Man with a Movie Camera

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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MichaelB
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Man with a Movie Camera

#1 Post by MichaelB » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:24 am

Voted in first place in Sight & Sound’s 2015 Documentary Poll, and ranking as the eighth best film ever made in the Sight & Sound film critics poll, this dazzling amalgam of documentary and pure cinematic art is famous for its range of pioneering cinematic techniques – such as double exposure, slow motion and freeze frames. Released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, this digitally remastered presentation is accompanied by composer Michael Nyman’s celebrated score, and includes a selection of little-seen Vertov films as extra features.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#2 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:57 am

I see no reason why this wouldn't replicate the same bonus films as the Flicker Alley set does. Hopefully a Chaplin Essanay and Photoplay Birth of a Nation announcements will be forthcoming also.

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swo17
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#3 Post by swo17 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:03 am

Although both sets will likely still be essential for the different score options.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#4 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:17 pm

I just had a listen to the Michael Nyman score on YouTube and am a little apprehensive about watching the whole movie with it (compare: Alloy vs. Nyman). The BFI released two versions of the film on DVD: the first with scores from the Alloy Orchestra and In the Nursery, and the second billed as "Michael Nyman's Man with a Movie Camera". The fact it was billed in such a way says a lot. For the Blu-ray, I'd rather just have "Dziga Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera" and hope other scores are included as alternatives; we know at least that the Alloy Orchestra score syncs up with the new restoration because Flicker Alley are including it (as did Lobster, so there shouldn't be an exclusivity issue either).

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manicsounds
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#5 Post by manicsounds » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:53 am

If the BFI or the Flicker Alley include the Cinematic Orchestra score, I'll buy that edition over any other.
If both of them include the score, I'll just have to buy both of them then...

Calvin
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#6 Post by Calvin » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:08 pm

manicsounds wrote:If the BFI or the Flicker Alley include the Cinematic Orchestra score, I'll buy that edition over any other.
If both of them include the score, I'll just have to buy both of them then...
Agreed. It's a splendid score and I'll be disappointed if it never makes it onto a Blu-Ray release.

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Minkin
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#7 Post by Minkin » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:56 pm

Calvin wrote:
manicsounds wrote:If the BFI or the Flicker Alley include the Cinematic Orchestra score, I'll buy that edition over any other.
If both of them include the score, I'll just have to buy both of them then...
Agreed. It's a splendid score and I'll be disappointed if it never makes it onto a Blu-Ray release.
I'll third this proposition. I won't hold my breath though, as alternative score options are becoming rarer these days (and I never seem to be happy with whatever score option is chosen as default).

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hearthesilence
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#8 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:15 pm

Did anybody else see the restoration at MoMA four years ago? I would love it if someone issued the historically appropriate score commissioned for that restoration, it was immense fun. From the program notes:
MoMA presents the U.S. premiere of the EYE Film Institute Netherland’s definitive new restoration of Man with a Movie Camera, which allows us at long last to appreciate cameraman Mikhail Kaufman’s dazzling Constructivist frame compositions by preserving the film’s original full-frame image. The opening-night screening features Filmharmonia Ensemble performing Dennis James’ critically acclaimed score, which was inspired by original accompaniment notes left by Vertov himself. A breathtaking and often startlingly funny vision of cosmopolitan life in Moscow and Odessa, Man with a Movie Camera remains among the most radical, and imitated, films in cinema history. It is a film about its own creation, about the material process of work, about cinema as a means of transforming perception and spatial-temporal relations, about the power of kino-pravda (“film-truth”) to unmask and banish oppression and ignorance, and about a New Russia rising out of the ashes of the Old, symbolized by the spark of the movie projector coming to life at the start of the film, and by the famous trick shot of the Bolshoi Theatre collapsing on itself at the end.
James said he was surprised to see Vertov's notes explaining that the film was a comedy, and having a score on the same wavelength makes an enormous difference. Here's an interview and sample, FWIW.

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#9 Post by McCrutchy » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:27 pm

swo17 wrote:Although both sets will likely still be essential for the different score options.
Not least because BFI will probably include the Nyman score in lossless quality, which is something Flicker Alley really struggle with--and there is really no excuse for that, given FA's high pricing tiers.

They had a good run in 2011-2012 with DTS-HD MA tracks, but of late, everything from them has been Dolby Digital.

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TMDaines
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#10 Post by TMDaines » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:19 am

People need to be bugging the BFI on Twitter and by other means if they want to see other scores included. They had no intention of originally including a Danish-intertitled version of Master of the House in the Dreyer boxset when I first contacted them, but I'm confident that highlighting the discussion on this forum played a part in convincing them to go the extra mile.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#11 Post by EddieLarkin » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:14 am

Whilst I agree that people should be contacting them, I don't think the Danish version of Master of the House was ever going to be presented with anything but Danish intertitles by the BFI. The two version package is what Palladium have been shopping around, and indeed is what Criterion were offered (see here). Criterion didn't opt to only include the English version; indeed it is that version they completely discarded. They presented the Danish version but made new English intertitles for it, something the BFI would not have had access to. I imagine the person who said the BFI's release would only be English intertitles on Twitter simply didn't have all of the information at the time, as there's no way the BFI would have at any point planned to only include the "John & Mary" English version.

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#12 Post by manicsounds » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:24 am

Are there any reviews or info on the French Dziga Vertov Blu-ray set?

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#13 Post by EddieLarkin » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:29 am

tenia reviewed it here. He notes the absolutely awful compression (most noticeable in any of the caps with spaces of darkness), which I'm confident the BFI will rectify. Sadly, it appears to be a thing with Lobster's releases.

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TMDaines
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#14 Post by TMDaines » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:39 am

EddieLarkin wrote:Whilst I agree that people should be contacting them, I don't think the Danish version of Master of the House was ever going to be presented with anything but Danish intertitles by the BFI. The two version package is what Palladium have been shopping around, and indeed is what Criterion were offered (see here). Criterion didn't opt to only include the English version; indeed it is that version they completely discarded. They presented the Danish version but made new English intertitles for it, something the BFI would not have had access to. I imagine the person who said the BFI's release would only be English intertitles on Twitter simply didn't have all of the information at the time, as there's no way the BFI would have at any point planned to only include the "John & Mary" English version.
Feel free to draw your own conclusions...

But, for what it's worth, the BFI released a version in English in the past.

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#15 Post by Calvin » Tue May 12, 2015 9:50 am

Disappointingly, the BFI have confirmed to me that the Nyman score will be the only one included.

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manicsounds
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#16 Post by manicsounds » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:21 pm

So the BFI will have the Nyman track while the Flicker/Lobster has the Alloy track.
Has the BFI said which other Vertov films or other extras would be included? With the price point at £19.99, I assume this will also be a 1-disc Blu-ray?

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#17 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:14 pm

So am I the only one here who saw the film with this particular score? A shame because again, it really changes the film into something like the anarchic of brilliance Looney Tunes and Carl Stalling...
hearthesilence wrote:Did anybody else see the restoration at MoMA four years ago? I would love it if someone issued the historically appropriate score commissioned for that restoration, it was immense fun. From the program notes:
MoMA presents the U.S. premiere of the EYE Film Institute Netherland’s definitive new restoration of Man with a Movie Camera, which allows us at long last to appreciate cameraman Mikhail Kaufman’s dazzling Constructivist frame compositions by preserving the film’s original full-frame image. The opening-night screening features Filmharmonia Ensemble performing Dennis James’ critically acclaimed score, which was inspired by original accompaniment notes left by Vertov himself. A breathtaking and often startlingly funny vision of cosmopolitan life in Moscow and Odessa, Man with a Movie Camera remains among the most radical, and imitated, films in cinema history. It is a film about its own creation, about the material process of work, about cinema as a means of transforming perception and spatial-temporal relations, about the power of kino-pravda (“film-truth”) to unmask and banish oppression and ignorance, and about a New Russia rising out of the ashes of the Old, symbolized by the spark of the movie projector coming to life at the start of the film, and by the famous trick shot of the Bolshoi Theatre collapsing on itself at the end.
James said he was surprised to see Vertov's notes explaining that the film was a comedy, and having a score on the same wavelength makes an enormous difference. Here's an interview and sample, FWIW.

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manicsounds
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#18 Post by manicsounds » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:20 pm

Specs:
• Nyman’s celebrated score played by the Michael Nyman Band
• Audio commentary by Russian film scholar Yuri Tsivian
• Kino-Pravda No. 21 (Dziga Vertov, 1925, 35 mins): Newsreel devoted to Lenin on the anniversary of his death, with a new Mordant Music score
• One-Sixth of the Globe – ETV version (Dziga Vertov, 1925, 72 mins): ideologically charged documentary, presented in its specially-prepared ETV version, with a daring new soundtrack by Mordant Music
• Three Songs of Lenin (Dziga Vertov, 1935, 57 mins): poetic propaganda film reciting three admiring folk songs dedicated to the revolutionary leader
• David Collard on Three Songs of Lenin and WH Auden (2009, 11 mins)
• Simon Callow reads WH Auden’s verses from Three Songs of Lenin (2009, 4 mins)
• Alternative Three Songs of Lenin subtitles incorporating WH Auden’s verses
So it seems "Kino Eye/The Life Unexpected" (1924), "Enthusiasm The Symphony of the Donbass" (1931) from the US/French set will not be included.

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#19 Post by What A Disgrace » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:09 pm

I guess I'm double dipping on the Flicker Alley set!

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#20 Post by EddieLarkin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:43 am

Annoying, though One-Sixth of the Globe appears to be a BFI exclusive, though it better be in HD! If it is, including the two missing films would bring the Blu-ray runtime to over 6 hours so it's understandable they've had to drop some. Though I think a Killing of a Chinese Bookie solution would have been best, i.e. press a 1000 copy limited edition with a second Blu-ray for the missing films.

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tenia
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#21 Post by tenia » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:35 pm

The Beaver captures are appalling. While it reminds how blatantly bad the encode on the FA set (and the Lobster one) is (I mean, look at the X01 cap), it seems like the BFI has used an older restoration, one with seemingly a much lower detail level (and much more damage).

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#22 Post by Roscoe » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:51 pm

hearthesilence wrote:Did anybody else see the restoration at MoMA four years ago? I would love it if someone issued the historically appropriate score commissioned for that restoration, it was immense fun. From the program notes:
MoMA presents the U.S. premiere of the EYE Film Institute Netherland’s definitive new restoration of Man with a Movie Camera, which allows us at long last to appreciate cameraman Mikhail Kaufman’s dazzling Constructivist frame compositions by preserving the film’s original full-frame image. The opening-night screening features Filmharmonia Ensemble performing Dennis James’ critically acclaimed score, which was inspired by original accompaniment notes left by Vertov himself. A breathtaking and often startlingly funny vision of cosmopolitan life in Moscow and Odessa, Man with a Movie Camera remains among the most radical, and imitated, films in cinema history. It is a film about its own creation, about the material process of work, about cinema as a means of transforming perception and spatial-temporal relations, about the power of kino-pravda (“film-truth”) to unmask and banish oppression and ignorance, and about a New Russia rising out of the ashes of the Old, symbolized by the spark of the movie projector coming to life at the start of the film, and by the famous trick shot of the Bolshoi Theatre collapsing on itself at the end.
James said he was surprised to see Vertov's notes explaining that the film was a comedy, and having a score on the same wavelength makes an enormous difference. Here's an interview and sample, FWIW.
I did see that MOMA screening, it was really impressive. That was the second time in about a year I'd seen the film on a big screen with live music, once the previous July at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, with live music by the Alloy Orchestra, and then the following April with music by Dennis James and a small ensemble. It really is an overwhelming experience.

The music was very interesting. Dennis James spoke before the MOMA screening, saying that he had worked from some very detailed notes prepared by Vertov himself about what the music should be like, and James found that, to his surprise, the film was a comedy. His score, as a result, was a rather light affair, with piano, violin, some winds (including a rather too cute slide whistle) and percussion. It was a good effective score for the most part, very different from the Alloy Orchestra's more, shall we say, ENERGETIC score, which was also written in accordance with Vertov's notes. A good deal of the interest, for me, was in the differing tone of the respective scores.

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manicsounds
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#23 Post by manicsounds » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:10 pm

Yikes, I might have to cancel the UK and go for the US or France edition.... The UK image is severely cropped.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#24 Post by EddieLarkin » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:38 pm

Not only that, it's from a completely different master, presumably the same HD master used for the 2008 DVD. In other words, it isn't a patch on the FR or US discs, which use a brand new restoration. I'm absolutely flabbergasted that this has happened on the BFI's watch. Presumably their hands were tied for some reason?

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Re: Man with a Movie Camera

#25 Post by swo17 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:41 pm

Maybe the restoration doesn't synch up to the Nyman score?

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