It is currently Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:23 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: 203-206 The BRD Trilogy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:53 pm
Location: all up in thurr
The BRD Trilogy

Image

By the age of thirty-four, German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder had already directed nearly twenty-two feature films. In 1978, he embarked upon a project to trace the history of postwar Germany in a series of films told through the eyes of three remarkable women. Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola, and Veronika Voss—the BRD (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) Trilogy—would garner him the international acclaim he had always yearned for and place his name foremost in the canon of New German Cinema. The Criterion Collection is proud to present these films as a group for the first time ever in home video.

Criterionforum.org user rating averages



The Marriage of Maria Braun

Image

After her husband disappears in the last days of World War II, Maria uses her beauty and ambition to prosper in 1950s Germany. The first part of Fassbinder’s “postwar trilogy” is a heartbreaking character study as well as a pointed metaphorical attack on a society determined to forget its past.

Criterionforum.org user rating averages



Veronika Voss

Image

Once-beloved Third Reich–era starlet Veronika Voss lives in obscurity in postwar Munich. She meets a sportswriter, and the two develop an unlikely relationship. Based on the true story of a World War II UFA star, Veronika Voss is wicked satire disguised as 1950s melodrama.

Criterionforum.org user rating averages



Lola

Image

In Fassbinder’s satiric tribute to capitalism, Lola, a seductive cabaret singer-prostitute, launches an outrageous plan to elevate herself in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.

Criterionforum.org user rating averages



Special Features

-New high-definition digital transfers of all three films, enhanced for widescreen televisions
-I Don’t Just Want You to Love Me, a feature-length documentary of Fassbinder’s life and career
-Life Stories: A conversation with R.W. Fassbinder, a rare 45-minute interview with the director, made for German television
-Exclusive video interview with Fassbinder cinematographer Xaver Schwarzenberger
-Exclusive video conversation between Fassbinder scholar Laurence Kardish and editor Juliane Lorenz
-Audio commentary on The Marriage of Maria Braun by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and renowned filmmaker Wim Wenders
-Exclusive video interview with the star of The Marriage of Maria Braun and regular Fassbinder collaborator, Hanna Schygulla
-Video interview with Fassbinder scholar Eric Rentschler on The Marriage of Maria Braun
-Audio commentary on Veronika Voss by Fassbinder scholar Tony Rayns
-New video conversation with Veronika Voss star Rosel Zech and editor Juliane Lorenz
-Dance with Death (Tanz mit dem Tod), a one-hour portrait of UFA Studios star Sybille Schmitz, Fassbinder’s inspiration for the character Veronika Voss
-Audio commentary on Lola by Fassbinder documentarian, biographer, and friend Christian Braad Thomsen
-New video interview with Lola star Barbara Sukowa
-New video interview with Fassbinder co-screenwriter Peter Märthesheimer
-New and improved English subtitle translations for all three films
-Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer editions


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:49 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:41 pm
Location: New York City
In what order should these be watched? The spine # order (and from what I read, the chronological order) does not correspond with the year of release.

Thanks


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:27 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm
It really doesn't matter. Each film can stand on its own. My personal preference would be saving the best for last....it's Veronika Voss.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:53 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Agreed, Veronika Voss is the ideal closer, and Maria Braun should be seen first (for me, it really kicks off the whole final phase of Fassbinder's career), so that should give you the order.

While we're on this topic, I finally got through the last of the supplements recently and currently think this is Criterion's finest box-set to date, even outstripping the Cassavetes. The films are great, of course, and I find the BRD set to be better focussed, with a greater level of relevant, in-depth analysis per film.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:17 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
zedz wrote:
I finally got through the last of the supplements recently and currently think this is Criterion's finest box-set to date, even outstripping the Cassavetes. The films are great, of course, and I find the BRD set to be better focussed, with a greater level of relevant, in-depth analysis per film.


I would agree with you on it being perhaps the best multiple-film Criterion set. Cassavetes, while it turned out to be an excellent set, is a little tarnished by the Carney issue and fight surrounding it, while The Adventures of Antoine Doinel has an extensive collection of extras, but the quality of the films tail off. The BRD Trilogy does not have the same problem with lessening film quality, and the extras are wide-ranging everything from the documentaries to each film having a commentary. Having a lot of different commentators also allows for a wide range of experiences from collaborator to critic to be brought to the films.

EDIT: although I should stress that I'm glad that I can think of a boxset of all Antoine Doinel films, or the entire Orphic Trilogy and the Cassavetes box etc as disappointing, as they are still excellent releases - the BRD Trilogy is just that jump to an even higher tier.


Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:07 pm 
Coppola Killer (give us Napoleon!)
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"
from DVDBeaver:

Quote:
What would otherwise be a perfect transfer is marred by overmatting to a 1.75:1 ratio. While most films might not be affected by such cropping, this one suffers noticeably, as Michael Ballhaus's meticulous framing becomes claustrophobically tight, especially where the camera is moving, which is frequent. Note the chopped lettering of the top and bottom lines of the credits in the first screen capture.

The cover states the aspect ratio of the film as 1.66:1, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen it even that wide before. While I didn't have a ruler with me, I would estimate the film has been shown between 1.50-1.60:1 on the numerous occasions that I've seen it. (Of course, those could all be wrong and 1.66:1 could in fact be the proper ratio.) This may seem a petty complaint to some, but throughout the viewing of this DVD I couldn't help but think how wrong every scene looked, how such care could be given to the sharpness, contrast, color of the image, only to have it all undermined by such casual disregard for the framing. Perhaps as a photographer I'm oversensitive to these things, but one needn't have any formal training to realize something's amiss.

Criterion provides such a valuable service to film overs, and we hold them in such high esteem, that I fear we overlook their frequent overmatting of classic films. There's simply no excuse for it and they need to be held to a higher standard.
- Donald Brown


Unfortunately Mulvaney denied that this and Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (there are more, I believe) have been cropped. He claimed my display must not be accurate. Anyway, it's too bad.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:43 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:21 pm
Location: a long the riverrun
The following is from Julianne Lorenz, in which she confirms the correct aspect ratio for The Marriage of Maria Braun is 1.66:1.

Quote:
"The Marriage of Maria Braun" was actually shot in 1.66:1 The new digital tranfer was made by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation in Munich with Colourgrader Peter Deinas at Scan Werk directly from the original negative, as well as all the other films of the BRD Trilogy and all the other releases at fantomas and Wellspring. You should also know: The Foundation has all the original negatives and knows about the correct ratios, so do the cameramen, some were present at the restorations, or at least had a look at the result. Only the early film's cameraman Dietrich Lohmann, who died a few years ago, could not be present. But the editor of Mr. Fassbinder early films - Thea Eymesz - replaced him and so we were able to have her knowledge as well.

So why did Criterion see fit to overmatte it at 1.75:1? They don't even acknowledge the cropping at all, even though anyone can measure the proportions of the image area.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:15 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Does anybody know whether the 'narrator' on the commentary of Maria Braun is Robb Webb (of Fishing with John notoriety). He sounds so similar that it's really off-putting. I keep expecting the guy to ask for a bite of my sandwich or something.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:31 am
I posted this in the Vampyr thread, thought it would be of interest here, too.

Website dedicated to Sybille Schmitz.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: Boston MA
Donald Brown wrote:
The following is from Julianne Lorenz, in which she confirms the correct aspect ratio for The Marriage of Maria Braun is 1.66:1.

Quote:
"The Marriage of Maria Braun" was actually shot in 1.66:1 The new digital tranfer was made by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation in Munich with Colourgrader Peter Deinas at Scan Werk directly from the original negative, as well as all the other films of the BRD Trilogy and all the other releases at fantomas and Wellspring. You should also know: The Foundation has all the original negatives and knows about the correct ratios, so do the cameramen, some were present at the restorations, or at least had a look at the result. Only the early film's cameraman Dietrich Lohmann, who died a few years ago, could not be present. But the editor of Mr. Fassbinder early films - Thea Eymesz - replaced him and so we were able to have her knowledge as well.

So why did Criterion see fit to overmatte it at 1.75:1? They don't even acknowledge the cropping at all, even though anyone can measure the proportions of the image area.

I wonder if anyone can explain Ms. Lorenz' explanation? I'm probably laboring under a misunderstanding, but I did not think that films are "shot 1.66:1" and that the original negatives could reveal this. I have always thought that 1.66:1 films are shot on 1.33:1 (and generally "protected" for other ratios) and then matted either for the print or even by the projectionist. Is there in fact a method by which films are "shot 1.66:1" right onto the negative?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:38 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:31 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC
does anyone know if there was a soundtrack to lola or if any audio files exist of any of the music? I'm dying to have an audio file of that song Lola sings near the beginning and also the song from the opening credits.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:21 pm
Location: a long the riverrun
Rich, she surely meant 1.66:1 is the correct aspect ratio, not that it was actually captured on the negative as such. As you correctly note, the image would be matted from a fully exposed frame.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:52 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 2:22 am
Location: This almost empty gin palace
Not necessarily. If the film in question was shot on Super-16, that camera/shooting method is said to produce a native aspect ratio approximating 1.66. I suppose this means that it is hard-matted in the viewfinder and the camera gate. In the majority of cases, the methodology is to shoot open matte and make allowances in shooting for different soft-mattes to be applied in projection and/or the lab (as you suggested).

It should be noted that I am not sure whether or not these films originated on 16 or 35 (and I don't have the set to check). Fassbinder does seem like someone who would be drawn to the lighter set-up that 16mm would afford...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:18 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack
Christian Braad Thomsen's book provides substantial details for all of Fassbinder's productions, including the film stock used; it lists 35mm for all three features in the BRD set. It looks like Fassbinder mostly used 16mm for his TV productions.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:54 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:54 pm
I just read on Facebook that these films are now OOP. Skeptical (considering the source), I checked Criterion's website, which confirms that this is true. Surely Criterion would have issued a statement if they had they lost the rights; since there were some issues with the original transfer of Maria Braun, perhaps the set is being re-issued on DVD as well as upgraded to blu (as with Solaris and Rules of the Game). I hesitate to call it a "trend," but with this recent practice of re-releasing already "acceptable" editions of films (later spine numbers with seemingly adequate supplements and presentations), along with the announcement of Fanny & Alexander, this does not seem so far-fetched.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:57 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: sd, ca
It probably is just a case of them being upgraded though worse comes to worse the UK DVDs are probably the better option anyway.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:49 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL
It seems like we're all familiar with this sad dance by now, where something gets listed as OOP, and we all say "well maybe they're just..." and then it turns out to be actually OOP.

Interestingly, though, Lola is not as of right now listed as OOP on the Criterion site, while the other two titles and the box are. So maybe we'll be seeing that upgraded and the other two go bye-bye, more or less like The Orphic Trilogy.


Last edited by Brian C on Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:28 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:54 pm
Good catch on Lola, Brian, I hadn't noticed that. It's certainly possible that they've lost the other two films, but it seems weird: Maria Braun and Veronika Voss are both licensed from Fox Lorber/Wellspring (while Lola is from a German distributor), but none of the other Wellspring titles (Yi Yi, the Truffaut and Rohmer boxes) are appearing OOP (indicating that this is not a small-scale Studio Canal scenario). Even if Wellspring did reclaim just these films, why wouldn't they take Fear Eats the Soul as well? It would also be strange for Wellspring to have lost the right to license them (as with Hard Boiled, The Killer, and Ran), as, I believe, all Fassbinder releases are coordinated through the Fassbinder Foundation. Hopefully we'll know soon, but it would be a real shame if these films actually are leaving the collection.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:01 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL
Wellspring doesn't exist anymore, do they? I thought they died and the rights they held got scattered to the winds. I'm pretty certain they're not credited as licensor on the new Yi Yi Blu-ray.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:05 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Location: sd, ca
You'd be right. My copy doesn't mention Wellspring anywhere.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:34 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:54 pm
Good news! I emailed Criterion and received this reply:

Quote:
Thank you for your email and question.
There will be a new release in the future of Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy, but we unsure when it will be available.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns, and thank you for supporting Criterion!
Best,
Jon Mulvaney


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:39 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:10 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
There will be a new release in the future of Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy, but we unsure when it will be available.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns, and thank you for supporting Criterion!
Best,
Jon Mulvaney

Sweet. I'll hold out until then. I never finished watching the whole set before I lost it.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 

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