to hang onto my blue underground disc for that.

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Finch
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#31 Post by Finch » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:13 pm

I started with Italian, noticed that the dub didn't match with the US/UK leads' lips' movement, switched over to English, lasted for maybe three minutes before switching back to Italian.

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Feego
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#32 Post by Feego » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:17 pm

For most of the classic Argento films (70s to early 80s), I prefer the English tracks, if only because the lead actors, who were usually American or British, did their own dubbing. David Hemmings especially gives a great performance in Deep Red, and for my money it is essential to hear his voice if you understand English. The only one where I prefer the Italian track is Tenebre. Tony Franciosa is ok, but the actress who dubs for Daria Nicolodi on the English track (was it Theresa Russell?) is atrocious! I've also never been overly impressed with Jessica Harper's vocals in Suspiria.

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dwk
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#33 Post by dwk » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:25 pm

It was Theresa Russell.

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Petty Bourgeoisie
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:17 am

Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#34 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:49 am

So I've never seen this film and was considering getting the Arrow from Ebay before it's prices go into the stupid realm. Just for kicks I grabbed my Videohound Golden Movie Retriever guide and read the review. It was just a short paragraph but it completely managed to spoil the plot twist - Thanks Videohound!

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Banasa
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#35 Post by Banasa » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:07 am

Even when aware of the twist, its still a pretty solid film. Its a good way to step into his films if the idea of the sleazier or exploitation-y aspects of giallo bother you. The main highlight (which Arrow's write up on the back appropriately notes) is Vittorio Storaro who makes what initially looks like a low budget thriller seem much more rich. Its not off the wall bananas as his later films either, which is good or bad depending on your point of view.

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R0lf
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#36 Post by R0lf » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:07 pm

I wonder if Italian speakers find their version just as wooden and we're just exoticising these dubs?

One benefit I've had from some Italian dubs is that they pitch the music differently. If you switch between the dubs on LISA AND THE DEVIL the Italian is far more histrionic.

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MichaelB
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The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#37 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:07 am

R0lf wrote:I wonder if Italian speakers find their version just as wooden and we're just exoticising these dubs?
I'm a passable Italian speaker who typically samples each track and usually decides to go with the English. There's rarely any significant quality difference in terms of performance, and the lip-sync is often better.

I've also QCed a fair number of dual-language Italian genre films, which means having to listen to each track in full - and often twice apiece, if it's a dual-format release.

Although, that said, I do agree with Ian McCulloch that his Italian dubber gave a better performance than he did in Zombie Flesh Eaters.

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colinr0380
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#38 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:52 am

I've really enjoyed the extras on this one, particularly the interview with Kat Ellinger (nice to see the first volume of the Jess Franco book just out of focus but instantly recognisable on the shelf behind her!) and the audio essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas.

I'd perhaps not go quite as far as Ellinger does in describing the gender and sexual politics of Argento's films as being entirely about silly men, but I do think it that there is certainly an element of that and especially like the idea that there was a trend in Italian cinema of 'impotent men' at the time! (Though in addition to Mastroianni and La Dolce Vita I'd say that a lot of this sense of aimless wandering, semi-inquisitive ennui in the male characters stems from Antonioni too who seems to be a major influence on Argento, at least in the early giallo films). I think he's doing what any great director should and drawing in all sorts of elements to provide an evocative backdrop for his characters to inhabit (such as all the décor in the couple's apartment, including the slightly incongruous seeming Black Power poster!), and provide twists on the whole whodunit mystery, and that's where we get all sorts of (arguably) broad characters turning up in small but indelible roles. Lots of great, unforgettable faces appearing out of the dark in this film!

I'd agree about the absurdity of the enormous investigative computer being unable to glean the key piece of information about the potential identity of the murderer that might have helped the investigation! But, as well as being about silly male scientists (metaphorically blind, or at least dimmed, by wearing dark glasses inside!), it also feels like a very early premonition of the Argento theme of the failure of the 'rational' and 'logical' to even begin to comprehend the insane and/or compulsive actions of a murderer. That spins off into the fantastical, entirely supernatural witchcraft area seemingly with Daria Nicolodi's influence later on (Arguably Deep Red's murders are really kicked off by the actions of the psychic blundering uninvited into someone else's mind, and the investigator refusing to stop investigating, more than being carried out by the killer themselves! Also I think I've said it before, but when Udo Kier and the Professor companion are presented as the calm, logical voice of reason in that tiny five minute scene in Suspiria, then its obvious that the film's sidelined that 'explanatory' aspect almost entirely!), but then that logic/irrationality aspect really comes back in a major way in Phenomena where, as mentioned in the interview, all of the scientific aspects to discover a killer are sort of a McGuffin (and Donald Pleasance's 'laboratory' an almost alchemical place where perverse experiments are carried out. The whole psychic link between animals and humans is sort of that line where rational, somewhat detached, 'scientific' experimentation starts slipping over into supernatural inexplicability and wild speculative fictions. Also see that pseudo-scientific positing in Four Flies on Grey Velvet of the eye capturing the image of the last thing a person sees) to simply introduce a homicidal helper monkey, who will be the real hero of the film! So I think that those ideas are all in there too along with the noted gender elements.

To get into the art aspect of the Alexandra Heller-Nicholas piece, I've often thought that the central painting isn't just a reinterpretation of the Screaming Mimi statue, but also a kind of wilfully naïve and perverse interpretation of Bruegel's Hunters In The Snow (familiar from its usage Tarkovsky's Solaris and much later Lars von Trier's Melancholia)! That would maybe tie in with the thesis in the audio essay of depictions of art imposing on and getting reworked into new forms (maybe cruder forms) by those who interact with it.

I also liked the idea of art being an oppressive thing, especially if you think of architecture itself (such as the building in Inferno) as being its own kind of dangerous 3D art installation piece inside a landscape! Maybe the dangerous painting here anticipates all of the collapsing buildings in Argento's later works! Maybe being impotently trapped between the glass doors during the opening attack turns Sam Dalmas himself into a kind of exhibit in his own glass cage, decades before Tilda Swinton and David Blaine got there! (Which itself is interesting to contrast with all of the characters who ecstatically smash through panes of glass (Blade Runner-style!), usually at the moment of their death, in later Argento films)

Both those extra features also made me think that The Stendhal Syndrome itself is kind of another reworking of the basic premise of the Screaming Mimi story, in the sense that (like Tenebrae too) they deal with a horrible trauma that pretty quickly gets resolved, but its aftereffects still linger on to a even more devastating effect. And the attempt to escape through art, or try to rationalise or work through the trauma in some way, leads to almost a greater detachment from reality and into abstract, painterly poses (very Greenaway-esque in some ways!)

M Sanderson
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#39 Post by M Sanderson » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:26 am

I enjoyed the chance to experience the film in Italian.

I never liked in English the bellboy going "Mrs John-son, Mrs John-son!" Or was it Mr.

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Feego
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#40 Post by Feego » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:05 pm

One of the weird discrepancies between the English and Italian versions is in the scene in which Sam is asked if he can describe the man who chased him (Reggie Nalder). There is a quick flash to a close-up of Nalder's face, which would seem to indicate Sam is remembering him clearly. In the Italian version, he says he will never forget that face. But in the English version, he says he didn't get a good look at his face. Even more bizarre is that if you read Tony Musante's lips, he clearly mouths something closer to the Italian line, so the change was made specifically for the English dub.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#41 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:39 pm


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yoloswegmaster
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#42 Post by yoloswegmaster » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:22 am

Why would they bother to change the cover? The previous cover was miles better than the current one.

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Adam X
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#43 Post by Adam X » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:37 pm

An even more limited edition with a variant cover (original poster art) was announced last week. Selling very quickly if anyone wants it.

Endless variant covers were one of the things that helped burst the comic book bubble in the ‘90’s. Hopefully the industry isn’t wholly heading down that path as it shrinks. The popularity of slipcovers & steelbooks has been perplexing enough.

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swo17
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#44 Post by swo17 » Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:57 pm

I thought the Arte Originale version had already sold out. Where do you see it available?

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yoloswegmaster
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#45 Post by yoloswegmaster » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:13 am

It's available on the Grindhouse website, and it's available on Unobstructed View for Canadian customers only

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Adam X
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Re: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

#46 Post by Adam X » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:04 am

I actually thought it was still available at Arrow when I posted, but I guess not.

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