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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Weren't the Kino and MoC (German) transfers taken from exactly the same Transit Films HD master?


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:58 pm 
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The Kino absolutely has better tonality and shadow detail.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:43 am 
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"Absolutely" implies that you've watched both in motion all the way through.

But I bet you haven't.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:24 am 
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Zaki wrote:
Isn't the MoC picture slightly darker than one would wish? Looking at the Beaver grab in which Dietrich sits on the barrel, for example, it is impossible to distinguish between her black dress and the barrel. This is not the case with the comparable Kino grab. Although I will personally buy the MoC for all the great extras (and the English version) it has, the Kino--based on the Beaver screen grabs, at least--does show slightly more detail.
It's the standard "One version is slightly lighter, one is slightly darker" - just M all over again. They are essentially the same, a very minor difference.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:55 am 
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And surely one click of the brightness and/or contrast settings on your player would result in you getting the image you want anyway?


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:42 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am
TMDaines wrote:
And surely one click of the brightness and/or contrast settings on your player would result in you getting the image you want anyway?


On the contrary, if it's the encoding which is like this, shadow details are gone in the blacks. By changing brightness and/or contrast, you will furthermore disturb the settings of your set, and make the blacks greyer but that's it.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:02 pm 
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True. I just hammered the brightness up on my laptop and all the detail is well and truly lost.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:11 am 
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
Blu-ray.com


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:34 pm 
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MoC’s new Blue Angel follows their exemplary practice of not messing with the ingredients. Thus the image quality for the German language (unarguably the superior of the two versions) retains great black levels and to my eyes the enhanced high contrast picture does not suffer from any loss of shadow detail or any other potential problems like banding or compression. Transferred under the additional guiding hand of James White I think it’s an ideal presentation of the existing TransitFilm elements which, it has to be said are far from ideal. This extends to the soundtrack which retains all its crackle and hiss from the original Klangfilm audio. Again I believe MoC took the wise move in not subjecting the audio to extensive EQ and filtering to clean it up.
It should be noted the English language version comes from a far superior element, much closer to a fine grain 35 or an O-neg. Surface damage is less frequent and grain structure is much finer the German version. But the positive has gone through 35mm printing (perhaps push printing?) which renders it much lighter and paler than it should be. There is virtually no true black and contrast is flattened. While some aspects of this are pleasing to the eye I don’t believe they represent an ideal color/tonal balance. In any case I am certain this is how the telecine presented and again MoC didn’t meddle with the black level or gamma. If you want to vary it yourself you can fiddle to your heart’s content with the dials.
The extras are terrific with one major reservation on my part.
Marlene’s screen test is a doozy and looks like real quality here after the existing Youtube clips.
Tag’s essay is another doozy - a 28 minute journey, once again into Sternberg’s quest for indentity - “Who am I” which also takes us en route for a whirlwind tour of the short miracle that was Weimar Berlin, with some of its greatest stage and film personalities: Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti (the club’s hostess and a central figure in 20s Berlin), the sublime Hans Albers, Charles Puffy, Roland Varno, and the fabulous Weintraubs Syncopaters, with a couple of cutaway shots to Hollander himself bashing the ivories, and Waxman (the musical arranger) honking a sax. What Tag shows us here is how completely JVS charmed his way into this profoundly inventive and unique miracle of Weimar Berlin and became himself part of this epicentre of talent, making a great masterpiece which is both a superlative Weimar work and completely his own.

I raise this if only to then comment on the regrettable direction taken by Mr Rayns in his commentary track. I was hoping we wouldn’t once again be plunged into a scenario like the aesthetic and formal judgments he makes against Mizoguchi’s direction and acquiesence to producer mandated cuts in his Ugetsu commentary. The way I see it someone who’s paid to do a commentary owes the film a sales job, and if he’s going to raise negatives they have to be contextualized and consistently balanced with the positives. Unfortunately to me Mr Rayns seems to me to take some sort of pleasure in tearing down reputations or at least appearing to tender a superior reading of the material over and above the film itself. Thus it now also happens with Sternberg and in this case he seems to have honed in on a recent JVS Biography by the appalling John Baxter (if ever there was a Highamesque writer Baxter takes the prize.) It seems that Baxter, and by osmosis Mr Rayns have taken the line that Joe had decided in his own mind to follow the supposed lead of his role model, Stroheim, and as it is said here, make himself totally hated by all he met as some sort of personal strategy through his life. Thus his legendary pride and intransigence on some issues and his diffidence on others has been now transported into the realm of what seems to be a psychopathology bordering on terminal narcissism. I don’t buy it. For every actor or writer who dissed Joe – Hecht, Jaffe, William Powell, dozens more sang his praises – Louise Brooks over his resurrection of Georgia Hale into a star, and Georgia, Chaplin, Gene Tierney, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and most recently Maria (then) Sieber, Dietrich’s daughter at 7 whom Joe guided through her tiny role in Scarlet Empress. The Joe they remember, and I remember from meeting him in the flesh in 1968 is another human being from the one Mr Rayns tries to eviscerate. Among other things it surprises me to find I seem to have done more research than Mr Rayns, at least beyond the realm of Mr Baxter’s doodling, and after making my way through numerous tiny but totally unnecessary errors in things like movie titles (calling Claudius “I Claudius”, which is the name of the Graves book, not the movie as partially shot, calling the working title for Devil is a Woman as Capriccio Espagnole, when it was Caprice Espagnole. And crediting, of all things Macao as a personally Sternbergian movie while the briefest of research elsewhere, including Bernard Eisenschitz would have confirmed that 90% of the footage of Hughes final cut is directed by Nick Ray. I am also surprised to hear of some of Eisenstein’s outbursts as reported. If Eisie had called Joe “gay” (not a word in use in 1930 of course) Joe I have no doubt would have been flattered to be so honored by one Major Queen as another. It might have been more helpful to acknowledge Joe’s own comments about Eisie and his endless sketchpads during and after the Mexican debacle and just prior to Joe rescuing the near aborted American Tragedy project.
So apart from one major negative and one which is easily ignored, the package is a marvel, and I hope it does as well as it deserves.


Last edited by david hare on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:32 am 
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I have nothing to add bar seconding the terribleness of Baxter's book. One shouldn't spend so much time making out your subject as a short ugly gollum-esque creature if your book's cover contradicts you. Only by reading it simultaneously with Chinese Laundry, using the more straightforward biography as a reminder checklist, could somebody gain value from it.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:01 am 
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triodelover wrote:
Zaki wrote:
Isn't the MoC picture slightly darker than one would wish? Looking at the Beaver grab in which Dietrich sits on the barrel, for example, it is impossible to distinguish between her black dress and the barrel.

If you are referencing the German version, your eyes are far better than mine if you can distinguish the hem of her skirt from the barrel on either the Kino or MoC. The MoC is certainly darker, but the hem and barrel are indistinguishable on both.

It should be mentioned that the image can tend to be a bit flickery in motion, so if a grab from the Kino is even just a few frames off from the MoC (as is the case with the barrel shot), one of them being a little brighter isn't necessarily meaningful. On the whole, I thought the MoC transfer looked very filmlike and about as good as could be expected.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:10 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:24 pm
I watched the first five minutes of The Blue Angel last night, jesus this is a good movie.

The poster of Lola washed down and then the prof looks in the bird cage and the landlady storms in looks at the dead budgie and chucks it in the flaming stove.

It's like a poem with the vivid intensity of a few lines by the ex-Dean of St Paul's. Or maybe some German guy I don't know yet.

(I saw it years ago at the Scala in Kings Cross London on a triple bill with Pandora's Box and a third movie I don't remember the name of and the guy I saw it with is dead 10 years so I can't ask him. Does anywhere still put on that kind of scheduling ?)


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
Location: Brandywine River
stwrt wrote:
It's like a poem with the vivid intensity of a few lines by the ex-Dean of St Paul's. Or maybe some German guy I don't know yet.

Do you mean Graeme Knowles and Rudolf Hess?


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller
Bitch. I suspect it's Gordon back in another guise.

Anyway I hope it's Gordon.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:39 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:24 pm
John Donne, you philistines.

He wrote somewhere about a dead budgie

"For I am every dead thing"

My name's not Gordon, in real life it's Henry Plink.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller
And they call me Hortense.

"Say isn't that Hortense over there?"

"I dunno, she looks pretty relaxed to me!"


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:16 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:24 pm
Couldn't call Lola "tense".


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 Post subject: Re: BD 49 The Blue Angel
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller
Nah, but La Rayns was in the fucking commentary!


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