996 The Circus

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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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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996 The Circus

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:32 pm

The Circus

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In the last film he made during the silent era, Charlie Chaplin revels in the art of the circus, paying tribute to the acrobats and pantomimists who inspired his virtuoso pratfalls. After being mistaken for a pickpocket, Chaplin's Little Tramp flees into the ring of a traveling circus and soon becomes the star of the show, falling for the troupe's bareback rider along the way. Despite its famously troubled production, this gag-packed comedy ranks among Chaplin's finest, thanks to some of the most audacious set pieces of the director-performer's career, including a close brush with a lion and a climactic tightrope walk with a barrelful of monkeys. Rereleased in 1969 with a new score by Chaplin, The Circus is an uproarious high-wire act that showcases silent cinema's most popular entertainer at the peak of his comic powers.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 4K digital restoration of Charlie Chaplin's 1969 rerelease version of the film, featuring an original score by Chaplin, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New audio commentary featuring Charlie Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
• Interview with Chaplin from 1969
• New interview with Chaplin's son Eugene Chaplin
In the Service of the Story, a new program on the film's visual effects and production design by effects specialist Craig Barron
Chaplin Today: "The Circus," a 2003 documentary on the film, featuring filmmaker Emir Kusturica
• Excerpted audio interview with Chaplin musical associate Eric James
• Unused café sequence with new score by composer Timothy Brock, and related outtakes with audio commentary by Chaplin historian Dan Kamin
• Newly discovered outtakes featuring the Tramp and the bareback rider
• Original recording of the film's opening song, "Swing, Little Girl," by Ken Barrie
• Footage of the 1928 Hollywood premiere
• Rerelease trailers
• PLUS: An essay by critic Pamela Hutchinson

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 996 The Circus

#2 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:57 pm


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Florinaldo
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:38 pm
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Re: 996 The Circus

#3 Post by Florinaldo » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:22 pm

Is there any chance or indication that after this one, Criterion might also tackle the remaining features from Chaplin? I m thinking about A Woman of Paris and A King in New York, not so much A Countess from Hong Kong.

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NWRdr4
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:02 pm

Re: 996 The Circus

#4 Post by NWRdr4 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:49 pm

Florinaldo wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:22 pm
Is there any chance or indication that after this one, Criterion might also tackle the remaining features from Chaplin? I m thinking about A Woman of Paris and A King in New York, not so much A Countess from Hong Kong.
Janus has the rights to the first two films you mentioned, so it’s as good as certain that Criterion will get around to them eventually.

EDIT: If it’s any help to you at all, A Countess from Hong Kong already has a North American Blu-ray release, although whether or not Criterion gets ahold of it in the future is anyone’s guess.

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Florinaldo
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Re: 996 The Circus

#5 Post by Florinaldo » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:36 pm

NWRdr4 wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:49 pm
Janus has the rights to the first two films you mentioned, so it’s as good as certain that Criterion will get around to them eventually
Thanks for that info. We can only hope that Criterion will get around to giving these two neglected works a worthy treatment, to help people appreciate them more. The MK2 double package was a very good start, but I am sure a few other valuable pieces could be added.

As for the third title, I am not really pining to watch it again.

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dustybooks
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:52 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: 996 The Circus

#6 Post by dustybooks » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:02 pm

Another outstanding Chaplin package from Criterion. The Vance commentary is pretty much what you'd expect but still decent (I find something about his voice a little grating, which I know is on me). But the interview with Eugene Chaplin and the accompanying home movie footage is extremely enjoyable, and the outtakes with Dan Kamin commentary are my favorite feature on any of these since the silent behind-the-scenes footage on The Great Dictator. Thanks largely to Kamin's explications, the experience of seeing Chaplin toy with an ultimately discarded scene is just fascinating, and it's such an unbelievable opportunity that makes me strongly wish we had more similar material for other master directors. (Even the MK2-inherited featurette is above par, at least until the very strange talking-head exchange with Emir Kusturica.)

The restoration of the film itself is also worlds better than even what was on Filmstruck a few years back. I think it's a truly essential package, but I'm biased because this really is my favorite Chaplin feature after City Lights -- it's an elegant bow on top of an unassailable run of classics.

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