45 Diamonds of the Night

Discuss DVDs released by Second Run DVD and the films on them.
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Bikey
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#26 Post by Bikey » Tue May 11, 2010 6:52 pm

Glenn Kenny's excellent review at The Auteurs
Last edited by Bikey on Tue May 18, 2010 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#27 Post by MichaelB » Sat May 15, 2010 2:06 pm

MovieMail podcast (Graeme Hobbs)

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RossyG
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#28 Post by RossyG » Sat May 15, 2010 5:54 pm

Aww, that was like a bedtime story. Graeme Hobbs has the most soothing voice since Oliver Postgate.

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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#29 Post by Bikey » Tue May 18, 2010 5:47 am

Alan Stanbrook's choice as DVD of the Week in The Sunday Telegraph

petoluk
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#30 Post by petoluk » Tue May 18, 2010 5:40 pm

RossyG wrote:
otis wrote:Beaver
I think the "visual issues with unexpected blown-out brightness" are an artistic choice rather than a lab error. They seem to occur only in flashbacks. I'm pretty sure this issue is covered in the booklet.
MichaelB wrote:Yes, there's very little question that it's intentional - as you say, the overexposure is exclusive to the flashbacks, and there's a clear artistic reason for this.

Cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera (the better known Miroslav Ondříček was the camera operator) was one of the most experimentally-inclined of all Czech New Wave DOPs, and was constantly trying out new effects by varying contrast, exposure and (in later films such as Daisies) colour - and Jan Němec was equally inclined towards taking visual risks, so was clearly a kindred spirit.
Hi guys! Not sure if this was mentioned in the booklet or in one of those linked reviews, but this is what Miroslav Ondříček said [in the featurette on the Czech release] about the "overexposed" film stock:

(Note his speech was not very coherent - I tried to translate it as well as I could.)

...Jaroušek [Jaroslav Kučera] took it [the job] and came up with a beautiful... that "viráž" [normally the process of color-tinting black and white material - not sure what exactly he meant by that here] it's got, that structure... the nature of the image was determined by... I mean... keep in mind that at the time there was no magnetic recording, let alone... a camcorder, and the sound was recorded optically... and in order to obtain that optical track that ran... on the edge of the film track, I mean film print, its contrast had to be very high... and, in this developer used for developing that optical... the sound tracks, we developed that NP7... which was... Orwo, East German... which was very soft, and that's how it got that character... like that of... that period. I think it was a brilliant idea of Jaroušek's... beautiful...

Cheers! :wink:
Peto

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MichaelB
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#31 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 18, 2010 5:49 pm

Interestingly, that's the same film stock that the Quay Brothers used for the first batch of 35mm prints for Institute Benjamenta - after many tests, they said it was the only stock that was capable of reproducing very subtle differences between shades of grey (presumably the 'soft' quality that Ondříček refers to).

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MichaelB
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#32 Post by MichaelB » Wed May 19, 2010 5:48 am

I've just been tipped off that Diamonds of the Night will be discussed on Radio 4's Film Programme on Friday.

Incidentally, I know I'm biased, but I'm absolutely thrilled with the amout of coverage this film has been getting - it could so easily have been buried and ignored.

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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#33 Post by Bikey » Thu May 20, 2010 1:14 pm

MichaelB wrote:I've just been tipped off that Diamonds of the Night will be discussed on Radio 4's Film Programme on Friday.

Incidentally, I know I'm biased, but I'm absolutely thrilled with the amout of coverage this film has been getting - it could so easily have been buried and ignored.
Thanks, Michael.
And just to let you all know that the discussion about the film on BBC Radio 4's Film Programme will be on Friday 28th May. The Film Programme starts at 4.30pm and, in case you miss hearing it live, can be accessed afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

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RossyG
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#34 Post by RossyG » Fri May 21, 2010 1:38 pm

Bikey wrote:The Film Programme starts at 4.30pm and, in case you miss hearing it live, can be accessed afterwards on BBC iPlayer.
The iPlayer only works for UK residents, but the show can also be downloaded as a podcast, which presumably can be accessed by anyone (or emailed around if not). :D

Podcast site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/film

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Duncan Hopper
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#35 Post by Duncan Hopper » Fri May 21, 2010 2:53 pm

BBC iplayer does work outside the UK, but only for radio, not TV. As this is on Radio 4, it will be fine.

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RossyG
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#36 Post by RossyG » Wed May 26, 2010 8:13 am

Very positive review at DVD Times (or whatever it's called these days): http://homecinema.thedigitalfix.co.uk/c ... -noci.html

Bikey
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#37 Post by Bikey » Fri May 28, 2010 12:58 pm

Diamonds of the Night reviewed by Pasquale Iannone on this week's edition of Radio 4's The Film Programme (about 18 mins in).

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whaleallright
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#38 Post by whaleallright » Sat May 29, 2010 1:06 am

So why is this film called "Diamonds of the Night"? is it simply a poetic allusion to stars? and if so, what then?

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zedz
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#39 Post by zedz » Sun May 30, 2010 6:16 pm

What a fantastic film! This is one of those movies that demonstrates just how arbitrary the cinema canon is, as I feel its virtues are so self-evident that there's no rational explanation why it isn't as celebrated as the big names, just dumb distribution and reception luck. And there's a huge number of such films, and lots of others I've never seen, I'm sure. Sticking just to the sixties, you could come up with an alternative canon just as persuasive in formal terms as the existing one: Barrier, Inferno of First Love, Brief Encounters, The House Is Black, Boy, The Valley of the Bees, Barravento, Le Trou, A Story Written with Water. And this is leaving aside odder, more personal and idiosyncratic works which might struggle to reach concensus.

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peerpee
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#40 Post by peerpee » Mon May 31, 2010 1:46 am

That's what's so exhilarating about labels like Second Run and our subsequent discussions/realisations about these films, it helps remould the canon. Like you say zedz, there are multiple histories out there, not just the ones written by the distributors at the time. When future, more complete, accounts of 1960s films are written, the vagaries of 1960s film distribution will fade away, and important films like this - thanks to distributors like Second Run - will get their full due.

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whaleallright
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#41 Post by whaleallright » Mon May 31, 2010 1:57 am

In researching this film a bit, I learned that Nemec has, oddly, a place in the history of American independent film: his forgotten MARTYRS OF LOVE was the very first film distributed by New Line CInema in 1969.

Still don't know what the title is about. Did I miss one of the ten or twelve lines of dialogue? :wink:

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MichaelB
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#42 Post by MichaelB » Mon May 31, 2010 2:01 am

It's the title of one of Arnošt Lustig's other short stories, but my copy is currently in another country so I can't quote the relevant passage directly.

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jsteffe
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#43 Post by jsteffe » Mon May 31, 2010 2:04 am

jonah.77 wrote:So why is this film called "Diamonds of the Night"? is it simply a poetic allusion to stars? and if so, what then?
Confusingly, the title "Diamonds of the Night" (Démanty noci) is borrowed from another novel by Arnošt Lustig. The title of the novel from which this film was adapted is actually "Tma nemá stín," published in English as "Darkness Casts No Shadow." The book is now out of print in the U.S., but you can still get used copies on Amazon. It's been translated into other languages as well. If you liked this film, I highly recommend the novel.

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MichaelB
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#44 Post by MichaelB » Mon May 31, 2010 3:12 am

peerpee wrote:That's what's so exhilarating about labels like Second Run and our subsequent discussions/realisations about these films, it helps remould the canon. Like you say zedz, there are multiple histories out there, not just the ones written by the distributors at the time. When future, more complete, accounts of 1960s films are written, the vagaries of 1960s film distribution will fade away, and important films like this - thanks to distributors like Second Run - will get their full due.
I completely agree, which is why I'm also an avid collector of NInA/PWA's releases - aside from a couple of their theatrical recordings, I think I have a complete set, and blind-buy everything. (I have to: there was next to no English-language documentation available for, say, Wojciech Wiszniewski, one of the most startling discoveries I've made in years). And their canon-challenging activities are just as essential, especially given that Polish cinema is arguably stronger in documentary and animation than it is in fiction, and that these films were almost entirely off limits to English speakers until four or five years ago.

And it's also why I'm proud to be heavily involved with the BFI's massively ambitious plan to completely remap British film history via the documentary and Flipside releases and many other projects. Speaking personally, it's actually a lot more exciting to take an almost entirely unknown film and start building its long overdue reputation than it is to produce yet another special edition of a well-worn classic - which is why I'm so thrilled at the attention Diamonds of the Night has been getting.

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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#45 Post by Cash Flagg » Mon May 31, 2010 1:36 pm


Stefan Andersson
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#46 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:30 am

Screencaps from French release (no Eng subs), restored by Malavida if I understand correctly:
http://www.filmsactu.com/test-dvd-zone- ... -10156.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#47 Post by Bikey » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:31 am

For those who may have had trouble listening to the Radio 4 Film Programme, here it is as an MP3 file.

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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#48 Post by petoluk » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:50 am

Stefan Andersson wrote:Screencaps from French release (no Eng subs), restored by Malavida if I understand correctly:
http://www.filmsactu.com/test-dvd-zone- ... -10156.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The same here + screencaps from the Czech release + screencaps from both (the click-able thumbnails in the notes) matching the ones in DVDBeaver's review of the Second Run edition...

Cheers! :wink:
Peto

Bikey
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#49 Post by Bikey » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:13 am


hangman
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Re: Diamonds of the Night

#50 Post by hangman » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:26 am

Watched this the other day after letting it sink in and thinking about it more this was an excellent film! Two things that particularly struck me about this film was the camera and the soundtrack that I can't help keep thinking about.

The camera that doesn't simply track the two boys but is in action with the boys - running, walking, and tiring with them - so that for the first fifteen minutes as the two continually run the film immediately hits you with the exhaustion and fatigue that pervades the images. By being so close to the boy and participating in their action that I did grow attached and sympathetic to them - not merely because of the sight of their condition. Moreover, I felt that the most frightening scene for me:
SpoilerShow
When they're caught and simply facing the wall or even when the kid keeps imagining that the scenario of killing the woman in the kitchen
was all the more frightful as the normally restless or distanced image of the camera was still and hesitant.

The other star of the film for me other than the camera was the soundtrack which contained all the violence that the film never really shows or merely imagines.
SpoilerShow
The sound of the breaking vase over the woman's head, the dogs barking during the chase, the repeated gun shots as they make their way up the hill, and of course the most frightful violence of all the sound of two gunshots "killing" the men
Its not just the images you see that linger on with you but the sounds that keep you constantly on your toes or ring in your head along with the images that are played over and over again in the flash cuts. The image and the sound really work together in tandem so well that I find it difficult to imagine that this film was adapted from a novel since I honestly can't imagine the work without its images and sound that make up such an incredible yet exhausting cinematic experience. I definitely can't wait to watch this again when I find the time.

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