44 The Red Shoes

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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Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#151 Post by Finch » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:14 pm

My other half and I just finished watching the Blu-Ray on our 50 inch plasma and damn if it isn't one of the most-beautiful looking restaurations ever. We sat there absolutely gobsmacked. If City Girl is the demo disc for b/w and especially silents, Red Shoes is it for colour. We can hardly wait to watch Black Narcissus tomorrow or the day after. This was certainly a screening we've cherished. Deservedly one of CC's top-sellers.

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Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#152 Post by Michael » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:35 am

Mr Finch wrote:My other half and I just finished watching the Blu-Ray on our 50 inch plasma and damn if it isn't one of the most-beautiful looking restaurations ever. We sat there absolutely gobsmacked. If City Girl is the demo disc for b/w and especially silents, Red Shoes is it for colour. We can hardly wait to watch Black Narcissus tomorrow or the day after. This was certainly a screening we've cherished. Deservedly one of CC's top-sellers.
The Blu of The Red Shoes easily blows away the rest of my collection of Criterions to dust. I have never seen the film on the big screen but watching the new Blu the other night spoiled me with one of the most mindblowing, unforgettable movie viewings of my lifetime.

inneyp
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:10 pm

Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#153 Post by inneyp » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:05 pm

My blu isn't working. The little C appears in the corner, but the menu fails to load. Anyone experiencing something similar?

JMULL222
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:58 pm

Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#154 Post by JMULL222 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:14 pm

Yep. Criterion told me to update the firmware but my Blu Ray player is connected to the internet so I geuss I'm just fucked. Gotta love technology.

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Highway 61
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:40 pm

Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#155 Post by Highway 61 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:23 pm

Check to make see if your player's manufacturer allows you to download the firmware from their website and burn it to a disc, which can then be run in the player to update. When I've done this, it seemed more stable than updating directly from the internet.

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Anthony
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:38 pm
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#156 Post by Anthony » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:01 pm

It took my Blu player a long time to load this disc (I think about 2 minutes). I've never seen my player take over a minute to load a BD before. I think there is just a lot of data on the disc, because once it loaded, the main menu was acting sluggish for the first few seconds. Then everything worked fine.
Last edited by Anthony on Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Oedipax
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:48 am
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#157 Post by Oedipax » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:56 pm

Worked fine for me using Momitsu BDP899 firmware on a Curtis Mathes clone player (whatever version came prior to the latest region-limiting official Momitsu firmware).

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Feego
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#158 Post by Feego » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:00 am

Mine took a long time to load as well, but once it did, everything worked fine. I've watched it THREE times! :oops:

By the way, Gary Tooze wrote this at DVD Beaver:
One other note, while I remember, - this Criterion took the longest of any Blu-ray I own to load on my Oppo Digital BDP-83. It didn't require a firmware update so I have no idea why.

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Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#159 Post by Finch » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:22 pm

My copy took longer to load than all other BDs as well but close to a minute instead of 2 mins. Might depend on how fast your BD player generally loads discs.

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James43
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#160 Post by James43 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:52 pm

My latest Criterion BD's all took longer to load than before but worked fine in the end on my Panasonic BD80. Meanwhile, the new transfer of "The red shoes" is mind-boggling... would love to see the restored version in a theater.

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Norbie
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#161 Post by Norbie » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:31 pm

Is it only me or did anyone else find the interviewer, that interviewed Schoonmaker at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, really annoying? It was supposed to be an interview about "The Red Shoes" and not how hard it is for women in the film industry. I'm sure there are better questions about "The Red Shoes" that the interviewer asked.

Bloody annoying i say! ](*,) Or i could be overreacting? :-k

Jonathan S
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#162 Post by Jonathan S » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:51 am

I don't know if this has been mentioned in commentaries or essays on The Red Shoes, but I noticed the film is slyly referenced in Losey's remake of M. In an early scene, a man is seen roughly dragging a protesting young girl out of what appears to be a cinema foyer. The man is punched by another, and hit repeatedly by a woman with her handbag, who both think he must be the child kidnapper/murderer, then the girl rushes to protect him, revealing he is her father. At an angle, in the distant background to all this, can be seen posters for The Red Shoes. (It isn't clear but my guess is that dad was taking his budding ballerina - who shouts "I don't want to go" - out of the film before it finished!)

The choice of film is no accident, for in Losey's version the murderer is a shoe fetishist who keeps the footwear of the children he has killed. Even the colour referenced is probably deliberate, as in the very next scene two witnesses argue about the colour of a child's dress (like the previous scene, this is adapted from Lang's original). When the woman insists it was red, the man (who says it was blue) exclaims, "What are you - a communist!?" and the woman gasps at the insult. This helps to suggest a parallel between the anti-communist witch-hunt of the period and the mob attacks on the innocent we saw in the previous scene. (In his interview on the Criterion edition of Lang's M, Harold Nebenzal claims "Losey managed to bring in a communist cell" of collaborators to work on the remake. Apparently, this was well-known even at the time as he also recalls the American Legion's anti-communist protests at the premiere, causing Columbia to withdraw the film quickly in the US and effectively ending his father's career.)

According to imdb, The Red Shoes was reissued in the US in October 1951, six months after the premiere of Losey's M. I wonder how it fared, given the primary connotation of "Red" in America by then!

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A man stayed-put
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:21 am

Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#163 Post by A man stayed-put » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:10 am

I’ve been an avid reader of this forum for some time as I find it an invaluable source for (mostly) informed opinions on films I’m considering taking the plunge on. Brown nosing aside, I feel compelled to add my two cents on the impact The Red Shoes has had on me and hope that it can help to point anybody who has not seen it, in its direction. Also my partner, friends and family tend to look at me with something approaching pity whenever I rhapsodize about films so I need an outlet.
I first viewed it over the summer, it being one of those films I have put off watching due to its reputation and wanting to view it when there were no other distractions, and was blown away and my emotional reaction was so strong it was only on subsequent viewings that I was able to appreciate my own appreciation.
The obvious aspects are the look and mood of the film, although the actual performance of the ballet is the obvious standout, the entire picture is stunning to look at. The scene where Moira Shearer, in her evening gown, ascends to meet Lermontov is one of the most beautiful sequences I’ve seen.
I could bang on further about the cinematography, the performances (Anton Walbrook is, as usual, peerless. From what I’ve seen, although fantastic for Ophuls, he seemed to thrive under British direction- Powell and Thorold Dickinson in particular.), the music, sets and the choreography of the ballet but all this has been covered by far finer fellows than myself and the point is that the combination of all these arts is what makes it such a fantastic work of art, which in turn is about art (I seem to have disappeared up my own arthole).
I’d be interested to know whether other people reacted in the same way I did to the film- not so much all of the above, praising a classic such as this, is I am aware, like shooting fish in a barrel- but more in my attitude towards Lermontov. I was “rooting for him”, for lack of a better phrase, from the off and I find Craster to be wholly unsympathetic. This stands me with Lermontov in the idea that art must overrule all else. Does this undercut the ending somewhat? Do people believe this to be P&P’s intention, or have I been seduced into agreement with Lermontov due to the evidence on display within the film? Perhaps that was the intention?
Sorry for going on a bit, but it’s been a long while since a film affected me on the level The Red Shoes did.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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jsteffe
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#164 Post by jsteffe » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:57 pm

James43 wrote:My latest Criterion BD's all took longer to load than before but worked fine in the end on my Panasonic BD80. Meanwhile, the new transfer of "The red shoes" is mind-boggling... would love to see the restored version in a theater.
I saw the restoration on 35mm, and it's indeed stunning! But don't forget that it originated from the very same digital restoration, only printed out at full resolution on 35mm stock. The 35mm elements should have more detail in the image than the Blu-ray, which is scaled down to 1080p. But the Blu-ray should still be an excellent representation of how the restoration is supposed to look.

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Tommaso
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#165 Post by Tommaso » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:26 am

Brian Easdale's music for "The Red Shoes", along with his music for P&P's "Black Narcissus", "River Plate" and "Gone to Earth" has finally been released on CD in a new recording with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales on Chandos Records. Review here.

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dad1153
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#166 Post by dad1153 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:35 am

Never seen "Red Shoes" before, so I caught a DCP screening at NYC's Film Forum Jr. Sunday morning with Thelma Schoonmaker (who I didn't know was married to Michael Powell) in attendance to introduce the film. She basically read the notes and bullet points (literally a script) about aspects of the restoration we've known about for years and then waved goodbye. Besides the show-stopping 15 minute dance sequence in which every film technique and special effect invented up to that point was used to bring everything to cinematic life (which totally blew my mind and caused the audience in attendance, most of them children, to applaud spontaneously) I was surprised at how little I cared for the backstage drama of Vicky Page struggling between her love toward Craster and loyalty toward Lermontov (Anton Walbrook, giving the closest the movie comes to showing an interesting performance). Maybe I just can't relate, but the idea that Vicky has to choose between dancing or loving and can't have both felt to me like an artifice or pretext to force Vicky to do and say some idealized-but-foolish things (and pad the movie's running time). Thank God the supporting performances that were fun and felt like a truer representation of a work family (as Lermontov calls them at one point), otherwise I would have been bored stiff for most of the movie.

I need to see this again because I'm surprised 'mua' (the softie type that eats and loves romantic movies that break him down and make him cry, i.e. "The Fall of Our Stars") wasn't blown away by this beloved Archers classic. Only the 'Mediterranean' horse carriage scene got to me, the only moment I felt Vicky and Craster came across as human beings rather than types being pulled by the strings of melodrama toward inexorable fates. If it's any consolation though, the new generation of cinephiles being brought up right Sunday mornings at Film Forum (or as they'll be known throughout the rest of country when they grow up, snobs... wink, wink) were fully engaged and seemed to have loved the film. I'm assuming, of course, that they didn't fall asleep before and/or after the 15 min. dancing scene.

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swo17
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#167 Post by swo17 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:06 am

dad1153 wrote:Maybe I just can't relate, but the idea that Vicky has to choose between dancing or loving and can't have both felt to me like an artifice or pretext to force Vicky to do and say some idealized-but-foolish things (and pad the movie's running time).
The choice in the film isn't just "to dance" but to put the kind of commitment into it that it would take to be among the all-time greats. The kind of commitment that would get in the way of a healthy romantic relationship or a traditional, settled-down family life. In a certain sense, this rings true to a decision that anyone who is artistically inclined eventually has to make--whether to pursue your talent as a career or merely as a hobby.

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Tommaso
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#168 Post by Tommaso » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:52 am

Conversely, it's also about an artist who is willing to give this commitment and is fanatic about his art, but needs the help and co-operation of others to achieve this goal. As much as the film is about Vicky it is about Lermontov, and by extension, the filmmaker himself.

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guidedbyvoices
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#169 Post by guidedbyvoices » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:21 pm

I just got the blu ray of this a few months ago and finally watched it last night. First saw it a few months ago on TCM and loved it, but really loved it more on second viewing. First viewing I had no idea what to expect, other than "ballet" and "technicolor" - I hadn't seen any other Archer films at that point. The ballet in the middle just astounds me - the way it looks, the way they're not afraid to mix a realistic ballet performance like you're in the audience with surreal images and impossibilities to tell the story better. It's like a fever dream almost. 70 years old, and it's still fascinating visually. I have no idea how they'd that quick shot of her feet being pulled into the upright ballet shoes.

The story on either side of the ballet is pretty solid too, second viewing I caught more of the humor in the first half than I noticed my first viewing. Only complaint was that for all the vivid colors and beautiful shots, at times I felt the colors made the actors look a bit sickly like at the party where Vicky first meets Lermontov. I just watched Giant with my daughter last night too, which seemed to be another big color movie that looks great at times, and other times I feel the skin tones look just not quite right, and wonder why blu-ray.com gives it a perfect score. I guess perfect for its age?

Looking forward to jumping into the extras. I don't usually get into commentaries (usually when I start watching a commentary, I just prefer watching the film as-is and switch back over), but this one looks like it'll be pretty great. Also looking forward to my blind buy of Colonel Blimp coming from the criterion sale

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djproject
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Re: 44 The Red Shoes

#170 Post by djproject » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:43 am

guidedbyvoices wrote:Only complaint was that for all the vivid colors and beautiful shots, at times I felt the colors made the actors look a bit sickly like at the party where Vicky first meets Lermontov. I just watched Giant with my daughter last night too, which seemed to be another big color movie that looks great at times, and other times I feel the skin tones look just not quite right, and wonder why blu-ray.com gives it a perfect score. I guess perfect for its age?
The big thing to consider is that this was not made with the effect of making it "natural". This is rather a stylized melodrama. You may have noticed that makeup plays a big role in the look of people, especially to heighten certain emotional moments, and hence little to no natural skin tones. It was also shot in Technicolor by a cinematographer/camera operator who was less interested in following Technicolor's instructions (see the supplements concerning Black Narcissus).

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