443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de...

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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peerpee
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#226 Post by peerpee » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:24 pm

I think we can be sure that these Criterion discs will be free of any motion problems, and that's a huge bonus, considering the one Second Sight Ophuls (I forget which offhand) which I ditched as unwatchable due to awful motion problems.

Furthermore, all these Criterion caps posted in this thread are only 640 pixels wide, instead of 720. The Second Sight grabs are native 768 PAL, so the Criterion might look a tad better at 720. I was expecting a much more noticeable improvement though, maybe there was a problem obtaining elements?

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#227 Post by david hare » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:29 pm

It must have been Madame de, and I agree there should be no standards conversion or compression issues.

I've been talking to someone offline about this who is comprehensively knowledgeable about the print sources available and I think almost certainly the higher native rez and the brightness and/or contrast boosting on the SS are accounting for the perceptually "better" image. In some instances the SS discs are burdened by the boosting - in Madame de for instance (and this on top of the intractable motion problem) the walk by the seaside has been so contrast boosted the scene which should look almost monochromatic is way too dark.

I also understand SS are stuck with the existing UCLA print of Caught (used by Wildside) for their release, which is disappointing to say the least.

The Crit La Ronde DOES look good, and the image is generally less dark than the long version SBS print which was obviously newly struck in 1992.

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#228 Post by Morgan Creek » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:14 am

davidhare wrote: I've been talking to someone offline about this who is comprehensively knowledgeable about the print sources available and I think almost certainly the higher native rez and the brightness and/or contrast boosting on the SS are accounting for the perceptually "better" image. In some instances the SS discs are burdened by the boosting - in Madame de for instance (and this on top of the intractable motion problem) the walk by the seaside has been so contrast boosted the scene which should look almost monochromatic is way too dark.
The SS discs' being "burdened by the boosting" can also be seen in the loss of detail - notice the pattern on the jewel chest in the first comparison, or in the second, the tartan lap robe or the baseboard of the bed.

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#229 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:34 pm


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#230 Post by Florinaldo » Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:44 pm

Interesting exchanges relative the respective quality of the two competing Ophüls editions.

Despite the reservations expressed towards the Criterion, I am still buying them because Second Sight commits the cardinal sin of using burned-in subtitles (there is no menu option for turning them off, a dead giveaway, and my 2 zone-free players could not make them go away either). I can be confident at least that they did not burn-in subtitles for the newly released Caught.

When the Criterion details were announced about 2 months ago, I decided to keep the SS for the non-repeated extras. And the ones unique to Criterion are enticing enough. Something I cannot say about the forthcoming SS edition of La Ronde.
Last edited by Florinaldo on Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#231 Post by reno dakota » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:34 pm

Beaver on Madame de...

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#232 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:00 pm

I'm confused, the Criterion looks boosted, not the Second Sight

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#233 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:55 pm

I feel like a tool and I'm going to buy the Criterions.

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#234 Post by denti alligator » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:02 pm

The Criterion Madame de... looks significantly better (from those caps), and probably more so in motion. The SS looks like it's been edge enhanced or something. It has that artificial digitial look. Ugh.

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#235 Post by jsteffe » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:18 pm

domino harvey wrote:I'm confused, the Criterion looks boosted, not the Second Sight
Some of the Second Sight caps from Madame de... indeed look darker, but that's an issue with brightness levels in general and not necessarily contrast boosting.

The clearest example of actual contrast boosting is in Beaver's second pair of screen caps, depicting Danielle Darrieux sitting in front of the mirror. The Criterion has a smoother range of grays. Notice how in the Second Sight cap her hair is darker, but the highlights elsewhere in the frame are brighter, even burnt-out. That's contrast boosting in action--it exaggerates the contrast in the image and as a result reduces the middle range of grays. The highlights in the Criterion screen cap are still there, but they're more subtle and not nearly as harsh.

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#236 Post by Senya » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:07 pm

Couple of screenshots from the Spanish R2 release (http://dvd.es/dvd/La%20ronda/Analisis/2 ... 20239.html).

Image
Image

P.S. CC isn't bad but it could be better.

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#237 Post by david hare » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:05 am

I hate to say this but the Spanish disc looks - wait for it - brightness boosted.

So far, without having the Criterion in my hands yet it looks like the Crit Madame de is a clear winner, but I personally think I prefer the SS Le Plaisir, and it's a case of wait and see for La Ronde. I cant imagine they had a different print to work from. In any case I've ordered the Crit La Ronde so that's that really for my credit card's sake. Meanwhile maybe Crit can look at Reckless Moment and Caught next year when they're doing Lola Montes. The SS Moment is very good indeed, but the Wildisde Caught (and I understand the forthcoming SS) are both weak telecines.

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#238 Post by Senya » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:01 am

davidhare wrote:I hate to say this but the Spanish disc looks - wait for it - brightness boosted.
Yes, but not too much for me (it's close enough to what I saw on the big screen). On the other side it's sharper, provides more details and doesn't have the pictureboxing "feature".

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#239 Post by kaujot » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:37 pm

DVDTalk on La Ronde.

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#240 Post by Finch » Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:48 am

Slant finds CC's LA RONDE "a somewhat disappointing package" but their reviews for LE PLAISIR and EARRINGS... are raves. Guess I'll wait till Beaver has caps up for the Second Sight of LA RONDE before I take the plunge on either disc.

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#241 Post by cdnchris » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:27 am


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#242 Post by reaky » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:54 am

Thanks for the reviews, Chris. I'm delighted, as I'm sure are many of my fellow R2ers, to learn that MADAME DE is streets ahead of the other Criterions, since it was the only one of the Second Sight editions that was subpar and needed upgrading. I can also vouch for the quality of the Second Sight LA RONDE. Pricey double-dipping averted, then.

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#243 Post by Jonathan S » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:42 am

reaky wrote: I can also vouch for the quality of the Second Sight LA RONDE.
If you've read the reviews of the Criterion LA RONDE (some linked above), would you say Second Sight's is from the same damaged master? The Digitally Obsessed review of the Criterion, for instance, complains of
some awful image problems in the last half hour of the film—a series of vertical squiggly lines dance about the right side of the frame for great periods, and it's intensely distracting.
I notice from reviews that the Criterion runs 93 minutes, previously indicated as 97 minutes. So there is now no length discrepancy (after accounting for PAL speed-up) with the Second Sight at 89 minutes.

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#244 Post by reaky » Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:56 am

Squiggly lines present and correct - seems to be from the same print.

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#245 Post by Jonathan S » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:19 am

reaky wrote:Squiggly lines present and correct - seems to be from the same print.
Thanks. Apart from the few and brief additional extras offered by the Criterion (both releases have the commentary and Alan Williams interview), it sounds like there isn't much to choose between these releases, though I'd still like to see an image comparison. I'm hoping the Second Sight might be a little sharper than the Criterion which appears to be unusually soft by their standards.

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#246 Post by Florinaldo » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:00 pm

Speaking of La Ronde:
Jonathan S wrote:Apart from the few and brief additional extras offered by the Criterion (both releases have the commentary and Alan Williams interview),
An interview with Marcel Ophüls and another one with the usually excellent and charming Daniel Gélin are certainly nothing to sneer at as far extras go. And the Ophüls Criterion do not have burned-in subs (I must sound like a broken record on this point).

Well, my copy is in the mail and should reach me Monday; I'll see then if that "softness" is really the deal-breaker others seem to think it is. I know I will start with this one since it has been out of circulation for quite some time, while the other two popped up once in a while.

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#247 Post by Jonathan S » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:30 am

Florinaldo wrote:An interview with Marcel Ophüls and another one with the usually excellent and charming Daniel Gélin are certainly nothing to sneer at as far extras go.
I must admit I'll miss the Daniel Gélin interview but I'd probably sneer at Marcel for all of his six minutes due to his suppression of the longer cut of La Ronde and the German restoration of Lola Montes!

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#248 Post by rohmerin » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:57 pm

a 105 minutes, but sadly it's a Castilian dubbed version, is avalaible on the e*ule.

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#249 Post by Svevan » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:14 pm

Received Madame De... in the mail yesterday, have never seen the film before, and just finished watching it. It reminded me in some ways of Scorsese's Age of Innocence (Scorsese indulges in long tracking shots quite a bit in that one, but not nearly as many as Ophuls) as well as Evelyn Waugh's novel A Handful of Dust with regard to marriage, divorce, and the injustice of 19th century morality in a "modern" world. I loved the DVD supplement of the novelist Vilmorin totally ragging on the film: it had me in stitches! I'd probably be upset about all the changes too, but I can't believe her contempt extends all the way to calling the film boring.

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#250 Post by Tom Peeping » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:14 pm

I watched the de Vilmorin supplement today too and had a blast. Louise de Vilmorin (a grande dame & excentric who was the longtime mistress of André Malraux, french Minister of Culture, who then move on to her own niece, Sophie de Vilmorin) reminded me so much of Coco Chanel in this interview: an aristocratic free-thinker, a socialite artist and a total mysoginist. The way she trashes Ophuls' and Achard's adaptation of her short story is priceless.

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