441 The Small Back Room

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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Matango
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#51 Post by Matango » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:29 am

Then at least please listen to Scorsese's Hoffman commentary before regailing us with another 'review'. Thanks.

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jbeall
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#52 Post by jbeall » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:54 am

dad1153 wrote:Thanks for the recommendations guys but "Tales of Hoffman" has to be next. It's bought and paid for (OOP since March) plus, now that I've seen a good serious movie from P&P, I'm willing to tackle a musical/theatrical feature of theirs with an open mind. Could have bought "Cantenbury Tale" and/or "49th Parallel" cheap on a recent Criterion sale but I just didn't feel like taking the plunge on blind buying either until I knew for certain the Archers delivered the goods with "The Small Back Room." Basically I'm leasing potential fandom of P&P movies with an option to buy.
Can't say I'm a huge fan of 49th Parallel or A Canterbury Tale, as both are quite limited by their origins as propaganda films, but do check out Black Narcissus, which is my favorite P&P.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#53 Post by Lemmy Caution » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:06 am

Funny how almost everyone has a different favorite.
I'll chime in for I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) as the best P&P.

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Tommaso
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#54 Post by Tommaso » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:51 am

jbeall wrote:
Can't say I'm a huge fan of 49th Parallel or A Canterbury Tale, as both are quite limited by their origins as propaganda films,
I wouldn't say that even for "49th", but for "Canterbury"?! Sure, the film has some of its origins in the idea of telling the British (and American) soldiers 'why we fight', but from that beginning, P&P manage to turn the film into something completely different. It's not only a half-mystical celebration of the English countryside, but also a fabulous contemplation on film-, or more generally: image-making. And it's wonderfully human and funny, too.

And yes, Lemmy: IKWIG should not be forgotten, too. or AMOLAD. Honestly, I can't think of any Powell film apart from "Ill met by moonlight" in which I don't find at least something that makes it special. That even goes for obscurities like "Honeymoon" or his three "Espionage" serials. But these are not a first recommendation, of course.

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dad1153
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#55 Post by dad1153 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:00 pm

Matango wrote:Then at least please listen to Scorsese's Hoffman commentary before regailing us with another 'review'. Thanks.
I bought the EAH version which I don't believe comes with commentary. Uhh, sorry?! :?

Robin Davies
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#56 Post by Robin Davies » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:01 pm

Tommaso wrote:
jbeall wrote:
Can't say I'm a huge fan of 49th Parallel or A Canterbury Tale, as both are quite limited by their origins as propaganda films,
I wouldn't say that even for "49th", but for "Canterbury"?! Sure, the film has some of its origins in the idea of telling the British (and American) soldiers 'why we fight', but from that beginning, P&P manage to turn the film into something completely different. It's not only a half-mystical celebration of the English countryside, but also a fabulous contemplation on film-, or more generally: image-making. And it's wonderfully human and funny, too.
Absolutely.
A Canterbury Tale is my favourite P&P, an absolutely magical film.

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Tommaso
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#57 Post by Tommaso » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:12 pm

And I'm already worrying about the 40s listmaking in a year or so because I don't know whether I should put "Canterbury" or "Red Shoes" on #1 for that period. But you can expect me to plaster half of the whole top ten with P&P movies for sure...

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Steven H
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#58 Post by Steven H » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:14 pm

I loved this film. It's easily up there with Black Narcissus for me concerning P&P. Of course it looks dark, gorgeous and expressionistic (maybe played a little much with the whiskey bottle business) but what got me were the lived in areas and staging. The first scene in Rice's house where P&P are playing with body language and props, fooling around with the relationship reveal actually made me chuckle (nerd chuckle?) The MoD meeting with the jackhammers, note passing, and sweaty MP is full of tactile impressions, and I feel so "in the room" that when the blackout is called for it startled me.

I haven't gotten to the commentary yet, but the Powell audio interview is GREAT. Powell is old, candid, and usually sounds a little drunk. Complaining of John Davis' being annoying and "bourgeois", admonishing an actress in a deleted scene that she won't be able to "fuck her way to the top" with him, and his love of Clouzot, Chaplin's The Gold Rush, and Dreyer. Gold.

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Joe Buck
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#59 Post by Joe Buck » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:59 pm

I finally got around to picking this one up off eBay, but my copy didn't come with the booklet. This, of course, irks me. Was the booklet extensive or should I not worry about it and simply enjoy the disc? :-k

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knives
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#60 Post by knives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:02 pm

Here's the essay in all of it's glory. If I remember correctly it's a good one.

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fiddlesticks
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#61 Post by fiddlesticks » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:21 pm

Joe Buck wrote:I finally got around to picking this one up off eBay, but my copy didn't come with the booklet. This, of course, irks me. Was the booklet extensive or should I not worry about it and simply enjoy the disc? :-k
Send an email to "Jon Mulvaney" and Criterion will send you a replacement booklet.

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swo17
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#62 Post by swo17 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:50 am

Not likely since it's out of print.

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Joe Buck
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#63 Post by Joe Buck » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:08 am

Thanks for the advice. I sent him an email. I'll give it the old college try.

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Joe Buck
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#64 Post by Joe Buck » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:31 pm

No dice, they are all gone.

I'll learn to cope.

:D

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swo17
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#65 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:36 pm

In case you're unable to cope...if the seller didn't disclose that the booklet was missing, I'd say you're entitled to a refund, which you could use to get another (hopefully complete) copy from someone else.

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tojoed
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#66 Post by tojoed » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:22 pm

Joe Buck wrote:No dice, they are all gone.

I'll learn to cope.
Well, the so-called booklet is just the essay and credits. So, if you've read that you've read the booklet.

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yeahimajerk
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#67 Post by yeahimajerk » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:56 am

This might be in my top 10 all time favorite films as far as favorite films go for me. Does anyone know what has happened to the rights since CC lost them? I own a copy of the CC version but I love it so much I'd like to buy another DVD or Blu copy (if one ever came out). I have nightmares about my CC copy being destroyed somehow.

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swo17
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#68 Post by swo17 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Amazon still has stock of the CC release. You can get it now for 50% off.

HKM
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#69 Post by HKM » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:52 pm

Long-shot question: when Optimum put out a Region 2 DVD of 'The Small Back Room' in 2009, did they use the same (restored) print as the 2008 Criterion disc, or the old unrestored version found on the 2004 Warners disc? Cannot find a comparison online.

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manicsounds
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#70 Post by manicsounds » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:51 pm

cineoutsider review of the Optimum DVD
Taken from a well-used print, the worst damage (dust spots and tramlines) is at the heads and tails of the original 20 minute reels.

HKM
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#71 Post by HKM » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:24 am

Can confirm that the Optimum DVD is different from the earlier Warners one -- much less murky. Far from pristine, but nor is the Criterion according to reviews. So possibly the same.

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yeahimajerk
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#72 Post by yeahimajerk » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:35 am

I put this on whenever it is my wife goes out of town on business and I figured out what really makes it for me. The moody and murky lighting and the lack of a soundtrack (with the exception of the whisky sequences and the dance sequences). Not to mention the strong performances all around.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#73 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:05 pm

yeahimajerk wrote:This might be in my top 10 all time favorite films as far as favorite films go for me. Does anyone know what has happened to the rights since CC lost them? I own a copy of the CC version but I love it so much I'd like to buy another DVD or Blu copy (if one ever came out). I have nightmares about my CC copy being destroyed somehow.
Don't you know how to back up your DVDs? Buy some DVD9's and use something like Decrypter to crack and create a backup copy. I know people who never play their orignal discs (I'm definitely not one of them.. slob, me), and only play the 1:1 burns on DVDR . . . people with well over four thousand DVDs.

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david hare
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#74 Post by david hare » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:35 pm

Agreed.

Alternately or also, invest in a couple of cheap 3 terabyte or more standalone HDDs and back everything possible up. I have over 1500 films (out of 6000) in this form (and they are also burnt to disc.)

Definitely, DO NOT ever think either printed let alone burnt DVDs are going to last forever. The risk is too high. So far my biggest losses are from a number of original 90s Criterions which just stopped playing in any circumstance and couldn't be salvaged, yet the dwindling number of 80s and 90s TV burns from VHS to cheap as shit Conia DVDr which I did in the early 2000s are still going strong. It's just too unpredictable.
I realize optical drives are risky as well but you need as many backups as possible if you can stand it. At least - so far - BluRay seems more secure.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 441 The Small Back Room

#75 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:44 pm

BINGO!!! Dave was--maybe some guessed-- who I had in mind, who conscientiously backs up everything he buys.

I recall bringing piles of discs to a highly respected editor at a premeire imprint at a gigantic book co who befrended me here--nameless of course-- but we were in a deep trading phase around 2007 during the blooming part of our friendship . . .I would show up at his office with heaps of DVDs covered with scratches and nicks for him to burn... the amused/pained look on his face when looking at the horrid condition of these discs was always priceless. I am just a hopeless slob. Total opposite the excellent Mr. Hare.

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