18 Passenger

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Second Run and the films on them.
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GaryC
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:56 pm
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#76 Post by GaryC » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:09 pm

For the record, I own a 2.35:1 VHS (NTSC) copy of Passenger, released by Hen's Teeth Video and bought off Amazon.com several years ago. Incidentally, this is an English version of the film - narration and voiceover are in English while on-screen dialogue is in Polish and subtitled. Incidentally, the female voiceover in this version is credited to the late Vanda Jones, who will be remembered by long-time attendees at the National Film Theatre as she did front of house there for many years.

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Person
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 3:00 pm

Re: 18 Passenger

#77 Post by Person » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:48 pm

This new French DVD seems to be in 2.35:1. but it also seems to mention an additional 1.77:1 transfer. Someone fluent in French will hopefully clear this up.

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Saturnome
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Re: 18 Passenger

#78 Post by Saturnome » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:46 pm

The review says that for some reasons the DVD includes a french subtitled unrestored 1.77:1 transfer. The 2.35:1 transfer is restored, subtitled during the film parts and dubbed in french for the still parts. Very weird.
Last edited by Saturnome on Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: 18 Passenger

#79 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:47 pm

I'm far from fluent, but this is my translation of the salient bits:
FRENCH VERSION

This is in French (voiceover) and the original language subtitled in French (dialogue). The subtitles, burned into the image, are from the period, and therefore different from current standards. This is the version that we have restored, because it seemed to us to be stronger and more accessible, of a technical quality that provided a superior basis from which to work, and in the original aspect ratio (2.35:1)

ORIGINAL VERSION

The quality of the image is inferior to the French version, and has not been restored (aspect ratio 1.77:1).
In other words, if you want it in 2.35:1, you'll have to put up with burned-in French subtitles. But if that's the best option, that's the best option - and when/if the Euro collapses I might well give it a punt.
Saturnome wrote:The review says that for some reasons the DVD includes a subtitled unrestored 1.77:1 transfer. The 2.35:1 transfer is restored, subtitled during the film parts and in french for the still parts. Very weird.
Not weird at all - it's pretty obvious to me that the only 2.35:1 print they could get their hands on was an original French release print with burned-in French subtitles and French voiceover. Presumably the 1.77:1 version is the same Polish master as was supplied to Second Run, only with optional French subtitles this time.

The essential problem is that no-one knows the whereabouts of materials with which to create a 2.35:1-format unsubtitled version of the film as the basis for a DVD in the OAR with electronic subtitles. The Poles don't seem to have anything, and if they don't, it's hard to think who else does.

rs98762001
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Re: 18 Passenger

#80 Post by rs98762001 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:10 pm

MichaelB wrote: ...it's pretty obvious to me that the only 2.35:1 print they could get their hands on was an original French release print with burned-in French subtitles and French voiceover. Presumably the 1.77:1 version is the same Polish master as was supplied to Second Run, only with optional French subtitles this time.

The essential problem is that no-one knows the whereabouts of materials with which to create a 2.35:1-format unsubtitled version of the film as the basis for a DVD in the OAR with electronic subtitles. The Poles don't seem to have anything, and if they don't, it's hard to think who else does.
Wasn't that the reason Second Run gave for using the inferior 1.77:1 print in the first place? That there didn't exist a 2.35:1 version without burnt-in subs? Although of course I remember at the time many saying they would prefer the compromise of burnt-in subs to the wrong aspect ratio.

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MichaelB
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Re: 18 Passenger

#81 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:31 pm

rs98762001 wrote:Wasn't that the reason Second Run gave for using the inferior 1.77:1 print in the first place? That there didn't exist a 2.35:1 version without burnt-in subs?
That's exactly the situation, and it still appears to be the situation.

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Peacock
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Re: 18 Passenger

#82 Post by Peacock » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:47 pm

what's the feasibilty of a dvd company using a transfer with burnt in subs, and then placing a black bar on top of them with new subs on top? It means you miss a tiny bit of the picture but surely it's better than losing the sides - as in The Passenger case?

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MichaelB
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Re: 18 Passenger

#83 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:51 pm

Well, it depends on what sort of physical condition the print is in too. Presumably any English-subbed prints of Passenger will be of the same vintage as that print of The Round-Up that was screened at Second Run's Jancso event - which really wasn't bad for its age, but in no way was it suitable for a DVD transfer.

razumovsky
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Re: 18 Passenger

#84 Post by razumovsky » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:16 am

The English National Opera is staging a version of The Passenger later this year: http://www.eno.org/see-whats-on/product ... temid=1657" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. The opera, by Mieczysław Weinberg, apparently dates from 1968. I don't know anything about the opera, or its relation to Munk's film, but the production seems to have been well-received when presented at Bregenz last year (http://opera-cake.blogspot.com/2010/08/ ... r-you.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). Lots of cheap tickets still available, so it must be worth a punt.

admira
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Re: 18 Passenger

#85 Post by admira » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:53 pm

There is also czech DVD version in its original aspect ratio, that was in czech movie distribution for 35 years.

LINK

Screen Shots

admira
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Re: 18 Passenger

#86 Post by admira » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:49 pm

shouldn't forget japanese release:

LINK

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Peacock
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Re: 18 Passenger

#87 Post by Peacock » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:29 am

MichaelB wrote:Well, it depends on what sort of physical condition the print is in too. Presumably any English-subbed prints of Passenger will be of the same vintage as that print of The Round-Up that was screened at Second Run's Jancso event - which really wasn't bad for its age, but in no way was it suitable for a DVD transfer.
Apologies, just noticed this; I didn't make myself clear; I meant: Why doesn't Second Run or another company use the 2:35:1 master with FRENCH burnt in subtitles. Then simply offer a removable english subtitle track with a black box underneath (like in some older subtitled releases), placed over the french subs. This way you are getting much more of the original image - sure you are losing a bit thanks to the black box - but I'd say that's better that losing the Scope frame. And of course... as the english subtitles and box would be removable, if you want to rewatch without the box, then you just turn them off (making the French subs visible)

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GaryC
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Re: 18 Passenger

#88 Post by GaryC » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:31 pm

Admittedly it's VHS, and it has burned-in English subtitles, but I wonder what Hen's Teeth (see my post above) mastered their edition from?

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MichaelB
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Re: 18 Passenger

#89 Post by MichaelB » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:13 pm

More to the point, I wonder what was screened at last week's complete Andrzej Munk retrospective in Wrocław?

There have been a great many Polish films remastered of late, including Munk's Eroica (unrecognisable from the old Polart/Best Film Co DVDs, and I hope Second Run manages to get their hands on this new version, as I know they're still keen to release it), but Passenger hasn't appeared on any lists that I've seen. It's out on DVD in Poland, but the rock-bottom price suggests that it's no great shakes - in fact, it's probably the same master as the Second Run, but without subtitles.

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domino harvey
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#90 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:58 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:00 pm
rollotomassi wrote:The irony here is that with Passenger, though I like many people have seen the ful Dyaliscope stills in various film books, I often feel that they should have shot it in something like 1.66 anyway, as the idea of an ultra widescreen holocaust film just didn't feel right - much of the atmosphere in such a film must be claustrophobic, and surely a tighter ratio would have helped.
I probably shouldn't admit this, but I originally watched an early pressing of Second Run's Passenger in sublime ignorance of the fact that 1.66:1 wasn't the original aspect ratio (I've just checked, and the word 'Dyaliscope' is noticeably absent from the onscreen credits)...

...and it looked fine. Seriously.

And even looking at it again on fast-forward now that I know it's been cropped from Scope, it still looks perfectly watchable. There are a few scenes (for instance the circle of people surrounding the humiliated camp inmates), where there are clear signs of cropping, but it doesn't strike me that you need to see the entire circle on screen for the scene to have its intended effect. As you rightly say, it's a claustrophobic film, and the cropping intensifies rather than diminishes this.
I just caught up with this film and was shocked to come in here afterwards and discover it was originally in 'Scope. So, I agree with this ancient post! But given how much I enjoyed small moments like the protagonist having a happy little moment in the foreground while an anonymous prisoner is whipped and falls into a puddle in the background, perhaps more of these peeks at "reality" in the midst of sunnier excuses are present in a full ratio version?

I thought this film was terrific, and one of the best I've ever seen on the subject of how Nazis saw themselves. This is such a well-worn road that the film is all the more commendable for finding a fresh and disturbing frequency to tune into-- the protagonist's twisted internal monologues and justifications for her actions towards the prisoner she "favors" are supremely self-serving and revealing, even when she's offering a sunny version to her husband. The film offers a pretty clear answer to the question of those who served but claimed to be, I suppose, one rung below the Good Germans. I think the film is even more effective in the La jette-esque bookending we get due to Munk's death, as it allows the movie's focus on the past events more clarity and emphasis. Indeed, you really don't need almost any of the frame story here, other than enough to set up the final encounter. I hope this gets a full restoration and English-friendly release someday, it's a concise and troubling movie worthy of a larger audience.

charal
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Re: 18 Passenger

#91 Post by charal » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:42 am

I wonder what happened to the outtake footage of the cruise passengers (the source for the stills in the released version). I understand Munk was going to re-shoot these scenes. One assumes, in deference to his wishes after his death, that these scenes were held back so as to respect the integrity of his original artistic choices. With the passage of time would it still be ‘dishonourable’ to crib together a more ‘complete’ version of the film. This would balance out the past and present theme (which is what the filmmaker intended anyway). Of course this is only possible if the deleted footage still exists.

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