43 Lord of the Flies

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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Martha
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43 Lord of the Flies

#1 Post by Martha » Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:07 pm

Lord of the Flies

[img]http://criterion_production.s3.amazonaws.com/release_images/116/lordoffiles_w128.jpg[/img]

Lord of the Flies is famed theater director Peter Brook’s daring translation of William Golding’s brilliant novel. The story of thirty English schoolboys stranded on an uncharted island at the start of the “next” war, Lord of the Flies is a seminal film of the New American Cinema and a fascinating anti-Hollywood experiment in location filmmaking. As the cast relived Golding’s frightening fable, Brook found the cinematic “evidence” of the author’s terrifying thesis: there is a beast in us all.

Disc Features

- New, pristine digital transfer, with fully restored image and sound
- Audio commentary by director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and cameraman/editor Gerald Feil
- Excerpts from the novel, read by author William Golding
- A deleted scene, with a reading by Golding and commentary
- Original theatrical trailer, with commentary
- Production scrapbook, home movies, and outtakes
- Excerpts from Gerald Feil’s 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showing Brook’s methods for creating theater
- English Subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Optimal image quality; RSDL dual-layer edition

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zedz
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#2 Post by zedz » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:05 am

The film is clunky in parts, but pretty effective, and far more experimental than I expected. The presentation on this disc is pretty impressive: lovely transfer, with a wealth of additional material. The feature commentary is detailed and really well orchestrated, with so much good material captured that the interviews overflow all over the disc, accompanying test footage and outtakes, a deleted scene, and even the film's trailer.

The commentary accompanying the latter relates a nice anecdote about the New York premiere. It has no relevance to the trailer, and I'm sure it would have been hidden away as an Easter Egg if the disc had been produced a year or two later. Overall, this is one of the most impressive packages of material assembled for an early Criterion disc.

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Gordon
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#3 Post by Gordon » Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:24 am

Lord of the Flies is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This new digital transfer was created from a 35mm answer print, made from the original negative. The sound was created from a 35mm optical audio track positive. This transfer was supervised by Gerald Feil. Telecine colorist: Chris Ryan/Nice Shoes, NYC; Telecine supervisor: Lee Kline
I always thought that this disc was anamorphic 1.66:1. I am not doubting the accuracy of the presentation; I am aware that films were still being composed in the 1.37:1 Academy aperture ratio for many years after the widescreen revolution. I also had convinced myself that this disc was OOP, so I was surprised to see today that it is still available! I have not seen this version of the novel, only the 1990 version.

The DVD Beaver review captures look beautiful.

The Australian (region 4, PAL) Australian (region 4, PAL) edition is presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic, though I have heard that it is generally inferior to the Criterion transfer. The Danish edition is also 1.66 anamorphic.

The extras on the Criterion sound amazing. It definitely appears to be one of the early great SEs that remains the definitive edition. Sold!

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Lino
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#4 Post by Lino » Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:27 am

You won't regret it. I have it for the longest time and still think it's one of the best DVDs on my collection.

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Gordon
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#5 Post by Gordon » Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:42 am

Annie, it really is a mystery as to why I neglected this Criterion title for so long, as I love Golding's story and it now strikes me as a terrific set with amazing once-in-a-lifetime supplements. Thanks for the recommendation!

Peter Brook made some amazing films. Moderato cantabile (1960), a noirish thriller starring Jeanne Moreau and Jean-Paul Belmondo has been in video limbo for eons.

His black and white 1971 version of King Lear is perhaps the best English language film version with magnificent performances by Paul Scofield as the King and Robert Lloyd as Edgar; it is long overdue on DVD. I'm not sure who owns the rights in the USA or UK. I believe that the VHS in the UK was from Columbia.

His 1979 film on the great Armenian mystic, G.I. Gurdjieff, Meetings with Remarkable Men, shot by ace cinematographer, Gil Taylor, based on Gurdjieff's book of the same name is a remarkable film and was released on DVD last year, but is not widely available. Order it HERE.

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Lino
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#6 Post by Lino » Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:51 am

Gordon wrote:His 1979 film on the great Armenian mystic, G.I. Gurdjieff, Meetings with Remarkable Men, shot by ace cinematographer, Gil Taylor, based on Gurdjieff's book of the same name is a remarkable film and was released on DVD last year, but is not widely available. Order it HERE.
Wow! If it wasn't for you I never would have known that it was available on DVD. I've been wanting to see it for ages and now you've found me yet another reason to spend money...

If you're on a serious Peter Brook phase, be sure to check his Marat/Sade which is available on DVD albeit on a somewhat poor MGM edition. I have it and I personally think that it is a very bold and daring piece of work that every Brook curious/enthusiast should eventually check out. I watch it once in a while and it's always fascinating. Watch the trailer here

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Gordon
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#7 Post by Gordon » Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:14 pm

Ah, I love when I can reveal that a DVD of a hard to find film is available!

Marat/Sade is a unique film experience. Such a shame that MGM now own the rights and that they put it out in a non-anamorphic transfer. Patrick Magee is always a joy to watch. A UK edition has yet to appear, so we may see a superior edition at some point.

I'll post my thoughts on Lord of the Flies in due course.

Cheers.

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Matt
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#9 Post by Matt » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:58 pm

Elvenraad wrote:Are there any noticeable differences between the regular Criterion release and the Essential Art House release?
The Criterion version has these special features:

• Audio commentary by director Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and cameraman/editor Gerald Feil
• Excerpts from the novel, read by author William Golding
• A deleted scene, with a reading by Golding and commentary
• Original theatrical trailer, with commentary
• Production scrapbook, home movies, and outtakes
• Excerpts from Gerald Feil’s 1972 documentary The Empty Space, showing Brook’s methods for creating theater

The Essential Art House does not. I can't say for sure, but the transfers are probably identical.

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zedz
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#10 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:18 pm

Further to Matt's info, this disc offers one of Criterion's best all-round packages of extras from the early years, so I'd be reluctant to recommend the bare-bones version.

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knives
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#11 Post by knives » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:10 am

This is one where art house is definitely not the go to, Pygmalion and The Hidden Fortress though...

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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#12 Post by Tribe » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:04 pm

In Unpublished Memoir, ‘Lord of the Flies’ Author Is Said to Have Admitted Rape Attempt
In his bestselling novel “Lord of the Flies,” William Golding vividly reminded readers of the primal side of man that lurks beneath his civilized demeanor. The Nobel Prize-winning author was apparently no stranger to barbaric behavior: in an unpublished memoir composed for his wife, Mr. Golding wrote that he tried to rape a 15-year-old girl when he was a young man, The Times of London reported. The account of the incident written by Mr. Golding, who died in 1993, was discovered by John Carey, the chief book reviewer of The Sunday Times of London and an emeritus professor of English literature at Oxford University, who is the author of a coming biography, “William Golding: The Man Who Wrote ‘Lord of the Flies,’” and who had access to Mr. Golding’s archives. In the unpublished memoir, called “Men, Women & Now,” Mr. Golding wrote that he had tried to rape a friend, whom he calls Dora, after he returned home at age 18 from his first year at Oxford. Mr. Golding also wrote that as a schoolteacher, he would pit his pupils against each other in “Lord of the Flies”-like experiments, to see what happened when he gave them more freedom. The novel, about a group of schoolboys who revert to savagery while stranded on a deserted island, was published in 1954.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#13 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:31 pm

Dang. I've still never gotten around to seeing this movie! :oops:

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aox
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#14 Post by aox » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:23 pm

I still haven't either. I did see the one from 1990 when I was younger, and even then, I didn't think it was that good. I don't recall exactly, but I thought I read that the one from 1990 made one group more sympathetic as opposed to the 1960s version (the one Criterion has provided).

As for the rape.... well, that ain't cool.

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knives
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#15 Post by knives » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:38 pm

Synching problems aside it is a very intense good movie. Some moments I would describe as frightening even. One of the more hidden gems in the collection.

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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#16 Post by cdnchris » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:46 pm

Hasn't everyone seen this movie in school? I swear I was shown this one at least 5 times throughout my whole academic career. Thankfully it's an excellent film.

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Tommaso
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#17 Post by Tommaso » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:05 pm

Man, I wasn't even aware that this disc was in the Collection :oops:

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Mr Sausage
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#18 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:14 pm

cdnchris wrote:Hasn't everyone seen this movie in school? I swear I was shown this one at least 5 times throughout my whole academic career. Thankfully it's an excellent film.
They show the colour remake these days, or at least they did in my highschool. They also made us read the book in grade 11 English, mostly because even a complete blockhead can figure out what it means.

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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#19 Post by Tribe » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:29 pm

Then darn it, it's high time y'all saw this...it's actually quite good...Peter Brook does his best to make Puerto Rico look like an uninhabited island...and the news release regarding Golding's efforts to create "Lord of the Flies"-like experiments in class certainly brings some immediacy to the story which Brook appears to capture quite well. If I recall correctly this may have been one of my first Criterions.

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Saturnome
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#20 Post by Saturnome » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:38 pm

I first heard about the book/movie when looking into the Criterion catalogue. I made the link with that Simpsons episode. Movies I saw in school were Dante's Peak, Alive (1993 film),Erin Brockovich, Jurrassic Park II, Breakfast Club, The Mask, Aladdin, a lot of Jesus flicks and many years later 12 Angry Men (philosophy class).

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Murdoch
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#21 Post by Murdoch » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:41 pm

Saturnome wrote:I first heard about the book/movie when looking into the Criterion catalogue. I made the link with that Simpsons episode. Movies I saw in school were Dante's Peak, Alive (1993 film),Erin Brockovich, Jurrassic Park II, Breakfast Club, The Mask, Aladdin, a lot of Jesus flicks and many years later 12 Angry Men (philosophy class).
I must have watched Apollo 13 in every grade, Stand and Deliver was another fave of my teachers. Off-topic!

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cdnchris
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#22 Post by cdnchris » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:14 pm

Mr_sausage wrote:They show the colour remake these days, or at least they did in my highschool. They also made us read the book in grade 11 English, mostly because even a complete blockhead can figure out what it means.
I remember our one teacher refused to show the remake when questioned about it. Also had to watch it in an art class, a media class (not sure why,) and a geography class (I swear all we did was watch movies in that class -- my brother told me when he was in that class years later, same teacher, they watched the last half of The Usual Suspects just because the guy didn't finish watching it the night before. I miss high school.)

I certainly didn't mind it, though. I love the film and I was happy when it was released on DVD, through Criterion no less. I forgot about the synch issues but the rest of the release is good.

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brendanjc
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#23 Post by brendanjc » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:17 pm

cdnchris wrote:Hasn't everyone seen this movie in school? I swear I was shown this one at least 5 times throughout my whole academic career. Thankfully it's an excellent film.
They showed Walkabout one time in junior high. Of course the teacher had to fast forward through all the nudity. I, too, saw only the 90's remake of this film in school.

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Venom
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#24 Post by Venom » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:42 am

Mr_sausage wrote:
cdnchris wrote:Hasn't everyone seen this movie in school? I swear I was shown this one at least 5 times throughout my whole academic career. Thankfully it's an excellent film.
They show the colour remake these days, or at least they did in my highschool. They also made us read the book in grade 11 English, mostly because even a complete blockhead can figure out what it means.
I saw this one in high school, the 1990 one I saw outside. That same year I saw Pygmalion too and, although this one's not in the Collection, the Roman Polanski Macbeth.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: 43 Lord of the Flies

#25 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:23 am

Venom wrote:
Mr_sausage wrote:
cdnchris wrote:Hasn't everyone seen this movie in school? I swear I was shown this one at least 5 times throughout my whole academic career. Thankfully it's an excellent film.
They show the colour remake these days, or at least they did in my highschool. They also made us read the book in grade 11 English, mostly because even a complete blockhead can figure out what it means.
I saw this one in high school, the 1990 one I saw outside. That same year I saw Pygmalion too and, although this one's not in the Collection, the Roman Polanski Macbeth.
Was shown Polanski's MacBeth for grade 11 English class to go along with (well, replace, since most couldn't parse Shakespeare's language) our reading of the play. The bit with all the naked hags didn't go over well.

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