Luchino Visconti

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Tommaso
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 10:09 am

Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#126 Post by Tommaso » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:09 pm

accatone wrote:
Tommaso wrote:Now I have to think about whether I actually liked the film or only admired it...
The great Serge Daney on LUDWIG (Its in German language only!)
Thanks! A very interesting article, but it only serves to make my confusion about this film even greater. I like the way in which Daney talks about Visconti's camera as the hand of the painter, and it is indeed this painterly approach (much more evident here than even in "The Leopard") which makes the film so fascinating for me. But it is precisely what creates what Daney calls Visconti's 'clinical treatment' of the person of Ludwig. There is an enormous distance, little to help the viewer to empathize with the character; this is something that goes for all the post-"Rocco" Viscontis I've seen - not enough of them, I have to admit - and which often makes it difficult for me to really get 'into' the characters (as opposed to simply admiring the performance, which I absolutely do with this film). But perhaps with such a half-mythical, half-monstrous character as Ludwig, Visconti's coldness is paradoxically probably the best and perhaps the only possible way to get near his personality.

While watching the film, I couldn't help reading the character of Ludwig as a chiffre for Visconti himself (certainly not a highly original idea...): looking at Visconti's career, I can't help finding that he himself more and more drifted away into a self-contained universe of art, though -unlike Ludwig - still fully knowing what he was doing and thus, while creating the wonderful worlds of "The Leopard" or indeed this film, at the same time deconstructing them; but always with a tone of lamentation and celebration. And like Ludwig's castles, the results can sometimes be marvellous, but somtimes also empty ("Morte a Venezia", which I find a big disappointment despite its visual magnificence).

Well, to answer my musings above: The more I think about it, I think I really liked "Ludwig", if only as a perfect expression of the rift between the artist or aesthetically minded person and the world outside, which never allows such a person to fully indulge in his 'mad' vision. Thus the film might be read not only as celebration, but also as a sort of warning (even to those who follow this vision, as it might end up in solipsisms a la current Greenaway).
And the prominence of these themes saves the film from being just another bio-pic, a genre which I normally rather abhor.

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Toby Dammit
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#127 Post by Toby Dammit » Mon May 04, 2009 1:37 pm

"Vaghe Stelle dell' Orsa" (aka "Sandra") will be launched in Italy next June 23 =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

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Format: DVD
Genre: Drama
Year prod. film: 1965
Duration: 100 min
Director: Luchino Visconti
Actors:Claudia Cardinale; Jean Sorel; Michael Craig; Renzo Ricci; Fred Williams; Amalia Troiani; Marie Bell; Vittorio Manfrino; Renato Moretti; Giovanni Rovini; Paola Piscini; Isacco Politi; Ferdinando Scarfiotti

Manufacturer: Sony Pictures
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Year publ. film: 2009
Area: 2 - Europe / Japan
Encoding: PAL
Video Format: 1,33:1
Audio format: 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono: Italian English
Subtitles: Italian English
Packaging Type: Amaray
Discs in packaging: 1

Plot:Sandra comes back to Volterra, in Tuscany, the little town where she spent her childhood. She is with her American husband, Andrew. She wishes to pay homage to her father who died in Auschwitz where she was still a little child. In Volterra, Andrew meets for the first time Gianni, Sandra's brother. He soon realizes that Sandra and Gianni have a secret since their childhood.

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Scharphedin2
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#128 Post by Scharphedin2 » Mon May 04, 2009 2:21 pm

Longed, and longed, and longed for since long before there was something called DVD. What great, great news!

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rohmerin
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#129 Post by rohmerin » Mon May 04, 2009 6:40 pm

An Italian Sony release means Ripley Home Video super restoration, doesn't it?

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Toby Dammit
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#130 Post by Toby Dammit » Tue May 05, 2009 10:49 am

Hi! Rohmerin, tanto tiempo!!!

This is a Sony release.

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Scharphedin2
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Re: Luchino Visconti

#131 Post by Scharphedin2 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:21 am

In anticipation of the release of Vaghe stele dell'Orsa... / Sandra of a Thousand Delights by Sony Pictures in Italy this coming week, I updated the DVD-ography of this filmmaker profile.

Since initially posting this profile, several of Visconti's films have seen release. Masters of Cinema has made glorious discs of Bellissima and Rocco and His Brothers available. Unfortunately the label did not also have the opportunity to release Senso, which came out instead in the UK from Optimum releasing in a less than ideal presentation. With a Criterion release rumoured to be forthcoming, it may be well to bide the time on this particular film.

L'Innocente and Ludwig have recently seen release in R1 from Koch Lorber. From what I have been able to deduce, these releases are the best English-friendly versions of these particular films. Formerly the options available were a mediocre release of Ludwig by Infinity Arthouse; and an even less inspiring effort by Nouveaux of L'Innocente. Both are films are visually stunning, even if they are not amongst Visconti's most successful films.

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tojoed
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#132 Post by tojoed » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:30 pm

Senso on BluRay from Studio Canal, France in February.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#133 Post by zedz » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:08 pm

tojoed wrote:Senso on BluRay from Studio Canal, France in February.
Great news, but the 'Studio Canal' bit makes me worry that a spanner might have just been thrown in the works of the rumoured Criterion release. Hope it's just me being paranoid.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#134 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:20 pm

Fears may be unfounded for Senso as it is according to Studio Canal exclusive for France. It does look dicey though for Breathless and Pierrot.

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david hare
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#135 Post by david hare » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:31 pm

Zedz there's no confirmation yet on what if any Region coding applies to Canal's Euro Bluray Classics second lineup - including the Mackendrick. I assume Pierrot will be limited to B by virtue of the current Criterion Blu, but who would know about the others! IN any case at "worst" they will all be B only which is OK for us colonials.

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zedz
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#136 Post by zedz » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:54 pm

david hare wrote:IN any case at "worst" they will all be B only which is OK for us colonials.
Does Studio Canal habitually include English subs on its Blus, or only for the ones which are intended to be multi-region from the outset (e.g. Contempt)?

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Knappen
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#137 Post by Knappen » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:23 pm

Just saw Lo Straniero in a fresh copy at the Champo in Paris, which is a typical sign that a DVD is on its way.

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david hare
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#138 Post by david hare » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:38 pm

Knap, was it French or Italian soundtrack?

Did you think any more of it than I did forty years ago - (i.e. not much?) Once again I thought Marcello was totally miscast, as he is in le Notti Bianche.

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Knappen
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#139 Post by Knappen » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:51 pm

It was in Italian.

Pretty straight forward adaptation it seemed to me, though I'm hardly an authority as it's been 12 years since I read the novel.

Of course MM is miscast. Who would you have liked to see for the role, David?

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david hare
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#140 Post by david hare » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:12 pm

I should have added I liked Karina in it! Strange to say I would have been interested to see Delon take it on. Certainly a few years later in Losey's superb Monsieur Klein he's flawlessly cast and directed and he displays that fascinating malevolent passivity, and a character who becomes devoid of motivation or identity. But Uncle Luchino and Delon had a falling out after the Leopard, n'est-ce pas?

I think my real problem with the film then at least was that the novel simply doesn't lend itself to what might have been a sumptuous or lyrical treatment by Uncle. But I honestly barely remember a thing about it. I don't remember a note of the music in it for instance.

(But hey I'd probably watch Transformers if it was playing the Champo!)

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ellipsis7
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#141 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:19 am

Assume that SENSO is the new resto (and a substantial improvement on the Optimum DVD)...

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david hare
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#142 Post by david hare » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:25 pm

Yes, presumably it's the transfer used for the Cristaldi DVD version earlier this year.

EDIT: Zedz this first batch of Canal Classic Blus all came with a broad specturm of subtitles (varying from title to title) including English on all, and English at least for all extras some of which look originally French specific (like the two short docos on the Belle de Jour disc.)

As you surely know the old Canal Classics SD line was unpredictable for subs.

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Tommaso
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#143 Post by Tommaso » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:59 am

I'm a bit surprised to see no further comments on the Italian disc of "Vaghe stelle dell'orsa..." here. I had the pleasure to watch this film for the first time last night, and am quite impressed by this rather little known film. First things first: the transfer is very good indeed, although it looks a little blackness-boosted, as if someone wanted to imitate CC's handling of black and white material. A little bit more problematic are the English subs: with the caveat that I didn't check back with the English dub, I would say that the subtitles are dub subs, and thus are not always faithful to what is actually being said in the Italian version. My Italian is truly basic, but there were some moments - especially in the sequence when Sandra reads Gianni's manuscript - where the differences were apparent even to me. In another scene we see Sandra simply sobbing without any words, but the subs give us the name "Gianni" in addition. The title of the Leopardi poem is rendered as "Bright stars of the Great Bear", whereas "vaghe" rather means "vague" or "unclear", even "lovely" according to my dictionary. Anyway, all in all this is not too annoying and never distracting. Extras consist of press material and some screenplay photos, plus an unsubbed audio interview with the director. Not too impressive, but certainly alright for a cheapo disc.

The film itself is not only historically the ideal connecting piece between "The Leopard" and "The Damned". The disintegration of society and the family, which was still handled with some quiet nostalgia in the earlier film, seems to come to a much grittier foreground here, and perhaps the film is still even a bit too beautiful for its theme. While I first thought Visconti was adapting to the modernism of Antonioni with this film, the longer I watched it, strangely enough I was more and more reminded of someone I would never have associated with Visconti before: Ingmar Bergman. The hidden secrets of the plot and the neuroses of the characters (great performance by Maria Bell as Sandra's mother, btw), also the gorgeous b&w-imagery and many a close-up reminded me strongly of the Swedish master, although the film of course still feels like a Visconti piece. Perhaps it's not one of Visconti's major achievements, but it's a nice 'small' film which deserves to be better known, I think.

Saimo
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#144 Post by Saimo » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:17 am

As I have already posted elsewhere, Ripley's Home Video released a good edition of Visconti's Ossessione...
Saimo wrote:Comparison
RHV transfer corresponds to an already released Italian disc. The film has been digitally restored, but this time we don't have La terra trema immaculate quality... However, it looks inarguably better than ever.
... and the disc is English-friendly.
Saimo wrote: Extras have english subs, too.

Image

norrareal1968
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#145 Post by norrareal1968 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:42 am

I'm keen on picking up the BFI edition of La terra trema but would like to see some screen grabs first. Does anybody have any to post or can refer to a link elsewhere? I can't find any on the internet. Thanks.

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TMDaines
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#146 Post by TMDaines » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:01 am

norrareal1968 wrote:I'm keen on picking up the BFI edition of La terra trema but would like to see some screen grabs first. Does anybody have any to post or can refer to a link elsewhere? I can't find any on the internet. Thanks.
In comparison to the RHV version from Italy it is terrible.

norrareal1968
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#147 Post by norrareal1968 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:09 am

thanks a lot!

Jack Phillips
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#148 Post by Jack Phillips » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:15 pm

Tommaso wrote:I'm a bit surprised to see no further comments on the Italian disc of "Vaghe stelle dell'orsa..."
Well, where can I purchase it?

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Tommaso
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Re: Luchino Visconti on DVD

#149 Post by Tommaso » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:37 pm

I bought it from deastore.com. Didn't know them before, but thought I'd give them a try as their shipping costs are far more reasonable than most other Italian e-tailers. Received the disc in about two weeks, absolutely no problems.

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david hare
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Re: Luchino Visconti

#150 Post by david hare » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:14 pm

A heads up on the recent RipleyHomeVideo Italian DVD of Ossessione - this carries optional English and French subs, and has a short documentary extra, also subbed of fairly minimal quality and value. The movie file is a healthy 6 gigs.

More improtantly, although the print used is definitely NOT a restoration it has much greater contrast, grain and general filmic presence than the old Image disc. It looks like a near first gen positive, although the print is riddled with surface damage, and there is very occasional contrast popping, with reel ends and starts particularly ragged. But, unless someone here has other news, I'm unaware of any major restoration along the lines of La Terra Trema, Belissimma or Senso. So this is as good as it gets for the time being.

Some caps:

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