Recommendations for Second Run

Discuss DVDs released by Second Run DVD and the films on them.
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denti alligator
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#51 Post by denti alligator » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:59 am

stepps wrote:
denti alligator wrote:Good suggestions.
I don't think Das blaue Licht rivals Der heilige Berg, but it is a fine film. The German DVD isn't bad.
Is the german DVD the sound version, are there english subs?
I didn't know there was a silent version. There are no subtitles.
The disc does include the 1952 version of the film, which I haven't watched because the quality is very poor. Not sure how it differs from the premier version.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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#52 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:30 pm

[quote="stepps"] The most pressing are in bold:

The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (1973, Wojciech Has)


About a year ago I was in Poland where a comprehensive programme of digitally remastering Has' work was in progress. Has anything come of this for the UK market?????

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orlik
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#53 Post by orlik » Tue May 02, 2006 12:58 pm

I agree with many of the choices already made here, and Gregory's list on Page 1 would be more or less the same as my own. I think the case for releasing Jerzy Skolimowski's early work onto DVD is one of the most pressing - in addition to the previously mentioned 'Rysopis/Identification Marks None', 'Walkover' and 'Deep End', I'd suggest his extraordinary 'Barrier' - which boasts some of the most brilliant imagery anywhere in '60s cinema - and his Belgian-made 'Le Depart', which stars Jean-Pierre Leaud. These films seem to be unavailable anywhere, and if they were release I believe they would re-establish Skolimowski's status as one of the most significant figures of world cinema's 'second wave' (i.e. those who began making films in the wake of the original Nouvelle Vague, circa 1964-5).

Pavel Juracek is another figure long overdue for release in UK, given that he's also virtually unknown in this country. As someone else mentioned, the Czech(oslovak) New Wave is now associated too much with the social realism and comedy of Forman, Passer et al, while the avant-garde, Surrealist-affiliated side has been neglected. Juracek is one of the greatest exemplars of this second trend (albeit with elements of the first), though his filmography is not large. Might I suggest the idea of a 3-disc box set that included 'Every Young Man', his brilliant and experimental 'Case for the Rookie Hangman' and 'Josef Kilian/Postava k Podpirani'. As the latter film is only around 40 minutes, it could be supplemented on one disc by Martin Sulik's recent documentary/dramatisation about Juracek's life, 'The Key to Determining Dwarves' - which is also unavailable anywhere.

Jakubisko has also - rightly - been mentioned several times, but I'd also like to suggest another Slovak filmmaker from the same period, Stefan Uher - his first film, 'Sunshine in a Net', is often credited as one of the films that began the New Wave (although it is available on VHS from the Slovak Film Institute in a good print). Then there's his Surrealist 'The Miraculous Virgin' from 1966, which is now almost completely unknown but which sounds fantastic.

Has anyone mentioned the Romanian classic 'Iconostasis' by Christo Christov and Todor Dinov, which sounds like a Romanian equivalent of Andrei Rublev?

Chytilova's 'Daisies' and 'The Fruit of Paradise' are now available in not-bad prints from Facets, but her first feature 'Something Different/O necem jineho' isn't available anywhere.

Also, Second Run might not be the most obvious people to release these, but I can't help mentioning Jacques Rivette's masterpieces 'L'Amour Fou' and 'Out 1' (how about a box set with both the 12 hour and 4 and a half hour versions??), which have never been released, at least in subtitled form, anywhere on VHS/DVD.

And I'd like to second the suggestion for a release of Jan Lenica's solo animations, especially his reputed masterpiece 'Labyrinth'.

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#54 Post by Gregory » Tue May 02, 2006 2:11 pm

Lots of great suggestions being made so far. Adding another list to an already unmanageable backlog...
Dutch cinema:
Marleen Gorris
A Question of Silence (1983)
Broken Mirrors (1984)
Bert Haanstra
The Human Dutch (1963) with some of Haanstra's shorts included
Joris Ivens
The Spanish Earth (1937) with some of Ivens' shorts included
Fons Rademakers
Spitting Image (1962)
The Assault (1984)
Paul Rotha
The Silent Raid (1962)
Detlef Sierck (aka Douglas Sirk)
Boefje (aka Little Rascal or Wilton's Zoo) (1939)
Jos Stelling
The Illusionist (1983)
The Pointsman (1986)

solent

#55 Post by solent » Tue May 02, 2006 8:30 pm

Good list orlik, I agree with the Skolimowski sentiments and unfortunately I have not yet seen HANDS UP which is the third part of his 'boxer trilogy'. It seems that people desire films either seen or read about. 'Lost' films rediscovered from Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania would be very welcome by many out there. I'm just glad that the folks at Second Run have the intelligence to overseer a good collection of artistically high films and I hope they can continue to do so.

Other posts regarding Rivette seem to imply the possibilty of some of his 60s works being released [BFI?] Maybe I read them incorrectly but I live in hope.

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#56 Post by zedz » Tue May 02, 2006 10:40 pm

Maybe it's time to weigh in with some more suggestions, since I restricted myself to Eastern Europe the first time out. I'll try to keep it to the point:

Cinema Novo - anything by Glauber Rocha. These are starting to trickle out in Brazil, but it's slow going and they're not exactly easy to find.

New German Cinema - the big names have looked after themselves (or will continue to do so), but I'd love to see some Syberberg or Kluge out there. Hauff's Matthias Kneissl is one of the greatest anti-Heimatfilms.

Iranian cinema - one of the most exciting national cinemas of the last quarter-century, and look how appalling its representation is! Even Kiarostami, the big name, has key films unavailable. I'd love to see any of his missing films on DVD, and can definitely vouch for the genius of Traveller and Life and Nothing More. It's ridiculous that nobody has had the acumen to issue the entire Koker trilogy on DVD. Makhmalbaf (and kin) similarly deserve digital recognition.

Taiwanese cinema - see above. Taiwan has some of the most vital directors working today, but only Tsai is well-represented on DVD. Yang has produced a fistful of masterpieces unavailable anywhere (A Brighter Summer Day has to be top of the list), and there are plenty of missing Hous (even more if you extend that "missing" to "unavailable in decent editions").

Contemporary French cinema - Seeing as the French are completely unreliable when it comes to subtitling their DVDs, there's plenty of scope for picking the eyes out of the oeuvres of Denis (Nenette et Boni, please!), Assayas (L'Eau froide) and Pialat (L'Enfance nue, Sous le soleil de Satan - these have all been freshly transferred, but not subbed). Pascale Ferran made a couple of fine, ambitious (and accessible) features in the mid-90s (Petits arrangements avec les morts and L'age des possibles), then vanished. Her films deserve to be remembered. And there are acres of Ruiz that ought to be available.

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#57 Post by tryavna » Wed May 03, 2006 11:37 am

Gregory wrote: Joris Ivens
The Spanish Earth (1937) with some of Ivens' shorts included
Hm, I hadn't even thought about Dutch cinema, but Ivens was a fascinating filmmaker who deserves wider availability on DVD. Although it wouldn't fit in terms of content, Ivens' immediate follow-up to Spanish Earth -- The 400 Million -- might make an interesting companion piece. Each runs about 50-55 minutes.

I also seem to remember somebody mentioning South American cinema earlier. What about the possibility of releasing some Alberto Cavalcanti's Brazilian work? I guess O Canto do Mar would be his best-known work. I haven't seen it personally. But I have to say I've never seen a bad Cavalcanti film, and like Ivens, he's a director who deserves wider availability and appreciation.

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#58 Post by Gregory » Wed May 03, 2006 1:36 pm

Yes, Second Run said they plan to release at least one South American film this year. O Canto do Mar would be a natural both because of the director's strong international ties and because the film is more deserving of a reputation as a forerunner to cinema novo.
I've thought about making some South American film recomendations here but it's a bit difficult because such a small percentage of what deserves to be released has been, and also I imagine that the number of possibilities will be drastically cut down by what Second Run can actually secure legal and archival access. Perhaps (I hope) i'm wrong about this.

solent

#59 Post by solent » Wed May 03, 2006 7:52 pm

Somebody mentioned Kluge?

I purchased the boot of ARTISTS UNDER THE BIG TOP, PERPLEXED (1967) from Supperhappyfun last year. (They found a subbed print to replace their German-only version.) Despite the fact that it is an ex-1960s theatrical print (with obvious flaws) I found it to be a fascinating film; very intelligent and quite original.

An excellent DVD would be this film plus its TV sequel - THE INDOMITABLE LENI PEIKERT as an extra. The TV film uses outtakes from the first shoot and shows Leni's career in reverse.

I've said this before but the fact that Kluge is still living and that none of his films is out on DVD anywhere [as far as I can ascertain] tells me that's probably the way he wants it. After all we live in a world where commercial fare rates highest for the investors and Kluge's films are not for the averaged-brained.

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#60 Post by rollotomassi » Thu May 11, 2006 6:25 pm

Two flag-bearers for Second Run seem to be Czech and Polish cinema. So here's a suggestion...a proper boxset of three Gustav Machaty films from either side of 1930...Erotikon (1929), From Saturday to Sunday (1931) and Extase (1932). This master needs trumpeting, and Second Run are the boys to do it.

Other than that, a full three hour version of Kawalerowicz's Pharaoh, to go with Mother Joan of the Angels, Eureka's quickly wthdrawn release was only 140m and dubbed and in an awful bleached NTSC style print and my VHS copy of the full subtitled version has seen better days.

Also, other rare classics from the Czechs...Otakar Vavra's Witches Hammer (so we can ditch the awful Facets R1 release), Jan Nemec's Diamonds of the Night, Jaromil Jires' The Joke, Jaruj Herz's Morgiana, Juraj Jakubisko's The Deserters and the Nomads, Vojtech Jasny's All My Good Countrymen.

And how about one out of the dark, from Denmark, Gabriel Axel's Hagbard and Signe from 1968.

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#61 Post by stepps » Mon May 15, 2006 6:28 pm

orlik wrote:Pavel Juracek is another figure long overdue for release in UK, given that he's also virtually unknown in this country. As someone else mentioned, the Czech(oslovak) New Wave is now associated too much with the social realism and comedy of Forman, Passer et al, while the avant-garde, Surrealist-affiliated side has been neglected. Juracek is one of the greatest exemplars of this second trend (albeit with elements of the first), though his filmography is not large. Might I suggest the idea of a 3-disc box set that included 'Every Young Man', his brilliant and experimental 'Case for the Rookie Hangman' and 'Josef Kilian/Postava k Podpirani'. As the latter film is only around 40 minutes, it could be supplemented on one disc by Martin Sulik's recent documentary/dramatisation about Juracek's life, 'The Key to Determining Dwarves' - which is also unavailable anywhere.
Made a bit of a DVD discovery today, Ikarie XB1 is available from the Czech repulic in its original version, on what is reportedly a good print and DVD. Its screenplay was done by Juracek. http://www.dvdr.cz/seznam_video.php . Also has english subs, cant wait for my copy to arrive :P

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#62 Post by Bikey » Tue May 16, 2006 12:21 pm

Crikey,our list grows ever longer. Thanks for all the suggestions. Please keep them coming.

I can confirm that a number of films mentioned in this thread are being researched but I don't want to mention any names and start raising expectations.

That said our release schedule for the second half of 2006 is coming together and looking pretty good, thank you very much. More news as and when.

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#63 Post by Steven H » Tue May 16, 2006 1:36 pm

Here's a European recomendation: Juan Anontio Bardem's Muerte de un ciclista (Death of a Cyclist, 1955). I absolutely love this film, and it desperately needs rescuing from obscurity. I haven't seen anything else by this director, unfortunately, but Calle Mayor sounds interesting.

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#64 Post by Cold Bishop » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:39 am

I would love to see some Bulgarian cinema... Haven't seen any, but from the sounds of some of them, they could be fairly interesting.

The main name I see is Christo Christov (some times goes under Zhristo Zhristov). I've seen some people mention Iconostasis/Ikonostat, his collabo with animator Todor Dinov, and that seems to be the most popular film of his, but some is his other films sound incredibly interesting. His film The Last Summer/Posledno Liato seemed to be the film that introduced Surrealism into Bulgarian cinema, and some of his other films like A Tree Without Roots/Darvo bez koren, Cyclops/Cykoplat, Anvil or Hammer/Nakovalnya ili chuk, The Truck/Kamionat, and A Woman at 33/Edna zhena na trideset I tri all seem to be worth a look.

Another film that sounds interesting from the country is The Goat's Horn/Kozijat Rog(Dir: Metodi Andonov), which seems to be the most viewed film in Bulgarian history. A film about a farmer and daughter who set out on a quest for revenge against the Ottoman Turks in 17th Century Bulgaria.

There's also the film Advantage/Avantzah (Dir: Georgi Dyulgerov) which is a decade long biographical feature about Lasar Kasabov, the king of all pickpockets in Bulgaria. It won the Best Director prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

There's also Rangel Vulchanov's The Unknown Soldier's Patent Leather Shoes/Lachenite Obouvki na neznayniya voin, which I've heard compared to Tarkovsky's The Mirror.

And while not Bulgarian, some of the films of Frantisek Vlacil would be great. Marketa Lazerová is the usual suspect, but some of his later period films also sound interesting, Namely Concert at the End of Summer/Koncert No Kanci Leta and Mag.

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#65 Post by Steven H » Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:19 am

I guess nevermind about Death of a Cyclist if Criterion's going to put it out.

How about The House is Black? I know the mission statement is keeping from doubling up on another DVD release, but this film deserves far better than what Facets gave it (even with an interview and Rosenbaum/Marker essays).

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#66 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:24 pm

Cold Bishop wrote: I would love to see some Bulgarian cinema...
Another film that sounds interesting from the country is The Goat's Horn/Kozijat Rog(Dir: Metodi Andonov), which seems to be the most viewed film in Bulgarian history. A film about a farmer and daughter who set out on a quest for revenge against the Ottoman Turks in 17th Century Bulgaria.
For any Festivalites in Edinburgh - here's said title at the Filmhouse -
The Goat Horn
Kozijat rog

Sun 13 Aug only

Nikolai Volev | Bulgaria 1994 | 1h28m | 35mm | Bulgarian with English subtitles | 18
Cast: Aleksandr Morfov, Elena Petrova, Valentin Ganev, Petar Popyordanov, Rdoslava Milenova.

A brilliant and terrifying story of how a man tries to live his life after he has witnessed the brutal rape of his young wife. Nikolai Volev's dark and beautiful tragedy screened at the 49th Festival in 1995 and is one of the abiding memories of Mark Cousins, the EIFF director at the time. This is an extremely rare screening and one seriously not to be missed.

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#67 Post by zedz » Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:18 pm

Steven H wrote:How about The House is Black? I know the mission statement is keeping from doubling up on another DVD release, but this film deserves far better than what Facets gave it (even with an interview and Rosenbaum/Marker essays).
This would probably count as tripling up. A very nice transfer of this came out with an issue of the French publication Cinema a couple of years ago - still available from alapage and amazon, I think. It only has French subtitles, but the language is pretty straightforward, and the film's amazing impact is primarily visual. The disc also includes her other film A Fire (Golestan directed it, but she edited it, beautifully), which has English narration, if I recall correctly.

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#68 Post by Steven H » Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:55 pm

zedz wrote:This would probably count as tripling up. A very nice transfer of this came out with an issue of the French publication Cinema a couple of years ago - still available from alapage and amazon, I think. It only has French subtitles, but the language is pretty straightforward, and the film's amazing impact is primarily visual. The disc also includes her other film A Fire (Golestan directed it, but she edited it, beautifully), which has English narration, if I recall correctly.
Ah, thank you very much for that information. I had no idea about that release (though, I looked and couldn't find anything at either site, unfortunately.)

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#69 Post by zedz » Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:59 pm

Steven H wrote:Ah, thank you very much for that information. I had no idea about that release (though, I looked and couldn't find anything at either site, unfortunately.)
They're ridiculously difficult to find on the web site (looking for "Cinema" is hopeless, of course). The best way is to go by the publisher (Leo Scheer). Go to alapage, and enter "cinema" and "scheer" in a "livres francais" search and you'll find most of the issues. I just did this and they still have the "House is Black" issue (No. 7). Also some rare Straub and Rohmer available, though none with English subs.

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#70 Post by Gordon » Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:10 pm

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Cold Bishop wrote: I would love to see some Bulgarian cinema...
Another film that sounds interesting from the country is The Goat's Horn/Kozijat Rog(Dir: Metodi Andonov), which seems to be the most viewed film in Bulgarian history. A film about a farmer and daughter who set out on a quest for revenge against the Ottoman Turks in 17th Century Bulgaria.
For any Festivalites in Edinburgh - here's said title at the Filmhouse -
The Goat Horn
Kozijat rog

Sun 13 Aug only

Nikolai Volev | Bulgaria 1994 | 1h28m | 35mm | Bulgarian with English subtitles | 18
Cast: Aleksandr Morfov, Elena Petrova, Valentin Ganev, Petar Popyordanov, Rdoslava Milenova.
That's the 1994 remake. The original is from 1972. 3.5 million people in Bulgaria (population in 1972 was 8 million) saw the film on its original release.

Available here for $19, but it doesn't have subtitles:
www.gobgmedia.com/m_koziyat_rog72_DVD.htm

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#71 Post by pro-bassoonist » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:51 am

I have to add my strong support for Bulgarian cinema. Anything you can release will be an automatic buy for me!!

"Advantage" is phenomenal!!

Ciao,
Pro-B

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#72 Post by Cold Bishop » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:57 am

Mihai Viteazu (1970 - Romania - Dir: Sergei Nicolaescu)

A Romanian epic about the efforts of Prince Michael to unify Romania during the middle ages. I often hear it called one of the great epics of Eastern European cinema by the few people I've known who've seen it. I know it's one of the most ambitious and expensive films ever made in Romania. Hopefully, if you do get yours hands on this, it will be in it's four hour original version.

Colonel Wolodyjowski, The Deluge, With Fire and Sword (1969, 1974, 1999 - Poland - Dir: Jerzy Hoffman)

All these films were released in r1 by Polart, but I hear that they were all horrible Facets quality dvds. It's a shame, because I keep hearining good things abouts Hoffman's film (Especially The Deluge). These fall in the same category as above: Eastern European Historical Epics, and from the looks, these are some of the best. In fact, I would pick up Leper and The Quack also release by Polart (and most likely in horrible quality).

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#73 Post by MichaelB » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:40 pm

rollotomassi wrote:Also, other rare classics from the Czechs...Otakar Vavra's Witches Hammer (so we can ditch the awful Facets R1 release), Jan Nemec's Diamonds of the Night
Both of these are out on DVD in the Czech Republic - the first definitely has English subtitles, and the second (which I've just ordered) claims to have, though if I remember rightly there's virtually no dialogue anyway.

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#74 Post by MichaelB » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:47 pm

denti alligator wrote:Since the Bros. Quay did an introduction for Second Run, what are the chances of getting some of their work released? There are plenty of shorts that haven't ever been released on home video, including In Absentia, their collaboration with Karlheinz Stockhausen.
A UK DVD release of In Absentia is imminent, along with fourteen other Quay Brothers shorts and a shedload of extras including commentaries.

Full details to be announced in the very near future...

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#75 Post by MichaelB » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:43 am

MichaelB wrote:
rollotomassi wrote:Also, other rare classics from the Czechs...Otakar Vavra's Witches Hammer (so we can ditch the awful Facets R1 release), Jan Nemec's Diamonds of the Night
Both of these are out on DVD in the Czech Republic - the first definitely has English subtitles, and the second (which I've just ordered) claims to have, though if I remember rightly there's virtually no dialogue anyway.
I've now seen it, and can confirm that the Filmexport Home Video edition of Diamonds of the Night has English subtitles - in fact, they go beyond the call of duty in translating the German dialogue too (the alternate hard-of-hearing subtitle option merely transcribes the dialogue, leaving it in Czech or German where appropriate).

Sadly, though there are loads of extras - including several fascinating-looking interviews and even high-res scans of Czech newspaper and magazine articles on the film - they're resolutely Czech-only. But there's nothing wrong with the treatment of the main feature.

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