30 / BD 150 Buster Keaton: Complete Short Films 1917-1923

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MichaelB
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#151 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:46 am

peerpee wrote:We'll certainly be trying to replicate the roundtable process on future releases, it worked very well.
It did indeed, and I'd just like to second David's praise - and you can rest assured that I highlighted it in my upcoming Sight & Sound review (assuming it doesn't get subbed out).

BradStevens
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#152 Post by BradStevens » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:44 am

davidhare wrote:Not the least of the many pleasures the absolutely wonderful three way dialogue between Dan Sallitt, Brad Stevens and Jean-Pierre Coursodon for 150 pages! Regular trawlers of a_film_by already know these guys as extremely comprehensive writers on American cinema - indeed Jean-Pierre's "Cinquante Ans du Cinema American" is one of the finest film books ever written IMO. (It's translated and revised in English as American Directors Vols. 1 and 2.) It's difficult to imagine these discourses were conducted over the internet, the authors flow and complement each other completely fluidly.
Thanks for the kind words. I think it's worth pointing out the enormous contribution made by Craig Keller, who had the responsibility of editing together our e-mails. If the resulting text reads fluidly, that is largely due to Craig.

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david hare
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#153 Post by david hare » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:29 pm

De rien! As I said I think the chat displaces Rudi Blesh for sheer pleasurable authority. I hope you do some more.

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godardslave
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#154 Post by godardslave » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:06 pm

how is this set packaged, any photos? is it 4 keep cases plus the book?

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david hare
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#155 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:19 pm

Three keepcases, vols. 3 and 4 in the third and the beautifully produced booklet with beaucoup de photos!

It's exactly 35 years since I first saw the great Keaton features and a few of the shorts. I walked each day (over ten days) through sleet and blizzard in January 72 from 10th St to 125th St in NYC and back to see them. (I was rats arse broke and couldnt afford the subway.) But I never dreamed I'd own them all one day!!!!!!!

derek
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#156 Post by derek » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:22 am

godardslave wrote:how is this set packaged, any photos? is it 4 keep cases plus the book?
There are some photos of the set here

- Derek

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godardslave
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#157 Post by godardslave » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:45 pm

derek wrote:There are some photos of the set here
thanks, nice link.

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Awesome Welles
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#158 Post by Awesome Welles » Thu May 03, 2007 8:41 am

Nick,

Any likelihood we will be seeing a second volume of Buster? Perhaps his features from 1923 - 1929

Another four disc set would be great, perhaps -

Disc 1: The Three Ages (1923)/Our Hospitality (1923)/Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Disc 2: The Navigator (1924)/Seven Chances (1925)/Battling Butler (1926)
Disc 3: The General (1927)/College (1927)/Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)
Disc 4: The Cameraman (1928)/Spite Marriage (1929)

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Awesome Welles
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#159 Post by Awesome Welles » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:57 am

I've just worked out that three out of four of the discs would be in excess of three hours, I imagine that would be ok, but I am technically stupid so...

Disc 1: The Three Ages (1923)/Our Hospitality (1923)/Sherlock Jr. (1924) 63+74+44= 181 minutes
Disc 2: The Navigator (1924)/Seven Chances (1925)/Battling Butler (1926) 59+56+71= 186 minutes
Disc 3: The General (1927)/College (1927)/Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928) 75+61+71 = 207 minutes
Disc 4: The Cameraman (1928)/Spite Marriage (1929) 75+80 = 155 minutes

I was also thinking that if MoC were to release a boxset like this they would surely monopolise the Keaton market (at least in the UK) and people would rid themselves of those horrible network boxsets (UK) and opt for the better versions?

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BenCheshire
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#160 Post by BenCheshire » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:38 am

I think this forum musta died. Shame.

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david hare
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#161 Post by david hare » Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:44 am

Very simply I dont think MoC (or anyone in the UK) would bother with the MK2 or Kino masters right now. Several of the features are out there already in several territories (with whatever sales) and that's really the end of it. Even MK2 in France have reduced the availability of Keaton Features on DVD in France.

The lesson of DVD obsession., grab 'em while you can.

bollibasher
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:38 am

#162 Post by bollibasher » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:38 am

peerpee wrote:re: the 16mm version of MOONSHINE. The only available material was very overexposed and NTSC (the MoC set is PAL). We weren't prepared to standards convert an NTSC master to PAL, especially when faces were bloomed out - but we are looking into ways of making this available online if possible.
Any news on the possibility of this?

Chris xx

unclehulot
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#163 Post by unclehulot » Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:11 pm

Just picked this set up (finally!) at the nice discount Amazon.uk currently offers (about $60 delivered to the US). A really gorgeous production! Can't wait to really sink my teeth into it. Thanks Nick, and all who were involved!

Senya
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#164 Post by Senya » Mon May 12, 2008 12:16 pm

Sorry if it was discussed before but...

Why A Reckless Romeo (1917) wasn't included into this set?
IMDB says "Film was long thought lost, but in 1999 the Norwegian Filminstitute made a restored print available."

bollibasher
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#165 Post by bollibasher » Tue May 13, 2008 12:27 pm

Because it doesn't actually feature Buster Keaton (although before the norwegian copy was found it was thought he might be in it, which is probably why he's listed on imdb as being in the film).

Senya
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#166 Post by Senya » Thu May 15, 2008 8:08 am

bollibasher wrote:Because it doesn't actually feature Buster Keaton (although before the norwegian copy was found it was thought he might be in it, which is probably why he's listed on imdb as being in the film).
Interesting. Could you provide any source to read about it? Thanks in advance.

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MichaelB
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#167 Post by MichaelB » Thu May 15, 2008 8:14 am

Senya wrote:
bollibasher wrote:Because it doesn't actually feature Buster Keaton (although before the norwegian copy was found it was thought he might be in it, which is probably why he's listed on imdb as being in the film).
Interesting. Could you provide any source to read about it? Thanks in advance.
The film is on Milestone's compilation The Cook and Other Treasures - here's a detailed review that confirms Keaton's absence.

Bloody Benten
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Re: 30 The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films, 1917 - 1923

#168 Post by Bloody Benten » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:52 pm

I'm going to purchase this set soon but I found it for cheap on Amazon UK's marketplace.

Just wondering if it was legit and not bootlegged or something


karmajuice
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Re: 30 The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films, 1917 - 1923

#170 Post by karmajuice » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:32 pm

I finished making my way through this set today (including special features) and I just have to applaud MoC for what they've done with this set. This box sets a standard in DVD presentation, particularly the presentation of short films. It's beautifully comprehensive (it took me over a year to watch all of it), everything is presented in the best possible quality, and the features are in-depth and entertaining.

I won't talk much about the films, because those mostly speak for themselves: his work is ceaselessly inventive, full of modest poetry and surrealist gestures, and among the funniest stuff ever put to film. He's a wonder. But I'm also glad MoC included the Arbuckle shorts. They are completely different in style and tone, and they don't soar like Keaton's films, but I love their rambunctious, anarchic energy. Arbuckle as a performer is a walking (leaping/falling/acrobatic) contradiction. It's hard to believe that what you're seeing is real.

I may come back and talk about some particular films (Keaton is one of the few filmmakers I feel a serious urge to write critically about, and his short films have done plenty to exacerbate that impulse), but for now I'll shower the package itself with praise.

The booklet is a revelation. Hell, I can't even call it a booklet. It's a book. I'd heard of the MoC books before, and I have other MoC DVDs, but this is the first of the really thick books I've perused. Everything in it is top notch, but I feel like the roundtable deserves particular praise. It is probably the best written feature in any DVD set that I've read. It covers every film in great detail, delves into all sorts of exciting and fascinating corners, offers three thoughtful perspectives, and miraculously manages to cover as much ground as Keaton's diverse filmography. It is lengthy but never boring. Kudos to the critics and filmmakers who participated, and kudos to MoC for daring to include such a substantial piece in their book.

Another thing I love about the book, and the packaging in general, is the proliferation of personal touches. Most labels, including Criterion, tend to act as editors alone, so their DVDs have a professional and impersonal quality (not to slight Criterion's work, of course; they are obviously labors of love). But MoC peppers their packages with quotes, little asides, humorous bits, and other curiosities. They're all delightful; I especially enjoy the bit commenting on the book's cover and the Welles quote on top of the box (which I discovered nearly a year after buying the set; a great surprise, and satisfying, to find one of my favorite filmmakers praising another of my favorites). I even like little touches like the special features listing, which describes Keaton as being in "fine fettle" during the audio recording.

That recording, by the way, was another wonderful surprise. It's strange to hear this man who seems so obstinately silent not only speak, but speak with such wit, energy, and charm.

The McBride commentaries almost felt like an anti-climax when I got to them. Don't get me wrong, I like them. They are informative and offer some nice ideas. I like most when he points out specific details which might otherwise be overlooked, like Eddie Cline's appearances. They do, however, sometimes suffer from that affliction of describing what you're seeing. (I do like when McBride can't help but chuckle at a gag, though; it gives the commentaries a flavor most lack, makes it very personable).

That's all for now. I just wanted to offer my thanks to MoC for making such a remarkable set. Everyone who doesn't own this set: buy this set. It's Region 0 so you have no excuse. This isn't just one of the best DVD purchases I've ever made; it's one of the best purchases I've ever made, of any kind. A fitting tribute to the Great Stone Face.

Richard--W
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Re: 30 The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films, 1917 - 1923

#171 Post by Richard--W » Sun May 08, 2011 10:42 pm

I wonder how Kino's forthcoming region 1 set -- Buster Keaton: The Short Films Collection, Three-Disc Ultimate Edition -- will compare in terms of quality and supplements, and whether or not it will use PAL transfers with the 4% speedup. Due July 12.

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manicsounds
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Re: 30 The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films, 1917 - 1923

#172 Post by manicsounds » Tue May 10, 2011 6:16 am

Well, Kino has said that all but 1 of the Keaton shorts will be in 1080p (the one being interlaced) for the blu-ray.

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MichaelB
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Re: 30 The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films, 1917 - 1923

#173 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 10, 2011 6:20 am

Why just one interlaced title? I assume (and devoutly hope) they're not running everything at 24fps, so have they devised a workaround?

Jonathan S
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Re: 30 The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films, 1917 - 1923

#174 Post by Jonathan S » Tue May 10, 2011 7:15 am

From the specs of the new set, it does look like One Week is being transferred at a slower frame-rate than the others. At 24 minutes, it has the longest running time of the new transfers and it was only 19 minutes on their earlier release - and as far as I know this one has no additional footage. However, most of the others have the same or similar running times as before (though I've only checked the times given on the DVD cases).

If Kino is running most of them at 24fps, it may be in response to the growing body of buffs who believe that practically all silent comedies were intended to be run (and, in the silent era, were run) at or around that speed, much faster than they were actually shot. Ben Model has uploaded various comparisons on YouTube. I find some examples more convincing than others (and I think the slowness of the shooting speeds may be exaggerated), but all are interesting.

Bleddyn Williams
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Re: 30 The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films, 1917 - 1923

#175 Post by Bleddyn Williams » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:36 am

Saw the Kino Blu-ray set today in Newbury Comics for only $29.99. Has anyone been able to compare this version with the MoC set? Or found anything online that does such a comparison?

ADDENDUM: After a look around, I found this forum that I did not know of. The link is to page 6 of a thread, and some interesting comparison shots between Kino & MoC can be seen...

http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.p ... &start=150" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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