BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

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rockysds
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BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#1 Post by rockysds » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:04 am

Anatahan announced on Facebook.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Forthcoming: Anatahan

#2 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:06 am


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TMDaines
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Re: Forthcoming: Anatahan

#3 Post by TMDaines » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:15 am

Never heard of this, but sounds sweet.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Forthcoming: Anatahan

#4 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:51 am

Glad to see we now have a release date. The restoration has been getting excellent reviews across the board.

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Gregor Samsa
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Re: Forthcoming: Anatahan

#5 Post by Gregor Samsa » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:22 am

Looks like a pretty stacked edition, too:

- 1080p presentation from a new 2K restoration of the uncensored 1958 version of the film
- Uncompressed PCM soundtrack (on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles
- The complete 1953 version of the film (Blu-ray only)
- A new interview with Asian film expert Tony Rayns
- Whose Saga? - A visual essay by critic Tag Gallagher
- Saga: The Making of Anatahan – An interview with Nicolas von Sternberg
- U.S. Navy footage of the actual survivors of Anatahan, immediately after their surrender
- Unused footage originally filmed specially for the 1958 version of the film
- Original theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp, alongside rare archival imagery

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Ribs
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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#6 Post by Ribs » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:54 pm

Beaver

I know some people were talking about how he might be relied on a little too frequently but I really can't look at 45 minutes of Rayns as a bad thing.

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MichaelB
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BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#7 Post by MichaelB » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:17 am

He's absolutely in his element here, in terms of both Sternberg and the complex Japanese issues. It complements the other extras beautifully.

The thing about Tony is that he demonstrably knows his stuff and he's incredibly easy to work with - he's not quite the one-take wonder that Kim Newman is, but he's not far off, which means that both shooting and editing are an absolute breeze. So it's no wonder that labels love to hire him.

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Tommaso
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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#8 Post by Tommaso » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:10 pm

As so far nobody here seems to have discussed the film itself:

I expected very little from a Sternberg film that late in his career, given that I somewhat liked "Macao" but found "Jet Pilot" basically ridiculous (even though it's entertaining) and even thought "The Shanghai Gesture" not fully up to scratch (as it's even more form over substance than is usual with Sternberg anyway)... and so I only bought "Anatahan" because I was able to get it relatively cheap at ebay and because of a sense of duty which made me feel like I had to see everything directed by Sternberg at some point....

But well... watching it last night I found it completely mindblowing in its intensity, its lack of a proper conventional plot (which isn't a problem at all, because it's all made up for by Sternberg's sense for style and eroticism), and the stunning female lead. In some way this is really an exercise in minimalism, but it all works marvellously and creates an almost hallucinatory experience. I haven't come to terms with this film at all, but I just wanted to post these very initial impressions in order to make others here overcome the doubts they might have about this rather little known Sternberg. I think it's an amazing return to form, and certainly the best thing he directed after "The Devil is a Woman" and "Crime and Punishment".

As to the extras: yes, the Tony Rayns interview is marvellous (as expected), and it's not only there that I learned somewhat as a surprise that "Anatahan" apparently was the only film apart from his debut, "The Salvation Hunters", in which Sternberg was unfettered by producers' wishes/interference. I mean, it's a bit hard to believe that some producer could have meddled with "Der blaue Engel" or "Scarlet Empress" given how extraordinary the results were, but who knows... But the freedom that Sternberg seems to have enjoyed on "Anatahan" certainly completely payed off. For me, a totally unexpected masterpiece, and probably the discovery of the year for me.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#9 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:18 pm

A fascinating and very good-looking film. The new Blu-Ray looks a LOT better than the antique video copy I had to rely on in the past (not that I wasn't happy to have found a copy of that 15 or so years ago).

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Tommaso
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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#10 Post by Tommaso » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:30 pm

Yeah, forgot to mention that. The picture quality is outstanding (and I was even only able to watch the dvd version).

One thing I forgot to ask: how was this film released in Japan? I suppose there was no need for a Sternberg voiceover in the Japanese version? And if so, does a 'voice-over-free' version still exist? I'm only asking because I would have found it interesting to understand the Japanese dialogue - which isn't translated in the optional subs that MoC provides - even though probably it was never Sternberg's intention to have the dialogue understood generally by worldwide audiences. And that's another aspect of the film I loved: it basically plays like a silent, with Sternberg's voice-over having the role of a benshi, more or less. And as the film is so very visually 'composed', I could almost imagine it would have been comprehensible even without the voice-over.

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MichaelB
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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#11 Post by MichaelB » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:45 pm

The lack of subtitles is definitely in accordance with von Sternberg's wishes, but I don't know how it played in Japan. (Did it at all?)

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david hare
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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#12 Post by david hare » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:34 am

NoT quite. The first print I saw of this was s 16mm threecans whch Jo himself brought into Australinfor the SydneyFF in 1968. He introduced the film to a miniscule audience and we were able to talk to him after the screening. The print was the shorter cut without keikos nude shots . It has the VO which is inherent to the film in every cut and this print included a Japanese subtitle stream runiing vertically on thhe left of frame to translate Jos words.
My understanding is the producer requested them and Jo was happy to agree.

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manicsounds
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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#13 Post by manicsounds » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:41 am

MichaelB wrote:The lack of subtitles is definitely in accordance with von Sternberg's wishes, but I don't know how it played in Japan. (Did it at all?)
It played theatrically in 1953. Not sure on if they subtitled the narration or had it entirely in Japanese but Toho did release it.

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Re: BD 168 The Saga of Anatahan

#14 Post by htom » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:54 pm

MichaelB wrote:The lack of subtitles is definitely in accordance with von Sternberg's wishes, but I don't know how it played in Japan. (Did it at all?)
This is the most comprehensive paper I've found about the production.

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