The new 2-disc of Virginia Woolf is absolutely superb. This is the first time that I have seen the film on video, so I'm not sure if it is a new transfer, but frankly, it looks stunning. Kodak had just brought out a new faster black ans white negative stock (Eastman 4-X, I believe) and thus it allowed Haskell Wexler to shoot those wonderful low contrast, richly black scenes by the swing, the likes of which had never been seen before and caused much fretting. Wexler's commentary from the previous release is retained and it's fascinating and he doesn't just concentrate on the tech side, but all aspects of the film. The new featurettes are pretty good, too, with the ever-present Schickel stating the obvious as usual, though. Sandy Dennis' screen test - shot in 2.35:1 it seems - is amazingly powerful, what a great actress; she's often overlooked in favour of Dick and Liz in this film, but her work is as impressive and brave as Taylor's. Nichol's and Soderbergh join forces again for a lively, insightful and entertaining commentary. Soderbergh mentions that they have recorded two tracks before, but I only know if their track for Catch-22, so what's the other? Could they perhaps have recorded one for the 40th Anniversary SE of The Graduate?
The 1976 documentary on Taylor is sycophantic, but Peter Lawford sleazing it with Rock Hudson, but Richard Brooks comes across as a forthright dude. He must have been preparing, Looking for Mr Goodbar at the time as he complains about the lack of positive roles for women at the time, with only "loser" roles having power and Diane Keaton's Theresa Dunn would certainly fit that bill. I badly want to see that film - why haven't Paramount gotten around to it?
This new edition is definitely worth an upgrade. It's a powerful, hilarious and tragic film and unlike most 'controversial groundbreakers', it still seems dangerous and powerful, with masterful acting, cinematography end editing - what a debut! The Citizen Kane of the 60s, which opened up a new dimension in American Cinema. Apparently. Wink
I'm off the hump the hostess...