322 The Complete Mr. Arkadin

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322 The Complete Mr. Arkadin

#1 Post by Guest » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:57 pm

The Complete Mr. Arkadin

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Orson Welles’s Mr. Arkadin (a.k.a. Confidential Report) tells the story of an elusive billionaire who hires an American smuggler to investigate his past, leading to a dizzying descent into a cold-war European landscape. The film’s history is also marked by this vertigo. There are at least eight Mr. Arkadins: three radio plays, a novel, several long-lost cuts, and the controversial European release known as Confidential Report. Criterion gathered all of these elements to create this landmark box set—which also includes outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage, and a new comprehensive version of the film—at last unraveling one of cinema’s great mysteries.

SPECIAL EDITION THREE-DISC SET FEATURES

- New, restored high-definition digital transfers of three versions of the film: the Corinth Version, Confidential Report, and a new comprehensive version
- Audio commentary by scholars Jonathan Rosenbaum and James Naremore
- An interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow, featuring his audio interview with star Robert Arden
- Three half-hour episodes of the radio program The Lives of Harry Lime, upon which the film is based, and an interview with producer Harry Alan Towers
- On the Comprehensive Version, a new documentary featuring interviews with film historian Stefan Drössler and Claude Bertemes and Welles confidant Bogdanovich
- Outtakes, rushes, and alternate scenes from the film
- Extensive stills gallery
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: Mr. Arkadin, the novel, with a new preface by Robert Polito, and a booklet featuring J. Hoberman, Rosenbaum, film historian François Thomas, and Drössler on the three versions; and a time line of Arkadin-related events

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Dr. Mabuse
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#2 Post by Dr. Mabuse » Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:46 pm

Cat's out of the bag:
Next week, Jim Naremore and I are recording a joint commentary for the Criterion DVD of ARKADIN (the Corinth version),; Stefan's version will also be on the disc.
American Cinematheque wrote:New 35 mm. Print! CONFIDENTIAL REPORT (aka MR. ARKADIN), 1955, Janus/Criterion, 99 min. Dir. Orson Welles. "One of Welles’ most inventive and resonant films" (J. Hoberman, Village Voice), CONFIDENTIAL REPORT retains the investigative structure of CITIZEN KANE – the life of a rich and powerful man is recounted by several people who knew him – but replaces KANE’s tragic romanticism with a sordidness that is so far over the top as not to be believed. A ruthless financier (Welles) hires a sleazy young cigarette smuggler to write a "confidential report" on his past, hoping to erase the last traces of his infamy so that his beloved daughter will never find the truth about him. Welles decks out this mock-tragic "chronicle of a death foretold" with down ‘n dirty rococo effects and tall tales, including that epitome of cynicism, the fable about the frog and the scorpion. There are several distinct versions of the film – we will be screening a new print of the CONFIDENTIAL REPORT version. (Program notes courtesy James Quandt/Cinematheque Ontario.)

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Dylan
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#3 Post by Dylan » Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:56 pm

So this will likely be a 2006 release, I'm guessing. It's an exciting release, as I've always thought of this film to be a masterpiece (though every Welles film I've seen is a masterpiece).

DrewReiber
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#4 Post by DrewReiber » Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:01 pm

So this confirms they have two versions, which is a good sign. I have a question though...

Is there any word about the Spanish language version that was screened in Madrid? According to reports, it had an alternate cast and was closest to Welles original vision, but I have yet to find anything that states whether or not it is still in existence. I was hoping that Criterion might find and include it considering how they included the French version of Lang's Testament of Dr. Mabuse. Then again, maybe it's lost to time.

Maybe I should write Mulvaney about it?

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Jun-Dai
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#5 Post by Jun-Dai » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:43 am

If they are recording the commentary now, then it will probably be a 2005 release, unless something goes terribly wrong with it.

DrewReiber
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#6 Post by DrewReiber » Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:23 am

Ok, looking at what people are saying about the DVD (Rosenbaum) and the new restoration print (Janus), I'm finding myself lost. I'm counting the mention of three different versions, because I can't figure out where Criterion's Confidential Report print comes in.

Rosenbaum is saying Criterion is supplying the Corinth version, when that was the New York premiere cut titled Mr. Arkadin (supposedly the least butchered English-language version)... in addition to the mention of Stefan Droessler's print, whichever one that is... and now we have the restored print of the European cut that was titled Confidential Report, supplied by Janus. Did someone start switching the titles and versions when I wasn't looking?

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GringoTex
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#7 Post by GringoTex » Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:49 am

Has Rosenbaum ever given DVD commentary before?

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porquenegar
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#8 Post by porquenegar » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:45 pm

You can all thank me for this release. I just bought the laserdisc.
Last edited by porquenegar on Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#9 Post by leo goldsmith » Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:19 pm

Rosenbaum shmosenbaum. I am lustily salivating at the prospect of a James Naremore commentary.

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Cinephrenic
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#10 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:27 pm

Is that Rosenbaum's email address from the article?

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ola t
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#11 Post by ola t » Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:31 pm

DrewReiber wrote:Ok, looking at what people are saying about the DVD (Rosenbaum) and the new restoration print (Janus), I'm finding myself lost. I'm counting the mention of three different versions, because I can't figure out where Criterion's Confidential Report print comes in.
Maybe the DVD will include three versions. Confidential Report is the version they released on laserdisc, so it would be strange not to include it.
Langlois68 wrote:Has Rosenbaum ever given DVD commentary before?
Nope.

My dream supplement for this film would be a Rules of the Game-style version comparison based on Rosenbaum's article "The Seven Arkadins", but a commentary track will do just nicely, thank you!

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GringoTex
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#12 Post by GringoTex » Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:56 pm

leo goldsmith wrote:Rosenbaum shmosenbaum. I am lustily salivating at the prospect of a James Naremore commentary.
Rosenbaum wrote an excellent and detailed analysis of the versions of Confidential Report (published in Movies as Politics). His participation in a commentary on this film would appear invaluable.

mmacklem
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#13 Post by mmacklem » Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:12 pm

Has anyone seen or heard interviews with Rosenbaum before? I am a huge fan of his writing, but he is an extreeeeemely dry speaker, and I'm a bit skeptical about how easy listening to him for the length of a movie will be.

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Steven H
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#14 Post by Steven H » Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:22 pm

They could let him use a vocoder while recording the track, and add some "voice" melody. Set it to house music and a commentary precedent will rock the DVD world. Perhaps Peter Cowie's next will have flourishes of bagpipes accompanying.

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Gordon
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#15 Post by Gordon » Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:04 pm

It would be great this set could include Welles', Vienna and London short films - 8 and 30 minutes, respectively. Both are hilarious and have never been released on home video.

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#16 Post by tristan » Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:47 pm

cinephrenic wrote:Is that Rosenbaum's email address from the article?
It's the e-mail address that comes with a Yahoo account, which is required to join a_film_by.

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J Wilson
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#17 Post by J Wilson » Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:48 am

In a post on the Wellesnet message board, Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum responded to a post about the upcoming Criterion release of CONFIDENTIAL REPORT (which revealed that Criterion would not be including the restoration of MR ARKADIN as Rosenbaum had stated) and provided some further info on the release of F FOR FAKE as well:

"It's true that Filmmuseum Muenchen and Cinematheque de Luxembourg worked on a kind of reconstruction of the film by using all the existing versions and workprints as well as all available paper works and remarks done by Welles in interviews. All in all the final film is about 106 minutes, containing no "great new scene" but a lot of additional shots in the transitions between the episodes as well as one unknown flashback scene . Concerning the different orders of scenes in the different versions we were able to find enough indications for the right order. Nevertheless, it is not THE original version, it is the best version combining all the good elements we have - and to our surprise it works well. So we offered it to Criterion. The work tape is the blueprint for redoing it in a high quality digital format. This needs some preparation and some time to be done properly. Criterion decided to set the deadline on the end of March, but we need April to finish it. The dispute about three weeks of work is the only reason (as far as we were told, I never had the honor to get in a direct contact with Issa) why this version is excluded in the DVD. I couldn't believe it - but I also had problems with the Criterion F FOR FAKE DVD for which I did some researches. We were able to trace the original ELMYR-film by Reichenbach which was the basis of F FOR FAKE. Could you imagine that Criterion even didn't try to include this very revealing item? It's not the only thing I miss on this DVD, there also won't be neither Oja Kodar nor the restored color trailer for F FOR FAKE nor clips of THE MAGIC SHOW.
Normally I don't like to talk about such quarrels in public but I don't like to be blamed for something which is not explained. Of course we will finish the work on MR. ARKADIN, and the result will be presented in the Welles retrospective of the Locarno Film Festival in August."

Wellesnet Arkadin thread

DrewReiber
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#18 Post by DrewReiber » Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:54 am

This is truly upsetting news. I very much wish to see the restored edition and don't want to settle for a few butchered cuts. If there is anything we can do about this, we should spread the word about what's going on so that maybe things might improve.

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Michael Kerpan
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#19 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:45 am

Frankly, I am beginning to lose faith in Criterion's dedication to cinematic integrity.

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justeleblanc
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#20 Post by justeleblanc » Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:51 am

I have this odd feeling that this might just be a Criterion smear effort and not necessarily the full truth.

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J Wilson
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#21 Post by J Wilson » Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:08 pm

I think smear might be too strong a word, as the original info about the restoration not being included wasn't being done for any sort of major interview or anything like that, so far as I'm aware. Stefan was responding to something stated by the original poster of the information. But yes, whatever Criterion's reasoning, it downgrades what looked to be a great release.

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Michael Kerpan
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#22 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:21 pm

I'll wait for a European release that does things right.

DrewReiber
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#23 Post by DrewReiber » Sat Mar 05, 2005 5:05 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I'll wait for a European release that does things right.
I hate having to deal with region encoding differences, but I was looking more towards this release than any other. I guess I won't have a choice.

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david hare
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#24 Post by david hare » Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:38 pm

What, if any influence does Beatrice have in this business?

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Dylan
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#25 Post by Dylan » Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:12 pm

It looks like the members on the Wellesnet board are going to attempt to turn Criterion's settlement on Confidential Report around. The eopinions reviewer "Glenn Anders" or "Macresarf1" wrote a review of the film detailed a version he saw in 1955 that was far superior to the edited versions.

I've watched "Confidential Report" many times, and it's a visually stunning, hugely entertaining film. But a longer version would be immensely appreciated. Hopefully Criterion will not leave the 107 minute reconstruction in the dust.

Dylan

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