The Chaplin Keystone Collection

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antnield
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The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#1 Post by antnield » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:20 am

Up for pre-order on Amazon

Release date of the 28th December 2009? Surely a mistake as we would have seen a press release by now? MichaelB?

cinemartin

Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#2 Post by cinemartin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:00 am

I've had this on pre-order for months, and the whole time I've been looking for some info. So far, I've turned up nothing. Any help would be appreciated.

Jonathan S
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#3 Post by Jonathan S » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:12 am

According to a July 8 2009 posting at SilentComedyMafia.com, we'll have to wait another year or so:
Lisa Stein wrote:Just had it from the horse's mouth at the Cinema Ritrovato Festival in Bologna last week that it will be AT LEAST December 2010 before these DVDs are released. The contract for them was finally signed last Friday by Bologna, the BFI and Lobster and it is only now that they can begin production. I understand, too, that new footage has been found in many cases, so many of the films will be re- restored before they are transferred to DVD. We will be showing these films at the "Charlie in the Heartland" conference in October 2010 and hope to be promoting them for imminent release at that time. We'll see.

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MichaelB
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#4 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:44 am

I'm certainly aware of it as an ongoing project, but I haven't seen a definite release date attached to it. The comment quoted above seems very plausible.

I can't stress this enough, but Amazon is not a reliable guide to release dates - and I promise that all BFI DVD press releases will get posted here within hours (usually minutes) of receipt.

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antnield
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#5 Post by antnield » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:28 pm

Pre-order at Play.com for 6th December 2010.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#6 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:33 pm

I imagine this will be a copy of the Flicker Alley set? or vice versa?

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antnield
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#7 Post by antnield » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:27 am

Image
- All Films newly transferred to High-Definition from original film elements
- Comes with extensive fully illustrated booklet with contextualising essays

Charles Chaplin joined Keystone studios in late 1913, making 35 films in a single year, directing more than half of them, and developing his much loved persona, 'The Little Tramp'. This stunning 4-disc set featuring the 34 surviving Chaplin Keystone shorts and the Keystone feature Tillies' Punctured Romance is the result of an international collaboration to restore the films between the BFI National Archive, L'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna and Lobster Films in Paris with the UCLA Film and Television Archive, Library of Congress, and with the support of Association Chaplin, France. With musical accompaniment by Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Antonio Coppola and The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

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RossyG
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#8 Post by RossyG » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:33 am

£15.99 at HMV.

That's two quid cheaper than Play and Amazon and anywhere else. Ridiculously cheap for a piece of early cinema history. Get those pre-orders in before it goes up.

Jonathan S
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#9 Post by Jonathan S » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:53 pm

Is this definitely coming on Dec. 6? I don't recall seeing a press release and Amazon (and several other major e-tailers) haven't yet made it available for pre-order.

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MichaelB
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#10 Post by MichaelB » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:42 pm

It's definitely happening - I imagine a press release is imminent.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#11 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:55 pm

Thank God, I want this set but I wasn't anxious to spend $65 on it for the R1 version. Why are these sets consistently so much cheaper in R2?

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MichaelB
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#12 Post by MichaelB » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:22 am

Full specs announced:
Chaplin at Keystone
A 4-disc DVD box set


This stunning collection of the 34 surviving Chaplin Keystone films is the result of an 8 year international restoration project to restore Chaplin's earliest films to as near to their original release versions as possible.

After being seen in Fred Karno’s touring vaudeville troupe, Charlie Chaplin joined Mack Sennett’s Keystone Film Company in late 1913. After a few initial uneasy steps, his rise was meteoric – making 35 films in a single year, directing more than half of them.
Reconstructed from the best surviving 35mm fragments from all over the world, the Chaplin Keystone films are a revelation, showing how Chaplin learned to apply his talent to film, how he developed the much loved 'Tramp' character and why he shot to stardom. A host of extras include the recent rediscovery of Chaplin's very first appearance on film in A Thief Catcher (1914).

This project is a partnership between the BFI National Archive, Cineteca Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata and Lobster Films, with the cooperation of UCLA Film and Television Archive, Library of Congress, and the support of Association Chaplin.

The films in this collection are presented with new musical accompaniments by international musicians including BFI Southbank regulars Neil Brand and Stephen Horne.

Special features

- 58-page illustrated booklet written by the American film historian Jeffrey Vance which includes the essay ‘Chaplin at Keystone: The Tramp is Born’ and notes on every film
- A Thief Catcher (1914, 7 mins, extracts): a film recently rediscovered by Paul E Gierucki, with Chaplin as a Keystone Cop
- Charlie’s White Elephant (1916, 6 mins): an animation by John Colman Terry and Hugh Shields featuring Chaplin
- Inside the Keystone Project (2010, 10 mins): a short documentary about international restoration efforts behind the films
- Silent Traces (2010, 12 mins): historian John Bengston on several of the Keystone locations
- Stills gallery

Release date: 6 December 2010
RRP: £29.99 / cat. no. BFIVD826 / cert U
USA / 1914 / black & white / silent with music / 561 mins / DVD9 x 4 /
Original aspect ratio 1.33:1

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Gregory
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#13 Post by Gregory » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:15 pm

Is this not listed for pre-order at Amazon UK, or am I somehow missing it?

max_cherry
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#14 Post by max_cherry » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:13 pm

Gregory wrote:Is this not listed for pre-order at Amazon UK, or am I somehow missing it?
amazon.co.uk

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antnield
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#15 Post by antnield » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:27 am


bollibasher
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#16 Post by bollibasher » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:01 am

Got my copy of this in the post yesterday (UK BFI edition) - all I can say is, beautiful. Watched The Rounders over breakfast this morning, absolutely fantastic.

The 35mm photochemical restoration work done by the archives at BFI and Bologna is obviously first class but Lobster have also used various digital tools to stabilise the image and do a basic cleanup of glaring imperfections, as well as digitally recreating keystone intertitles and seamlessly interpolating other missing material recovered from 16mm sources (where it wasn't available to the film restorers in 35. Brilliant job, and a testament to international cooperation and shared love of the great man.

Chris xx

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MichaelB
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#17 Post by MichaelB » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:51 am

bollibasher wrote:Brilliant job, and a testament to international cooperation
Very important to stress this point - no one organisation could have produced this single-handed. It's an absolute model of how international archival cooperation should work, with lots of separate organisations working towards a shared goal - and taking their time about it: the whole process took eight years, and (as people here know from numerous plaintive posts about when it would finally be released) there were numerous delays, but the end result should be worth it.

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perkizitore
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#18 Post by perkizitore » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:49 am

Great package and even greater price! My only complaint is that the book is squeezed between the 4 DVDs, i wish it would have been placed between the DVD case and the outer slipcover.

Jonathan S
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#19 Post by Jonathan S » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:38 am

It looks like there's some sort of authoring flaw on the BFI edition of this set. On disc one Twenty Minutes of Love ends abruptly after 5m 21s. I was alerted to this by a post on Nitrateville and my copy is the same.

Although not all films in this set are complete (in fact some are missing footage extant elsewhere), according to Flicker Alley's website Twenty Minutes of Love, in this restoration, runs 10m 37s (perhaps a little less at PAL speed).

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MichaelB
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#20 Post by MichaelB » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:28 am

BFI DVD Publishing is aware of this issue and is investigating.

In the meantime, you should be able to watch the whole film via the 'Play All' option.

bollibasher
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#21 Post by bollibasher » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:55 pm

Jonathan S wrote:Although not all films in this set are complete (in fact some are missing footage extant elsewhere)
In a way it is interesting to notice such flaws, but at the same time it would be good if people could recognise the sheer enormousness of such a project as this before simply saying "ah well yes but it is isn't perfect". The concept of FIAF and worldwide film restoration efforts in general is a fascinating one, and although one of the guys at Nitrateville notes that (for example) there is a good print of one of the films in Argentina, he perhaps doesn't consider the logistics of cooperation between international archives. This sort of cooperation is largely quite a recent phenomenon, and certainly very recent in terms of large-scale repatriation (see for example the silent films returned to America from New Zealand, and the British 60s tv shows winging their way from LOC). Of course it would be great if every last scrap could be found and copied, but tracking down the combined 16mm sources (and smaller?) used for previous releases may be a task that was insurmountable even for such a team as that assembled for this project. If they came from places other than FIAF archives, or non FIAF archives with at least some business intrastructure (e.g. private collections) then many other technical problems arise. This project essentially consists of 35 separate individual restorations with both photochemical and digital work being done.

Another thing to point out is that the 16mm interpolations were all done by Lobster films, I think probably over the last year or so. It would be interesting to fully hear their views on this stage of the process, because I remember a lot of people at the BFI/NFT screenings a few years ago kind of indignantly asking WHY aren't you using the 16mm stuff, as if they weren't making an effort, and the BFI restoration team having to explain why it is a bit silly to try and create new 35mm masters from 16mm blow-up dupey sources (presumably their time/money was better spent trying to get everything they could possibly find in good 35). The 16mm Lobster have used is from their own collection and that of Blackhawk Films, so I imagine they didn't have the resources to get in touch with and negotiate with lots of collectors who may have further material. David Shepard who worked on the restorations with Eric Lange and Serge Bromberg at Lobster says:

"Of course everyone who invested thought, sweat equity and money on this enormous project is human and therefore fallible... [and if people] find errors in the reconstructions we would welcome the information. All the eyes who successively looked at the films before the editing was locked down found things to improve. We did let a few things go rather than resort to significantly inferior elements; and issues of grant funding in Europe imposed a deadline beyond which we could not keep tinkering. As with many authors, we may prepare a second edition one day." http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.p ... c&start=60" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Unfortunately restorations,even for such a man as Chaplin, cannot command the budgets afforded to new blockbuster movies!

Chris

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MichaelB
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#22 Post by MichaelB » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:30 pm

bollibasher wrote:Unfortunately restorations,even for such a man as Chaplin, cannot command the budgets afforded to new blockbuster movies!
Or Hitchcock - the reason the BFI launched a public fundraising campaign in connection with Hitchcock's silent films is because even the most incorrigible optimist would have to admit that there's no realistic way of recouping the cost of, say, a full frame-by-frame photochemical and digital restoration of minor titles like The Farmer's Wife or Downhill through commercial channels.

Especially not given that these films are in the public domain in the US, and while the BFI versions will undoubtedly look vastly superior in every possible way, it's hard to compete with discs so cheap as to make a cappuccino look like an expensive alternative.

bollibasher
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#23 Post by bollibasher » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:44 am

I know the people working on the digital side of the Hitchcock Silents restoration project and it's fantastic that it's being done - I thought The Manxman was especially good when I saw it a few years ago - although it seems like a curious choice by BFI to appeal to the public at large to fund these restorations as opposed to private philanthropy etc. I am curious to see if it actually works as fund-raising model... Are there enough Johnny Public Hitchcock fans to fund 6 restorations...

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MichaelB
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#24 Post by MichaelB » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:12 am

bollibasher wrote:Are there enough Johnny Public Hitchcock fans to fund 6 restorations...
Nine, actually. Ten if a copy of The Mountain Eagle comes to light, Metropolis-style.

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El Manchego
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Re: The Chaplin Keystone Collection

#25 Post by El Manchego » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:38 pm

bollibasher wrote:I know the people working on the digital side of the Hitchcock Silents restoration project and it's fantastic that it's being done - I thought The Manxman was especially good when I saw it a few years ago - although it seems like a curious choice by BFI to appeal to the public at large to fund these restorations as opposed to private philanthropy etc. I am curious to see if it actually works as fund-raising model... Are there enough Johnny Public Hitchcock fans to fund 6 restorations...
I like the idea of supporting a more focused cause like the restoration of specific films much more than sending my annual contributions to AFI, Eastman House, etc. I'm curious to see how this pans out as well; hopefully they're successful.

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