301 An Angel at My Table

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Martha
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301 An Angel at My Table

#1 Post by Martha » Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:28 pm

An Angel at My Table

[img]http://criterion_production.s3.amazonaws.com/release_images/974/301_box_348x490_w128.jpg[/img]

With An Angel at My Table, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Jane Campion brings to the screen the harrowing true-life story of Janet Frame, New Zealand's most distinguished author. The film follows Frame along her inspiring journey, from a poverty-stricken childhood to a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia and electroshock therapy to, finally, international literary fame. Beautifully capturing the color and power of the New Zealand landscape, the film earned Campion a sweep of her country's film awards and the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Special Features

- New high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Stuart Dryburgh and approved by director Jane Campion
- New Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
- Audio commentary featuring Campion, Dryburgh, and actress Kerry Fox
- A 10-minute documentary about the making of An Angel at My Table
- Six deleted scenes
- My Say, an audio interview with Janet Frame from 1983
- Original theatrical trailer
- Stills gallery
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Plus: a 40-page booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Amy Taubin and excerpts from Frame's autobiography, on which Campion based her film

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Last edited by Martha on Sun Aug 28, 2005 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zedz
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#2 Post by zedz » Sat Jun 11, 2005 7:58 pm

At last, a drop in the bucket to redress Criterion's gender imbalance.

This great trilogy was sort of trampled in the rush to acclaim The Piano, but I find it easily superior (though my favourite Campion film is probably still her wonderful 1984 short A Girl's Own Story - her first feature Two Friends is superb as well).

Unless this is a double-disc, the length (whether it's the theatrical or TV version) won't leave a lot of room for extras, but it would be nice to see some documentary material on Janet Frame, and terrific to squeeze in some of Campion's shorts (though they're more in line with the tone and look of Sweetie). They'd make for one hell of a bonus disc. . .

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#3 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:51 pm

Is there anything preventing Criterion from releasing both versions? I suspect that the combination of both versions, plus a disc of extra features, may be the reason Criterion has yet to decide on a price.

Speaking of which, how long is the miniseries version?

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#4 Post by ben d banana » Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:33 am

While I'm all for the inclusion of more female directors in the collection, and grasp that this is part of the New Line deal, but Jane Campion? Ugh. It's been so long I can't remember if I've seen this and Sweetie or both or just the latter. I do know I saw some shorts which I was even less impressed by, and not only because I don't think I've ever seen so much boom in a shot. And this was in the midst of a love affair w/ many things NZ.

So, can anyone explain how wrongheaded I am for being excited about the re-release of Mary Harron's American Psycho, but find Campion trite, bland, and obviously manipulative?*


*Sorry I can't elaborate on these feelings further, 10+ years of disinterest hasn't exactly burned her work into my mind.

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#5 Post by King of Kong » Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:52 am

Well, it's nice to see some Kiwi directors in the collection. What next - some of Peter Jackon's early slasher flicks?

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#6 Post by exte » Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:16 pm

I for one am grateful the bitch is in the collection. I already have the French collection of her films, plus the German two disc of Das Piano. I think she's terrific, but apparently one can't feel that and be a criterion enthusiast at the same time.

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#7 Post by ben d banana » Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:57 pm

Wow, way to be a martyr.

By pointing out my appreciation of Mary Harron's movie, which isn't to my knowledge worshipped as high film art, I was hardly positioning myself as an overlord of "good taste," rather I was hoping for some thoughtful comments on what makes people give a shit about "the bitch."

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#8 Post by devlinnn » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:46 pm

Unless this is a double-disc, the length (whether it's the theatrical or TV version) won't leave a lot of room for extras, but it would be nice to see some documentary material on Janet Frame, and terrific to squeeze in some of Campion's shorts (though they're more in line with the tone and look of Sweetie). They'd make for one hell of a bonus disc. . .
According to the scan of upcoming titles the price will be $39.95 - a two-disc set looks likely. I'd suspect the complete television mini-series (possibly the first time seen in the US?) with a cast/director commentary (?), original background material on Janet Frame etc. I agree the shorts are more in line with Sweetie, which also deserves a spot in the CC, but would love to see at least a couple (Passionless Moments so perfect I decided to never bother with the medium).
So, can anyone explain how wrongheaded I am for being excited about the re-release of Mary Harron's American Psycho, but find Campion trite, bland, and obviously manipulative?*
Each to their own, but Campion, right from the start of her work in film, has always had her own eye and visual language, a very rare gift. I've only needed to see The Piano once, so strong the images and soundscape plays in the mind. Her constant exploration of passion, sex, family and female identity may not play cool (the critical hostility to In the Cut an eye-opener), but long may she create her worlds.

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#9 Post by oldsheperd » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:19 am

I'm actually more excited about American Psycho. It's good to see a woman direct in this genre. I've only seen the Piano and it was a long time ago.

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#10 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:50 am

An article about Janet Frame, and this is a link to an obituary after her death in January 2004.

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#11 Post by Cinephrenic » Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:15 pm

This has been downgraded to a single disc. Is this old news or I just noticed?

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#12 Post by Narshty » Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:41 pm

It was always a single disc release.

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#13 Post by daniel p » Sun Aug 28, 2005 8:12 pm

I thought it was a double discer - until now...
And if it never was, then why the high list price?

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#14 Post by Narshty » Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:00 pm

Criterion obviously realised they were losing money, hence the price hike once again. It was nice while it lasted for all four releases.

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#15 Post by CSM126 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:25 am

Narshty wrote:Criterion obviously realised they were losing money, hence the price hike once again. It was nice while it lasted for all four releases.
Isn't anyone used to Criterion's pricing system by now? Films like this- foreign and lesser known in the States, that is- are always more expensive. Criterion do need to turn a profit you know. Besides, if the price is a huge issue you can get it cheaper by pre-ordering. My copy only set me back twenty-eight bucks.

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#16 Post by CSM126 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:25 am

I guess I was mistaken. I looked again, and I noticed that those films I referred to had commentaries...which is, I guess, the price-raiser.

I am right in a few cases...

High & Low
Great Expectations
Oliver Twist

Very few, I admit. Still, no features on them, and high prices. What's the reason?

Anyway, chalk it up to stupidity on my part. I'll look a little harder next time. Maybe I'm just paying too much for some of these at some store that jacks up the price...

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#17 Post by Cinephrenic » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:27 am

When those films you've listed were released, there was a different market. DVD was new and there wasn't as many expectations for studios releasing titles with many features as they do today. If you ask me why they haven't knocked down the price, it's probably because they are selling at the given price and they don't see no reason to adjust it from a business perspective.

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#18 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:13 pm

These titles also hit the Christmas market on pre-order discounts... Although premium prices would not deter discerning gift buyers. Autumn has a very strong and varied lineup.. KAGEMUSHA appears to have done exceptionally well earlier in the year so RAN should perform similarly, and the other titles such as ANGEL AT MY TABLE, UGETSU & TALES OF HOFFMANN are all mouth watering...

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#19 Post by ben d banana » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:37 am

Maybe this discussion should be moved to the Image buys HVE thread. Criterion prices have gone up about a buck recently from the one stop from which I order for work and it's feasible to believe that as Criterion's exclusive distributor they have some input into their pricing strategy.

EDIT: They have since returned to their earlier, lower prices.
Last edited by ben d banana on Sat Sep 24, 2005 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#20 Post by criterionsnob » Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:08 pm


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#21 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:26 am

Well AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE is shipping at last (from Amazon)! One week delay from official release date...

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#22 Post by lull » Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:32 am

great news.
now i can expect mine to ship from Amazon.ca in the coming week, then.
it's status changed from "Usually ships within 2 to 3 days" to "1 to 2 weeks".

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#23 Post by oldsheperd » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:22 am

I wonder if this is going to have the image distribution imprint on the back. I received my copy of In the Year of the Pig yesterday and it now has the Image imprint on the back.

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#24 Post by PfR73 » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:04 pm

We had several copies for sale today at the Best Buy I work at in Austin.

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#25 Post by lord_clyde » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:21 pm

PfR73 wrote:We had several copies for sale today at the Best Buy I work at in Austin.
A little off topic I know, but I never realized how good the prices on Criterions were at Best Buy. I got Naked and Man who Fell to Earth this morning there and I was impressed.

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