885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

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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swo17
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Re: Forthcoming: The Lodger

#26 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:14 pm

I answer to both.

rossen
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Re: Forthcoming: The Lodger

#27 Post by rossen » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:34 pm

Ha, my grand grandmother was Hungarian, married a Bulgarian. This was in the early 20's of the 20th century.


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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Forthcoming: The Lodger

#29 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:26 am

So Bela Tarr's offspring is Tarr baby?

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swo17
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#30 Post by swo17 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:51 pm


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dustybooks
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#31 Post by dustybooks » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:19 pm

Disappointed by the lack of a commentary, though I remember not liking the one on the MGM disc much. So glad Downhill is seeing a legit R1 release, it has some very strong moments.

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Ribs
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#32 Post by Ribs » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:19 pm

I'm mildly amused at the radio adaptation's existence/inclusion

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domino harvey
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#33 Post by domino harvey » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:21 pm

dustybooks wrote:Disappointed by the lack of a commentary, though I remember not liking the one on the MGM disc much. So glad Downhill is seeing a legit R1 release, it has some very strong moments.
I'm shocked we aren't getting one. I guarantee any and every Hitchcock film could support three different audio commentaries from dozens of willing participants if only a label would inquire!

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#34 Post by Lowry_Sam » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:29 pm

No Nitin Sawhney/London Symphony Orchestra Soundtrack either? Guess I'm going to have to pick up the UK edition anyway.

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Shrew
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#35 Post by Shrew » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:50 pm

Surprised there isn't some alternate score available, but the Lodger's various releases all seem to have different frame rates, which would disqualify most of the existing ones. The MGM dvd runs 99 mins and this is 91, but I think it's all from a difference in frame rate. I think Michael B got into this more in the Network thread or the proper Hitchcock thread.

As for Downhill, I'm glad it's included, and I don't believe it would be able to sustain its own spine. It might be Hitch, but it is a mess of a film. Ironically, there may be more to talk about here than most of the other silents, but I've only seen a handful of attempts to seriously dig into the film (not that there may not be more).

The Lodger connections go beyond Novello. The two are probably the apotheosis of Hitchcock's "German" style. Not that expressionism ever leaves his films, but I think here is the purest influence. That means there are some great sequences in Downhill, but Novello's scenario drags everything down. It's frankly a very dumb film that could have a shot at becoming a camp classic if it didn't have a streak of misogynistic panic running through it.

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dustybooks
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#36 Post by dustybooks » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:08 am

Shrew wrote:It's frankly a very dumb film that could have a shot at becoming a camp classic if it didn't have a streak of misogynistic panic running through it.
I like it but I don't disagree at all. That final shot of
SpoilerShow
Novello awkwardly posing with the football
is so bizarre and hilarious it feels like some sort of Hitchcock put-on.

Incidentally, I believe this leaves The Pleasure Garden and Waltzes from Vienna as the only Hitchcock films not released on DVD in R1. (I know Waltzes exists as a DVD-R.) That's of course not including the British titles that have only ever surfaced as cheap gray market releases.

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TMDaines
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#37 Post by TMDaines » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:41 am

I could eventually be tempted to switch my Network and Divisa Blu-rays for this.

By the way, which orifice are people talking out of when they keep going on about a Hitchcock film being a commercially nonviable release? It was released in Spain and the market there is tiny compared to the US one. How many copies do people imagine Criterion selling of their more - and even less - obscure foreign titles in comparison?

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#38 Post by Orlac » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:44 pm

Lowry_Sam wrote:No Nitin Sawhney/London Symphony Orchestra Soundtrack either? Guess I'm going to have to pick up the UK edition anyway.
Is that the one with the silly songs?

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#39 Post by Lowry_Sam » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:26 pm

Orlac wrote:Is that the one with the silly songs?
I haven't heard it yet, so I don't know. But since I haven't bought the UK yet, I am disappointed that so few stateside labels release better known musical composers for US releases. It probably boils down to licensing fees, but if smaller labels in the UK can do it (and at a more affordable price), I'm a bit perplexed why it would be so expensive for US labels to include already existing soundtracks. I'm also disappointed that when Criterion finally does release another silent, it doesn't give multiple listening options.

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#40 Post by lzx » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:10 am

Orlac wrote:
Lowry_Sam wrote:No Nitin Sawhney/London Symphony Orchestra Soundtrack either? Guess I'm going to have to pick up the UK edition anyway.
Is that the one with the silly songs?
It is indeed. Here's song #1. It appears around 23 minutes into the film.

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domino harvey
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#41 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:05 am

Holy cat. So glad I watch silent films Langlois style anyways

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Minkin
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#42 Post by Minkin » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:39 am

Lowry_Sam wrote:
Orlac wrote:Is that the one with the silly songs?
I haven't heard it yet, so I don't know. But since I haven't bought the UK yet, I am disappointed that so few stateside labels release better known musical composers for US releases. It probably boils down to licensing fees, but if smaller labels in the UK can do it (and at a more affordable price), I'm a bit perplexed why it would be so expensive for US labels to include already existing soundtracks. I'm also disappointed that when Criterion finally does release another silent, it doesn't give multiple listening options.
If you haven't heard either soundtrack, then how could you be disappointed?

Also note, the UK disc only contains soundtrack CDs, a gallery, interview with composer and a booklet. I'd say value for money is squarely on Criterion (including a bonus film and plenty of other extras). I do like Network, but their release of The Lodger certainly could have been improved upon quite easily.

-edit

Now having heard the above posted song/excerpt - holy shit, that's worse than any the songs posted from Variete. When you said "silly songs" - I was thinking something like Bonzo Dog Band... not whatever that is.

Criterion really should be celebrated then for not only coming up with their own score but leaving that one in the trashbin (Lowry_Sam, your complaint couldn't have been timed worse - and thus proves the opposite of your point: having a "well known orchestra" doesn't mean you're going to get even a decent score).

Between Network's The Lodger, the German Variete and the colorized Trip to the Moon - is there some trend of only getting backers to fund a restoration if they are contractually bound to include the most obnoxious music possible - or does someone somewhere think people would enjoy this? Its like they think they can trick modern audiences into watching a silent film with some "contemporary" music.

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#43 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:53 am

domino harvey wrote:Holy cat. So glad I watch silent films Langlois style anyways
I tried to do this, but the sounds of the existing world and city living made it worse. Between my cat meowing, neighborhood dogs barking in the distance, traffic, and neighbors in my apartment rustling about, I couldn't watch an entire film in complete silence and just accepted the cornball, half-assed ragtime bullshit score that was on the Blu-Ray. Then again, I can watch silent Stan Brakhage films without the external world bothering me. Maybe I should try again.

I wonder how the experience of watching a film a la Langlois back in the day would be like. On virtue of being on film, the sound of the projector or the sound of the audience would've become part of the experience itself. I saw a feature length experimental and silent film by artist Margaret Honda last Summer called Color Correction. The sounds of the audience, as immaterial as they were to the film itself, became attached forever to my experience with film. The sounds of confused people exiting the theater, the coughing, the whispering on the otherside of the room, and any bag rustling become part of the film experience when in total silence. And with the museum's super thick projection booth, you couldn't even hear the whirring of the film reels.

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#44 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:04 am

It's not for everyone, and of course I don't go full Cinematheque since it's not like I close my eyes when the intertitles pop up!

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885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#45 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:22 pm

I went full Cinémathèque on The Passion of Joan of Arc, which really does play much better in total silence.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#46 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:43 pm

Minkin wrote: Now having heard the above posted song/excerpt - holy shit, that's worse than any the songs posted from Variete. When you said "silly songs" - I was thinking something like Bonzo Dog Band... not whatever that is.

Criterion really should be celebrated then for not only coming up with their own score but leaving that one in the trashbin (Lowry_Sam, your complaint couldn't have been timed worse - and thus proves the opposite of your point: having a "well known orchestra" doesn't mean you're going to get even a decent score).

Between Network's The Lodger, the German Variete and the colorized Trip to the Moon - is there some trend of only getting backers to fund a restoration if they are contractually bound to include the most obnoxious music possible - or does someone somewhere think people would enjoy this? Its like they think they can trick modern audiences into watching a silent film with some "contemporary" music.
You know, I'm generally an apologist for aggressively modern scores on silent film- there was one on a Kino release of Caligari that sounded like something out of a Lynch movie, all industrial groans and wailing, that I thought was the best score for that I ever encountered, and I am perfectly happy to own the Moroder Metropolis- but this thing seems to fall badly between two stools, being neither integrated enough to ever work as just a normal accompaniment to the film nor extreme enough to create a new viewing experience. It really does feel like they just wanted to use the soundtrack to tell the viewer who couldn't follow the film itself what was going on, explicitly, with lyrics. It's not even a bad song, it just feels like the kind of thing people do on youtube all the time.

Regarding watching silent movies mute- I tried it with Joan, since apparently that was Dreyer's preferred method, but the Einhorn Voices of Light accompaniment is so striking, and so wedded to my first, shattering experience of watching it, that I kept hearing it regardless of whether it was actually playing.
Last edited by matrixschmatrix on Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#47 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:00 pm

The Nitin Sawhney score is actually pretty good, apart from the songs. But that means they stick out even more.

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#48 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:55 pm

I still think this idea of 'celebrity scoring' goes back to that Pet Shop Boys re-scoring of Battleship Potemkin! I enjoy Nitin Sawhney's work generally (though still think his best piece is still Mausam!), but there is that whole issue of a score overpowering a film it is really meant to support, which only seems worse when too on the nose lyrics are involved!

But I'd generally agree with Lowry_Sam here. As long as the integrity of a work is respected it is always good to provide multiple options and let the viewer choose for themselves (For example I much prefer the more modern In The Nursery score to Man With A Movie Camera over any other score, even the one trying to recreate the original score!)

Although to go against the 'too obvious lyrics ruining a silent film' comment I just made, I guess its heresy I know but I also love the Giorgio Moroder version of Metropolis, and even more so now that we have the 'more official and restored' version so that the Moroder re-scored and re-cut version can stand on its own merits and not as the only way to see the film anymore! I like the idea of being able to re-score and re-cut a film into all sorts of forms to create new art out of (as long as its not damaging the original work of course, and that original work still remain available and not hidden away), and while I never recommend it as somebody's first experience of the film, still fondly remember the DJ Rob da Bank's re-scoring of the 1933 King Kong as a silent film, with the Pixies' Monkey Gone To Heaven at the Empire State Building topple climax! I'd be incensed if that, or the Moroder Metroplois, was the only possible way to see a film that point on, but as an experiment it was fun to see!

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#49 Post by Feego » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:48 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:You know, I'm generally an apologist for aggressively modern scores on silent film- there was one on a Kino release of Caligari that sounded like something out of a Lynch movie, all industrial groans and wailing, that I thought was the best score for that I ever encountered, and I am perfectly happy to own the Moroder Metropolis
I'm in absolute agreement here, so much so that I wish that Kino Caligari score had been carried over/re-recorded to fit the brand new restoration.
matrixschmatrix wrote:Regarding watching silent movies mute- I tried it with Joan, since apparently that was Dreyer's preferred method, but the Einhorn Voices of Light accompaniment is so striking, and so wedded to my first, shattering experience of watching it, that I kept hearing it regardless of whether it was actually playing.
I had the exact same experience, although I do like and have come to prefer Loren Connors' quieter score on MoC's Blu-ray. I have the Einhorn piece on CD and actually appreciate it more now as a pure audio experience.

To bring this back around to The Lodger, the MGM disc included two nice scores, and if I do grab the Criterion, I will still hold on to the DVD for those alternate choices.

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Re: 885 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

#50 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:20 pm

I can't remember, was this one of the discs that was messed up in MGM's cookbook-style Hitchcock box?

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