Roberto Rossellini on Blu-ray and DVD

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peerpee
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Roberto Rossellini on Blu-ray and DVD

#1 Post by peerpee » Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:21 pm

Rome, Open City (Rossellini) R2 UK Arrow Films

Poor print, unrestored, no digital cleanup, large ingrained subs, US intro.

However, there's a really, really good 47 minute Italian documentary (made in 2005) which is the sort of quality piece Criterion would jump at. No expense spared, great archive footage, Rossellini home movies, interviews with Magnani's son, Rossellini clan, Tag Gallagher, etc.

Just about worth the price of the disc alone.

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#2 Post by david hare » Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:47 am

Poor print, unrestored, no digital cleanup, large ingrained subs, US intro.
Can any Oz posters confirm if the R4 AV Channel version is a port of this?

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#3 Post by ellipsis7 » Sun Jun 05, 2005 12:55 pm

Poor print, unrestored, no digital cleanup, large ingrained subs, US intro.
Also compared with my tape copies off TV (BBC, RTE etc) noticably less of the dialogue is subtitled, and the translation appears not as good...

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#4 Post by kieslowski_67 » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:17 pm

I recently revisited some of the Rossellini-Bergman collaborations: "Stromboli", "Europa 51", "Viaggio in Italia", and was shocked to realize how good these movies are. And am I the only one that believes Ingrid Bergman gave better performances here than in her more heralded Hollywood pictures?

I knew the story why Bergman was shut out of Hollywood for 8 years, and some of Rossellini's colleagues had issues with him using a top Hollywood star in the lead role. However, I just don't understand why these movies generally received so poor reviews when they were first released, and still have not garnered the attention that they deserve. The Japanese DVDs I used to view these movies have decent image quality which lead me to believe that the concern on the source material is not an issue.

Now why is it that no one in US or Europe is willing to release these movies on DVD (with the exception of R2 'voyage to Italy')?

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#5 Post by ellipsis7 » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:29 pm

Apparently EUROPA 51 has been spotted preceded by a Janus Films logo, maybe an early indication of a CC DVD release sometime in the future... Doug Cummings of MoC has also indicated that a release of it had occurred to them too...

I still rely on a BBC off air VHS recording circa 1990 for STROMBOLI...

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#6 Post by subliminac » Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:31 pm

I e-mailed JM recently suggesting these movies would make a wonderful Criterion box set and asked in there was a chance any of these films would be released in the near future. He replied that they hoped to but nothing was definite at the moment.

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#7 Post by backstreetsbackalright » Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:40 pm

That's better results than I ever had, so that's at least encouraging. But with JM, who knows...

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#8 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:41 pm

That would make a great boxset I think. I suppose it would include Voyage to Italy, Europa '51, Stromboli, Fear, and maybe Joan at the Stake. It wouldn't be the greatest of films together, but I'd rather see Paisan and a better release of Open City.

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#9 Post by backstreetsbackalright » Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:48 pm

Don't get me wrong, I'd go apeshit for Open City, Paisan, and also Germany Year Zero, but I gotta say I'm more enthusiastic about the prospect of Bergman-era Rossellini stuff.

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#10 Post by Donald Trampoline » Sat Aug 27, 2005 11:49 am

The BFI Journey to Italy/Viaggio in Italia DVD was really great and I had a similar reaction to kieslowski_67 where I just wanted TONS more Rossellini on DVD! I rented it from Niche Flix, and they didn't have anything else of his at the time (they've since added the MoC Flowers of St. Francis and a copy of Rome: Open City). But I think it's the Bergman-era films that also most interest me.

Of course, I could just go rent the damn VHS's and get satisfied that way. (I think sometimes we can put off watching great films too long if we wait for people to put them on DVD.)

But it really is a shame more of these aren't out on DVD yet. Journey to Italy certainly needs a R1 Criterion version ASAP. It's really a landmark film. (The commentary on the BFI disc helped make this case rather strongly.)

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#11 Post by kieslowski_67 » Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:34 am

I like his "open city", "paisan", and "German year zero" a lot. However, I feel that "open city" is a little bit outdated. Most of the main characters are one dimensional, and the depiction of Nazi officers is really cartoonish.

"Stromboli", "Europa 51", "Viaggio in Italia", all provide tremendous depth in the reflections of postwar Europe. Each of these movies features a complicated lead female character that is extremely well developed, and beautifully realized by Bergman.
cinephrenic wrote:That would make a great boxset I think. I suppose it would include Voyage to Italy, Europa '51, Stromboli, Fear, and maybe Joan at the Stake. It wouldn't be the greatest of films together, but I'd rather see Paisan and a better release of Open City.
You forgot to include "Siamo donne". Although Rosellini-Bergman episode only lasted 15 min, it is great fun and divine to see Ingrid chasing that naughty chicken! :)
Last edited by kieslowski_67 on Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#12 Post by artfilmfan » Sun Aug 28, 2005 12:28 pm

Could anyone confirm whether the FILMS SANS FRONTIERES' DVD of "Stromboli" has an English audio track?

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Paisan / Paisà

#13 Post by LightBulbFilm » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:39 pm

Paisan / Paisà

I finally found a region one copy. It is packaged with Two Women in a DVD set called Italian Masterworks, but the sad thing is both films are dubbed in English. Does anyone have any info on any future releases of the film?

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#14 Post by Cinephrenic » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:54 pm

Possibly Criterion.

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#15 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:59 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:Possibly Criterion.
They'll be struggling to find a decent master. Even the Films sans Frontieres is a mess.

Lightbulb- is the whole movie dubbed into English or do you just mean the frequent Eng. dialogue scenes with the servicemen?

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#16 Post by LightBulbFilm » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:12 pm

Well, I ordered it so I haven't watched it yet... But from the back of the box it says dubbed in eglish... So we will see what it really is.
davidhare wrote:Lightbulb- is the whole movie dubbed into English or do you just mean the frequent Eng. dialogue scenes with the servicemen?
Well I got the DVD today, and I'm proud to announce there is the original Italian dialgoue (with subtitles) along with the original English dialogue. I can't say much for the transfer though... But hell, it's the onle R1 version of Paisan, and that's better than not having Paisan.

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#17 Post by Wittsdream » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:01 pm

LightBulbFilm wrote:Paisà
I have never seen this film of Rossellini's, and I speak neither Italian nor French. Am I going to be completely lost with this DVD? You mention that there is interspersed English dialogue throughout, but I would not be offended in viewing an English dub of the entire film if that is the only way of seeing this seminal film of Italian cinema.

What do you guys think? Should I just hold out for a BFI, Artificial Eye or Criterion release eventually?

Thanks in advance.

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#18 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:34 pm

Wittsdream wrote:I have never seen this film of Rossellini's, and I speak neither Italian nor French. .
This DVD is uuuuuuuuuuuuuugly. Pisspoor print. I couldn't sit through it all. Compare the less-than-stellar print used in Scorsese's Viaggio en Italia -- the scene where the American GI and the Italian girl are talking when he pulls out his lighter -- that scene is truncated in the DVD print with a slo-mo bit that must have been for sanitized screenings. I'd wait on this one. Hope Criterion continues with this and, especially, Amore.

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#19 Post by Wittsdream » Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:15 pm

Jesus the Mexican boi said:
I'd wait on this one. Hope Criterion continues with this and, especially, Amore.
Amore is one of my favorite Rossellini films. I would imagine that at some point, one of the more prestigious DVD labels in the world (Criterion, Artificial Eye, MK2, Studio Canal, BFI) must release the Bergman/Rossellini cycle in a box set, in addition to films like Paisan and Amore.

Here we are, more than 20 years after laserdiscs were first introduced, and now almost 9 years into DVD technology, and some key works in film history have still not been released yet. #-o

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#20 Post by dave41n » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:51 am

jesus the mexican boi wrote:This DVD is uuuuuuuuuuuuuugly. Pisspoor print. I couldn't sit through it all. Compare the less-than-stellar print used in Scorsese's Viaggio en Italia -- the scene where the American GI and the Italian girl are talking when he pulls out his lighter -- that scene is truncated in the DVD print with a slo-mo bit that must have been for sanitized screenings. I'd wait on this one. Hope Criterion continues with this and, especially, Amore.
I watched a copy of Paisan through my local library and while I loved the film--the print was awful and almost ruined the experience.

Any additional Rossellini from Criterion would be nice. Germany Year Zero especially. But I've been frustrated... I can't seem to get my hands on any Rossellini/I. Bergman collaborations (Europa '51, Stromboli). Anyone seen these? or have any suggestions on where to find them?

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#21 Post by backstreetsbackalright » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:28 pm

dave41n wrote:Any additional Rossellini from Criterion would be nice. Germany Year Zero especially. But I've been frustrated... I can't seem to get my hands on any Rossellini/I. Bergman collaborations (Europa '51, Stromboli). Anyone seen these? or have any suggestions on where to find them?
There are videos circulating. I'd check university libraries for one. I rented them at my local video store, but that store's something of an exception. There's an import DVD of Stromboli I've seen around a couple times (though I've not watched the disc itself). I'll try and scare up the info on that. Or if anyone else knows what I'm talking about, by all means, chime in.

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#22 Post by FilmFanSea » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:52 pm

From Variety:
As part of Italy's celebrations for the May 8 centennial of Roberto Rossellini's birth, Cinecitta is restoring and distributing 10 of the neorealist helmer's pics, including Rome, Open City.

The initiative comes after legal wrangling to acquire master prints and rights to the Rossellini titles by Cinecitta's rights unit, Cinecitta Diritti, in collaboration with Rossellini's son, Renzo Rossellini, who is head of the Roberto Rossellini Foundation.

Other pics include Paisa, Germany Year Zero, the Ingrid Bergman starrer Stromboli and Journey to Italy.

"Our first goal is the preservation of the film's master prints and their restoration. Secondly, we want to promote their circulation," said Cinecitta Diritti topper Michele Lo Foco.

Cinecitta Diritti is handling homevid and TV sales rights to the package.

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#23 Post by backstreetsbackalright » Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:26 pm

=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

Perhaps we can expect DVDs in one region or another sometime in the future. And hopefully these prints will be subtitled and tour the states later in the year as well.

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#24 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:53 pm

Superb news - emailed JM about a month ago re. possibility of Rossellini/Bergman set in 2006 - no reply, but understand that is currently the norm...

They sound quite advanced if they are offering homevid and TV licence sales already...

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#25 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:01 pm

Thank GOD for this. I just rented Open City on DVD....this is possibly the worst DVD I've ever seen. Scratchy old film print with bad contrast, bad detail (faded? blown out?) with burned-in subtitles, possibly an old VHS transfer to boot...

New restored prints are great, but for everyone who's miles from a major city, they need a hi-def transfer from the original, RESTORED materials...please, somebody, make it happen!

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