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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:47 pm
The issues with Gold Rush seem plausible, I just don't understand how they could arise right as they're preparing their announcements.

Between the pulled Chaplin and what's clearly placeholder Being John Malkovich art, Criterion seemed strangely unprepared for announcement day.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:07 pm 

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
I have no idea how large Criterion's operation is, and I've only been an avid fan for about a year now, but if you look back to older posts in this forum, it seems that it wasn't too crazy to expect a release to be delayed-it certainly happens with MoC. This isn't Sony or WB...this is still a relatively small, independent label, and certainly shit comes up. I'd also say that they probably didn't expect their entire website to crash and considering the volume of units they just moved in the sale, certainly they were busy with other things!

While I won't defend some of this month's artwork or supplements... I don't rule out that what we see may not be the final product!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:10 pm 

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cdobbs wrote:
I suspect that since there was likely no chance of the other Downey/Czech New Wave films in those sets making it to the mainline, they just decided it was preferable to use Putney Swope and Daisies as possible sales hooks for Eclipse rather than give them their own release.

Agreed on Putney Swope, maybe, but is Daisies really more prominent than any of the other Czech films in that set, except among pointy-headed cinephiles (most of whom probably have the Second Run or the Facets anyway)?

With the Downeys I would wager we're just seeing the budget aspect of the Eclipse line rearing its head, and that Criterion reached a point where they just threw together whichever films had acceptable masters, and cut the rest loose. Unless they held back Pound for a standalone, perhaps conditional depending on how well the Eclipse sells? Or else that and/or Greaser's Palace (does Criterion have that?) will turn up on Hulu concurrent with the Eclipse set, a la the two Matarazzo leftovers.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Daisies is certainly more well now than the Downey at least amongst the 'hip' 20s crowd. If you've ever read Rules of Attraction and remember that joke on Das Boot Daisies is basically that now. Also Greaser's Palace already has a perfectly fine American release.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:01 pm 
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david hare wrote:
Mylene is sitting on the rights and existing prints of two films, Quatre Nuits d'un Reveur and Une Femme Douce and won't let anyobody release them without a whole lot of impossible demands.

Fortunately Mylene has given me permission to see both of these tonight in Berkeley.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:38 pm 
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david hare wrote:
Mylene is sitting on the rights and existing prints of two films, Quatre Nuits d'un Reveur and Une Femme Douce and won't let anybody release them without a whole lot of impossible demands.

Do people know specific details (or rumours) around this?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:40 pm 

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Flike wrote:
Between the pulled Chaplin and what's clearly placeholder Being John Malkovich art, Criterion seemed strangely unprepared for announcement day.

Not to mention that placeholder art for CERTIFIED COPY. Awful. Glad it's getting released though.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:00 am 
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jwd5275 wrote:
david hare wrote:
Mylene is sitting on the rights and existing prints of two films, Quatre Nuits d'un Reveur and Une Femme Douce and won't let anyobody release them without a whole lot of impossible demands.

Fortunately Mylene has given me permission to see both of these tonight in Berkeley.

You are among the fortunate and very few to see these in 35mm for the last few thousand years. We'll all be dead before she lets them out of the cage again.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:04 am 

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knives wrote:
Daisies is certainly more well now than the Downey at least amongst the 'hip' 20s crowd. If you've ever read Rules of Attraction and remember that joke on Das Boot Daisies is basically that now. Also Greaser's Palace already has a perfectly fine American release.

Oh, yeah, I forgot that Scorpion reissued Greaser's Palace.

As for Daisies, I haven't picked up on any kind of outsized cult that has formed around it in recent years ... but, if you say so. Has it been revived theatrically in any way that I'm forgetting (a week at Film Forum or something)?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:08 am 
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I don't think it's gotten a theatrical release. It's just one of those random things that gets a cult following just because. In this case with young women who want to seem really smart.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:07 am 
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knives wrote:
I don't think it's gotten a theatrical release. It's just one of those random things that gets a cult following just because. In this case with young women who want to seem really smart.

You really have to make this about gender? ](*,)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:56 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:56 pm
david hare wrote:
jwd5275 wrote:
david hare wrote:
Mylene is sitting on the rights and existing prints of two films, Quatre Nuits d'un Reveur and Une Femme Douce and won't let anyobody release them without a whole lot of impossible demands.

Fortunately Mylene has given me permission to see both of these tonight in Berkeley.

You are among the fortunate and very few to see these in 35mm for the last few thousand years. We'll all be dead before she lets them out of the cage again.

Both of those films are part of the complete Bresson retrospective that's touring North America. Hopefully, that means Mylene has changed her mind, but in any case, she must have agreed to something.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:26 am 

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htshell wrote:
knives wrote:
I don't think it's gotten a theatrical release. It's just one of those random things that gets a cult following just because. In this case with young women who want to seem really smart.
You really have to make this about gender?

Criterion describes it as a "feminist film" so I don't see why it would be inappropriate to "make it about gender".


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:23 pm 
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I think they're only being shown because of the rest of the films. It seems she considers the two films "un-Bressonian" and is somehow worried they might damage Bresson's reputation as a cold ascetic. I can understand that with Four Nights of a Dreamer which is definitely Bresson, but could almost be a lost Godard with its chapters, repeating shots, youthful focus and contemporary music performances. It's actually funny, which I suppose could be a problem if you're obsessed with having your husband be seen as a stoic saint. I don't know what her problem is A Gentle Woman, which seems much more in line with standard Bressonism, save maybe a giggly sex scene. But hopefully now that they're being seen people will actually talk about them and encourage her that they're actually quite good and not just some strange outliers.

I saw both prints in Boston and they were quite beautiful. Though while being transported from Film Forum the second reel of Four Nights somehow vanished, and was replaced by an old 16mm reel from the original distributor. The emcee joked that Mylene had stolen it. Don't know if it's been fixed or found now, or where it's all going after Boston.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:40 pm 
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zeroman987 wrote:
htshell wrote:
knives wrote:
It's just one of those random things that gets a cult following just because. In this case with young women who want to seem really smart.
You really have to make this about gender?
Criterion describes it as a "feminist film" so I don't see why it would be inappropriate to "make it about gender".
In my experience, at least, males and females appreciate it in roughly equal measures, and it's unfair to say it's popular among women "who want to seem really smart." Its cult following doesn't actually appreciate it or has ulterior motives for saying they like it? Whether or not it's described as a feminist film really has nothing to do with that.
My own view about its popularity is that there was nothing really random about it, and many festival-goers and reviewers in the US were already paying pretty close attention to Czech cinema when Daisies came along, after the acclaimed premieres of The Shop on Main Street and Closely Watched Trains.

*If anything, most people buying it are male, I'd guess, because it has a lot of general appeal to the cinephile interested in things like the global new wave, and cinephilia is still a male-dominated thing, at least when it comes to purchasing classic films on DVD. This set will by my fourth purchase of Daisies.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:42 pm 
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david hare wrote:
You are among the fortunate and very few to see these in 35mm for the last few thousand years. We'll all be dead before she lets them out of the cage again.

Well I raced up to Berkeley to see both. For starters, if they were new prints, the original material isn't in great shape: lots of blemishes & scratches, blurred subtitles & occasional sound drop outs. Perhaps it's because I missed the first couple of minutes of A Gentle Woman (driving around Berkeley for 1/2 hour trying to find a parking spot probably put me in a bad mood too), but I found it droll & uninteresting. It didn't engage me intellectually or emotionally. Even though I was there for a little over an hour, it felt like more than 2. At least 1/2 of the movie was taken up by characters either leaving or entering a room or a building. The sound is featured very prominently: particularly the sound of people's footsteps & the sound of car traffic outside. The arts are featured prominently too: a period film, a performance of Hamlet, a visit to the art museum (modern kinetic sculpture), a visit to a natural science museum, a book reading, television program, playing music (one classical piece, one pop...), but Bresson's particular choices for these things was lost on me. I got the overall impression that he was trying to remake Belle du Jour as Godard (a la Contempt) might have done it (there's a girl & a gun), but whatever purpose was behind his aesthetic choices completely escaped me, leaving only the voice-over narration, which for me grew tiresome. Fortunately when I got home, my Criterion sale order with the real Belle du Jour arrived.

On the other hand, I enjoyed Four Nights of a Dreamer, though I wouldn't rate it among his best (that I've seen so far).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
In my experience, at least, males and females appreciate it in roughly equal measures, and it's unfair to say it's popular among women "who want to seem really smart." Its cult following doesn't actually appreciate it or has ulterior motives for saying they like it? Whether or not it's described as a feminist film really has nothing to do with that.
My own view about its popularity is that there was nothing really random about it, and many festival-goers and reviewers in the US were already paying pretty close attention to Czech cinema when Daisies came along, after the acclaimed premieres of The Shop on Main Street and Closely Watched Trains.

*If anything, most people buying it are male, I'd guess, because it has a lot of general appeal to the cinephile interested in things like the global new wave, and cinephilia is still a male-dominated thing, at least when it comes to purchasing classic films on DVD. This set will by my fourth purchase of Daisies.

A handful of female acquaintances of mine - who would by no stretch be considered cinephiles - have seen it or at least heard of it. Speculation about motives aside, it seemed logical to me that it would have a particular appeal for young women. These days, it seems that things like this often become cult phenomena (if we're assuming that this case could be considered that) thanks to meme activity the internet, often via image (re)blogging sites such as tumblr and the like. I think this may to some extent be the case with Daisies' popularity outside of cinephile circles. When it comes to viewing the film, this most likely implies more torrenting or Netflixing than anything else, I would presume.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:58 pm 
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SamLowry wrote:
For starters, if they were new prints, the original material isn't in great shape: lots of blemishes & scratches, blurred subtitles & occasional sound drop outs. Perhaps it's because I missed the first couple of minutes of A Gentle Woman ... but I found it droll & uninteresting. It didn't engage me intellectually or emotionally. Even though I was there for a little over an hour, it felt like more than 2. At least 1/2 of the movie was taken up by characters either leaving or entering a room or a building. The sound is featured very prominently: particularly the sound of people's footsteps & the sound of car traffic outside. The arts are featured prominently too: a period film, a performance of Hamlet, a visit to the art museum (modern kinetic sculpture), a visit to a natural science museum, a book reading, television program, playing music (one classical piece, one pop...), but Bresson's particular choices for these things was lost on me. I got the overall impression that he was trying to remake Belle du Jour as Godard (a la Contempt) might have done it (there's a girl & a gun), but whatever purpose was behind his aesthetic choices completely escaped me, leaving only the voice-over narration, which for me grew tiresome.

On the other hand, I enjoyed Four Nights of a Dreamer, though I wouldn't rate it among his best (that I've seen so far).

It's been decades since I saw either of them - I have a bootleg of Four Nights which is frankly unwatchable so I've never bothered with it. But basically I agree with you these two are far from favorite among Bressons. I don't really care for anything much after Mouchette at least until L'Argent. As for the rights and Mylene, I think the real issue is, always has been, money. There is some .. ahem.. dispute about rights, particularly Four Nights and only Quandt seems to be able to ever extract prints for retrospectives like Berkeley. But there's a lot of bad blood around over this...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:39 pm 
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SamLowry wrote:
Perhaps it's because I missed the first couple of minutes of A Gentle Woman (driving around Berkeley for 1/2 hour trying to find a parking spot probably put me in a bad mood too), but I found it droll & uninteresting.

I think it's one of his masterpieces, as well as one of his most ascetic films (in terms of character, setting and action) and I can't understand why Ms. Bresson would want to keep it out of the public eye. It is very Godardian though, and I can see how the cult of genius would feel that it tarnishes the myth of Bresson's absolute originality. Personally, I find the very perceptible mutual influence of the two directors on each other fascinating and fruitful. A Married Woman and A Gentle Woman are very similar films in many ways, while both uniquely breathtaking.

SamLowry wrote:
At least 1/2 of the movie was taken up by characters either leaving or entering a room or a building.

Shots like these are absolutely crucial to what Bresson attempts with his style. In fact, I think it's exactly this that makes Un femme douce so crucial a pert of his oeuvre; his complete control of the space of the apartment and his incredible sensitivity to how the characters move through it.

If Mylene Bresson is worried about her late husband's image, then her time would be more wisely spent suppressing The Devil, Probably. A very silly film, which stands in an awkward and ambivalent position relative to its subject, has the most theatrical but least charismatic of all Bresson protagonists, and that includes a seal-clubbing scene that comes off like a student filmmaker's failed attempt at Godard.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:59 pm 

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If this is still accurate, Bresson is coming back around in NYC in April, so it'll be interesting to see whether they show Une femme douce and Four Nights of a Dreamer.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:10 pm 
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They'll both appear in the Eclipse set, Mylene's Basement: The Suppressed Films of Robert Bresson.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:13 pm 
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Strangely enough, that will port over the Putney Swope commentary


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:14 pm 

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FerdinandGriffon wrote:
If Mylene Bresson is worried about her late husband's image, then her time would be more wisely spent suppressing The Devil, Probably. A very silly film, which stands in an awkward and ambivalent position relative to its subject, has the most theatrical but least charismatic of all Bresson protagonists, and that includes a seal-clubbing scene that comes off like a student filmmaker's failed attempt at Godard.

I'm pretty sure that the seal-clubbing and general misanthropy of Devil, Probably is a humorous attempt to critique the youth movement.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
After all the movie ends with our protaganist being shot dead prematurely while pontificating something presumably very profound.

It's a clumsy movie regardless, but I kind of love it and think it goes well with Godard's Le Chinoise.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Jeff wrote:
They'll both appear in the Eclipse set, Mylene's Basement: The Suppressed Films of Robert Bresson.

With unique to Eclipse booklet by Beatrice Welles: "The metapolitics of copyright disenfranchisement."


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:50 am 
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Zot! wrote:
I'm pretty sure that the seal-clubbing and general misanthropy of Devil, Probably is a humorous attempt to critique the youth movement.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
After all the movie ends with our protaganist being shot dead prematurely while pontificating something presumably very profound.
It's a clumsy movie regardless, but I kind of love it and think it goes well with Godard's Le Chinoise.

I hated the characters in The Devil, Probably so much--especially the protagonist--that I was unable to get much out of the film on a first viewing.

I have no problem with unlikable, even despicable, characters, but Bresson's self-righteous "activists" were abrasive enough to turn me off on the whole thing--until that great ending, which really won me over.

My previous experience with Bresson's work (Au hasard Balthazar, Pickpocket, A Man Escaped, Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, Mouchette, L'Argent) had not prepared me for the film's tone, which I had some trouble in pinpointing.

I'd like to revisit the film at some point, though I'm not sure that a more informed viewing will elevate it much in my estimation. It seems like a weird movie for Bresson to have made; as other forum members have said of Un femme douce and Four Nights of a Dreamer (neither of which I have seen, so I can't comment), The Devil, Probably feels almost like a film that Godard should have made.


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