Napoleon

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

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MichaelB
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Re: Napoleon

#176 Post by MichaelB » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:17 pm

More info about the reissued Amaray Napoleon: it's coming out on 19th December.

Each format will be re-issued in standard plastic packaging each with an O-card. The disc content will be identical but neither release will come with a perfect-bound book. The DVD will come with a 32-page booklet and the Blu-ray a 36-page one (the textual content is identical; the different paginations are down to differing sizes). The key differences from the book are a shortened interview with composer Carl Davis and the original programme has not been re-printed.

Those in search of pre-Christmas copies are warmly advised to visit the BFI Shop's website as they'll get copies in before anyone else.

The RRP of the Blu-ray is £29.99 and the DVD £24.99, so £5 less than the earlier version.

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Caligula
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Re: Napoleon

#177 Post by Caligula » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:53 pm

Is it possible to approach the BFI for replacement packaging if my Napoleon set arrived from Amazon looking like roadkill? If so, who should I approach?

I emailed their general customer complaint email address yesterday morning but received no response.

Edit: I am pleased to report that I've just been contacted by Ben Stoddard from the BFI. They're out of replacement packaging for the Napoleon set in its initial form, but he offered to supply me with the new packaging, which will at least hold the discs.

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J Wilson
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Re: Napoleon

#178 Post by J Wilson » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:59 pm

Ordering from Amazon UK is a total crapshoot, given their often flimsy to the point of negligent packaging. I had ordered the Arrow Dekalog set and four CDs last month. I got a package that had one side completely ripped away, and somehow the Dekalog set was still in there, completely intact. The CDs were gone. I've received books in the past that were pretty battered, all because they use shipping materials too thin for this kind of distance shipping. Hopefully my Napoleon makes it relatively intact.

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Luke M
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Re: Napoleon

#179 Post by Luke M » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:12 am

Caligula wrote:Is it possible to approach the BFI for replacement packaging if my Napoleon set arrived from Amazon looking like roadkill? If so, who should I approach?

I emailed their general customer complaint email address yesterday morning but received no response.

Edit: I am pleased to report that I've just been contacted by Ben Stoddard from the BFI. They're out of replacement packaging for the Napoleon set in its initial form, but he offered to supply me with the new packaging, which will at least hold the discs.
I'm in the same boat. I just received my copy and I'm kinda impressed by the level of destruction. I've ordered over a 1000 DVDs/Blu-rays online since '99 and have never received a package as damaged as this one. That includes many orders from Amazon.co.uk that arrived in pristine condition. So, yeah, I'd love to hear about packaging alternatives.

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swo17
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Re: Napoleon

#180 Post by swo17 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:38 am

Caligula wrote:Ben Stoddard from the BFI
It's Stoddart, and he's one of the best customer service people I've ever dealt with.

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domino harvey
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Re: Napoleon

#181 Post by domino harvey » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:35 am

I really misread the instructions and now Tom Stoppard is asking me what Napoleon has to do with Shakespeare

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Finch
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Re: Napoleon

#182 Post by Finch » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:08 pm

I was looking forward to the film, especially as I loved J'Accuse (1919). I liked Act 1 well enough but I got so increasingly bored with Acts 2 and 3 that I couldn't even finish the film. I've watched Raymond Bernard's Les Mis and Mysteries of Lisbon (my all-time favourite film) in one setting so it's not the length. Got to agree with Kubrick that this is an extremely well-made film on a technical level but I struggle to recall a last film that I anticipated so much and my interest nose-diving so fast.

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swo17
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Re: Napoleon

#183 Post by swo17 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:12 pm

Uh, so you didn't see the triptych finale?

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fdm
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Re: Napoleon

#184 Post by fdm » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:42 pm

I'm curious to see Napoleon again, my one watch was when the Coppola version first toured in the early 80s. It wasn't one of the live performances, but I recall squirming (and/or perhaps nodding off) a bit here and there as the soundtrack just went on and on and on (and it was turned up a bit too loud also). I'm willing to attribute at least some of that also to having worked a full day beforehand (though I'm not certain whether that was the case in this particular instance). Interested to see what a difference a score makes, and will finally be ordering this a bit later today (holding off until after the UK midnight hour to also place a few pre-orders for the new year along with it).

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Finch
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Re: Napoleon

#185 Post by Finch » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:19 pm

swo17 wrote:Uh, so you didn't see the triptych finale?
I was considering to just skip to that for a while but I got to the point where my interest in the entire film completely hit rock bottom and I didn't watch any of the triptych.

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Shrew
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Re: Napoleon

#186 Post by Shrew » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:32 pm

Act 4 is less than an hour, and the triptych a good chunk of that. It's worth finishing.

This set was my second run through Napoleon, and it lost some of its luster this time. The jaw-dropping moments still deliver, but the film as a whole just dragged on. My first time was watching the Coppola version on a laserdisc years ago, which now seems like a Greatest Hits compilation--much more digestible but less nuanced and complex. The Brownlow version shows off more of Gance's strengths as a filmmaker, but also his weaknesses as a storyteller (particularly with pacing). I don't know if anyone has a rundown of all the differences (and my memory from the first watch is far from perfect), but I remembered nothing of the Feuris, Napoleon's confrontation with the ghosts of the Revolution, or most stuff on Corsica save Napoleon's arrival and escape. The siege of Toulon also seemed to go on interminably compared to what I remembered.

The Feuris are good example of why Napoleon is frustrating. They worship Napoleon, which adds to the at times exasperating hagiography; however, as Cle de Ciel pointed out in an earlier post, Napoleon most ignores them and at one point brushes Tristan off entirely. That complicates the depiction of Napoleon a bit, but we never get the real pay off and time with them often feels redundant (we get that the crowd likes Napoleon, we don't need to cut to Tristan Feuri cheering for him or Violine pining away). There are still incredible moments in those sequences (like when Josephine comes upon Violine in their final scene--the way the (seemingly?) handheld camera moves across Violine's room to her face) and when the film hits its high points its absolutely stunning, but it appears much messier upon seeing this fuller restoration.

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Finch
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Re: Napoleon

#187 Post by Finch » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:27 pm

The pacing is one of the main reasons I couldn't finish it. For a film this long, it has to keep the momentum at all times, and as Lubitsch said elsewhere, the acting is pretty dire (though I did like Gance as Saint Just). Act 1 has pacing issues as well (the snowball battle opening the film) is a bit too long and Gance intercuts other footage too often with young Napoleon's face. After a while, I just wished that the storytelling and the acting matched the craftsmanship.

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