Powell and Pressburger (UK releases)

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Lino
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Powell and Pressburger (UK releases)

#1 Post by Lino » Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:04 pm

More info here. Apparently, it's a HMV exclusive.

The store however lists it as a 9 disker... without Black Narcissus on it which the P&P site lists as:
Black Narcissus
(2005 digitally remastered version which premiered at Cannes)
Any idea why?

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#2 Post by kieslowski_67 » Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:10 pm

Gosh, they are dirty cheap though. :shock:

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Richard
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#3 Post by Richard » Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:46 pm

Interesting. However: looking at the extra's of Red Shoes and Blimp I'd say that these are the same Carlton-editions that are available allready. Still a great set though.

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#4 Post by david hare » Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:00 pm

review of the Carlton UK edition here:

Unfortunately the reviewer while calling it a restoration doesn't mention if this is a NEW restoration or the existing one available on Criterion and the eaarlier Carlton disc. From the still shots I would guess it's the old one. Although the extras sound OK I really think this movie needs a proper restoration from the three strip negs.

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#5 Post by Napoleon » Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:27 am


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#6 Post by kieslowski » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:23 am

Black Narcissus is a new restoration, but flixyflox was wondering about Blimp and I agree with him - I think it's the old transfer.

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#7 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:27 am

What they seem to have done is use the freshly restored film elements to then transfer to HD, there to use digital restoration tools to remove remaining scratches and faults, to produce an HD master, from which can be struck show prints and DVDs, as well as projecting directly digitally etc...

They will have to go a long way to better the CC NARCISSUS disc on DVD, which was from BFI restored film elements, and a transfer supervised by Jack Cardiff....

Tied up with the new print of BLACK NARCISSUS is the fact that Carlton took over the Rank Library, then merged with/was taken over by Granada.... I think Technicolour was owned by Carlton, so would be in on the deal...

I suppose also the business of restoration/preservation is also very much an ongoing process...

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#8 Post by david hare » Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:22 pm

I have always thought the CC Narcissus looked great - the only problem was the "fade to Blue" in the late Kathleen Byron/David Farrar scene. Of course after one of the posters on our old forum emailed the BFI about this they withdrew the print! (Hopefully to correct the shot in time for the "new" restoration.)

Red Shoes and Blimp really need major restoration work - both in terms of print damage (speckles, scratches etc) and the level of the positive print color saturation, in other words something like ultra rez, although neither of these display any three strip misregistration, indicating no shrinkage problems at least.

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#9 Post by ellipsis7 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:20 pm

A pretty comprehensive Powell retro is coming to an end at the Edinburgh Film Fest... I was there today, was offered a ticket to AGE OF CONSENT, but had seen it recently on VHS, and was not enthusiastic enough to review on the big screen... BFI and Granada credited in the programme for much of the films...

I get no significant strobing on my copy of BLACK NARCISSUS!

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#10 Post by david hare » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:06 pm

I also experience no strobing on the Black Narcissus disc. (Unlike the Criterion L'Eclisse on which the flicker/strobing inherent in the print drives me mad and ruins my ability to watch the disc.)

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#11 Post by david hare » Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:34 am

NWilson, with the cute face - the press release is telling me something about the Technicolor org's marketing strategies. Be mindful this company which still carries the Kalmus reputation, is in biz to make moolah (and so they Should) but the first pressrelease is confusing.

I understood the current Technicolor copyright owners (Sony???) years ago took over the label, but some years later, in the 90s, re-developed a Dye Transfer printing facility, which was half of what Technicolor was all about. Indeed I remember reading (unless I am in a Wongian hallucinatory drug induced opium pipe daze) they manufactured for the first time since 1974 Dye-transfer (IB) prints of Pearl Harbor, Godfather reissue, Apocalypse Now Redux and Rear Window (for Robert Harris) in the IB process. See, remember Techni also printed other people's prints after the intro of widescreen and the end of 3-strip negs - for Deluxe/Fox (Credit reads "printed in Technicolor" because they already knew the Eastman prints were inferior), the UNiversal Sirks, etc. THIS is what all us nontechnical folks don't get. The negative stock (if not dreaded CRI) was useable for IB/dye transfer reprinting into perfect fade resistant, deeply saturated positives. depending on the film stock.

I am now WIDE open (as Georgina says in Devil in Miss Jones...)

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#12 Post by Napoleon » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:26 am

I was struggling to keep up before, but I'm completely lost now.

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#13 Post by Eric » Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:01 am

Yeah, someone just tell me how I go about getting this for 18 pounds.

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#14 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:30 am

The 9 film box setis an HMV exclusive at £39.99 (as Annie Mall indicated in the first post of this thread)...

Does not include the new Black Narcissus DVD which releases on 26 Sept...

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#15 Post by david hare » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:50 pm

Just a little disappointing to see Battle of the River Plate and They're a Weird Mob in non/anamorphic letterboxed mode. Plate was shot in Vistavision as I recall and would have benfitted from anamorphic transfer, and Mob was made for 1.66 projection (there is an anamorphic R4 DVD in this ratio.) Despite which they are both pretty minor titles - but important I guess for completists. There should be a R4 DVD (1.66 hopefully) of Age of Consent coming soon in Oz. Again a very minor title but more generally interesting than Weird Mob (although I have some affection for Walter Chiari - very charming in Bonjour Tristesse but a bit of a stunned mullet in the Powell.)

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#16 Post by david hare » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:23 pm

Have just bought blind the R4 edition of Black Narcissus (for AUD12.99, why the hell not.) There is nothing on the cover to indicate it's the restored Cannes version but the licencing (to Magna Australia) is from Granada, not Carlton. This is part of Magna's "Rank Classics series" - the rankest things about them are the truly, utterly hideous covers which look like they were designed by a post war Britrail public servant with a color fetish for orange and brown. (And I have never been a label queen.. pass the gin Dev.) Their transfers however have been pretty good - Genevieve for instance looks fresh as a daisy with nice clean colors and a near pristine print - far removed from the faded to brown Eastman TV horrors of the last few years. The B&W titles also very nice, and all cheap as chips. (This will be the FOURTH Powell to be duplicated in the Flixatheque - Thief of Bagdad, Red Shoes and Blimp the others.)

Totally OT (why not) no-one has ever commented on the superb R1 MGM Thief of Bagdad. The older Carlton R2 and R4 discs were OK (very similar to the nineties Laserdisc, with the same reddish bias) but the MGM disc is absolutely gorgeous - one of the finest transfers ever of a Technicolor three strip movie to DVD. (And a fabulous movie.)

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#17 Post by devlinnn » Wed Oct 05, 2005 12:15 am

Gin has been passed Flixy, but champagne may be in order as Magna Pacific look to have done OK with Black Narcissus. While not the new restoration (if so, I need new glasses), it is comparable to the Criterion. As is their Great Expectations - sharp print, good contrast. At AU$14rrp, they out-pimped o/s dist.

Speaking of pimps - has anyone read, seen or heard news about P&P's The Elusive Pimpernel? HVE had a VHS release many moons ago - but I've never seen a DVD release anywhere.

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#18 Post by david hare » Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:13 am

I have a reasonable exVHS bootleg of Pimpernel in somewhat Carlton-y Technicolor - you know, a bit too blue, from a source that was supposed to be screened on FTA TV a thousand years ago. Don't care THAT much for the movie - but it's a whole lot better than Oh Rosalinda which is completely dreadful.

Actually with the imminent arrival of Tales of Hoffmann which I consider a second tier Powell, it IS very instructive to look at these fifties Powells, in particular the musicals (including Luna di Miel): there is a very noticeable decline in quality, and coarsening sensibility - in that respect even the normally wonderful Walbrook is, in Rosalinda positively ghastly, a combination of his totally misjudged performance and Powell's direction. River Plate isn't much much chop either, Ill Met lightly likeable, as for the two Australian movies- well for completists only I feel. (And Age of COnsent is Mason's baby - I think it was certainly through the good graces of others like Mason and John and Googie/JCW that kept Powell working through those sixties years. And he seemed to enjoy himself here, god bless him.)

After that rant how wonderful to get the miracle of Peeping Tom.

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#19 Post by devlinnn » Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:30 am

Yes Flixy, we need a Criterion 'We Don't Know Where We're Going!' - The Second-Tier Powell and Pressburger Collection' boxset asap to round out loose ends.

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#20 Post by david hare » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:06 pm

You folks might be interested in thies very civilized reply I received to an email enquiry with Magna Pacific re the R4 Black Narcissus disc.
Good Morning David,
Thank you for contacting us at Magna Pacific. It's great to hear from people who are enjoying our films as much as we are. In regards to your interest in our collection of films old and new of which Black Narcissus is one, we are happy to help you with any enquiries you currently have.

I am pleased to advise you that the Magna Pacific distributed version is from the restored master made for Granada which is now released by Granada within the United Kingdom.

Should you have any further questions, queries or comments please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service Department on 07 3267 9888 or at info@magnapacific.com.au

Kindest,
Customer Service Team
Magna Pacific
P: 07 3267 9888
F: 07 3267 1116
E: info@magnapacific.com.au
W: www.magnapacific.com.au

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#21 Post by Tim » Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:10 am

I bought this recently and watched A Matter of Life and Death yesterday. No complaints about the transfer but two comments on the packaging. First, the discs are carried two to a page in a fold-out package, so that one disc overlaps another on each page. For whatever reason the push-button releases on the upper discs have very little flex (they are sort of half buttons, to accommodate the lower disc), so that it's incredibly difficult to get the upper disc off the hub safely. The lower disc can be removed fairly easily. Second, the package has no insert and thus very little information on each film. What you get is what you see on the outside of the box: the name of the film, the major credits, and the year of release. Nothing else.

Given the price of the package one has to expect compromises. I'm not complaining about the presentation as value for money. I just want to let prospective purchasers know what they are and aren't getting.

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#22 Post by ellipsis7 » Sat Oct 22, 2005 12:11 pm

HMV have dropped their price for the P&P boxset to Stg£29.99...

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#23 Post by david hare » Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:05 pm

Recieved a copy of this yesterday and I am speechless!

In the 35 years since I first saw this movie - and that includes 16mm Technicolor IB prints during the 70s - I have never seen a more beautiful presentation of the title.

Just gobsmacking!

Matt get in there and replace the old Criterion!

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#24 Post by Napoleon » Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:03 am

Yes, the Network BLACK NARCISSUS is amongst the best transfers I've ever seen. It is of a similar quality to criterions The River. Perhaps it is even a little sharper.

Although it doesn't look like it on the DVDBeaver shots, the colours are vibrant and retain that Jack Cardiff feel.

It still strobes a bit (barely, but if you concentrate on a white wall it is there), but still, I'd give a kidney to see similar efforts made to The Red Shoes.

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#25 Post by Gordon » Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:53 pm

The Network Black Narcissus is only £12.87 HERE.

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