684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

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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zedz
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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#201 Post by zedz » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:43 pm

Thanks twbb. Beyzaie in his interview doesn't seem to acknowledge that reading of the ending at all, so I was worried I might be overanalyzing it.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#202 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:57 pm

I'll be curious to dive into the extras myself once my set arrives next month, since it seems from Chris' review that the interview gets into how the film functions as a pre-revolution analysis.

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#203 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:18 pm

Lucía

The jarring juxtaposition between the shooting style in the aristocratic safe spaces of knitting circles and the grimy streets of political conflict sets the stage for this diverse technical and narrative kaleidoscope of schemas for how feminine agency clashes with the tides of history, using three women -connected only by a name- to transplant audiences into their feverish experiences. This kind of film is not new in broad terms, especially the first story of attempting to harness love amidst a formidable sociopolitical conflict that suffocates this chance at escaping the cultural tides. However, Solás takes a novel approach by treating these existential plights with stylistically loose but frenetic frameworks, and using all the possibilities of the medium to demonstrate the distressing subjectivity inherent when attempting to exert individualism against a collective mass.

In the first story, one high-society woman describes an incident of assault from a gossipy stance and the images of her jolly enthusiasm with the experimental chaos of the imagined incident is an acute exhibition of emotional disorder that reflects contrary responses on several characters in the scene. The very next scene grounds us to a (very briefly) austere romantic encounter followed by the woman’s liberating joy translated into freewheeling technical passion, the camera swooping around the room in an exercise that seems to have inspired Malick’s entire vision of the world. Thankfully there are another two and a half hours to go of equally compelling examples of formalism inciting drama.

The first story, which takes up nearly half of the film, is far and away my favorite. We get battle sequences that evoke Chimes at Midnight and Marketa Lazarova's brilliance in a similarly tumultuous style, and Solás makes a choice to film the aftermath of a particularly devastating trauma feature blown-out lighting to mimic a dissociative state, of consciousness dissipating from societal familiarities into depersonalization, triggering a final emotional act of fatalistic impulsive ferocity.

The second story’s romance/political blend is established through a more secure technical formula, but quickly dissolves into psychological phantasmagoria (there is a party scene that feels exactly like the battle scene in the first part!) and elicits a New Wave feel. The smothering close shots and attentive editing give it an alternative shade of equivalent intimacy as the first. The violence is also very destabilizing and dynamically presented with zooms and cross-cutting in ways that accentuate the political movement’s non-violent passionate expressions in simpatico with the violent demonstrations. This woman makes a different choice here to remain complacent with the participation in the aggressive political climate, but her fate remains the same- destined to lose her will’s focus against fatalistic macro-ethos.

The third story was the least interesting on the surface, but I respect its purpose to the entire composite and the ending is terrifically ambiguous.
SpoilerShow
Here we are given the privilege of a surrogate who is the one woman who doesn't lose her man to death, but instead faces similarly tragic loss due to the helpless need to assert her agency against the socially normative patriarchal and culturally-supported nationalist-hierarchal position he holds. No longer is the challenge against a nebulous and ominous cause, but of that force personified in the romantic partner himself! The physical struggle on the beach is deeply startling from a subjective angle, but it's the change-up to an objective framing from the perspective of a child that informs us of its power, its humble place in history, and prompts us to reflect on the implications for a brighter future.

After several intensely intimate tales of tragedy that felt like the whole world revolved around this singular life we were following, only to move onto the next one unveiling both uniqueness and historical repetition, we are reminded that this is an ongoing process. We are reminded that progress has been made in our capacity and willingness to engage with our milieu, for women to find the language and tools to self-actualize without violence or silence, and that progress will continue, as will the conflict between what we need on a personal level and the dynamic shifts in our environmental current. The child's laugh can be seen as indirect information, confirming a happy resolve between the couple, unseen by us. It can also be emblematic of the minimization of this conflict as the last conflict, negating its supreme worth and optimistically hoping for, and affirming, a future where this child and countless others will grow up to self-actualize and assert their agencies under different conditions, some of them not doomed to tragedy though all of them- just like any full life- will be partially comprised of tragedy within their more comprehensive stories.

The refusal to show us the fight's solution with finality holds out this hope by communicating that this story is not defined as a tragedy, because we do not see the end. This recontextualizes all we've seen before, like a residual punchline built upon the withering of our hope, to suppose that all of these stories were not finalized by the frames of the filmmaker and are more holistic than we've been granted access to.. at least that's how I interpreted it. Never has a brutal fight on a beach, the camera removing me from the comforts of subjectivity I've enjoyed for three hours, given such a powerfully optimistic perspective, inserting meaning and new outlooks to examine what I had been blind to all along.

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zedz
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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#204 Post by zedz » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:40 pm

Personally, I think the first episode is styled after Glauber Rocha. Though he's become something of a lost cultural reference nowadays, he would have been a central figure for any engaged Latin American filmmaker of the period. The second episode is more consciously 'European arthouse' in style (Visconti, perhaps).

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#205 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:45 pm

I skimmed a piece that attributed Visconti to the first part, though I don't see it and agree with you about the second's influences. I admittedly didn't detect quite as drastic a difference in style between all three parts though I know that was the intent, but I was continuously amused by how each ceded their formalism on at least one occasion to a similarly chaotic scene (class conflict in the streets and warfare in the first part, the party in the second, the beach fight in the third).

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#206 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:59 pm


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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#207 Post by DandyDancing » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:17 pm

Are they going to do one offs of everything in the sets and put them out of print? The Touki Bouki standalone made sense because of the restored short film. But them wanting to get riid of the sets seems to be the only explanation for a standalone of Trances (wonderful film by the way).

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#208 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:23 pm

I'd kill for a reissue of Tapei Story with Koreeda's TV doc about Yang and Hou.

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#209 Post by Saturnome » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:58 pm

It does feel like they're getting rid of the box set, and I hope it doesn't mean it's the end of the series - quite a few titles wouldn't get releases at all without it. We'll see at some point, I guess.
Both films are from the african continent, maybe they're trying to give african films more visibility in the collection. I can't see Trances getting a stand alone release because it's a potential big seller?

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#210 Post by senseabove » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:12 pm

And here I was thinking the news about the Hungarian films might mean they were going toward more non-director-focused box sets, because otherwise it's going to take them at least a decade to release 20 little-known Hungarian films.

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#211 Post by brundlefly » Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:23 am

Trances was one of Scorsese's personal favorites, the one he referred to anecdotally as the genesis of the project, may have been a factor.

Hope the box sets aren't going away, but have also always thought them a missed opportunity as far as supplemental material goes. Other than the one Mambéty short, all the added extras on the first two stand-alones date back to the time of the original release, which isn't encouraging.

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#212 Post by movielocke » Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:16 pm

I would guess they’re being unboxed because they’re not going to reprint the box. I would imagine the box goes oop in the next year or two and all six are unboxed

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#213 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:25 pm

I'm going to re-purchase a lot of these anyway if they have additional extras as good as Touki Bouki, I might end up re-buying all of them and selling the box if it goes OOP and goes for good money.

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#214 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:02 pm

Beaver on Touki-Bouki
At the end of the digital process a new 35 mm internegative was produced.", but there are some differences from the two HD transfers. More than the 2021 individual Blu-ray having a higher (max'ed out) bitrate, we can see the original transfer was slightly picture-boxed with borders on the top and bottom of the frame (and we can see an equivalent amount on the sides when compared to the newer transfer - toggle between the larger image captures to see.) Same information - no loss - but the 2021 video is superior - evident in-motion.

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Re: 684-690, 873-879, 1044-1050 Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project

#215 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:51 am


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