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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:32 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:27 am
Does anyone know in any definite sense if Warner still has the (licensed?) rights to distribute The Passenger on home video? I keep hearing that Jack Nicholson may hold the rights to the film, but I can't find anything on this subject. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:57 am 
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I think the rights situation is unresolved... THE PASSENGER was the only one of Antonioni's films not confirmed for the current London NFT season... The programme note said it could only be screened if Antonioni was present, which points to some difficulties or dispute ongoing...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:18 am 

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I'm sorry, the London NFT season?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:32 am 
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Ellipsis clearly means the London Film Festival.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:36 am 

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flixyflox wrote:
Ellipsis clearly means the London Film Festival.

Ok, but aren't the domestic and foreign rights possibly two different issues?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:08 am 

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Quote:
Ellipsis clearly means the London Film Festival.

No, I think he does mean the London NFT season, which has one week left to run: http://www.bfi.org.uk/showing/nft/antonioni

See the note at the end of the calendar page:
Quote:
The Passenger (Professione: Reporter)
Unfortunately, Michelangelo Antonioni is not well enough to travel to London for the retrospective and we will be unable to screen The Passenger. We apologise for any disappointment caused. The Passenger is now owned by Sony Pictures Releasing, they have been doing restoration work on the film, and we hope to be able to screen it later in the year.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:37 am 
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I say the FF because The Passenger was also unavailable at the Sydney FF last year for their Antonioni retro, subject to the same (as I understand) concession of "director present". Obviously Michelangelo, who used to travel around the globe, including Australia, is no longer well enough to travel the big joint - believe me even I'm too old for it at 55! THe Sydney FF did however score a gorgeous print of Deserto Rosso.

As for the rights issue(s). It's always been basic knowledge in the forum that Nicholson appears to control distribution/re-release rigths, at least in the English speaking world. But (again he mutters) there is an alternative print of Passenger entitled "Professione Reporter" which is at least 20 minutes longer (and this is a serious issue for us.) My question is: does Nicholson also control THIS print?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:17 am 
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Quote:
Ellipsis clearly means the London Film Festival.

No I mean the London National Film Theatre Antonioni Season which is running now in June... Here is the link...

You will not find THE PASSENGER on the website... It is referred to in the 12 page printed NFT booklet "Michelangelo Antonioni: Vision - Passion Style"

Quote:
It will only be possible to screen this film if Michelangelo Antonioni attends the screening. Please check the NFT website etc...

And I see Kieslowksi has posted the updated info from the NFT site...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:37 am 
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Does this help anyone?

Narshty wrote:
According to a flyer from the BFI, who were unable to include it in their current Antonioni retrospective at the NFT, Sony now own The Passenger and are currently undertaking some sort of restoration (probably just creating new elements).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:08 am 
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Maybe this from Amazon giving clue to an upcoming limited theatrical release....

Quote:
The Passenger (1975)

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, et al.
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Rated:
Opening Date:
October 21, 2005 (limited release)
April 9, 1975 (national release)

Would fit in with the latest NFT/BFI info re. Sony Classics, and would suggest a DVD release thereafter...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:46 pm 
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I certainly hope this is the case. I adore Antonioni, but have never seen "The Passenger."

On the recent "Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession" that IFC showed, there was a very short clip from "The Passenger," albeit hazy and pan/scan. The end credits said, and I paraphrase, "Courtesy of Jack Nicholson." The documentary was made in 2004, so I think we can hope that Sony has puchased it since then, and is preparing a new restoration, limited theatrical re-release, and DVD release.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:22 pm 
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http://www.sonyclassics.com/thepassenger/index_alternate.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 6:02 pm 
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Finally! I've got a VHS copy, but this should be a serious improvement. Very good news indeed. And, by the way, what's the deal? Is 2005 the Year of Antonioni or something? L'eclisse, Story of a Love Affair, The Passenger, Boccaccio '70 - am I missing any?

backstreetsbackalright wrote:
Is 2005 the Year of Antonioni or something? L'eclisse, Story of a Love Affair, The Passenger, Boccaccio '70 - am I missing any?

Minutes later, backstreetsbackalright trembles with the realization that Antonioni did not contribute to Boccaccio '70. Clearly he was thinking of Visconti, another favorite. In a panic, he charges up the stairs - or at least he would have if not for his broken foot. Limping up stair after stair he makes it to the top where he finds, to his great relief, that no one has yet crucified him for his heinous mistake. He can breath easily again....


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 9:48 pm 
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You're lucky... I was just about to bust your good foot for that...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:02 am 

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Does this mean that the plot to knock off Jack in the vain hope that it would free up the rights is no longer required?

I best make a few phone calls.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:47 am 
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N. Wilson wrote:
Does this mean that the plot to knock off Jack in the vain hope that it would free up the rights is no longer required?

I best make a few phone calls.

It wouldn't have worked anyway. Jack would just have figured out a way to assume the identity of some dead guy.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:59 pm 
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Quote:
The Passenger - SYNOPSIS

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Writer: Mark Peploe, Peter Wollen, and Michelangelo Antonioni
Original Story by: Mark Peploe
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
Language: English
Running Time: 119 minutes
Release Date: 10/28/2005

Is this the DVD release date?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:06 pm 
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It's most likely the date that Sony Picture Classics will use for a theatrical re-release of the film. The DVD would probably follow afterwards.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:44 pm 
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Unfortunately at 119 minutes this is still the US release print, cut by about 20 minutes from the European release version "Professione Reporter."


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:36 am 
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I have always thought that the European version was 124 minutes and the U.S. version 119 minutes. I have never heard of a 139-minute version. What was cut from the 139m version?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:32 am 
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I have the Japanese dvd of Professione Reporter (i.e. the European cut), and it is just over 125 minutes. I don't think a 139 minutes cut was ever distributed.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:57 am 
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Let me get back to my sources.

I know about but have never seen a longer print which exists by at least six minutes. In fact I understand it is around 20.

The worry here is that a Nicholson approved print is being released at the standard US version of 119.

Also forgive me if I am getting this wrong but I am not so sure about the 1.85 ratio for this. My VHS copy (like Luna) ends with the last shot and the final credits in a letterboxed framing of around 1.78. I frankly have framing probbos with BlowUp as it is currently released (and these were discussed plenty in the previous forum, if only in regard to Vanessa's tits.) My memory of theatrical screenings in Paris and Sydney was 1.66. I strongly suspect Passenger should be 1.78 but the compositions and mise-en-scene would probably accomodate 1.85.

Anyone want to argue about this?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:11 am 
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I have a DVD-r of the Japanese DVD, which is, as Arn777 rightfully states, the 125-minute version. Letterboxed at 1.85:1, it looks beautiful.

As to which version Sony Picture Classics will be releasing, it all depends on which elements will be used. If they have had to go to Italy for prime elements, then I see no reason as to not present the 125-minute version. The 119-minute listing may simply come from a generic source like the IMDb. What is cut from the 125-minute version to yield the 119m?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:28 pm 
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All I know, to be frank, is apparently some more footage with Maria Schneider. I for one would very much like to see this included in the new print.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:50 pm 
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If anyone is interested we recently reviewed the Region 0 Japanese disc of the longr European print and the quality is not bad

Antonioni is also our Director of the Week (for another few days)


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