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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 3:11 pm 
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Their May newsletter has information about a couple of upcoming titles:

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We at Milestone Film & Video / Milliarium Zero are pleased to announce that the DVD of WINTER SOLDIER is now available for home video! This marks a new beginning for Milestone/Milliarium as we have started our own DVD label (rather than through Image Entertainment) and have plans to bring out some great classics, documentaries and new foreign films in the coming months. Next up on our list for July 11th release are Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino's BEYOND THE ROCKS and ELECTRIC EDWARDIANS: THE LOST FILMS OF MITCHELL AND KENYON. Announcements of availability for those DVDs will be in the June newsletter.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:00 am 
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I looked through the Milestone website, and was impressed with the amount of titles that they have out. Tons of silent films and documentaries. Many of them I have never heard of, but others are films I would really like to see. Can anyone comment on any of Milestone's releases?

Some of the films I personally am specifically interested in are: The Mystery of Picasso/Guernica (Henri-Georges Clouzot/Alain Resnais), the Early Russian Cinema Collection (series of 10 discs!), Grass (Cooper & Schoedsack), Tabu (Murnau). But, really any comments on any of their titles are welcome.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:04 am 
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A series of Ten DISC'S of the original VHS'S? Because if there's more Bauer out there on disc besides the MAD LOVE trilogy... count me in.

I'll be checking on this pronto...

EDIT: just checked. This is still VHS only.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:58 am 
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Oops, sorry to get your hopes up Schreck... especially at such an early hour :oops: The set sounds amazing though. Hopefully Milestone will get around to putting it on DVD eventually.

I went back and looked through the catalogue again, and the greater majority of their titles are out on DVD. So, how about some thoughts on these... someone around here must own, or, at least have viewed some of these.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:24 pm 
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The Milestone "Early Russian Cinema" collection was actually just a NTSC rendition of a PAL VHS series compiled by Yuri Tsivian and others for the BFI. There is an entire volume devoted to Bauer, and a few other Bauer films scattered throughout the series.

See http://www.pitt.edu/~slavic/video/prerev.html for details.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:15 am 
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The dedicated, non-MAD LOVE Bauer "Early Russian Cinema" VHS was what I was talking about. I thought that was fairly ovbious.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:37 pm 
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Here's an interview with one of Milestone's founders, Dennis Doros: http://www.greencine.com/article?action ... icleID=308


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:51 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
The dedicated, non-MAD LOVE Bauer "Early Russian Cinema" VHS was what I was talking about. I thought that was fairly ovbious.


I wrote Milestone and asked them about a future DVD release of this series, and the reply was a very sorry "not likely." Simply too big and expensive a project, considering the marginal appeal of the set :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:00 pm 
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Scharphedin2 wrote:
I looked through the Milestone website, and was impressed with the amount of titles that they have out. Tons of silent films and documentaries. Many of them I have never heard of, but others are films I would really like to see. Can anyone comment on any of Milestone's releases?

Some of the films I personally am specifically interested in are: The Mystery of Picasso/Guernica (Henri-Georges Clouzot/Alain Resnais), the Early Russian Cinema Collection (series of 10 discs!), Grass (Cooper & Schoedsack), Tabu (Murnau). But, really any comments on any of their titles are welcome.


I just noticed your post, Scharphedin. I tend to be a major apologist for Milestone around here, so you might want to take what I say with a grain of salt. They're a small operation, and you have to watch out for a few bad PAL->NTSC transfers (like their infamous release of Phantom of the Opera). But in general, I find that they're PAL-sourced ports are among the best you're likely to come across. The Mad Love disc mentioned above is very pleasing, as is The Chess Player. (I've also been impressed with the Doroses in my dealings with them over the phone and via e-mail -- very friendly, honest, and knowledgeable.)

Of the specific titles you mention above, I highly recommend Grass and The Mystery of Picasso. Grass is, of course, one of the great pioneering documentaries, and I think it betters all of Cooper and Schoedsack's later films, with the exception of King Kong. It comes with an interview between Cooper and Rudy Behlmer, who also provides a commentary for Milestone's release of Cooper and Schoedsack's follow-up Chang. The Picasso documentary is extraordinary, if you like the central conceit: the film records Picasso's work as he paints by placing a camera on the other side of a transparent canvas. As I recall, the finale isn't anamorphic, which means you lose the effect Clouzot intended when Picasso switches to a larger canvas. But some of the extras make up for that loss. I wish that, in addition to the two commentaries, Milestone had offered just a little info about the short Guernica, which just sort of comes out of the blue at you.

Over time, I've come to agree with other posters here that Tabu is a slightly problematic DVD. There seems to be a lot of cropping or overscan going on, which hurts Murnau's compositions. And perhaps with all the extras, it should have been a two-disc set. Until we hear word that some R2 company (MoC or BFI?) is going to take this title on, however, it's the best version available.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:18 pm 
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tryavna wrote:
I tend to be a major apologist for Milestone around here, so you might want to take what I say with a grain of salt.


Tryana, no need for any salt, I have come to truly trust your opinions both when it comes to the quality of films and the DVDs. And, thank you for all the comments on the specific Milestone releases. After I am done with Kino (through the DDD sale), I will definitely turn to Milestone. As always, I discovered that I actually own one of their releases. One of the first DVDs I ever bought I Am Cuba, which was a small revelation in terms of the film, and actually (as I remember it) a very nice looking DVD.

The article linked by jonah.77 above is excellent, by the way... I really like the way Dennis comes across in the interview, and you just have to love him and his wife for the passion that they put into what they do.

Finally, I already ordered Mad Love on the strength of someone telling me that Bauer would make my head throw sparks and send it flying out the window. Just couldn't resist that recommendation :lol: . Seriously, I have read about the DVD several times at BFI's site, and it sounds really mesmerizing, but knowing nothing about Bauer I just never thought to pick it up, so it was helpful with someone to kick me in the pants on that one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:36 pm 
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THE CHESS PLAYER is clearly analog sourced, but the film is so unbelievably magnificent you'd never even notice. God do I love that film.

I just picked up BEYOND THE ROCKS, which I actually quite liked; of course it's a straight romantic melodrama without any attempt at visual invention/experimentation. But I found it very tightly made, maturely acted, the script is never gratuitously emotional (therefore same goes for the performances) and is in fact quite sophisticated in it's handling of the tortured love between the two. I found myself taken right away with it like some fucking squeaking bored wet-eyed housewife.

I've generally been underexposed to Swanson (of course own QUEEN KELLEY & SADIE THOMPSON, but that's it I believe) and Valentino (own nothing by him, saw a terrible copy of the SHEIK somewhere somehow a long long time ago).. I was pretty impressed by Valentino's subtle Mister-Coolness.. his little moves, the way he shifts his weight from foot to foot, a very sly magnetism to him-- cool dude. A well done disc, despite being interlaced the images look every bit hi-def for the most part and I detected no obviously visible combing on a hi-res large crt or Sony WEGA. You'd hafta freeze frame or really have your head outa the Entertainment Enjoyment Zone to detect it (in which case whatsa point?).Proud to own it-- kudos to Milestone.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:21 pm 
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jonah.77 wrote:
Here's an interview with one of Milestone's founders, Dennis Doros: http://www.greencine.com/article?action ... icleID=308

In addition to the long-expected Killer of Sheep (music rights still being cleared), Doros reveals some interesting upcoming projects at Milestone:

Araya (Margot Benacerraf/1959)
The Family Album (Alan Berliner/1988) Info
Intimate Stranger (Alan Berliner/1992) Info
Nobody's Business (Alan Berliner/1996) Info
Cut to the Chase: The Charley Chase Classic Comedy Collection (1924-6) Info
I am Cuba / Soy Cuba (SE) (Mikhail Kalatozov/1964)
The Exiles (Kent MacKenzie/1961)
Lotte Reiniger Short Films "six hours of short films"
The Wrath of the Gods (William Worthington/1914)
The Dragon Painter (William Worthington/1919) Info

"And there's maybe ten to twenty more that we're working on at the moment too. So it's a busy year."

I'm not faniliar with Reiniger or Worthington, but I bet the Schecktacular one is...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:02 am 
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FilmFanSea wrote:
I'm not faniliar with Reiniger or Worthington, but I bet the Schecktacular one is...


Actually, I'm suprised Miss Myra hasn't jumped on this yet, I know she's at least a huge Reiniger fan. I've never had a chance to partake, but the Doc Films at the U. of Chicago is going to be running a program of some of Lotte's shorts (The Stolen Heart, Papagano, Harlequin, Snow White and Rose Red, The Magic Horse, The Gallant Little Tailor, and The Frog Prince -- to be specific) on the 27th. Odds are I'll be there.

-Toilet Dcuk


Last edited by toiletduck! on Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:52 am 
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toiletduck! wrote:
FilmFanSea wrote:
I'm not faniliar with Reiniger or Worthington, but I bet the Schecktacular one is...


Actually, I'm suprised Miss Myra has jumped this yet, I know she's at least a huge Reiniger fan.


Honey, I already got my eyes on the german DVD editions of Reiniger's films... :wink:

http://www.absolutmedien.de/main.php?vi ... ist_item=0


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:08 pm 
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Myra Breckinridge wrote:
toiletduck! wrote:
FilmFanSea wrote:
I'm not faniliar with Reiniger or Worthington, but I bet the Schecktacular one is...


Actually, I'm suprised Miss Myra has jumped this yet, I know she's at least a huge Reiniger fan.


Honey, I already got my eyes on the german DVD editions of Reiniger's films... :wink:

http://www.absolutmedien.de/main.php?vi ... ist_item=0


In true German style they're creating a "Werkausgabe" consisting of DVDs!! Not bad. I knew it would come to this eventually over there ...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:42 am 
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That Worthington DRAGON PAINTER has been on their site for has to be close to a year, and I've been staring at it in fascination all during that time. I've never heard of the film whatsoever but had been wondering what it actually is.. never saw it in the cinema, never saw any 16mm vhs's floating in the old days, nothing. (when there's no new silent releases on the horizon like this past late-winter-spring, I basically do that: numbly sit and stare drooling over distributor websites' vhs obscuritues or releases still to come.) Basically what I look to ballsy distribution houses to do-- mine history for obscure gems like what this appears to be & introduce me to stuff that are, like Yevgeni Bauer & CHESS PLAYER a few yrs ago viz Milestone (or, say SIR ARNE this year from Kino.. christ I love love that film, kudos to zedz for beating me over the head viz the Swedes, not that Stiller is obscure however), the most sublime surprises. I love seeing guys with the balls to release 1) previously unheard-of-by-anyone titles, by 2) previously unknown directors, 3) that are, as if that wasn't risky enough, silent films to boot. Blow my head wide open enough times viz these kinds of market balls and I'll basically stick w a distributor thru thick & thin. Therefore my deep love for Milestone, despite the occasional low-def transfer, pure unconverted pal-ntsc ports, etc (while staying out of the Facets-style slop)... they're just a fabulous company.

One release I never got around to buying but have heard good things about is LEGONG. I also need THE BAT WHISPERS by Roland West, who I like quite a lot. I love THE BAT, and of course ALIBI.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:13 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
One release I never got around to buying but have heard good things about is LEGONG.


Schreck, I know you're a big fan of Murnau's TABU, so I think you'd like LEGONG, too. LEGONG strikes me as an interesting cross between the contrived documentaries of Cooper & Schoedsack (GRASS and CHANG) and the self-consciously poetic stylization of TABU. It's not always successful, and de la Falaise is no Murnau. But it's a worthy and always-interesting effort. Plus, there are some nice extras, including de la Falaise's KLIOU, which would give you the satisfaction of owning what I believe was the last major silent feature to be funded by Hollywood. (Not to mention that there are lots of boobies -- to satisfy the inner 10-year-old boy who used to sneak peaks at National Geographic for, ahem, aesthetic reasons.)

Speaking of these old documentaries, I watched the two RKO Frank Buck documentaries that TCM showed earlier this week (Wild Cargo, which was endlessly fascinating, and Fang and Claw, which was a little less so). It made me realize just how pervasive -- and, presumably, popular -- these sorts of documentaries were in the 1920s and 30s. There are at least two major entries in this genre that I still have yet to see: Simba and Flaherty's Moana. I think Milestone released Simba on VHS, so hopefully, they'll do the same on DVD. But I wonder how long we'll have to wait for Moana. Perhaps if MoC are going through with their Flaherty project, they'll manage to work that one in, too....

In the meantime, thank goodness for TCM, which toss these little gems at us unannounced in the middle of the day. For all the talk about daring home video companies, TCM has got to be one of the most consistently interesting media outlets for film buffs anywhere in the world.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:02 am 
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Regarding Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep, Milestone's website now says:
Quote:
Milestone is presently clearing the music rights to release KILLER OF SHEEP on video. We are hoping to do so by Summer 2007. We appreciate your patience!

Ah well ... what's another twelve months?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:56 am 
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Damn.. this sounds rougher than Flicker Alley's "FALL 2005" release date of Murnau's PHANTOM.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:07 pm 

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A Milestone - New Yorker release:

The Big Animal (2000)
directed by Jerzy Stuhr
written by Krzysztof Kieslowski from a story by Kazimierz Orlos

DVD Savant review is here.

I saw this 5 years ago and remember it as a very interesting film.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:48 pm 
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Received this via e-mail:

Dear friends of Milestone,

After six years of angst, begging and capitulation (the ABC's of our business), it looks like we will be very soon clearing the 34 music rights in KILLER OF SHEEP and will be releasing it with the other four Burnett films we own by early spring at the latest. It's in time for the 30th anniversary of this wonderful first feature.

Best regards,
Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video / Milliarium Zero


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:09 pm 
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Finally! Great news.

Thanks, mister.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:24 pm 
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I thought their plan was to release them one by one with more excruciating waiting in between. Great news that we'll have them all at once.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:58 am 
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Yesterday I watched Milestone's release of Antoine's "La terre" (1921), and as it seems this film hasn't been commented upon here to a larger degree, I think I'll have a go...
I really am surprised that it is apparently not well known: this is probably the earliest film I can think of that whole-heartedly embraces an aesthetic later dubbed 'neo-realism', and I was amazed at the gorgeous landscape photography employed here. The archaic quality of the peasant life here seemed like coming straight out of a Van Gogh, but it also reminded me curiously of Rosselini's "Paisa" and Dovzhenko's "Earth" in places. Truly original. The story itself is a 19th century version of King Lear, I'd say, but the problem with the film for me was that there are too many characters in it, and I had some problems sorting out at first who is related to whom and why. But it did not really distract from the viewing experience. The final scene with the old family father (the Lear figure) straying over the fields intercut with the happy new morning of the voluptuous housemaid is plain breathtaking in its contrasting of the old and the young and the sheer quality of the visuals... So: another very interesting film to discover, although it may be a little slow-going.

The DVD itself sadly does not live up to the standard of the film: the print is allright considering its age (and its the only surviving print, anyway), but there are other flaws. I was less distracted by the PAL/NTSC-ghosting, but the interlacing is very visible, and contrast is WAY too high, I'd say. The replaced intertitles have a far too modern feeling for me (for which Milestone is not responsible in this case). Good music, though, and in any case: a recommendation, but I would wish for a better dvd of this sometime in the future.

Now I also have to watch "The Chess Player" which arrived together with the Antoine, and Schreck's comments, as usual, have already watered my mouth for that one....


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:00 pm 
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Tommaso wrote:
The story itself is a 19th century version of King Lear, I'd say, but the problem with the film for me was that there are too many characters in it, and I had some problems sorting out at first who is related to whom and why.


I think you've hit the nail on the head, Tommaso. I loved the very beginning of this film and especially the final half-hour. However, it seemed like every time you turned around during the central hour, a new character was appearing out of nowhere. I suspect that this may be the result of footage still missing, but it's probably also due to the fact that it's an adaptation of a Zola novel (which I haven't yet read). La Terre suffers from that too-faithful approach that tended to bog down many silent literary adaptations. I think a somewhat more ruthless approach would have been better. Certainly, the finale demonstrates a keen cinematic mind at work.

It will be interesting to hear your thoughts on The Chess Player, another film that is probably most interesting near the beginning and at the end. However, I find myself returning to it far more than La Terre.


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