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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:57 am 
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I realise there is, already, a thread on 'best non R1 DVDs' but I'm hoping here to create a slightly more formalised list with a minimum of discussion (of course, corrections, extensive descriptions of a DVDs flaws or qualities, etc. are very welcome.)

I haven't put this in the 'lists' topic, because, as I understand it, the lists topic is mostly for opinion polls, Top 5 films, etc. (This should be more akin to the very helpful Kino thread, or the Coming Soon From Criterion thread.)

So, firstly, I'll include a useful link from DVD Beaver.

Then, on to the list itself (the DVD Beaver list seems to be almost entirely in French, including French names for American films.)

For entries on this thread, I'm thinking maybe a format like;

Title:
French-language title:
English subtitles/dialogue:
Reason for recommendation: (ie. Superior picture, superior extras, uncut status, only version available)
Further notes: (including brief description of the film)
Links: (ie. DVDBeaver comparisons, reviews, etc.)
Removable subtitles: (Personally, I won't be able to comment on this, since may player seems to remove non-removable subtitles just fine)

So, beginning the list with a few entries;

Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
French title: Le Portrait du Dorian Gray
English subtitles/dialogue: English dialogue track
Reason for recommendation: Only version available
Further notes: 1945 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel, featuring George Sanders and Angela Lansbury

Title: Pulp Fiction
English subtitles/dialogue: English dialogue (DD 5.1)
Reason for recommendation: Best picture quality of any release.
Further notes: Only available now in a bare-bones edition without DTS, but retains the excellent video transfer from the Wild Side limited edition.
DVD Beaver

I'll post more, later.


Last edited by Darth Lavender on Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:59 am 
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I generally order French stuff from Alapage - they have a more extensive selection and usually better prices. I also think you should add notes on distributor, region status and whether it's PAL or NTSC (most French DVDs are obviously PAL, but NTSC ones aren't unknown)

Anyway, recent discs I've sampled include:

Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Paradjanov, 1964)
French-language title: Les Chevaux du feu
Distributor: Films sans frontières, region 0 PAL
English subtitles/dialogue: Ukrainian dialogue, English and French subtitles
Reason for recommendation: only decent version available (a Russian disc reputedly has Russian voiceover and no subtitles)
Further notes: Excellent transfer of what's claimed to be a restored print. The colours perhaps aren't quite as vibrant as intended, but it's far better than the sorry excuse for a print still in distribution in Britain. Non-anamorphic 4:3, but that's the OAR. Extras are text-based, and exclusively in French.
Links: no online reviews, but I enthuse about the disc in the Feb 2007 Sight & Sound, rating it the second-best Paradjanov DVD after Ruscico's Ashik Kerib
Removable subtitles: Yes

The Colour of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov, 1969)
French-language title: Sayat Nova
Distributor: Films sans frontières, region 0 PAL
English subtitles/dialogue: Armenian dialogue, English and French subtitles
Reason for recommendation: best all-round DVD of the film, though picture is inferior to Japanese Columbia disc (but that's the cut Soviet version and has no English subtitles) and extras inferior to the Kino (whose visual presentation is appalling).
Further notes: This is a decent transfer of less than wonderful source materials - the picture is contrastier than the Japanese disc, and the sound often noticeably distorted, and cuts out completely for a few seconds towards the end, which the Kino doesn't. However, on balance I'd rather have that than the Kino's massively windowboxed picture with compulsory (and truly hideous) yellow subtitles. Extras are text-based and in French.
Links: no online reviews, but I repeat my assessment that it's currently the best Pomegranates disc in the Feb 2007 Sight & Sound, though acknowledge that a definitive disc has yet to appear.
Removable subtitles: Yes

Lulu (Walerian Borowczyk, 1980)
French-language title: Lulu
English subtitles/dialogue: French dialogue only
Reason for recommendation: currently the only realistic way of seeing this extremely rare Borowczyk feature (never distributed in an English-speaking country as far as I'm aware).
Further notes: coming soon (as soon as I can find the DVD), but this is strictly no-frills - I seem to recall a non-anamorphic 4:3 picture and no extras. And it's a very minor work indeed: strictly for completists only, and not a patch on the deliriously demented Docteur Jekyll et les femmes, which he made the following year with many of the same people.
Links: no online reviews.
Removable subtitles: No subtitles whatsoever

The same order included Raoul Servais complete shorts, Henri Xhonneux and Roland Topor's Marquis and, ahem, The Good Old Naughty Days, none of which I've watched properly yet - though I can confirm that the last disc includes English subtitles on the extras as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:03 pm 
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Raoul Ruiz's Ce jour la -- has English subtitles -- the best neo-Bunuelian comedy I've encountered.

Kiarostami's Wind will Carry Us and HHH's Millennium Mambo are very superior to US versions (and are subtitled).

I generally order from Alapage or FNAC.... but one needn't set up a new account if one is already registered with Amazon and wants to use Amazon France (or UK or Germany). *Amazon Japan requires a separate registration).

The set containing Bunuel's El and Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (R) and NTSC, I think).

The set with Alain Tanner's "Jonah who will bee 25 in the year 2000" and "Middle of the World" (Not stellar quality -- but passable -- the latter film, which I never heard of, is even better than Jonah).


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:17 pm 
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That Alapage site looks useful (it is, indeed, frequently a few euros cheaper than Amazon, although the shipping is a little higher) and I'm just now checking up on this FNAC website. Previously thought Amazon.fr was the only major French retailer that shipped outside of Europe, so now I've modified the thread title according.

On to some more titles;

Title: Ivanovo detstvo or Ivan's Childhood
French title: L'enfanc d'Ivan
Distributor: MK2 (PAL)
English subtitles/dialogue: English subtitles
Reason for recommendation: Superior image-quality to other versions. Identical extras.
Further notes: Andrei Tarkovsky's first feature-length film, about a child-soldier fighting in World War II
DVD Beaver

Title: Dune
Distributor: Opening/GCTHV (PAL)
English subtitles/dialogue: English dialogue
Reason for recommendation: Superior image and a DTS soundtrack.
Further notes: The television cut is still the in 4:3 ratio (meaning the prologue (filmed in 4:3) is uncropped, but the rest is Pan & Scanned) also lacking any deleted scenes (unlike the American Special Edition)
DVD Compare
Dune info

Title: Orson Welles' MacBeth
Distributor: Wild Side Video (PAL)
English subtitles/dialogue: English dialogue
Reason for recommendation: Superior transfer (2 disk edition) and numerous extras (3 disk edition only)
Further notes: Available as a 3 disk Collector's Edition or as a 2 disk 'Pocket Edition' (at half the price)
Disk 1 contains the full, uncut film. Disk 2 contains the abridged and re-edited film originally shown in theatres (with the diluted Scottish accents, etc.) Disk 3 contains the extras; about 80 minutes of documentaries and featurettes, and 80 page book (in French) four-minutes of footage (all that remains) of Welles' all-Negro stage production (in English) and a 71 minute radio dramatisation, starring Welles & with music by Bernard Herrman.
Orson Welles Macbeth French 3 disc set
DVD Classik
Wild Side


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:28 pm
Michael Kerpan wrote:
The set containing Bunuel's El and Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (R) and NTSC, I think).

The set with Alain Tanner's "Jonah who will bee 25 in the year 2000" and "Middle of the World" (Not stellar quality -- but passable -- the latter film, which I never heard of, is even better than Jonah).

Are these sets unsubbed?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:27 pm 
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It looks like they are. This links to a really useful French site, where you can find information about just about any French DVD release. It allows you to search on directors, and it will pull up all available titles. The screens for the individual DVD releases usually gives information as to the availability of English subtitles.

EDIT: That they ARE with English subs.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:27 pm 
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Aha you beat me to it. Also from Films sans Frontieres Bunuels Los Olvidados (with English subs) and an alternative ending, plus las Hurdes.

Alapage obviously ship to the UK but they certainly don't to Australia, for instance and I suspect not to the US. Fnac does ship to OZ and the US they are the only people who have the Rivette Duelle/Noroit double (no English subs.)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
Location: LA CA
davidhare wrote:
Alapage obviously ship to the UK but they certainly don't to Australia, for instance and I suspect not to the US.

Fortunately for me, Alapage does ship to the US.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:29 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:38 am
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davidhare wrote:
Alapage obviously ship to the UK but they certainly don't to Australia, for instance

That is really strange. I live in New Zealand and I've purchased MK2 Stalker from them about six months back.

I had an awful experience with them though. The reason I used Alapage instead of Amazon.fr was Alapage was the only place that had MK2 Coffret Makhmalbaf. Coffret Makhmalbaf was about 30 Euros and the shipping cost was 20 Euros, so I threw in Stalker (20 Euros) to feel like I'm not wasting too much on shipping. Then they told me that they no longer had Makhmalbaf set in stock and they'd already sent Stalker and charged me 20 Euros shipping for it. I went furious at them using my friendly google translator, but they wouldn't refund the return shipping if I decided to return it.

Anyway, here is my recommendation:

Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard)
Distributor: Studio Canal
English subtitles/dialogue: French dialogue with optional English subtitles (no subs on the commentary track)
Reason for recommendation: Excellent picture quality. Much inferior US version is OOP. Nice simple packaging.
Links: don't know where to find a review.
Amazon fr

I love this thread. Keep it coming!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:21 am 
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fred wrote:
Michael Kerpan wrote:
The set containing Bunuel's El and Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (R) and NTSC, I think).

The set with Alain Tanner's "Jonah who will bee 25 in the year 2000" and "Middle of the World" (Not stellar quality -- but passable -- the latter film, which I never heard of, is even better than Jonah).

Are these sets unsubbed?

All subbed. ;~}


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:30 am 
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The "2 films de..." sets from Cahiers du Cinema are great. My recommendation in particular (both for the great films and their English-friendly subtitles) is the Godard set with Nouvelle Vague and Passion, both with English subtitles. There is another set with Prenom Carmen and Helas pour moi, but only Carmen has subtitles. There is also what looks to be a great set of No Fear, No Die and Nenette et Boni by Claire Denis, but unfortunately no English subs on either of those. I'm quite tempted to order the Denis set anyway.

Amazon lists some of the CdC sets, but only actually sells them through the marketplace section - so you might instead want to check out Fnac. If anyone knows of another site that has these titles for sale and ships to the U.S., please let us know.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:13 am 
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The Philippe Garrel set from Cahiers, with Sauvage innocence and La Naissance de l'amour, also has English subtitles.

Also recommended are the Eugène Green titles: Toutes les nuits, Le Monde vivant and Le Pont des Arts, all subbed. See here.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:59 pm 
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I know this is a super long shot question, but does anyone know if the French release of Rough Magic/Miss Shumway jette un sort has fixed French subs or are they optional? Failing anyone actually having this movie, does Studio Canal have a history of releasing English titles with or without fixed subs?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:12 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:07 am
Location: London
HELP - leaving for France at lunchtime and will only have a 15 minute window for DVD shopping. Any suggestions...

Only thing on the list so far is - Make Way for Tomorrow (finally!)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:50 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:32 pm
Location: Paris
Warner France released Wellman's Westward the Women earlier this month (I believe first time ever on DVD). It is a barebone edition. I watched it last night: excellent copy, b&w and sound. Optional french subs. Plus it's cheap. A no brainer if you like this wonderful wonderful film (and who couldn't like a movie with Hope Emerson & Denise Darcel?)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
Raoul Ruiz's Ce jour la -- has English subtitles -- the best neo-Bunuelian comedy I've encountered.

Sorry to dig up an old post, but I was just wondering if there was any compelling reason to go for the French release of Ce jour-là over the R1 from Kimstim (other than the fact that the film's title sounds so much better in French).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:20 pm 
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If you can still find it : The Trilogy of Chaos, from Tsui Hark. Image

It's a 4-disc set : Butterfly Murders, We're going to eat you and Don't Play with fire. Don't play with fire is in its international cut version. But there is the uncut original version, that even Hark himself had lost. Some technician on the set had a tape from the footage, and HKV put back together the pieces in order to recreate the original cut of the movie. Of course, quality may vary but I believe we're the only one to have it.

Title: Butterfly Murders / We're going to eat you / Don't Play with fire
French title: La trilogie du chaos : Butterfly murders, Histoires de cannibales, L'enfer des armes
English subtitles/dialogue: Cantonese + french subs only
Reason for recommendation: Only version available for the original cut of Don't play with fire. Strong restoration of both 3 movies.

Anyway, like always, a lot of boxsets from HK Video are real good, and probably the best releases worldwide for these movies. But not english friendly.

I also strongly recommend to take a look on movies from Bodega Films. They have released some nice bollywood movies, and they did a really great job on them, especially Jodhaa Akbar and Veer Zaara.

Recently, there has been some movies that received an extensive restoration job, like Borsalino, Les visiteurs du soir and a lot of movies from / with Sacha Guitry. The boxsets are quite interesting too. Extensive job done on Nikita Mikhalkov and Jacques Rozier by Potemkine. They also have an anamorphic and restored version of Walkabout. And, last but not least, the famous Jacques Demy 12 DVD boxset (english-friendly, I believe).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:19 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am
TF1 Video has announced Assayas single DVDs. Listed at French site dvdfr under A venir, with easy to understand listings.

Désordre
L´eau froide
L´enfant de l´hiver
Fin aout, debut septembre


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:43 pm
Hi

I am going to place my first order on Amazon.fr as I am looking to buy French films that are not available in Region 1 and have English subtitles.

Right now I have 2 titles in my basket, Les diables & Un mauvais fils (I'm pretty sure both of these have enlish subs).

I was wondering if people can recommend some more DVDs for me that are put out in France.

Many thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:39 pm 
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I'd personally recommend Eugène Green's Le Pont des Arts.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:54 pm
Not too long ago I placed my first Amazon.fr order, and one of the things that I got (but haven't yet gotten around to watching) is Drole de Drame, a Carne - Prevert comedy (apparently a French send up of English murder mysteries).

Note that there are two different DVD releases of it: the newer one with more extras and (from what I can make out on one or two DVD review sites) a better picture, but no English subtitles; and an older one that does have English subs.

I also got the Sacha Guitry L'Age d'Or box (before the Eclipse set was announced), and L'Integrale Jacques Demy (some of which you can get in R1, some not).


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Alapage appears to have eliminated deliveries to all the world beyond France (and Corsica).


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:36 am 
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If some of you aren't afraid to import from French websites, there's a sale on FNAC.com : 5 DVD for 30€ (about $40), including Wild Side Introuvables such as :

Black Christmas (2DVD), Martin (2DVD), Le crocodile de la mort (Eaten Alive), Marché de brutes (Raw Deal), Keoma, Far West Story, Le petit arpent du bon dieu (God's Little Acre), Fleur pâle (Pale Flower), Double suicide, Kamikaze Club (Fukasaku), Le vase de sable (Nomura), L'été du démon (Nomura), Rivière noire (Black River), Le détroit de la faim (2DVD) (Uchida), Meurtre à Yoshiwara (Uchida), Okita le pourfendeur (Fukasaku), Cimetière de la morale (Fukasaku), Les courts-métrages de Scorsese.

For English-speaking movies, it won't a problem for people here, but for the others, I'm afraid there's only french subs.
Still, the DVDs usually cost between 13€ and 15€, so there, it's a pretty good deal.

EDIT : I've just seen the shipping fees, and it's huge : 15€ without the taxes + 1.85€ per product, still without the taxes, so it would be around $75, which is now pretty expensive...

Well, if you don't find your treasures here, there is a second hand website that I use a lot of time : http://www.priceminister.com/

There, the shipping fees are 6.20€ per product for the USA, and 5.90€ for the UK.


As for Alapage, the website is under some real financial trouble, thus the offer becoming very limited, and the restriction for the shipping to only France and Corsica.
I would advise you not to order from them anymore since it becomes more stable.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:04 am 
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Just be aware folks that some of these discs still have forced French subtitles. They're not overly intrusive but may be annoying to some nevertheless. I have the French disc of Raw Deal but the R1 Roan triple-bill with T Men and He Walked By Night has the reportedly better image though the audio is said to be rather poor. Once I get the Roan disc I can post some comments here if anyone is interested.


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