Murnau, Borzage and Fox

Discuss North American DVDs and Blu-rays or other DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
Post Reply
Message
Author
Andrian Film Revival
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:07 am
Location: London

Murnau, Borzage and Fox

#1 Post by Andrian Film Revival » Fri May 30, 2008 7:32 am

From DVD Savant:

Sometime around Christmas, Fox Home Video will be giving us a special F.W. Murnau / Frank Borzage box, on a 3 to 8 split. Murnau's titles are Sunrise, Four Devils and City Girl while Borzage's brood includes Lazybones, Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, The River (fragments), Lucky Star, They Had to See Paris, Song O' My Heart and Liliom. That's quite a list and I fear the box is going to be as expensive as last year's John Ford collectables.

Shouldn't Four Devils have (fragments) next to it???

Either way - WONDERFUL NEWS!

User avatar
Zazou dans le Metro
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:01 am
Location: In the middle of an Elyssian Field

Re: F.W. Murnau / Frank Borzage boxset

#2 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Fri May 30, 2008 8:03 am

Andrian Film Revival wrote:Shouldn't Four Devils have (fragments) next to it?

Maybe that numbers guy came up trumps in the woodshed after all !
Maybe also I shouldn't pick at the scab?

User avatar
Knappen
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:14 am
Location: Oslo/Paris

#3 Post by Knappen » Fri May 30, 2008 8:07 am

Shouldn't Four Devils have (fragments) next to it???

Rather (stills reconstruction).

ptmd
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:12 pm

#4 Post by ptmd » Fri May 30, 2008 12:38 pm

This must be the reconstruction/documentary that Janet Bergstrom put together several years ago (and which was included on the Sunrise DVD). Even if new materials had been discovered, they wouldn't have been able to put a restoration together this quickly and, if they had, they would be making a big deal out of it, with screenings at major repertory venues, rather than just dumping it in a DVD box.

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#5 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri May 30, 2008 12:45 pm

Beautiful. Not only are we getting the long awaited Borzage's (and then some more Borz, and then some more), but we're getting fucking CITY GIRL. We can all chuck aside those rips of the 16mm vhs.

WB & Universal should be ashamed of their danged selves. In the space of one year Fox pushes out a huge bulk of their silent classics. In the space of forever the other two can't even scratch the surface.

filmnoir1
Posts: 221
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:36 pm

F.W. Murnau/Borzage

#6 Post by filmnoir1 » Fri May 30, 2008 1:03 pm

This is really exciting news. I just hope that they release individual films or small box sets as well as the mammoth one like they did with the Ford release. I bought the smaller Ford box sets for $20 on Amazon and the only things that were missing I just bought the singles, thus saving a lot more money.
Now we can only hope that Warner's will release their Borzage films on dvd soon.

jaredsap
Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:24 am
Location: Los Angeles

#7 Post by jaredsap » Fri May 30, 2008 2:04 pm

Awesome. I hope they release a version of the box in Blu.

unclehulot
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:09 pm
Location: here and there

#8 Post by unclehulot » Fri May 30, 2008 4:21 pm

jaredsap wrote:Awesome. I hope they release a version of the box in Blu.

might have to wait for a blu moon!

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#9 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri May 30, 2008 4:38 pm

I wouldnt hold my breath for blu silents from these guys now. Their B&W (and silent) telecine has been astronomically beautiful (I've been ad naeseum about the benchmark that Fox' Sunrise represented for their R1 as well as the MoC utilizing the same tape & extras) and, with materials like this, there's not much difference between a good HD pass/SD encode and a theatrical projection... much of which is a result of a talkback to celluloid of the digitally restored materials (like the recent janus prints of Regle).

jaredsap
Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:24 am
Location: Los Angeles

#10 Post by jaredsap » Fri May 30, 2008 5:12 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:I wouldnt hold my breath for blu silents from these guys now. Their B&W (and silent) telecine has been astronomically beautiful (I've been ad naeseum about the benchmark that Fox' Sunrise represented for their R1 as well as the MoC utilizing the same tape & extras) and, with materials like this, there's not much difference between a good HD pass/SD encode and a theatrical projection... much of which is a result of a talkback to celluloid of the digitally restored materials (like the recent janus prints of Regle).

Differences between SD/HD/35mm aside, I can't imagine Fox didn't create HD masters of these titles (especially since there was surely restoration involved). And since a box like this is marketed towards hardcore cinephiles -- many of whom will have gone Blu by Christmas -- why not humor us with some 1080 action?

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#11 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri May 30, 2008 5:47 pm

Definitely as I said above, in agreement on an hd pass. Any major (hell any minor outside the budget lines like alpha etc) doing any new transfers in sd is in the stone age.

But I seriously doubt they'd print two bunches of a limited edition set like this, one Blu & one sd. They'd risk leftovers, which I'm sure they most emphatically dont want.

(Re the difs of HD & SD vs 35mm, remember I'm talking about silent films. I always go into theatrical projections of silents & pre-1935 vintage films hoping for some great visual revelation in terms of detail, and it just never happens... beyond the size of course).

User avatar
Cash Flagg
Posts: 938
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: F.W. Murnau / Frank Borzage boxset

#12 Post by Cash Flagg » Fri May 30, 2008 5:49 pm

DVD Savant wrote:That's quite a list and I fear the box is going to be as expensive as last year's John Ford collectables.

If there are only eleven titles in the set, why would this be the case?

User avatar
chaddoli
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

#13 Post by chaddoli » Fri May 30, 2008 5:58 pm

Wait a minute, are these two separate box sets or one "Fox Silents by Two Directors Maybe You've Heard Of" set?

It seems strange for this to be one set.

User avatar
justeleblanc
Posts: 2688
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:05 pm
Location: Connecticut

#14 Post by justeleblanc » Fri May 30, 2008 6:05 pm

I would suspect these are all being done with 2K masters for future Blu releases. I think Criterion has been doing HD masters on all of their titles for the last few years. I think now they are even doing 4K masters.

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#15 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri May 30, 2008 6:13 pm

Re the "combo" aspect--

Bergstrom explained it to me that it was going to be a "Showing the influence of Murnau at Fox box", with a combination of Murnau and Borzage. According to that formula I wouldnt have been surprised if something like Four Sons was thrown in.

But who cares-- just bundle it however they'd like and let it roll...

User avatar
denti alligator
Posts: 2714
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

#16 Post by denti alligator » Fri May 30, 2008 6:22 pm

I would like this to be Blu as well, because it would demonstrate that properly restored and mastered silents can look fantastic at 1080p also. Plus seeing Sunrise in HD makes me nearly stain my trousers.

User avatar
Scharphedin2
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 7:37 am
Location: Denmark/Sweden

#17 Post by Scharphedin2 » Fri May 30, 2008 6:30 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:Re the "combo" aspect--

Bergstrom explained it to me that it was going to be a "Showing the influence of Murnau at Fox box", with a combination of Murnau and Borzage. According to that formula I wouldnt have been surprised if something like Four Sons was thrown in.

But who cares-- just bundle it however they'd like and let it roll...

Schreck, do you know if the above list of 8 Borzage titles is the total tally, or, are there possibly more of his films to be included, but not yet announced?

Greatest, greatest thing to happen! No announcement could top this one, as far as I am concerned.

User avatar
What A Disgrace
Posts: 2136
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:34 pm
Contact:

#18 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri May 30, 2008 7:14 pm

I just had a magnificent daydream about a Vidor/Sjostrom at MGM set coming out of Warners.

That might top this. Maybe. I don't know. I haven't seen any of the films that entail/would entail these proposed ideas; barring Sunrise, on which I am about to triple dip. But I'm very excited.

User avatar
rohmerin
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

#19 Post by rohmerin » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:21 am

This dreamed box will be my dvd of the year. =D>

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#20 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:15 am

Previously thought the Ford @ Fox was the greatest use of the dvd medium by any of the major studios... but it looks like this will trump that easy.

Scharf, as to your question above, Janet didn't give me exact numbers, or titles beyond the ones already mentioned (at least I don't think do.. I'd have to go way back and recheck that email- if I still have it).

rlendog
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:30 pm

#21 Post by rlendog » Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:32 pm

rohmerin wrote:This dreamed box will be my dvd of the year.

I agree. I can't imagine any DVD or DVD set released this year (or next) topping this one. This bests (by far) even the Criterion Silent Ozu set.

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#22 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:03 pm

rlendog wrote:
rohmerin wrote:This dreamed box will be my dvd of the year.

I agree. I can't imagine any DVD or DVD set released this year (or next) topping this one. This bests (by far) even the Criterion Silent Ozu set.

Srsly.

But I mean, all it has to do is be what it says it is and will absolutely ipsofactorarily be the single best thing done with the dvd format ever. Beating maybe even Unseen Cinema by the Anthology here in NYC, which I think is still #1.

User avatar
Cinephrenic
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:58 pm
Location: Paris, Texas

#23 Post by Cinephrenic » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:06 pm

I always thought Sunrise should be a stand-alone release because of its reputation. But can't complain it's coming back on DVD.

User avatar
HerrSchreck
Posts: 6324
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#24 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:04 pm

You'll probably end up seeing that-- don't forget the way they made the most "classic" Ford titles available outa the @Fox box. At the very least, a couple, like Seventh Heaven/Street Angel, and Sunrise/City girl two-fers (though Sunrise w the Four Devils traces of a lost film and the gobs of extras really push the dl space to the edges, they'd have to release them, like Les Vampire was, on a dL flipper, four sides in all!).

wpqx
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:01 am

#25 Post by wpqx » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:48 pm

This is good news indeed, the copy I saw of City Girl was atrociously bad and have been looking for Seventh Heaven for years. I was just reading something Molly Haskell wrote about Janet Gaynor and in particular her roles in the two Borzage films mentioned and kept thinking "man I can't wait until I can finally see those".

Fox has been making some good in roads, but I don't want to go out and say they're leading the way for major film studios film libraries considering how they've been so far behind up until now. Fox was about the worst in the VHS era and this is about the only way they can catch up. That said I pray for the day when Universal realizes what they have in their Paramount holdings and can finally release some fucking Von Sternberg films on DVD that don't star Marlene Dietrich.

Post Reply