Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

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Faux Hulot
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:57 am
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Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#1 Post by Faux Hulot » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:18 pm

I recently stumbled upon this tantalizing tidbit in the review section of Amazon's listing for Warners' sad little fullscreen DVD:
Better DVD on the way??, June 24, 2008
By KR503 (San Anselmo, CA USA)
Regarding the DVD, here's the best info I have: I went to a lecture about a year ago (approximately?) by the film's cinematographer Alan Daviau. He showed his own personal print of the film, which SHINED -- and was projected in 1.85. When questioned by me and others about the pathetic DVD available, he told us he was in the next couple of weeks, going to supervise a new transfer, and that a new DVD would be released soon that would do the film justice. Well, we're still waiting -- but for those of you who, like me, are literally offended by the quality (wrong aspect ratio, bad transfer, bad sound) of the existing DVD -- hopefully, there's hope! Keep watching the skies . . .
Has anyone here heard anything about this?

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bigP
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#2 Post by bigP » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:29 am

Wow, if that is so, that is great news. It's a personal favourite Weir film, and one of the few of Weir's that hasn't received the respect, I feel, is due.

As a side note, I'm guessing a Weir commentary is out of the question (I don't believe he has recorded a commentary before, although, he talks at length and very openly in the many interviews I have seen about his films), but does anyone know if Weir has ever talked or written about his reluctance to perform a commentary?

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Fletch F. Fletch
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#3 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:04 am

bigP wrote:Wow, if that is so, that is great news. It's a personal favourite Weir film, and one of the few of Weir's that hasn't received the respect, I feel, is due.

As a side note, I'm guessing a Weir commentary is out of the question (I don't believe he has recorded a commentary before, although, he talks at length and very openly in the many interviews I have seen about his films), but does anyone know if Weir has ever talked or written about his reluctance to perform a commentary?
He did a commentary track on the Dead Poets Society SE DVD a little while ago with the film's cinematographer John Seale and screenwriter Tom Schulman.

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sir karl
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#4 Post by sir karl » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:26 pm

For those who don't want to wait: The German RC2 DVD is widescreen and anamorphic (and only 7 EUR/9 USD on amazon.de at the moment).

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bigP
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#5 Post by bigP » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:31 pm

Fletch F. Fletch wrote:He did a commentary track on the Dead Poets Society SE DVD a little while ago with the film's cinematographer John Seale and screenwriter Tom Schulman.
Ah! :oops:

I should have said rarely.

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Person
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#6 Post by Person » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:45 pm

New DVD of Fearless? Good times!

ineedyoubad
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#7 Post by ineedyoubad » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:55 pm

Good to see this film getting some love, it was one of my favorite film of 1993 and i`m really looking forward to this one.
Last edited by ineedyoubad on Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MB
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:26 am

Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#8 Post by MB » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:14 am

bigP wrote:but does anyone know if Weir has ever talked or written about his reluctance to perform a commentary?
According to one IMDB thread, he’s said that he doesn’t really like doing commentaries. He tried to do one for Master and Commander, but couldn’t just sit there talking by himself. The one he did for Dead Poets Society is actually an interview, that is put on the movie as commentary track.

Fearless is a fine film. I’ve seen it in widescreen, the German dvd. I'd love to have some extras too though. The film's plane crash is based on an actual event that took place in 1989. It was fascinating to watch Errol Morris’ First Person episode with the pilot, Dennis E. Fitch, after I saw the movie. Great stuff, one of the best interviews I've ever seen.

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TomReagan
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#9 Post by TomReagan » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:57 am

This thread is really cracking me up -- I received a response from Mr. Mulvaney last night regarding the release of any additional Weir, especially Fearless (I emailed him once again this past Monday -- I was feeling lucky with the upcoming election and figured I would push it a bit). Unfortunately, I received the, "...we have no plans at this time" response.

I have been pestering Criterion for about eight years regarding this title, especially given the unacceptable US DVD release.

In my opinion, this is one of the great unsung films of the nineties, and it features one of Bridges' best performances. Nice to know there are some other supporters out there.

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Jeff
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#10 Post by Jeff » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:11 am

TomReagan wrote:This thread is really cracking me up -- I received a response from Mr. Mulvaney last night regarding the release of any additional Weir, especially Fearless (I emailed him once again this past Monday -- I was feeling lucky with the upcoming election and figured I would push it a bit). Unfortunately, I received the, "...we have no plans at this time" response.
The fact that Fearless is a Warner title would probably preclude Criterion from ever getting a shot at it. Mulvaney's response is especially disappointing in that it would seem to indicate that the reissue of Picnic at Hanging Rock is still on the back burner.

Weir is one of my favorite contemporary directors. I hope that the potential Fearless reissue means that Warner may be preparing a Peter Weir box with special editions of The Year of Living Dangerously and The Mosquito Coast too.

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ievenlostmycat
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#11 Post by ievenlostmycat » Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:22 am

This is a movie I've refrained from buying due to its shitty release. Reissue would be excellent.

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dadaistnun
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#12 Post by dadaistnun » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:12 am

I loved this film when I first saw it on opening day twenty years ago. I went back twice more over the next couple of weeks and bought the laserdisc the following year. While that means I've never had the displeasure of having to watch the film cropped from its original aspect ratio, it also means it's been about 12-13 years since I last watched it (laserdisc player went in to storage then & -- I think -- it's still there).

The film I saw back in 1993 had moved me a great deal. I loved Weir's largely quiet approach, which makes small stylistic gestures all the more powerful (the occasional slip into slow motion, the slight dolly-in on the flight attendant at the group therapy session as she stands to address Carla) before going all out with the crash sequence at the end.

And while I was brought to tears by the film back then, watching the new WB Archive Blu over the weekend I was struck once again by how much one's life experiences affect one's reaction to/relationship with a film. The intervening years' loss of loved ones and watching others (and myself) deal with the crushing depression of survivor's guilt brought my already high estimation of this film to a whole other level. Bits like the silent look Max and his best friend's widow exchange across the Thanksgiving table worked before due to the performances and Weir's emotionally attuned direction; now it hits on a personal level that is just gut-wrenching. I was also particularly struck by the way Max acts when, after their manic "Christmas shopping for the dead" day out, Carla sinks back down and he doesn't know what to do. "Oh, fuck, what have I done?" he says as he staggers around, practically gasping for air. There's a real sense of being at wit's end, not knowing what to do, and terror that he has sent her back into a place that he himself wants to be free from.

Much of the discussion about the film rightly focuses on the relationship between Max and Carla, but this time around I found myself especially impressed with the portrayal of Max and Laura's marriage and how a trauma that only one half of a partnership experiences affects the pair.
SpoilerShow
Max's admission near the end that he himself does need help and his asking of Laura for that help is such a breakthrough, one that has been a long time coming. The final five minutes of the film are simultaneously traumatic (the full realization of the crash, the fact that Max likely only survived because he left his friend's side to comfort the terrified child) and transcendent: the moment that Max finally starts breathing again and weeps with joy. "I'm alive!" he says over and over and I for one cried along with him and the idea that yes, we must go on.

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zedz
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Re: Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

#13 Post by zedz » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:56 pm

The film struck me at the time as uncommonly emotionally honest, and I also found a great deal of personal resonance in it. I had recently survived two accidents in which I'd momentarily assumed I was going to die, and the film managed to convey the weird aura of invulnerability that follows you around for some time after an experience like that.

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