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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:42 pm 
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Does anyone know about the intended color scheme of CHINESE ROULETTE? The old Wellspring Region 1 DVD has a more or less normal range of colors, but the new transfer on the Arrow box set is almost completely devoid of color - it's mostly yellows, browns, etc. I'm trying to determine whether they were working from very badly faded elements, or whether this is a deliberate color grading choice.

If the best available film elements have in fact degraded that much since the DVD was released in 2003, it's very sad indeed.

Otherwise, the Blu-rays in the Arrow box set look quite nice. I enjoyed delving into EFFI BRIEST again, and it made me think of Straub and Huillet's approach to literary adaptation in a way.


Last edited by jsteffe on Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Lost Highway wrote:
R0lf wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:
That "slave dress" Petra wears for her date with Karin is one of my favourite film costumes ever.


It's not an exact copy but the dress is also a throwback to the one Tierny wears for Chinese New Year in Sternberg's THE SHANGAHI GESTURE.


It's a while ago that I saw The Shanghai Gesture, but I don't remember Gene Tierney wearing anything like this:

Image

...though it would fit the film and it would be a film which Fassbinder may have liked.

It actually makes it to the front cover of the DVD though obviously it is less revealing.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:59 pm 
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Location: New Avalon KY
Oedipax wrote:
Jean-Luc Garbo wrote:
I'm in the same area and still haven't received mine, either. I never received a shipping email, however, so I'm a little amazed anyone's got their copy already tho. Thanks to What A Disgrace, I'm even more excited to dig into it now.

Yeah, I didn't get a shipping notice either - just logged into Arrow's site and found it there. Hopefully that does mean it really shipped.

I just checked and mine still says "at warehouse" so I guess we'll see. I should dig out my Arrow DVDs just to look at the earlier transfers for fun in the meantime. The wait for Petra and Ali should definitely be worth it as I held off on the Criterion editions for so long now. I've got to say that the doc on El Hedi ben Salem being 96 minutes long - no paltry puff piece that - looks especially intriguing.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:02 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Still worth holding onto those massive DVD bricks since only about half the films from each made the transition to Blu-Ray


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:43 pm 
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knives wrote:
It actually makes it to the front cover of the DVD though obviously it is less revealing.


That dress looks nothing like this one. Never mind, not important.


Last edited by Lost Highway on Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:45 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
Still worth holding onto those massive DVD bricks since only about half the films from each made the transition to Blu-Ray

The rest is still in the process of getting restored and should make it to Blu-ray eventually. I'm holding out for more Fassbinder in HD.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:12 pm 
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Lost Highway wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
Still worth holding onto those massive DVD bricks since only about half the films from each made the transition to Blu-Ray
The rest is still in the process of getting restored and should make it to Blu-ray eventually.
Good news. Meantime, I'm holding on to my 2 Arrow and 2 AE DVD box sets, but perhaps I can ditch the Criterion BRD DVD set if it doesn't contain significant unique extras.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:50 am
Paul Moran wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
Still worth holding onto those massive DVD bricks since only about half the films from each made the transition to Blu-Ray
The rest is still in the process of getting restored and should make it to Blu-ray eventually.
Good news. Meantime, I'm holding on to my 2 Arrow and 2 AE DVD box sets, but perhaps I can ditch the Criterion BRD DVD set if it doesn't contain significant unique extras.


I sold my BRD to buy this Arrow set. You should sell your soon since people are still worried that Criterion lost the rights to the trilogy.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:23 pm 
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jsteffe wrote:
Does anyone know about the intended color scheme of CHINESE ROULETTE? The old Wellspring Region 1 DVD has a more or less normal range of colors, but the new transfer on the Arrow box set is almost completely devoid of color - it's mostly yellows, browns, etc. I'm trying to determine whether they were working from very badly faded elements, or whether this is a deliberate color grading choice.

If the best available film elements have in fact degraded that much since the DVD was released in 2003, it's very sad indeed.

Otherwise, the Blu-rays in the Arrow box set look quite nice. I enjoyed delving into EFFI BRIEST again, and it made me think of Straub and Huillet's approach to literary adaptation in a way.


I watched this tonight. I didn't think it looked "almost completely devoid of color", it has the muted color scheme to Petra Von Kant and several other Fassbinder films. To me at least it didn't have the look of faded elements, it looks like a lot of art house films of the period, which appropriate as in some ways it feels like a parody of a 70s European art house film (while flirting with the "evil child" horror film.)

Margit Carstensen is in equal parts beautiful and grotesque, elegant and crazy. Brigitte Mira (cast against type) and Macha Merril (looking like she's just walked off the set of Deep Red) are great too, just Anna Karina seems a little wasted as the most subdued of the women. Some great Ballhaus camera moves as well. Great fun even if it isn't top notch Fassbinder.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:12 pm 
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I live in Chicago and I got mine yesterday. I also didn't receive a shipping notice but when I went to 'orders' under my account it did say shipped indeed. Perhaps because it shipped out "early" for preorders they don't bother sending a dispatch notice.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:18 pm 
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Lost Highway wrote:
I watched this tonight. I didn't think it looked "almost completely devoid of color", it has the muted color scheme to Petra Von Kant and several other Fassbinder films. To me at least it didn't have the look of faded elements, it looks like a lot of art house films of the period, which appropriate as in some ways it feels like a parody of a 70s European art house film (while flirting with the "evil child" horror film.)


I looked at it again, and you're right: "almost completely devoid of color" is not really accurate. Still, the color in CHINESE ROULETTE is not on the same level of the other transfers in the set, including PETRA VON KANT. This is especially apparent to me in the flesh tones, but the color range as a whole is very limited. On the positive side, the detail in the image is solid. And the encoding works on an altogether different level compared to the old US DVD, which is a smeary mess. It reminds me of just how bad the average DVD used to look.

I don't want to sound as if I'm dissatisfied with the set, which is not the case at all. It's a fantastic package, and it has most of my favorite Fassbinder films.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:26 am 
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jsteffe wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:
I watched this tonight. I didn't think it looked "almost completely devoid of color", it has the muted color scheme to Petra Von Kant and several other Fassbinder films. To me at least it didn't have the look of faded elements, it looks like a lot of art house films of the period, which appropriate as in some ways it feels like a parody of a 70s European art house film (while flirting with the "evil child" horror film.)


I looked at it again, and you're right: "almost completely devoid of color" is not really accurate. Still, the color in CHINESE ROULETTE is not on the same level of the other transfers in the set, including PETRA VON KANT. This is especially apparent to me in the flesh tones, but the color range as a whole is very limited. On the positive side, the detail in the image is solid. And the encoding works on an altogether different level compared to the old US DVD, which is a smeary mess. It reminds me of just how bad the average DVD used to look.

I don't want to sound as if I'm dissatisfied with the set, which is not the case at all. It's a fantastic package, and it has most of my favorite Fassbinder films.


There is something slightly "flat" about the skin tones which may well have to do with the digital restauration. Maybe as the second film of a double feature and a "lesser" Fassbinder film they didn't put as much work into it. Overall it still looked fine to me.


I also watched My Name is Not Ali, which is a rather muddled documentary about El Hedi ben Salem which didn't tell me much about the Fassbinder group dynamics which I didn't already know. Apart from Irm Hermann they only managed to draft in some minor Fassbinder associates, who were more interested in securing their own place in Fassbinder's history than contributing anything of insight about El Hedi ben Salem. A few times their views and langague border on the racist (no surprise there, I've grown up in Munich). The interviews with his family reveal a depressing story about the sons he took from their still traumatised mother, to introduce them to a totally unsuitable life in Munich. The man himself remains an enigma and never emerges as very interesting. Either he doesn't make for a compelling enough subject matter to warrant a feature length documentary or the filmmakers didn't find the story. It's good to have it included as a Blu-ray extra though, even if it fails as a documentary.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:01 am 
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Lost Highway wrote:
R0lf wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:
That "slave dress" Petra wears for her date with Karin is one of my favourite film costumes ever.


It's not an exact copy but the dress is also a throwback to the one Tierny wears for Chinese New Year in Sternberg's THE SHANGAHI GESTURE.


It's a while ago that I saw The Shanghai Gesture, but I don't remember Gene Tierney wearing anything like this:

Image

...though it would fit the film and it would be a film which Fassbinder may have liked.


Sorry, I read your comment around the wrong way, I was talking about Hanna Schygulla's dress.

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:24 am 
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Location: Berlin, Germany
Ok, that makes sense. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:24 am 
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Carstensen's dress is based on Mata Hari?

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:04 am 
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My Merchant/Beware case came without a disc.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:30 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
My Merchant/Beware case came without a disc.
A similar thing happened to me with the Battles Without Honour and Humanity set: the Proxy War case only contained a DVD. Arrow only asked me to return Proxy War, but they sent a whole new set as a replacement, so you may get a nice bonus out of this!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:36 pm 
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They didn't ask me to return anything, but said they were getting standalone discs in stock shortly and would send me one of those. Now I'm nervous to check my Fukasaku set!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:11 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
My Merchant/Beware case came without a disc.


Just got my set in -- I'm also missing that one disc.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:20 pm 
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Send an email to product@arrowfilms.co.uk and explain the situation.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:58 am 
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Now that I've had a chance to go through it I'm overwhelming disappointed with this set. The "darkness" that dvdbeaver mentions in their (Criterion) Petra von Kant review goes all the way through these transfers and everything has a distractingly orange/teal cast with lighting becoming murky, textures (especially on black clothing) which were all quite visible on the previous DVDs are now clumping dark patches, flesh tones are jaundiced, wood tones no longer look like wood etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:32 am 
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So, you mean that all the movies actually have the seemingly debatable look of this specific movie ?
Or your concerns over this single movie are enough to make the whole disappointing to you ?

Sure, some of them don't look like previous incarnations (and Petra von Kant is indeed quite darker) while some do but it's hard not to notice the drastic improvements in details and definition[/url].


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:12 am 
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Apart from the black and white movies it goes across the whole set with the only one looking similar to the previous version being Maria Braun (which is fine if you don't mind all those grey suits being blue).

If you want a really great example of the difference go to the scene in von Kant where her friend first arrives and there is a shot of Irm Hermann standing in the doorway. On the DVD the image is saturated with the morning light that shines down on her, you can see the mesh of her dress, the wooden frame is the colour of wood. On the blu ray there is no light, her dress is solid black, the wood is orange.

It's even more perplexing because toggling back and forth between favourites like von Kant and Chinese Roulette it looks like the blu ray and DVD are from identical sources. They all have stray hairs and dirt artefacts in identical places.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:02 am 
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95% sold out according to Arrow, so if you want the book better hurry.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:17 pm 
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R0lf wrote:
Apart from the black and white movies it goes across the whole set with the only one looking similar to the previous version being Maria Braun (which is fine if you don't mind all those grey suits being blue).

If you want a really great example of the difference go to the scene in von Kant where her friend first arrives and there is a shot of Irm Hermann standing in the doorway. On the DVD the image is saturated with the morning light that shines down on her, you can see the mesh of her dress, the wooden frame is the colour of wood. On the blu ray there is no light, her dress is solid black, the wood is orange.

It's even more perplexing because toggling back and forth between favourites like von Kant and Chinese Roulette it looks like the blu ray and DVD are from identical sources. They all have stray hairs and dirt artefacts in identical places.


The Arrow Blu-rays for the color films are from the same restorations and look almost identical to the Criterion Blu-rays, apart from some very slight differences in brightness perhaps. (That is, for the films that Criterion has also released on Blu-ray). I think they look convincing. The image you mentioned for PETRA VON KANT looks rich and atmospheric on Blu-ray, but fairly washed out on DVD, at least to my eyes. The only one that I've found problematic so far is CHINESE ROULETTE.


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