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 Post subject: 296 Le notti bianche
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:14 pm 

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Le notti bianche

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Marcello Mastroianni, as a lonely city transplant, and Maria Schell, as a sheltered girl haunted by a lover’s promise, meet by chance on a canal bridge and begin a tentative romance that quickly entangles them in a web of longing and self-delusion. Luchino Visconti’s Le notti bianche, an exquisite adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s White Nights, translates this romantic, shattering tale of two restless souls into a ravishing black-and-white dream.

Disc Features

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno
- A collection of interviews, from 2003, with screenwriter Suso Cecchi D’Amico, film critics Laura Delli Colli and Lino Miccichè, cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, and costume designer Piero Tosi
- New audio recording of Dostoyevsky’s White Nights, also downloadable as an MP3
- Rare screen-test footage of Mastroianni and Schell
- Original theatrical trailer
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- Plus: a new essay by film scholar Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Criterionforum.org user rating averages



Last edited by Martha on Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:43 pm 
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My guess is that this makes Dylan very happy.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:40 pm 
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My God! This was completely and utterly unexpected, and merely saying I'm deeply pleased would be a sheer understatement. But this is the best news of the year so far...this is a beautiful, heartbreaking masterpiece that has been in my top five since the day I saw it...and finally, this release will allow it the exposure it deserves.

Dylan


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:51 pm 
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Here's a thread on this film started by Michael a few weeks ago where I expressed my feelings on it.

Once again, a truly astonishing film...I'm overwhelmed that it's actually getting a R1 release (and even more so that it's Criterion). For some reason, I just didn't think this would happen for a few more years. But nevertheless: bring it on!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:17 am 
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I'm no expert in Italian, but I think the title should read Le Notti bianche, since "notti" is the plural (and notte is the singular). The English translation is White Nights. Most (but not all) of the Internet references I googled use "Notti" in the title of this film.

(Although, somehow Ladri di biciclette in English becomes The Bicycle Thief, when it actually translates as Bicycle Thieves.)

BTW, our own Doug Cummings (deepysea) has posted a nice review of this film in which he compares it with his beloved Robert Bresson's 1971 Quatre nuits d'un rêveur/Four Nights of a Dreamer (both films are based on the same Dostoyevsky novella).

Unfortunately, I believe New Yorker holds the rights to the Bresson film, so there's no chance for a 2-disc pairing with the Visconti, à la The Killers or The Lower Depths.


Last edited by FilmFanSea on Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:28 am 
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FilmFanSea wrote:
I'm no expert in Italian, but I think the title should read Le Notti bianche, since "notti" is the plural (and notte is the singular). The English translation is White Nights. Most (but not all) of the Internet references I googled use "Notti" in the title of this film.


I looked it up on IMDB to find out more about it and it came up as Notti, not Notte


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:34 am 
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It is definitely LE NOTTI BIANCHE. La Notte is singular for night (feminine) and the plural for feminine nouns ending in "e" is "i". (Made more confusing by the adjective - bianche - following normal "a" for singular and "e" for plural.)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:32 am 
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Dylan, I imagine that you're curious to find out what I think of Le Notti Bianche. Sorry it has taken so long but the thing is that I watched Visconti's first film Ossessione a couple of nights after watching Notti. Ossessione blew me away sooooooo much that it diminished my initial admiration of Notti. I love everything about Ossessione - gorgeous stud, complicated woman, engimatic (gay?) street performer, bleak landscape complete with a dusky trattoria. An earthy, sensuous, emotionally draining romance exquisitely directed. I'm profoudly awestruck and inspired by how well this old film holds up today - after 60 + years! Ossessione may not as visually dazzling as Visconti's later films - Le Notti Bianche, The Leopard, Death In Venice but it's still as atmospheric and operatic. Ossessione rattles and then ultimately shatters you - those eyes of Gino and Giovanna blistering through the shivery air right through to your heart. Ossessione comes to my mind frequently.

I don't mean to ignore or belittle or dismiss Le Notti Bianche in which this thread is devoted to. It's a great film with one of the most stunning sequences I've ever experienced - the dancing inside a club. After seeing him in a bunch of Fellini films, Italian Divorce Style and La Notte, to see Marcello Mastroianni in a much softer, romantic role in which he utterly achieved is very surprising, wonderful, and rare. I know that the film is sorta a fairy tale but coming from upstate NY, I shuddered to see how that woman managed to walk in those shoes in the finale's thick snow. :shock:

Ossessione is more my style. Has anyone on this forum seen this? This along with 8 1/2 and L' Avventura are my favorite Italian films.

Should I start a new thread for Ossessione? Hmm.. I think it deserves its own forum. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:20 pm 
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Michael, I certainly have seen Ossessione, a couple times, and it's a true masterpiece (and much better than the American version "Postman Always Rings Twice"). While I love White Nights, Rocco and His Brothers, and Death in Venice a lot more, Ossessione ranks as my fourth-favorite Visconti (of the seven I've seen, all masterworks), and it definitely has a spot in my top 100. It's been a while since I've seen it, and I'm due for another viewing, but my feelings on it are similar. Lovely bleak and gritty atmosphere, sensual and complex characters, brilliant tragedy. With that said, I'm glad you very much enjoyed "White Nights," particularly the dance scene (one of my favorites!), and Mastroianni's wonderful performance.

I enjoyed Doug's comparison of this and "Four Nights of a Dreamer" (which I have yet to see, but as a lover of both the original story and the Visconti film, I'll check it out when it becomes available). I hear that a modern day version of this was recently filmed in Los Angeles. To me, a modern day retelling is a big mistake (though it doesn't help that I believe Visconti's version is unabashed perfection that outdoes its source material), and while I don't hold out any hope for it, I'm still curious.

At the moment, I'm anxious as to what extras Criterion will include on this.

Dylan


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:50 pm 
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The BBC did a two part Arena documentary on Visconti a couple of years back (coincided with a NFT season and a new edition of Nowell-Smith's book)... Unfortunately I was away - it was the height of summer - and was not aware of it till after, so did not get to watch or tape it... If they were to add this as an extra, it would really need two discs, which the $29.95 price contraindicates...

I am certainly looking forward to the CC edition of LE NOTTI BIANCHE/WHITE NIGHTS. Nowell-Smith writes a very interesting chapter on its subject...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:26 pm 
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The BBC Arena documentary was excellent and I'd be thrilled if it was included as a second disc.

White Nights is one of the few Visconti films I haven't seen and I love all his films and I have the feeling I'll love White Nights.

I, like Dylan, thought I'd never see a domestic release of this film on DVD. Much like Lo Staniero, I just figured it was in limbo or something. So this is great, great news. I have a dubbed-in-English DVDr of Lo Staniero that I have trouble watching, and if only Criterion would bring it back to consciousness, I'd be forever in their debt. Mastroianni lives forever! 8-)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:38 am 

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FilmFanSea wrote:
(Although, somehow Ladri di biciclette in English becomes The Bicycle Thief, when it actually translates as Bicycle Thieves.)


Only in the U.S. It's known as Bicycle Thieves in the rest of the English-speaking world.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:10 am 
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Sorry guys But I'm in pedant mode - It's LADRI DI BICICLETTI. (Bicycle - bicicletto - male noun sing.... thank god for ellipses.)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:16 am 
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Michael wrote:

Ossessione is more my style. Has anyone on this forum seen this?

Yes, I think it is one of the sexiest films I have ever seen. I have held off on buying the DVD, and hoping that it may be re-released (Criterion?) in a balls out version it deserves.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 4:21 am 
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The version I taped off FilmFour (restored by the 'Association of the Friends of Vittoria De Sica et al.') shows title (twice) as 'LADRI DI BICICLETTE'...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:18 am 
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I'll get back to you on that... (ellipsis)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:23 am 
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Just did a google translation and you are right -- la bicicletta!!!!!

(Flixy you have failed your Italian major and you will be birched in the showers by a football team..... overseen by Renato Salvatore and Roger Hanin!)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:48 am 

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Why oh why oh why couldn't this be a double release with "Four Nights of a Dreamer?" You've already got a Bresson coming out the month before, it'd continue in them putting together 2 films based on the same work (The Killers, Lower Depths) both those films have only one spine number too. Praying for a delayed release of this like the Lowers Depth for them to add it. That'd be something REALLY spectacular.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:18 pm 
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A Luchino Visconti virtual gallery from the BFI microsite...

http://www.bfi.org.uk/gallery/visconti/

Nice images including LE NOTTI BIANCHE...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:41 pm 
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Amazon and DVD Soon have it for pre-order for July 12th


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:15 am 
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Maria Schell, who played the role of Natalia, died two days ago in Austria. She last appeared in the documentary "Meine Schwester Maria / My Sister Maria" directed by her brother Maximilian Schell in 2002.

BBC-News
ABC-News
National Post


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 12:18 pm 
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Here are the Special Features, which include a downloadable MP3:

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno

- Collection of interviews from 2003 featuring screenwriter Suso Cecchi D’Amico, film critics Laura Delli Colli and Lino Miccichè, cinematographer Rotunno, and costume designer Piero Tosi

- New 115-minute recorded reading of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s short story, downloadable as an MP3 file

- Rare screen-test footage of Marcello Mastroianni and Maria Schell

- A new essay by film scholar Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

- Original theatrical trailer

- New and improved English subtitle translation

http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=296


Last edited by Andre Jurieu on Mon May 02, 2005 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 12:18 pm 
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Wow, they are including mp3 files now...:)


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 1:43 pm 
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Great to hear that Rotunno supervised the transfer. I was hoping for a commentary by, for example, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith. The main delight for me, of course, is finally being able to see this film.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 2:20 pm 

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From what I've heard, this seems to be a film primarily for the heart and senses, so I think a good essay will suffice rather than full-blown real-time deconstruction.

Fun fact: Alain Silver, film noir guru who did the splendid commentary for Thieves' Highway is currently in post-production on his own version of the Dostoyevsky story (his directorial debut, in fact).


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