Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Discuss DVDs released in the Eclipse and Essential Art House lines and the films on them.
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hammock
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#201 Post by hammock » Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:36 am

Found this review on Amazon with an extensive discription of the packing and other details:

This is certainly the most remarkable collection of films to come out in one DVD package. And I would really like to thank Criterion for overpricing their DVDs so much that I had very little overlap with my existing library, having passed on most of their editions of these films. Here are a few observations that might be of use to potential buyers:
1) the widescreen movies are anamorphic
2) Haxen is 104 min, substantially longer than the 77 min version that has shown on premium cable.
3) I compared the Janus versions of two films, Wages of Fear and Seven Samurai, with the Criterion versions I had. I expected them to be identical (figuring that Criterion probably did the work for Janus) but they were considerably different. In both cases, the Janus copies were amazingly superior: much better (and louder)sound, crisper images with fewer defects, much better definition in shadowy areas, and a much more stable image. I never realized how poor the Criterion prints were until I saw the comparison. It's amazing the psychological effect of all that. In both cases, I was strongly tempted to continue watching the whole film with Janus, and found the Criterion copy 'tiring'. The translations also differed, with Janus having fewer errors (e.g. Samurai's "the rice we're eating now" v.s. "the rice we're eating, how"). I cannot wait to watch the rest of these films.
3. I could detect no difference between Anchor Bay's and Janus's Kind Hearts and Coronets.
4. The print of Lady Vanishes is the clearest I've seen. The el cheapo Brentwood print, in their Hitchcock collection, is unwatchable.
5. The one really bad aspect of the collection is that the DVDs are wedged tightly into paper slots. Every single disc was covered with tiny flecks of paper, and every disc was scratched, sometimes quite badly (but not enough to affect playback, I think). Whether this occurred putting the disc in, or taking it out, I can't say. However, repeating this process would rapidly damage the surface. I put all the discs into individual cases, and I STRONGLY recommend doing so. Some of the discs felt like they were glued to the page, the packaging was so tight. If you are a real fanatic about surface defects, and don't plan on reselling the set, you might even want to use a razor to cut the paper and LIFT the disc out. Whatever you do, don't rotate the disc as you try to unstick it or you may get a spiralling defect.
Despite that caveat, this is an incredible bargain - less than $12 per film instead of $30 for Criterion's. That makes those commentaries pretty bloody expensive.
One can only hope Janus will put out another 50 movies (hopefully in individual cases, though).

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Ashirg
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#202 Post by Ashirg » Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:42 am

He cleary compared to old versions of Wages of Fear and Seven Samurai.

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miless
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#203 Post by miless » Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:10 pm

Ashirg wrote:He cleary compared to old versions of Wages of Fear and Seven Samurai.
and he is obviously not aware of the Criterion version of The Lady Vanishes

Nothing
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#204 Post by Nothing » Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:21 am

SncDthMnky wrote:Eclipse isn't for cult films anymore.
Well okay... Fires on the Plain is neither cult nor second tier.

Btw, there has been a decent English-subtitled DVD of Le Jour se lève out in France for years. The film itself is pretty minor, anyway.

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Matt
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#205 Post by Matt » Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:11 pm

Nothing wrote:Btw, there has been a decent English-subtitled DVD of Le Jour se Leve out in France for years. The film itself is pretty minor, anyway.
:shock: oooooookay....

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kinjitsu
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#206 Post by kinjitsu » Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:57 pm

Matt wrote:
Nothing wrote:Btw, there has been a decent English-subtitled DVD of Le Jour se lève out in France for years. The film itself is pretty minor, anyway.
:shock: oooooookay....
Oh, and that lead actor is second-rate, too.
Last edited by kinjitsu on Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nothing
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#207 Post by Nothing » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:32 pm

By that rationale, MEET THE FOCKERS is an instant classic...

But really, if it wasn't Carne/Gabin, would anyone care? It's a pretty ludicrous, overwrought film, especially in comparison to Renoir's work of the period.

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kinjitsu
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#208 Post by kinjitsu » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:01 pm

Nothing wrote:By that rationale, MEET THE FOCKERS is an instant classic...
Have you actually seen Jour se lève?

Meet the Fockers is a masterpiece, so don't even go there...

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Tribe
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#209 Post by Tribe » Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:29 am

From today's NY Times:

New DVDs: Formidable 50: A DVD Collection Drawn From the Janus Vaults

In 1909 P. F. Collier & Son published a 50-volume set of the world's great literature as chosen by Charles William Eliot, the president of Harvard. For the ambitious, go-getting Americans of the time, always eager to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, the collection became an immediate success, and Mr. Eliot's “five-foot shelfâ€

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david hare
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#210 Post by david hare » Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:46 am

I just love it when people come on in and wanna talk about real FAIR FRENCHIE PERVERT movies. (this whole shit reminds me of Altman in his last movie, so fine...)

Well I guess Gabin is just a piece of shit in the Carnes. Or maybe the Carnes are just shit anyhow.

What the fuck you know or understand about Gabin or Carne or France of the forties and fifties? I'm totally bored having to talk to fuckwits like you.

Tell them some time. Maybe not. Certainly not me.

or I will...

anyhow, maybe you're the new choice dick.

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#211 Post by Cinesimilitude » Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:00 am

davidhare wrote:youre the new choice dick
He's no TechNoir.

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david hare
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#212 Post by david hare » Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:05 am

Yer right!

Nothing
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#213 Post by Nothing » Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:00 pm

That was, erm, coherent :|

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david hare
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#214 Post by david hare » Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:54 pm

Balls!

If youre going to make broad sweeping statements back them up with argument.

Or doesnt that count on this forum anymore?

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Mr Sausage
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#215 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:04 pm

davidhare wrote:Balls!

If youre going to make broad sweeping statements back them up with argument.

Or doesnt that count on this forum anymore?
Well, I think part of the problem may be that the severity of your response doesn't really seem warranted by Nothing's tame, if misguided, posts. People are going to look for something far more provoking to match your response and, not finding much, might be confused, as though some post were left out.

Actually I was pretty confused too, back before some nice person put all of your posts together.

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david hare
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#216 Post by david hare » Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:48 pm

So we dont care that posters just make broad statements, never choose to argue their points and swan off to the next subject or target.

And the "severity" of my responses I suppose is in proportion to the simple mindedness of others' "harmless" baiting.

Thus it's preferable to politely ignore the silliness and forget about any sort of response. God forbid any real passion for the subject might color the tone of the reply (not to mention a couple of stiff ones.)

Over at a_film_by, when REAL drama erupts between members (the recent thebrad and Worrall "form and ideology" skirmish being a classic) the rest of the site remains constantly interesting and challenging.

I really dont care any more. I used to get a lot out of the forum, and I hope I put a fair bit in. These days, actually since Matt relinquished the proprietorship, the whole place seems to be largely swimming in generalizations and cover art tragedies. While the forum was never solely intended as a cinephile haven it certainly became one of the best and most interesting places on the web for securing and engaging in serious film discussion - a nice take off from the basic brief it began with. There are still people here I read with great dedication and affection. But there's just too much twaddle .

Everything changes of course.

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tryavna
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#217 Post by tryavna » Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:09 pm

I've found that, like most forums, this one has lulls every now and again. Remember, it was really only a few weeks ago that the Abel Gance thread was humming, and there have been some interesting posts in the Boutique section lately -- not to mention the conversation John Cope and Gregory have been carrying on in the Oliveira thread. Perhaps the Eclipse news and things like the general Warner announcement for '07 have made a larger number of recent posts about speculation rather than anything else.

Sorry, I don't mean to turn this into a "state-of-the-forum" thread, but there are still some nice nuggets to be found throughout the forum.

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Mr Sausage
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#218 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:24 pm

davidhare wrote:So we dont care that posters just make broad statements, never choose to argue their points and swan off to the next subject or target.
Where did I, or anyone else, say that? Nowhere that I can see.
davidhare wrote:And the "severity" of my responses I suppose is in proportion to the simple mindedness of others' "harmless" baiting.
Hostility can be no less simple-minded, whatever side you are on. Matt handled this issue reasonably some posts ago, there is no reason why you cannot do the same. Nothing was not pulling a Barmy; his "baiting" was merely an off-the-cuff remark, ill-advised as I said, but for the most part harmless.
davidhare wrote:Thus it's preferable to politely ignore the silliness and forget about any sort of response. God forbid any real passion for the subject might color the tone of the reply (not to mention a couple of stiff ones.)
You do like to invent arguments to justify your actions. The problem with this argument is it assumes there are only two ways to handle this: to ignore it, or to become rude and harsh. That is not so, and other board members have demonstrated it.

If this were Barmy I could understand your rage, but frankly it just seems excessive here.
davidhare wrote:I really dont care any more. I used to get a lot out of the forum, and I hope I put a fair bit in. These days, actually since Matt relinquished the proprietorship, the whole place seems to be largely swimming in generalizations and cover art tragedies. While the forum was never solely intended as a cinephile haven it certainly became one of the best and most interesting places on the web for securing and engaging in serious film discussion - a nice take off from the basic brief it began with. There are still people here I read with great dedication and affection. But there's just too much twaddle .
I've never found it convincing when a clearly angry, impassioned person says that they do not care.

It's too bad you're dissapointed in the forum; you are one of the better posters on this thing. But forums fluctuate, and there was an equal if not greater amount of generalizations and cover-art tragedies in Matt's day as there are now. Matt didn't hand over the forum for no reason.

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david hare
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#219 Post by david hare » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:49 pm

You're tacitly endorsing this, by virtue of your light dismissal of Nothing's post as "off the cuff", when in fact the forum has - obviously unenforecable - guidleines about blanket statements including the need to argue your point.

I should of course choose the very wise Andre option and simply block out people like Nothing, or simply choose not to acknowledge their posts. For some strange reason, though when people make outlandish statements on an area of film that interests me they make me angry. I simply cant explain why. Must be the colonial genes.

Perhaps you could offer instruction on this "third path" to handle stupid posts, perhaps the "gently admonishing" form? Or maybe the "studied weariness" pose. No these dont really work for me. I prefer the Andre option.

But I'll be terribly good and rush back to the Prozac cabinet and pretend Im British.

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HerrSchreck
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#220 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:10 am

Just let it blow over Dave (I recall how you'd publicly appeal to my more civilzed side from time to time when some wonk would get under my skin and my brain would start shortcircuiting sparks & frying pan splats, so maybe can do the same for you here). So the kid thinks Carne is blah & JOUR SE LEVE is overrated. You been thru worse (someone say "bourgoise fans of Malle"?) & come out unvarnished, so let this little bubble pop pop. Aint worth it my friend. And watch the spirits' response to grain spirits.

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david hare
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#221 Post by david hare » Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:32 am

I'll stick to the crack pipe, Schreck.

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HerrSchreck
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#222 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:44 am

Even me, a cut & dry hetero, knows that you probably like a stiff drink while sticking your pipe inta crack Dave.

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david hare
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#223 Post by david hare » Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:35 am

Well.... I like a pipe sticking me while I crack a stiff drink. I mean I like to drink a stiff, oh never mind.

In Lina Lamont voice "GIRLFIREND. shut up!!!!"

Nothing
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#224 Post by Nothing » Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:06 am

Hmm... it's been 5 years since I saw the film and I remember being disappointed. It is hard to go in-depth, since I currently have no desire to watch the film again - and none of the supporters of the film have given me any reason or argument for why I should do so, either. Not sure what 40s and 50s French cinema has to do with this, btw.

Personally, I cannot help but view this in light of the Red Desert thread in which Mr. Hare was proved categorically wrong by myself, after having accused me of all sorts of bizarre agendas. Fine - "block out" my posts and continue to believe that you're always right.

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david hare
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#225 Post by david hare » Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:49 am

The only thing you might do is watch the movie again. But if you've decided that's a waste of time then that's a waste of time.

I would have directed a reasonable person to some threads in the International section, in particular the French cinema material like the Gremillon thread, some threads elsewhere on pre war Renoir, ("Bete Humaine" under Criterion section or "Toni" under the MoC section) and the general "Tradition of Quality" thread which was largely powered up by some very interesting Euro posters. But in fact the Carne title is not mentioned anywhere there in great detail, indeed you'ld have to go to relevant literature like Dudley Andrew's Mists of Regret and other books, most of them in French only, to piece together any critically responsive history for Carne and Prevert, certainly in revisionist terms. In any case I don't think there is much more posted here other than a consensus about Carne's and Prevert's role in Poetic Realism, with specifically enthusiasm expressed by me, Kinsayder, Scharphedin and Schreck among others for the prewar and forties movies.

But that's entirely up to you. If you don't like 'em you don't like 'em.

As for Red Desert I gratefully replied affitmatively after you were good enough to attach the sound bites. Along with others I don't feel as bothered by the soundtrack as you, but it's always worthwhile pointing up difficiencies, whether they're in the DVD or the transfer or the source elements. I have been doing this far too often recently.It's depressing.

The forum isnt a computer game where people are scoring points - it's a place where people can discuss something they care about seriously. If youre gunna discuss come prepared.

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