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 Post subject: Non-MoC Eureka titles
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:11 pm 
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This may be the wrong forum, but is there a place to talk about Eureka's non-MoC releases? I didn't find anything in the Boutique Labels forum, so I wasn't sure if I should create a thread there or here.

My real question is whether anybody owns the Eureka release of Pudovkin's End of St. Petersburg. I've become fascinated with silent Soviet cinema lately, and I wonder if anybody has an opinion on whether I should pick up Eureka's release of this film or Image's release (which also contains Pudovkin's Deserter). The two-for-one Image deal is attractive, but the "movie essay" special feature on the Eureka disc also sounds interesting. (And of course, I'm aware that Eureka's release of Dr. Mabuse is superior to Image's.) Any advice?

And please feel free to move this thread if I've placed it in the wrong forum.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:17 pm 
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The old Eureka Griffith and Soviet stuff are NTSC > PAL ports from David Shepard's Image transfers.

The "movie essays" consist of scrolling text. Personally, I'd get the Image releases if you can't wait for more definitive versions to be released in the future.

The later Eureka releases (pre-MoC Series) are very good (TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE, DR MABUSE THE GAMBLER, THE LAST LAUGH, SUNRISE, etc)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:28 pm 
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Many thanks for the info.

I think I'll go ahead and get the Image releases. I have no idea when "more definitive" releases of Pudovkin will arrive, as it seems to be taking Criterion long enough just to get the silent Eisensteins together. But I was pleased with Shepard's transfer of Storm over Asia. I must say, however, that my vote for the silent film that's currently available on DVD but most in need of a revisit would be Dovchenko's [sp.?] Earth. Now there's an MoC release I'd love to see!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:16 pm 

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Nick, any chances for a MoC release of TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE, DR MABUSE THE GAMBLER in the future?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:28 pm 
not perpee
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Not likely, I'm afraid (since the recent A FRITZ LANG BOX SET release). Our small team would rather work on titles that haven't been released yet. It's unfortunate that we didn't get to work on them first time round.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:10 am 
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tryavna wrote:
My real question is whether anybody owns the Eureka release of Pudovkin's End of St. Petersburg

Did you ever pick this up Tryavna? I've been waiting so long for an updated version, always hoping something is around the corner...

With regards to distribution rights what's the deal with MoC and [the Eureka released] Storm Over Asia and does anyone own Mother? I don't know what shape they're in but wouldn't these three films make a great boxset? The two Eureka Pudovkin's were released in 2001, surely, if not MoC, someone is going to re-release them?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:55 am 
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The Eureka "St.-Petersburg" is pretty horrible. Bad elements, edge enhancement, contrast manipulation, and clearly analogue-sourced. Non-removable YELLOW subs on top of it. I haven't seen the Image edition, but even if it's not better than the R2, at least it has that other film as a bonus. "Storm over Asia" is miles ahead of this, really.

If you're starting to look into Silent soviet cinema, apart from the most obvious recent choices (the two Kozintsevs from arte and the new "Potemkin"), I'd suggest getting Protazanov's "Aelita" (either from Image or the new Ruscico, which apparently is superior) and most of all the Evgeni Bauer films, either from BFI or from Milestone. Most marvellous films, in quite good shape, and decently transferred as well. And of course everything by Vertov, though even the restored "Entuziasm" (if that could be counted as a silent for a moment) from Filmmuseum couldn't help the bad shape of all the original materials of Vertov's films.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:00 am 
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Tommaso wrote:
Evgeni Bauer films, either from BFI or from Milestone. Most marvellous films, in quite good shape, and decently transferred as well.

I absolutely second the recommendation for the Bauer films (I have the BFI edition) - they're eye-openers in every sense. It's hard to think of anyone else who was making films quite so technically advanced and psychologically sophisticated prior to 1917 (the year of his untimely death).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:47 pm 
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FSimeoni wrote:
tryavna wrote:
My real question is whether anybody owns the Eureka release of Pudovkin's End of St. Petersburg

Did you ever pick this up Tryavna? I've been waiting so long for an updated version, always hoping something is around the corner...

No, I ended up going for the R1 Image release. It's not too bad -- not as pleasing as Image's Storm Over Asia, but not nearly as problematic as Tommaso's descriptions of the R2 Eureka. (And as he points out, the Image has a second film by Pudovkin (Deserter) to sweeten the deal. It's not as good as Pudovkin's silents, but the experimentation with sound is interesting.)

I also own the Image's R1 release of Mother, but it's not by David Shepard, and it shows. I believe the production company is called Corinth, and they merely distribute through Image. It's still watchable, but you'll want to create your own soundtrack for it. The one included on the disc is one of those terrible, scratchy 1960s affairs.

Finally, I'll third the recommendation for the Bauer films. Simply incredible!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:10 am 
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tryavna wrote:
No, I ended up going for the R1 Image release. It's not too bad -- not as pleasing as Image's Storm Over Asia, but not nearly as problematic as Tommaso's descriptions of the R2 Eureka.

I hope we have somewhat the same evaluation criteria, as you almost convinced me of ordering the Image "St.Petersburg". The Eureka people may have indeed fiddled with their Russian silents on their own. I had the Shepard resto of "Potemkin" first from Eureka, and then from the Spanish company JRB. And the Spanish looked far superior (far less contrast boosting, for example), although obviously coming from exactly the same print . Now both can be consigned to the dustbin, of course.

EDIT: damn, I only noticed now that your original post was from 2005, and that this thread has simply been revived. Which makes me ask: did you pick up any Russian silents since then not mentioned in this thread already? I'm just curious whether there's anything out there (in France or Spain, for example) I missed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:35 am 
not perpee
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All the old Eureka Russian silents were sourced from David Shepard (ie. the Image masters) but they suffered from bad NTSC > PAL conversions. So the Image discs are the way to go until something better appears.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:58 am 
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Tommaso wrote:
damn, I only noticed now that your original post was from 2005, and that this thread has simply been revived. Which makes me ask: did you pick up any Russian silents since then not mentioned in this thread already? I'm just curious whether there's anything out there (in France or Spain, for example) I missed.

Tommaso, all the Russian/Soviet silents I own are R1 Image releases in some form or another (the Corinth Mother, the Milestone port of Bauer, and all of the Soviet silents David Shepard has done). As my 2005 post probably indicates, I was on something of a Russian/Soviet kick about two years ago and figured that the Image releases were the most cost-effective approach while still being watchable. Since then, I haven't really explored other region releases. But as Peerpee points out, and as I mentioned in a different thread, the R1 Image titles are probably the best stop-gap for now -- at least for English-locked consumers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:49 am 
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Ok, thanks. It looks like the only one I'm missing is the Image "St.Petersburg" then. I can't stop dreaming of a good version of this film from arte edition, though. It should fit totally into their programme.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:04 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:38 am
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Don't forget about Eureka's release of Junebug, which has more special features then it's counterpart, R1 release.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:06 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:26 am
peerpee wrote:
Not likely, I'm afraid (since the recent A FRITZ LANG BOX SET release). Our small team would rather work on titles that haven't been released yet. It's unfortunate that we didn't get to work on them first time round.

The Fritz Lang Boxset is currently £17.99 on Benson's World for 1 day only. Snap it up whilst you can!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:07 am 
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Well, I'm not sure where else to post this apart from starting a dedicated Pudovkin thread....

Thanks to Tryavna's recommendation, I finally got around to buy the Image "St.Petersburg"/"Deserter" disc. I only watched "Deserter" yet, and must say I'm much surprised how good it is. This is every way as experimental and has a similar impact as Pudovkin's silents. The absence of sound in many passages (apart from the print crackle...) creates a similar effect as the same technique in Lang's "M", but of course Pudovkin is far more advanced in actually using sound/music for characterization AND propaganda. That rhythmic hammering on those steel slaps relatively early in the film might almost work as an early example of 'industrial music' (anyone remember Test Dept.?)
In retrospect the whole idea of sending the German workers to the USSR- 'paradise' for being brought back onto the right track has repercussions clearly not intended by the filmmaker (and the 'big brother' voice from those really big speakers doesn't help to change the impression, and I wonder whether Chaplin was aware of this film before "Modern Times").
Still, a very amazing and curiously 'entertaining' film which definitely should get a wider audience.

I honestly think these Pudovkins should be inserted into the MoC series, especially as "Deserter" needs to be re-done. The Image disc is one of the more annoying examples of what happens if a company gets the 1.19 ratio wrong. An awful lot of chopped heads here....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Huh... you havent seen St Petersberg yet?

You just wait, Tom... head rolling on the floor time...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:14 am 
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Schrecko, if you had read the other posts in this thread you would have noticed that I gave my negative comments on the Eureka "Petersburg" already. So what was meant by me was that I didn't watch the Image "Petersburg" yet (and probably won't in the near future).

Head still sticking fast, I think (though somewhat droning from the aftermath of last night's pub outing....) :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Neighborhood schmecker voice talking into warehouse mic from side of mouth:

"Yeah-ahhh, gimme a full cancel on de head rollin t'ing & make it snappy partner willya?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:26 am 
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Looks like Leben für Leben - Maximilian Kolbe (Life for Life) is being released by Eureka outside Masters of Cinema.[/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:43 pm 
not perpee
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Eureka are re-releasing a lot of their older titles at a lower price. This is one of those re-releases.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:00 am 
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Perpee; I emailed Eureka but after confirming it is so, they they seem a little coy about the reason. The new Eureka Classics release of 'The Black Shield of Falworth' - Universal-International's first Cinemascope film - is cropped to 1.78:1. I'm curious to know why?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:38 am 
not perpee
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Dear John, I haven't been involved with that release, but I would guess that Universal were responsible for providing a 1.78:1 master. If that's what Universal telecined, that's all that's available. This is almost certainly something that's out of Eureka's hands (not an authoring issue).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:39 am 
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peerpee wrote:
Dear John, I haven't been involved with that release, but I would guess that Universal were responsible for providing a 1.78:1 master. If that's what Universal telecined, that's all that's available. This is almost certainly something that's out of Eureka's hands (not an authoring issue).

What really threw me was the fact that it was listed on the Eureka site as being 2.35:1 until I sent the email, now it's switched to '16:9'...and the reference to it being Universal's first Cinemascope film has been deleted.

Thanks anyway - such a shame.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:30 pm 
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John Hodson wrote:
peerpee wrote:
Dear John, I haven't been involved with that release, but I would guess that Universal were responsible for providing a 1.78:1 master. If that's what Universal telecined, that's all that's available. This is almost certainly something that's out of Eureka's hands (not an authoring issue).

What really threw me was the fact that it was listed on the Eureka site as being 2.35:1 until I sent the email, now it's switched to '16:9'...and the reference to it being Universal's first Cinemascope film has been deleted.

Thanks anyway - such a shame.

It's one thing to be forced to use a flawed master, but to hide that information from the consumer is despicable. Peerpee, tell your bosses to at least come clean on the packaging


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