6 Audition/Talent Competition

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Second Run and the films on them.
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#1 Post by Matt » Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:42 pm

Audition/Talent Competition


Konkurs is Milos Forman's debut film and launched what became known internationally as the Czech New Wave. Although made as two separate 'featurettes', the style and themes were very similar and they were released as one film. Konkurs is important as the first work of a world-renowned director because it clearly shows the beginnings of the style and pre-occupations prominent in many of Forman's subsequently acclaimed films including Loves of a Blonde, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus.

"Milos Forman's debut.... and a wonderful film" - Time Out

Special Features

• Digitally re-mastered with restored image and sound.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Booklet featuring new Essay on the film by writer/broadcaster Phillip Bergson


#2 Post by solent » Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:55 am

If Secondrun can release this then let's hope for a better version of BLACK PETER. [Avoid the Facets version.] Then we can have all of Forman's major Czech works on DVD.

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#3 Post by Brian Oblivious » Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:17 pm

What, specifically, are the problems with the Facets Black Peter?

I hope somebody releases Taking Off one of these days. Forman actually refers to it as his "last Czech film" in his autobiography because he was still a resident of Czechoslovakia when it was made.

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#4 Post by ben d banana » Sun Aug 07, 2005 4:37 pm

Brian Oblivious wrote:What, specifically, are the problems with the Facets Black Peter?
It looks like a dodgy video, shitty scrolling subs and loads of unsubbed dialogue were my problems, never mind the price for such quality. I'm happy to have seen it, but sold it off immediately in hopes of a version I'd want to rewatch.


#5 Post by solent » Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:17 pm

The subs are the same as on PEARLS OF THE DEEP & VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS, badly timed and sparse [Check the review of PEARLS on Amazon]. As to other problems read Beaver's BLACK PETER review:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReview ... kpeter.htm

I have a VHS copy of BLACK PETER taped from SBS-TV so I'm happy for now but I did buy the above two DVDs which are two of the worst quality discs in my collection.


#6 Post by solent » Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:28 pm

This film is very amusing and interesting to watch. What it made me realise is of how in tune to the young person's perspective Forman was prior to BLACK PETER. In AUDITION we have a concentrated focus on the behaviour of teenagers and of how they learn to act and react in relation to both their peers and the adults they encounter. With BLCK PETER & LOVES OF A BLONDE the focus is spread across other areas, age groups and characters and is more deeply rooted in fiction. The fiction in AUDITION is still there but it is incidental. Many faces of the Czech new wave are in evidence but watch for the girl who lies to her boss. When she is exposed and berated her response is typical of Forman: lowered eyes, silence, etc. After the adult finishes she does what any self-respecting teenager would - she covers her lie with another (better?) lie!

The edited sequence of singing girls is one of the funniest sequences I have seen in a good while.

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#7 Post by Bikey » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:10 am

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#8 Post by zedz » Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:06 am

It took me a while to get around to watching this. It's another so-so transfer from Second Run for which I'm pathetically grateful, as this is a fascinating and valuable film. It really is a film of two halves: two longish shorts, vaguely linked. The first, days in the lives of two rival bands, is brimming with personality, but never really comes into focus as a narrative; the second, which follows the participants of a huge, unruly audition, is superb. Its narrative is simple (two parallel threads of disappointment), but expertly camouflaged within amazingly discursive documentary material.

Both films are especially notable as early experiments in 'mockumentary': much of what we see is apparently documentary footage of real amateurs striving amateurishly (and passionately), through which Forman weaves delicate strands of narrative (the stories of the main characters). It's messy but moving, and an instructive precursor of the great features that followed.

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#9 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:17 am

solent wrote: After the adult finishes she does what any self-respecting teenager would - she covers her lie with another (better?) lie!
Yes, but also the adult shows himself to be a fool asking her how her audition went just after he has finished threatening her with her job for going! I think anyone would lie in that instance, just to keep a little dignity, even if it was not a very convincing lie! The boss also shows himself to be rather foolish for believing that she would have come back if she had been chosen! Of course he could also know this and just be asking her to humilitate her and push her immediately into lying to him again (so he always has some misedemeanour to hold over her)!

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#10 Post by zedz » Mon May 01, 2006 1:02 am

This is a hell of an infectious film. A friend described a movie they had once seen which sounded quite a bit like this one (an Eastern European audition for singers), so I put on a section so that they could see if this was it. It turns out it wasn't (I'm wondering now if it might have been Lindsay Anderson's The Singing Lesson), but we were all so captivated we had to watch it through until the end. Forman has a brilliant knack for engaging immediate emotional involvement: there's no distance, no condescension.

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#11 Post by MichaelB » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:30 pm

I've just submitted screengrabs of the Czech Filmexport Home Video DVD of BLACK PETER, so that DVD Beaver link is now a comparative review.

The Filmexport edition isn't the best transfer I've seen (the source print has quite a bit of damage, and the picture is more grey-and-grey than black-and-white), but it's leagues ahead of the Facets disc - not least for its optional, properly synchronised English subtitles.

(Sadly, these only accompany the main feature, which is a shame as there are loads of extras, some of which look fascinating).

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