Norman McLaren

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

#1 Post by zedz » Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:58 pm

Fabulous news from the MoC site:
Good news from National Film Board of Canada: release date for the eagerly awaited Norman McLaren: Master's Edition boxed DVD set has been tentatively set for the end of October. The exact date is yet to be announced, it depends on the distributor's timetable.

This master set will contain all of McLaren's films archived at the NFB plus his unfinished projects and film tests — in all-new video transfers. - J.B.
If this is done well, it could be a contender for the release of the year.

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Lino
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#2 Post by Lino » Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:39 am

Great. Just what we needed. More reason to be spending money in October. As if we didn't have enough reason to do so.

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Gregory
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#3 Post by Gregory » Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:24 pm

This must have been delayed again. One more week in October and I still can't find specs or pre-order information for this anywhere. According to the NFB site, it's a 7-disc set. This amazes me because the Japanese set from Pioneer is only 3 discs and that comprises most of his completed work. And most of disc three is the dry, technical Animated Motion Parts 1-5, which I'll never watch again. In other words, it looks like the vast majority of the content is going to be content other than his main body of work.
Most of McLaren's best work is on the Pioneer set, but I'm considering going for the new Master's Edition in order to get the remaining few films Pioneer didn't give us (notably, Defense of Madrid, Polychrome Phantasy, Spook Sport, and La Poulette Gris) if they're included, as well as the Creative Process documentary and to a lesser degree the unfinished work, etc.
I wish I had known this was coming so I wouldn't have bought the expensive Pioneer set last year.

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Gordon
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#4 Post by Gordon » Mon Oct 24, 2005 7:39 pm

Gregory wrote:According to the NFB site, it's a 7-disc set.
Astounding news. Rarely do we get such comprehensive boxed sets of a major artist. Bound to be very pricey, but it will be well worth it, I hope.
Last edited by Gordon on Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gregory
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#5 Post by Gregory » Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:59 pm

This is still on. The latest info from the NFB is that it's coming this spring.

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lord patchogue
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#6 Post by lord patchogue » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:11 am

I think this set has been released in France June 5th. It could be obtained from Chalet Films.

A friend sent me some captures from the second disc. But I don't know why there is a logo on the right corner..

Image

Image

Image

kalavin
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#7 Post by kalavin » Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:35 am

From MoC:

The long-awaited Norman McLaren's 7-disc Master's Edition is finally available. The careful restoration work was the main reason for the delay.

The DVD set produced by the National Film Board of Canada contains all of McLaren's films accompanied by technical dossiers and 15 original documentaries — 130 video and audio documents in all. See this NFB page for more information. Can't order it yet, though.

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#8 Post by JanPB » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:37 pm

It seems to be available, which is a bit odd because the NFB until very recently gave September '06 as a possible release date.

The transfer appears windowboxed which in this day and age (LCD, HDTV, etc.) is totally misguided IMHO. Judging by a couple of demos on the NFB site — Neighbours and Le Merle — it does look clean and sharp. And I don't know what that goofy square in the corner is either.

Image

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FilmFanSea
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#9 Post by FilmFanSea » Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:27 pm

Just to update this thread: Release date is confirmed for October 17th from the Home Vision label. Seven discs, SRP $99.99

From the Image website:
Influenced by surrealism and his passion for music and dance, controversial abstract filmmaker Norman McLaren is heralded as a ground-breaking visionary. From his early cinematic experiments in Scotland in 1933 to his final film for the National Film Board of Canada in 1983, McLaren's work is remarkable for its inventiveness, research and humanism. This carefully restored collection of 58 of his films includes the Oscar-winning "Neighbors" (1952) and several unfinished and formerly lost efforts. This seven-DVD set of his complete works also provides an illuminating booklet insert, filmed interviews with McLaren himself and 14 new short documentaries that guide the viewer to the heart of McLaren's art, each offering a distinct perspective of his work.
Artwork is posted at the link.

criterionsnob
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#10 Post by criterionsnob » Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:33 pm

This is now up for pre-order on Amazon.ca for $79.46 CAD.

criterionsnob
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#11 Post by criterionsnob » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:24 am

Picked this set up today at Bay Street Video in Toronto for an amazingly cheap $67.95 CAD. I've just been able to look at the first disc quickly on my laptop, but all of the films are heavily windowboxed, as indicated in the capture above. Hopefully it will be less noticeable on a tube.

Was surprised to see this on the shelf since Amazon.ca has its realease date as October 17 and I haven't seen any reviews online. Even the NFB order page still has this listed as "Coming Soon."

Regardless of the windowboxing, this set looks beautiful. Will post more thoughts when I have a chance to view in more detail.

Toxicologist
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#12 Post by Toxicologist » Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:07 am

criterionsnob wrote:this set looks beautiful. Will post more thoughts when I have a chance to view in more detail.
Please do, i for one will be very interested to hear your thoughts on the presentation etc as i had expressed elsewhere in another thread within the forum.

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vogler
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#13 Post by vogler » Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:25 am

I bought this boxset when it came out in France so I've had it for quite a while. There are good and bad points. The restored transfers look great but I too was disappointed to find that all of the films with the exception of a few documentaries have been windowboxed and I mean very heavily windowboxed. When I watch this on my computer monitor I have to use binoculars. Even when I played it on a regular over scanning tv there was a black border. They seem to be quite proud of the windowboxing and certainly meant well but does anyone actually think windowboxing is a good thing these days? I'm no expert but aren't we moving towards a time when overscan will be a thing of the past? Then we'll just be left with low resolution/big black borders.

The content however is excellent. It is a very comprehensive collection which, as far as I know, contains all of McLaren's work. As well as all the released films there are a large number of unreleased, incomplete and test films many of which I find almost as interesting as the completed films. The presentation of the discs is a little odd though - after watching the first disc I moved on to the second and found that a number of the films from the first disc were repeated on the second. Over all the discs there is a lot of overlap with films being repeated a number of times so while it is 7 discs there is not quite 7 discs worth of material. The reason for the repetition however is that they have organised the discs thematically with categories such as beginnings, painting with light, the art of motion, dance, the animator as musician etc. with documentaries on the themes and a number of the films have been included in more than one category. This seems a bit strange at first but I suppose it makes sense really and helps to gain a better understanding of the different aspects of McLaren's work.

Even with the windowboxing it's still well worth buying this and the transfers still look great on small screens after zooming in but I haven't tried it on any large screens.

A collection of Norman McLaren films is also being released by Cinedoc in France.

I wonder if these will not be windowboxed and if they will look as good as the boxset? If so I may have to buy this one as well.

Cinedoc also have an Alexandre Alexeïeff dvd which is utterly fantastic.

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vogler
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#14 Post by vogler » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:44 am

Here are some screenshots:

Image


Image


Image


Image


Image


Image

EDIT: My screenshots seem to have made the page too wide. Now it has to be scrolled horizontally to see all of it. Shall we put up with this or should I try to resize them?

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Gregory
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#15 Post by Gregory » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:41 am

My Safari window does not have to be scrolled horizontally. They seem to have been automatically re-sized.
Thanks for providing the captures. I plan to buy this new set to get the few remaining McLarens I haven't seen as well as all the extras but will keep my Japanese set due the former's heavy windowboxing.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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#16 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:45 pm

I'm running Firefox at 1024x768 and I don't have to scroll.

As for the windowboxing: there has to be some other explanation (no matter how ridiculous) besides simply compensating for overscan -- if that was the purpose they went way overboard. I've got a TV from the mid '70s that only works for about an hour at a time (in other words, it's crap) and even on that you would clearly see the black borders.

Anonymous

#17 Post by Anonymous » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:56 am

These seem to work fine, and look great.

Toxicologist
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#18 Post by Toxicologist » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:17 pm

vogler wrote:A collection of Norman McLaren films is also being released by Cinedoc in France.

I wonder if these will not be windowboxed and if they will look as good as the boxset? If so I may have to buy this one as well.
Has this been released yet and any news if the transfers are 'windowboxed' or not?

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vogler
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#19 Post by vogler » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:43 pm

Toxicologist wrote:Has this been released yet and any news if the transfers are 'windowboxed' or not?
Coincidentally I recieved an email from chaletfilms about this dvd today which contained the following information.

NOUVEAUTES
NEW ON THE SITE

McLAREN (édition Cinédoc)
Après la sortie du sublime coffret de 7 DVD de l'intégrale de McLaren, voici une nouvelle édition de 21 films du maître de l'animation expérimentale, à un prix qui pousse à la découverte ! En bonus : livret, documentaire, photos... 29,30€

McLAREN (Cinédoc publishing)
After the release of the wonderfull box set of 7 DVD of all McLaren's work, here is a DVD of 21 films by the master of experimental animation, at a price that encourages discovery!
Bonuses: booklet, documentary, photos... 29,30€


The dvd is for sale here.

I don't know if they are windowboxed yet but I have made email enquiries and am awaiting a response which I will post here if and when I receive it.

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vogler
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#20 Post by vogler » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:00 pm

According to the chaletfilms website the new Cinedoc Norman Mclaren dvd is ntsc and this is very unusual for a French company such as Cinedoc. I can't imagine them doing new ntsc transfers and this makes me think that these transfers are the same (windowboxed) transfers as the 7 disc set. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Toxicologist
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#21 Post by Toxicologist » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:46 pm

vogler wrote:I don't know if they are windowboxed yet but I have made email enquiries and am awaiting a response which I will post here if and when I receive it.
Don't suppose you received a reply? Or can anybody confirm whether the Cinedoc release contains a different transfer than the 7 disc set etc?

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vogler
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#22 Post by vogler » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:39 pm

Toxicologist wrote:Don't suppose you received a reply? Or can anybody confirm whether the Cinedoc release contains a different transfer than the 7 disc set etc?
No - I haven't heard a thing. I have dealt with Cinedoc in the past and have found them to be very fast with their responses so what we are to make of this silence I don't know. I have much respect for Cinedoc for their magnificent Alexeïeff dvd and the Norman McLaren dvd is probably great as well but my suspicion is still that the transfers are the windowboxed transfers as featured on the boxset.

Is there anyone who has bought it and can confirm one way or the other?

I think I will try sending an email to chalet films who are an online retailer who sell the disc.

Toxicologist
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#23 Post by Toxicologist » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:40 pm

vogler wrote:
Toxicologist wrote:Don't suppose you received a reply? Or can anybody confirm whether the Cinedoc release contains a different transfer than the 7 disc set etc?
No - I haven't heard a thing. I have dealt with Cinedoc in the past and have found them to be very fast with their responses so what we are to make of this silence I don't know. I have much respect for Cinedoc for their magnificent Alexeïeff dvd and the Norman McLaren dvd is probably great as well but my suspicion is still that the transfers are the windowboxed transfers as featured on the boxset.

Is there anyone who has bought it and can confirm one way or the other?

I think I will try sending an email to chalet films who are an online retailer who sell the disc.
Don't know whether you heard anything from Chalet Films?...But, emailed Cinedoc myself and actually received a reply today saying that the transfers were NOT windowboxed, and as the guy put it...' had confirmed with the 'laboratory' that black bars are not around all four corners of the image'

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vogler
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#24 Post by vogler » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:57 pm

Toxicologist wrote:Don't know whether you heard anything from Chalet Films?...But, emailed Cinedoc myself and actually received a reply today saying that the transfers were NOT windowboxed, and as the guy put it...' had confirmed with the 'laboratory' that black bars are not around all four corners of the image'
No, I never heard anything from Chalet Films or Cinedoc. I'm glad you had more luck and that the transfers are not windowboxed. If you buy this dvd it would be much appreciated if you could report on what the quality is like.

Toxicologist
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#25 Post by Toxicologist » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:49 pm

vogler wrote:
Toxicologist wrote:Don't know whether you heard anything from Chalet Films?...But, emailed Cinedoc myself and actually received a reply today saying that the transfers were NOT windowboxed, and as the guy put it...' had confirmed with the 'laboratory' that black bars are not around all four corners of the image'
No, I never heard anything from Chalet Films or Cinedoc. I'm glad you had more luck and that the transfers are not windowboxed. If you buy this dvd it would be much appreciated if you could report on what the quality is like.
Well, i've taken the guy from Cinedoc at his word and have ordered this dvd today, hopefully should have the dvd within a week or so (France - UK) so will certainly report back on my findings.

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