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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:28 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
(If I remember rightly, it was outrage over the 1936 The Charge of the Light Brigade that led directly to the legislation being passed the following year).


I had always heard that the arena scenes in De Mille's Sign of the Cross (1932) had provoked the outrage. Maybe both films contributed..


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:54 pm
McCrutchy wrote:
I also think it should be enforced only for films produced (in part, or wholly) in the UK, since that is really all the UK should be concerned about.

Following that line of reasoning to its logical conclusion:

Snuff films and child porn produced entirely in (random Third World country, don't want to single one out) would therefore be legal to redistribute in any other country because the actual acts took place outside of their jurisdiction. That's not how it works any place that I know of. Is that really the precedent that you would want to set?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:35 pm 

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:18 am
This discussion about animal cruelty got me thinking about the current broadcasting of the Grand National. Two horses died at the weekend (five died during the recent Cheltenham Festival). Would these incidents come under the Cruelty of Animals Act, and fall foul of the broadcasting licence, or would it be regarded as an acceptable occupational hazard as cited by Paul Nicholls, trainer of the winning horse?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:19 pm 
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In terms of the law as I understand it, since the horses' deaths would not have been staged for the camera, they're exempt.

As for being an "acceptable occupational hazard," I'd have to see the employment contracts that the horses signed. (I happened to watch Jacek Blawut's harrowing A Lump of Sugar last night, and it's pretty hard for me to see horse racing in a positive light!)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:25 am 
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Yes, if the deaths would have happened regardless of the cameras' presence, that's fine - otherwise campaigning documentaries like The Animals Film would fall foul of the law. Not to mention a fair number of David Attenborough programmes.

And I was thinking about A Lump of Sugar on Saturday, for obvious reasons. It's here, if anyone else wants to see it - no subtitles, but I don't think it needs any.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:08 pm 

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MichaelB wrote:
And I was thinking about A Lump of Sugar on Saturday, for obvious reasons. It's here, if anyone else wants to see it - no subtitles, but I don't think it needs any.

I hadn't seen that before. Shocking stuff.

zedz wrote:
As for being an "acceptable occupational hazard," I'd have to see the employment contracts that the horses signed. (I happened to watch Jacek Blawut's harrowing A Lump of Sugar last night, and it's pretty hard for me to see horse racing in a positive light!)

I've had enough of it as well, but the trainer is biased since he bagged almost a million pounds for his win on Saturday, and despite some high profile complaints against the race, I don't see change coming anytime soon.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:21 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
Yes, if the deaths would have happened regardless of the cameras' presence, that's fine

I guess that explains the BFI being able to issue The Valley (Obscured by Clouds) where some New Guinea tribesmen smash pigs in the head with large clubs. Meanwhile the narration explains that these tribes-people are primarily vegetarians, but bludgeon pigs and eat pork for celebrations. Not a quick nor painless cause of death. That and the subsequent butchering weren't easy to watch.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:17 pm 
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j99 wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
And I was thinking about A Lump of Sugar on Saturday, for obvious reasons. It's here, if anyone else wants to see it - no subtitles, but I don't think it needs any.

I hadn't seen that before. Shocking stuff.

It's a perfect example of a point I made in the Horror List thread that a lot of the films that I find most horrific / disturbing aren't actually horror movies. This one had me practically climbing behind the sofa.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:16 am 
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Anyway, just to get back on topic...

jbeall wrote:
I noticed that the newsletter didn't show the dvd cover. Is new cover art being prepared?

I had a sneak preview yesterday, and the answer is a very definite yes. Not only that, but the Polish title now has diacritics, which wasn't the case with the earlier artwork.

I'm honour-bound not to leak it until it's been formally approved, but I suspect it'll be unveiled pretty soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:46 am 
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Permission has been granted, so...

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:55 am 

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It's impressive, a marked improvement on the rather bland film still on the previous issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:59 am 
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That was one of their very first releases, before they'd developed their mature style.

Handily, their website offers a more or less chronological overview of their covers - as you can see, they were almost exclusively photo-based until the daringly minimalist The Red and the White, with the more stylised designs first appearing in late 2006.

The booklet was also very skimpy compared with what they typically produce now - I don't know what's in the new one for Mother Joan besides a slightly rewritten version of the Kawalerowicz biography that I wrote for Night Train, but that alone is a fair bit longer than what was included before.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:55 am 

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:18 am
It was only a two page booklet. Very little info included. And it's good to see they've sorted out the lettering. The previous sleeve had the titles filling up half the photograph!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Amazon states that this version will be "restored." I wonder what that means. Did they find a better print or source material? Their first release of this film looked slightly better than watching it on VHS. I can't find any information about this new release on their website. Does any one here know anything?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Why are you posting about a movie in the animal cruelty thread?

...er, but, yes, this will be pulling from a recent restoration.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Anthony wrote:
Amazon states that this version will be "restored." I wonder what that means. Did they find a better print or source material? Their first release of this film looked slightly better than watching it on VHS. I can't find any information about this new release on their website. Does any one here know anything?

Back in 2005, when Second Run issued their first DVD of Mother Joan, the only master that was available for commercial distribution purposes was a 1" analogue tape that, as you said, wasn't much better than VHS.

But since the Kadr Film Unit that produced this and many other Polish classics was rejuvenated a few years ago, they've embarked upon an ambitious digital restoration programme based on the 35mm materials in their vaults. This has already seen the reissue of twenty titles on unsubtitled Polish DVDs (see my earlier post for a list), eight of which have been picked up for UK distribution, with at least one more to follow this year. Thankfully, because many of the directors and cinematographers are still alive, they've been extensively involved - in the case of Mother Joan, the new restoration was signed off by the film's original cinematographer Jerzy Wójcik.

I haven't seen the new restoration myself yet, but going from clips and the dramatic difference wrought by the transfers in Second Run's recent Polish Cinema Classics box compared with earlier VHS-quality releases I'm expecting a colossal improvement - certainly, it's unlikely that Second Run would have gone to the expense of their first reissue if they didn't have something to shout about.

(Granted, the new disc also has an extra 20-minute featurette with me wibbling on about the film, but I doubt that will be a major selling point for anyone outside my immediate family).


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:42 pm 
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This is great news... thanks for the info. I think I'm going to definitely pick this up. I borrowed the original DVD from a friend a few years back and was shocked at the poor video quality... yet felt inspired by the film itself at the same time. I guess a good film will do that.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:04 pm 

Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 1:10 pm
I think something would have to go badly wrong if the new version wasn't an improvement on 1" tape!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:01 am 

Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:18 am
MichaelB wrote:

(Granted, the new disc also has an extra 20-minute featurette with me wibbling on about the film, but I doubt that will be a major selling point for anyone outside my immediate family).

Or as I call it, the Peter Hames role, as he seemed to be a regular on the introductions for Second Run. Is he still around?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:57 am 
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j99 wrote:
Or as I call it, the Peter Hames role, as he seemed to be a regular on the introductions for Second Run. Is he still around?

Very much so - he was last spotted writing a superb piece on Jiří Trnka for Sight & Sound, but he made two contributions to Second Run releases last year (Larks on a String and Red Psalm).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:54 pm 
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I'm not quite sure why I was sent a PM with this question:

Quote:
What about the DVD that was a part of a Polish 50 year celebration boxset, was it sourced from the same restoration?

...because it's worth answering in public.

As far as I'm aware, the answer is no: I'm pretty sure that the four five-disc boxes released by Best Film Co a few years ago predated the Kadr restorations, which were mostly carried out in 2010-11.

Certainly, the transfers of Eroica, Night Train and Goodbye, See You Tomorrow in the box sets are noticeably inferior to the ones in Second Run's Polish Cinema Classics box, and the one for Mother Joan of the Angels, while certainly an advance on the old Second Run edition (somewhat heretically, I used it as my reference when preparing the video intro for the new Second Run edition!), clearly isn't any kind of restoration: it's just a better transfer of a still pretty ropey old print.

To the best of my knowledge, the only other DVD release of this new restoration is the one that came out roughly a year ago in an unsubtitled book+DVD edition released by Gazeta Wyborcza.

But all this comes with the caveat that I haven't seen the new restoration myself yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:37 am 
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I've just been asked to trim my Kawalerowicz biog slightly because the main essay was otherwise in danger of pushing the booklet beyond the maximum 20 pages.

So I think it's a pretty safe bet that the new booklet will be a substantial advance on the previous two-pager!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:17 am 
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PillowRock wrote:
McCrutchy wrote:
I also think it should be enforced only for films produced (in part, or wholly) in the UK, since that is really all the UK should be concerned about.

Following that line of reasoning to its logical conclusion:

No. You have not understood my posts. But I do not wish to hijack this thread further.


Now, Michael, forgive my confusion, but here you seem to say Mother Joan of the Angels is from a restoration...
MichaelB wrote:
But since the Kadr Film Unit that produced this and many other Polish classics was rejuvenated a few years ago, they've embarked upon an ambitious digital restoration programme based on the 35mm materials in their vaults. This has already seen the reissue of twenty titles on unsubtitled Polish DVDs (see my earlier post for a list), eight of which have been picked up for UK distribution, with at least one more to follow this year. Thankfully, because many of the directors and cinematographers are still alive, they've been extensively involved - in the case of Mother Joan, the new restoration was signed off by the film's original cinematographer Jerzy Wójcik.

I haven't seen the new restoration myself yet, but going from clips and the dramatic difference wrought by the transfers in Second Run's recent Polish Cinema Classics box compared with earlier VHS-quality releases I'm expecting a colossal improvement - certainly, it's unlikely that Second Run would have gone to the expense of their first reissue if they didn't have something to shout about.


And then here you seem to say it is not:

MichaelB wrote:
Certainly, the transfers of Eroica, Night Train and Goodbye, See You Tomorrow in the box sets are noticeably inferior to the ones in Second Run's Polish Cinema Classics box, and the one for Mother Joan of the Angels, while certainly an advance on the old Second Run edition (somewhat heretically, I used it as my reference when preparing the video intro for the new Second Run edition!), clearly isn't any kind of restoration: it's just a better transfer of a still pretty ropey old print.


And then, in the same post:

MichaelB wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, the only other DVD release of this new restoration is the one that came out roughly a year ago in an unsubtitled book+DVD edition released by Gazeta Wyborcza.

But all this comes with the caveat that I haven't seen the new restoration myself yet.

And so I am confused, is this new DVD mastered from a restored source, or is this just a remaster transferred from the same source as the original Second Run DVD?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:16 am 
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The penultimate quotation (the one beginning "Certainly, the transfers of Eroica...") was about the Best Film Co edition that came out in Poland a few years ago, not the new Second Run edition. (I was originally responding to a question specifically about the Best Film Co version).

But just to clear things up, these are the British and Polish editions in order of release:

• Second Run (2005, UK): VHS quality transfer of an unrestored print, English subtitles;
• Best Film Co (circa 2009-2010, Poland): marginally superior transfer of an unrestored print, English subtitles;
• Gazeta Wyborcza (2011, Poland): the new Studio Kadr restoration, no subtitles;
• Second Run (2012, UK): the new Studio Kadr restoration, English subtitles.

(There's also a Facets/Polart edition out in the US, but it's definitely not the new Studio Kadr restoration).

And just to be even clearer, by "restoration" I mean a high-definition transfer from original 35mm materials accompanied by a full-scale frame-by-frame cleanup, supervised by the film's original cinematographer. So the 2011 and 2012 DVDs should be a colossal advance on their predecessors, though the new Second Run DVD is the only one that's English-friendly.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:31 am 
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I've just received a test pressing of the new Second Run disc, and a quick spin suggests that it does indeed very comfortably blow away all previous English-subtitled contenders.

Framegrab evidence here.


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