It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:01 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 42 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
I was delighted to find the DVDs of most of Satyajit Ray's films, Ritwik Ghatak's "Subarnarekha", and Aparna Sen's "Yugant" at a retail store in Edison New Jersey. All are released by companies based in Kolkota, India. All are subtitled in English. All are watchable, and some are excellent. I have not seen any other version of Ghatak's "Subarnarekha" on DVD, but this appeared quite excellent to me. Ray's DVDs vary in image quality based on the source material, but they are at least as good as any other version I have seen on DVD. (This statement does not apply to the Apu Trilogy, which I did not buy as I have the box set). "Kapurush" comes properly combined with "Mahapurush" as the theatrical release did, and "Teen Kanya" actually contains three stories as originally conceived, as opposed to only two that were included in a roadshow of nine films shown in major cities some years ago. There are no extras on any of these, and the boxes are rather flimsy. Costs vary from $15 to $19. You may gratify yourselves now (as I did) or take heart in the news that good enough material exists for many of these to make possible great restored versions at some point in future.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:47 am
Location: London
kekid wrote:
I was delighted to find the DVDs of most of Satyajit Ray's films, Ritwik Ghatak's "Subarnarekha", and Aparna Sen's "Yugant" at a retail store in Edison New Jersey. All are released by companies based in Kolkota, India. All are subtitled in English. All are watchable, and some are excellent.
I have been looking at the following sights for some time without convincing myself that the DVDs will be good enough quality:
http://www.calcuttaweb.com/cgi-bin/shop ... it&s=USDVD
and
http://bdbazar.com/nshop/default.php/cP ... /3a/page/3
Do they look like the ones you found, kekid?

Also on Ray, I suppose I am going to have to try one or more of this month's releases of R2s from the un-Ray-like sounding Bollywood Entertainment of Charulata and Mahapurush, and hope that play.com is wrong in marking them Hindi language versions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:05 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
Yes, These appear to be the same versions I found. Please avoid a large set of Satyajit Ray video-CD's BDBazar sells. I found their quality poor, and significantly inferior to the DVDs. As for the R2 versions, I am not sure if Mahapurush comes coupled with Kapurush. If not, it will be a poor value (Mahapurush by itself is a little over one hour). The Indian DVD, as can be seen on the links you provided, include both. I am quite confident that MoC will do a good job of bringing Abhijan to us, so I did not buy that one. I recommend Ritwik Ghatak's "Subernarekha", which is one of the best-looking of the ones I saw.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:44 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
Kekid, how is the print quality of Charulata? I have been reluctant to try the new R2 DVD from a dubious company. Thank you for posting such wonderful news!

By the way, have you found any Mrinal Sen titles?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:01 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:22 am
For Mrinal Sen, Ek Din Achanak has English subs. It's a loose (thematic) sequel to Ek Din Pratidin, this one, the father disappears and the film is about how the family reacts to his absence. The film was a little washed out, but very passable. There is a book out on the Absence Trilogy which has screenplays from all three films.

Supposedly, the DVD for one of his best films, In Search of Famine has English subtitles, but I still haven't received my order from Calcutta Web after three weeks (they haven't responded to email, the status still says "in process", and when I called the Iowa number, I got someone's voicemail and never received a call back). I'll report back if I ever get this disc, but I've been burned before by BDBazar also, after they sent me someone else's order instead of mine, asked me to send it back to them and they'd reimburse my postage, and never did (then sent my actual order via media mail only after they received the stuff I sent back), so I'm reluctant to place another order with an alternate seller, at least not that one.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
franco wrote:
Kekid, how is the print quality of Charulata? I have been reluctant to try the new R2 DVD from a dubious company. Thank you for posting such wonderful news!

By the way, have you found any Mrinal Sen titles?


The quality of Charulata is acceptable but not exceptional. It is equivalent of the VHS version SONY issued some years ago.
BDBazar carries a fairly extensive Bengali DVD collection. They even have a tab for Bengali DVDs with English subtitles for easy reference. For interested forum members it may be wirthwhile to browse that. As far as I could determine the only Mrinal Sen they have with English subtitles is "Ek Din Achanak". They also have "Bhuvan Shome", which is a Hindi film, hence Hindi-speaking viewers may find it acceptable without subtitles.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
Thanks Kekid and Acquarello :D

I have been looking at BDBazar and getting excited about their DVDs for a few months now. Acquarello's experience, however, convinced me to wait until better prints come out... I dream of the day when I can watch the absence trilogy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:22 am
Okay, the good news is, I finally received my order from Calcutta Web a month after placing it, and In Search of Famine does indeed have English subs. The bad news is, the color looks washed and the hues are degraded (dark/black tones look violet, yellows look green, whites look light blue). I've set up a temporary page and posted some screen caps for reference.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:35 pm
Having bit the bullet and ordered several of these from bdbazar last week, I've just received my order (and quickly at that: arrived in 3 days via priority mail)... the news, however, is mixed. At best.
Of the Ray DVDs, SEEMABADDHA and PRAATIDWANDI look perfectly acceptable to my fairly undemanding eyes. TEEN KANYA is more or less watchable (it looks perhaps a touch worse than my old VHS copy) but with some pretty awful digital artifacts throughout (the rarely seen middle story fares worst of all, but I'm happy just to have finally seen it). But DAYS AND NIGHTS IN THE FOREST is absolutely horrible, a rolling, pixelated mess that at the 59 minute mark begins re-playing the beginning of the film.
As for the Ritwik Ghatak DVDs, THE CITIZEN looks like it was copied directly from a VCD, but again I'm happy just to have this one (and the dirt cheap price also helps ease the pain). SUBARNAREKHA looks slightly better than VCD quality but, unfortunately, it also has serious playback problems (at least on the three DVD players at my house) that begin kicking in around the 1:45 point. Maybe someday I'll find out how this one ends.
Hope my pain will prove instructive...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:32 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:22 am
Since I hadn't heard from Calcutta Web until my order arrived, I had actually placed an identical order at BDBazar, which arrived today.

The short story is, the ones from BD Bazar are definitely counterfeit. The original Ghataks and In Search of Famine DVD cases are digipaks with holograph stickers, the ones from BDBazar are clamshells with color photocopies of the cover. The would explain The Citizen DVD looking like a direct port of the VCD...it probably was (it also explains why they're using my screen capture of A River Called Titas as their cover image for the film). Anyway, buyer beware.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:55 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
Acquarello and Telstar, I really appreciate your sharing these brave sacrifices and their outcomes. I shall heed your advice.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:07 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
I have identical experience with BDBazar. The DVDs I bought from a store in Edison, NJ were legitimate versions, and generally quite good. BDBazar's web-site advertises their DVDs with graphics of these legitimate versions. However, what they shipped me looked nothing like what their graphics showed. At least one of them seems to be an illegally duplicated "Angel" version, because the image carries the forced "Angel" logo, but the jacket is not the authentic "Angel" jacket. I have written to BDBazar that I consider their practices unethical, and asked for a full refund. If they do not comply, I intend to report them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:33 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:31 am
Location: Wuppertal, Germany
Hi,

Anyone found some Mani Kaul films on dvd?

Regards,

Dennis :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:34 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
I would love to find some Mani Kaul films on DVD as well :wink:

Soooo after having a bogus appendix problem I decided to order all these movies that have been tempting me. Of course I avoided BDBazar, thanks to everyone's encouragement. The good news is that the DVDs all arrived. The great news is that one of my orders from Calcutta Web arrived in 5 days (including weekend time). The strange news is that Calcutta Web still hasn't charged my credit card. The alarming news is that Nehaflix charged my card before I even sent out my monthly statement that they asked for. The expected news is that none of the customer service is reliable. The cheering news is that the Nehaflix orders did arrive timely after they were shipped (10 days after ordering). The comforting news is that I didn't have to pay any customs charge.

The quality of Shyam Benegal's Ankur and Nishant is perfectly passable (produced by Video Sound). The films themselves are so extraordinary that I ask everyone who hasn't seen them to make immediate plans! Sky Entertainment's Mammo, also by Shyam Benegal, is remarkable in its quality, perhaps due to the age of the film. It is indeed as John Hood describes - full of "uncontrived loveliness." It is definitely one of the best human dramas I have seen, something as good as the best of Kurosawa.

Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Tahader Katha (Their Story) is really up there with the best of Tarkovsky (maybe a slight exaggeration though). The lateral tracking shots are incredibly beautiful. Like Tarkovsky, Dasgupta likes to have his camera wander off to capture the still lives of inanimate objects that are given poetic significance: swings, mirrors, puddles. Like Tarkovsky, Dasgupta likes the sound of cuckoo in the background, and the presence of wandering horses in the distant. The DVD itself (from Sky), on the other hand, is quite abyssmal. I can hardly tell what goes on in night scenes. The film runs 91 minutes, half of what the backcover promises, although according to John Hood this running time seems to be correct - at least identical to what he has seen.

Govind Nihalani's Drishti is totally Scenes from a Marriage. The male lead even looks and talks like Erland Josephson. Nihalani's compositions here are impressive, drawing out spaces that resonate with the alienation and breakdown between a couple. The interior shots, that take most of the film, are gorgeous in various light sources and the ever flowing curtains. I may like this one way more than Bergman's picture. The DVD quality, while fluctuating in colors and almost gagging near the end, is quite acceptable and superior to many others I have seen - perhaps, again, due to the film's young age.

Finally, Mrinal Sen's Ek Din Achanak is, just as acquarello wrote: "washed-out, but very watchable." Govind Nihalani's Aakrosh, on the other hand, not only looks like a VHS port but also has a compulsory logo on the top left - for the entire duration of the movie (I assume, as I haven't seen it yet). The DVD cover also contains advertisement for cell phone ring tones. Not even cell phones. Ring Tones.

More to report later. Please let me know if you want some screen caps.


Last edited by franco on Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:58 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:47 am
Location: London
Franco, I just wanted to thank you for posting the above. I'm looking forward to reading more!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:32 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
My pleasure! I wonder if Kekid minds my talking about Hindi movies in a predominantly Bengali thread :wink:

I do have a lot more to report, but shall do so when I have time. Meanwhile, allow me to express my astonishment that my 3rd order from Nehaflix was shipped 5 hours after I placed the order. No hassle. No question. Let's see if the order arrives, and if it does, whether it contains the items I ordered (and one of which is Aparna Sen's Sati! I look forward to seeing it).

More on the DVD of Ek Din Achanak: it contains compulsory trailers and commercials that run for about 5 minutes before the menu shows up. They are not even good trailers, nothing like Alliance Atlantis' The New World, or good commercials as the bikini girls for recent Shemaroo discs. I guess one can always re-author the disc with DVDShrink.

So I finished watching Aakrosh, and what a power and beautiful film it is! I also wasn't expecting Hitchcock-style suspense. The DVD quality is actually more than acceptable, with fairly consistent color, porbably slightly better than that of Video Sound discs. Nevertheless, the DVD still has its blemishes. Beside the horrible packaging, the annoying logo indeed stays on the top left corner for the entire duration of the movie. Also, about an hour into the movie, it loses its subtitles for at least 10 minutes, although the conversation seems inconsequential for the overall narrative (taking place where Amrish Puri receives a call at night from one of the card players, and subsequently when he has a conversation with Naseeruddin Shah, who expresses his frustration at some people's appalling silence).

Now, Shyam Benegal's Bhumika is a riot! Unfortunately, the film suffers much from the Video Sound DVDs poor colors. It's still watchable, but I feel that I am missing much of the gorgeous sepia photography of the flashback scenes. The Shemaroo disc might be better, although sometimes the company forgets about subtitles (as in their Mandi disc).

The DVD of In Search of Famine, on the other hand, is almost a total disaster. It's so obviously a VHS port, complete with wavy lines and fluctuations. Acquarello you are indeed generous in your assessment :)

Ritwik Ghatak's Komal Gandhar is also not looking good on the Max DVD. I haven't watched the film yet, but from what I have seen, the picture is soft, hazy, with badly defined levels of black.

On a positive note, Satyajit Ray's Mahanagar (produced by RE) looks as good as one of these Sony VHS tapes.

EDIT: If you could find Govind Nihalani's Ardh Satya on a Shemaroo disc, then I highly recommend it. Aside from the compulsory commercials (with bikini girls), the picture looks excellent in most places, except for a few damaged frames (such as the opening disco sequence).


Last edited by franco on Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
franco wrote:
My pleasure! I wonder if Kekid minds my talking about Hindi movies in a predominantly Bengali thread :wink:



Only reason I started it as a Bengali thread is that Hindi movies are avaiable easily on DVD. Finding a good version of a Bengali movie is an achievement. In any case, the originator of a thread has little control of where the thread will go on this wonderful forum. So why should this be an exception?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:04 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
Found this on Doug Cummings' blog:
http://filmjourney.weblogger.com/2005/02/01

I envy Doug. When can I ever see Uski Roti?

EDIT: Thanks Kekid. But you see, Hindi films like this one (along with those of Kumar Shahani) probably will never be released on DVD, much like the Malayalam ones. I dream for the day when I can watch Govindan Aravindan and Addor Gopalakrishnan. I agree with you though, that it's a challenge to find good copies of other Bengali films already on DVD.

I really look forward to seeing films of Aparna Sen. Would you recommend her recent work, such as 15 Park Avenue and Mr. and Mrs. Iyer?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:41 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:22 am
Regarding Aparna Sen, I liked Mr. and Mrs. Iyer a lot, although I'd still prefer her earlier films like 36 Chowringhee Lane and Sati over that one. I haven't seen the Sati DVD though, just in the theater when there was a Shabana Azmi retrospective, so I can't vouch for the quality. I like that delves deeply into social issues in one way or another through her films, whether it's class, caste, religion, or archaic tradition, without being explicitly militant. She's very much in the Ray and Benegal mold.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm
I recently saw Aparna Sen's "15 Park Avenue", and recommend it strongly. It is an intense film, and Aparna Sen has directed it with the sure hand of a master. The two lead actresses display virtuoso performances, and every supporting member of the ensemble cast is memorable. Aparna Sen is a great director of actors, and it shows. Camerawork and the spare music are appropriate for the dark theme of the film. It is a quintessential Bengali film, even though characters speak in English. See it, and wonder why Criterion has not released a single Bengali film.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:36 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
Thanks kekid and acquarello, I shall pick up these titles from my local Indian DVD stores. They happen to charge less than Nehaflix does.

I have been looking at Aparna Sen's Parama for a while. Most websites say nothing about English subtitles. Perhaps the lack of mentioning means that it really has no subtitles. What a shame! I find the premise of the film very, very intriguing.

On the other hand, I should probably pick up Yugant before its stock runs out.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:55 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
So instead of getting the DVDs I wanted, I got some kind of an answer to the subtitle mystery of the Shemaroo Mandi disc. Apparently, the company decided not to translate derogatory dialogue. First time in my life hearing such a thing! Too bad for the movie though, however unrepresentative it is for Shyam Benegal's genius. I mean, Shabana Azmi running a whorehouse? How often does one get to see that?

But now at least I have regained my faith in Shemaroo, provided that the movies contain no dirty words. I wonder if there's anything inappropriate for non-Hindi speakers in 36 Chowringhee Lane and Mr. and Mrs. Iyer that I should avoid their Shemaroo discs, otherwise I think I'll get them here, instead of getting ones from dubious labels such as Eros or Venus. Shemaroo usually offers excellent picture quality.

Nehaflix, on the other hand, is having that $5 sale again. Not a big price drop (from $6 to $5), although for such price you could get great films such as Nishant, Mammo, Bhumika, Drishti, Sati, just to name a few. 15 Park Avenue is only $12, compared to the $20 I see in stores.

EDIT: Oops, the sale just ended. I am pretty sure it comes once every month though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:38 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:34 pm
Can anyone recommend (or, does anyone know anything about) DVDs of films by Hrishikesh Muhkerjee?

I stumbled onto this name through; you guessed it, IMDB, when I looked up the director of Guru Dutt's 1964 film Sanjh Aur Savera. Several of his films are very highly regarded, particularly Anand. But, for the life of me, I can't find any more information on the web about this director.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:05 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
Well, Nehaflix carries Anand, and perhaps others as well. It is also released by Shemaroo, which might be of superior quality but is less available online.

So I compared the two releases of Bhumika and found the picture quality of the Shemaroo vastly superior. Looks like I need to double-dip on Ankur, Nishant and Bhumika now...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:08 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:32 pm
Location: Vancouver
Has anyone got the RE disc of Satyajit Ray's Devi? If the quality is as good as the other RE discs then I'll buy it, since I can't wait any longer for the Artificial Eye disc, which may never materialize.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 42 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection