84-85 Phantom & Die Finanzen des Großherzogs

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James
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Re: 84 Phantom

#26 Post by James » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:49 pm

Screenshots are up for both, but the ones for Phantom look... incredible.

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david hare
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Re: 84 Phantom

#27 Post by david hare » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:19 am

Where James?

James
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Re: 84 Phantom

#28 Post by James » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:24 am

david hare wrote:Where James?
http://eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/catalogue/ ... osherzogs/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/catalogue/phantom/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image

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lubitsch
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Re: 84 Phantom

#29 Post by lubitsch » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:40 am

HerrSchreck wrote:
lubitsch wrote:I think it not particularily wise to recommend them to less experienced viewers who will be even less responsive to the limited qualities of these films.
Even wiser would be a little reduction in the size of the britches you've tailored for yourself, and a little more self-awareness and humility. You've seen the films yourself-- you wanted to see them, sought them out, and granted yourself the privelege of watching them. Why should anyone else be any different, or their journey of discovery and motivation be any less the "wise"?

You saw them, you didn't think much of them-- end of story. Your prof, his book, his shoulder shrugging, your count of films under your belt, all these have no contact with the great variety of individuals in life sitting in their living room watching a dvd. It may be that someone who is less experienced with silents may be more responsive to these titles because their viewing criteria is much simpler, and far less critical and built up with callouses. There are people out there who love these films-- proclaiming their recommendations as "unwise" because you don't share their opinion is just too much. You're a kid in school-- in ten years you'll look at some of the films you see now as raging masterpieces and think "what the hell was I thinking?"
Leading the discussion along these line means we can shut down the whole forum. It's possible that there are people who will experience ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES as a revelation or SPEED 2 as a suspenseful masterpiece. Everything is possible. But if you are experienced and knowledgeable in some part of cinema history and asked about advices, do you suggest films with virtually no critical reputation and no fans or acknowledged masterpieces which have won the hearts of thousands?
Especially in silent film I think it is VERY important to suggest the films which speak easily to today's viewers. So if anyone asks if these two films here are worth pursuing I'd say certainly not if you haven't seen at least 100 great silents. They had never a critical reputation beginning with the contemporary critics over Eisner towards my prof Koebner and Wenders and Sanders-Brahms who wrote individual articles in the Berlinale book dismissing both films in a friendly (Sanders-Brahms on FINANZEN) or unfriendly (Wenders on PHANTOM) way.

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tenia
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Re: 84 Phantom

#30 Post by tenia » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:05 am

lubitsch wrote:I think it not particularily wise to recommend them to less experienced viewers who will be even less responsive to the limited qualities of these films.
Question : if less experienced viewers don't see more difficult movies, how will they become more experienced ?

Just wondering...

Cause, you know, people can learn as you did, and everything.

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Tommaso
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Re: 84 Phantom

#31 Post by Tommaso » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:22 am

I think there's a flaw in an argument if it basically rests on 'received' critical opinion. If we still believed in Kracauer, for instance, we could easily forget about now much-loved films like "Spione" or "Frau im Mond", for example. And the fact that Wenders doesn't like "Phantom" is not really an argument against the film itself (which, btw, is so much better than Wenders' latest efforts in every conceivable way). Critical opinion changes, and I think it's high time to overcome received wisdom concerning these two films especially (though I would more or less concur with your opinion on "Vogelöd", but that's beside the point here).

I somehow think you're underrating the capacity of a 'silent newbie' (sorry for that word) to come to his or her own conclusions. If you've never seen a silent or only a handful of them, you might still like the landscape photography in "Großherzog" or the stylishness of "Phantom"; these films are not at all untypical for their time and you might simply like what a film shares with many other silents rather than what makes it different, even if you don't know about how 'typical' it is. If you've seen many silents, then you will probably recognize that "Phantom" and "Großherzog" are not necessarily on your top-ten list, but that may come only at a far later point and it doesn't necessarily mean that you don't enjoy them anymore. On the other hand, if someone new to silents only sees fare like "Der letzte Mann" or "Potemkin" (i.e. the best or most innovative of them all), he might get a false impression and wrong expectations, which would make it more difficult for him to appreciate other silents for what they are on their own terms. And finally, do you really think a film like "Die Nibelungen" speaks easily to today's viewers? Still, it's one of the most famous and cherished silents, and for good reasons, of course.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 84 Phantom

#32 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:09 am

lubitsch wrote:Leading the discussion along these line means we can shut down the whole forum. It's possible that there are people who will experience ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES as a revelation or SPEED 2 as a suspenseful masterpiece. Everything is possible. But if you are experienced and knowledgeable in some part of cinema history and asked about advices, do you suggest films with virtually no critical reputation and no fans or acknowledged masterpieces which have won the hearts of thousands?
Especially in silent film I think it is VERY important to suggest the films which speak easily to today's viewers. So if anyone asks if these two films here are worth pursuing I'd say certainly not if you haven't seen at least 100 great silents. They had never a critical reputation beginning with the contemporary critics over Eisner towards my prof Koebner and Wenders and Sanders-Brahms who wrote individual articles in the Berlinale book dismissing both films in a friendly (Sanders-Brahms on FINANZEN) or unfriendly (Wenders on PHANTOM) way.
We can shut down the forum because you encounter static when pronouncing a recommendation to watch a film 'unwise'? When we follow the wisdom of your cinematic road map we can start it back up again?

Nobody's denying you the right to express your opinion-- it's just the insistence that your opinion manifest as unquestioned paradigm that raises hackles. No critic living or dead enjoys that luxury, at least not here. Certainly a college sophomore or junior is not going to enjoy what Pauline Kael or Jonathan Rosenbaum does not.

You're failing to understand that all the above means is that a couple of guys didn't like the film-- nothing more, nothing less. No critic's view deserves any more weight than a common viewer. In fact, I can say for myself at least that I'd be more interested in the response-- say to a melodrama like Phantom-- of total newb who never viewed a pre-1928 film in their life, than of a film professor-- their response will probably be more sincere and direct, and not diluted by the comparison of the film to an endless array of other films. I'd have the sensation of hearing something new and devoid of occupational freight. Critics and professors are still just People Watching Films. And everybody responds to individual artworks differently.

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skuhn8
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Re: 84 Phantom

#33 Post by skuhn8 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:20 am

Haven't seen either of these two Murnau's and am very much looking forward to it.

Not sure if I'm losing something in lubitsch's turn of phrase, but isn't his position essentially that these aren't a good place to start if getting into silent film or, more specifically, Murnau? If that's the case I see these kind of recommendations all over the forum with nary a wink.

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Finch
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Re: 84 Phantom

#34 Post by Finch » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:49 pm

I also have to say that a film prof's opinion means nothing to me and that I sometimes don't even agree with those critics who are usually on my wavelength. And Wenders is hardly in a position to slag off another director's film when he hasn't made anything particularly worthwhile lately and few are banking on a sudden string of late-career masterpieces from there. I think it is established that neither Phantom nor Grossherzog are generally considered among Murnau's very finest works but they don't have to be. I often take greater pleasure from "lesser" works than the objectively greater films. I have yet to see Phantom so for what it's worth, I could be floored or just be entertained or be utterly disappointed by it. I am keeping an open mind and I find the notion that anyone new (and having seen a dozen of the best known and most celebrated ones as well as curiosities like DeMille's King of Kings, I'm hardly a stranger to the genre) to silent films has to see a dozen great works first before they could possibly appreciate something like Phantom rather strange. People can adjust faster to different styles than you might think. If you are concerned that a total stranger to silents gets a first taste with Phantom and is put off silents for good, I can understand that concern but a newbie is in theory just as likely to be unimpressed by The General or whichever other great silent you'd rather pick as an introduction to silents.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 84 Phantom

#35 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:58 pm

james wrote:
david hare wrote:Where James?
http://eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/catalogue/ ... osherzogs/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/catalogue/phantom/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image
James I'm not sure that's really a "screenshot" so much as a promo image:


Image

but then on the site it rotates thru some actual screenies.

I can say that the FWMS restoration of Phantom is absolutely stunning. I may be mistaken but I think this is the only extant Murnau where an original negative not only exists in tact but comes to us in pretty amazing condition. If the MoC is using the same Murnau Foundation master (which-- good luck for us in the US for once, since we usually get stuck with PAL masters i e w Kino since FWMS/Transit is in Europe-- is an NTSC master) as Flicker Alley, you guys are going to faint when you see how good the thing looks. It's just jawdropping.
Last edited by HerrSchreck on Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Narshty
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Re: 84 Phantom

#36 Post by Narshty » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:08 pm

Happily, it's a screenshot.

James
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Re: 84 Phantom

#37 Post by James » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:17 pm

HerrSchreck wrote: James I'm not sure that's really a "screenshot" so much as a promo image:
Either way, not only do that and the rest of the screenshots look ace, but the images themselves have a very dreamlike and mystic quality — I'm no expert on silent cinema, but I can't imagine based on those images alone this being anywhere near a misfire!

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 84 Phantom

#38 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:20 pm

Narshty wrote:Happily, it's a screenshot.
The happy little screenshot is happy!

You're right-- there's a gauzey sequence that the shot comes from... I just checked the DVD since I wasn't sure. I thought that was from a promo still.

Nick-- is this disc coming in as Pal or NTSC?

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Tommaso
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Re: 84 Phantom

#39 Post by Tommaso » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:09 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:
I can say that the FWMS restoration of Phantom is absolutely stunning. I may be mistaken but I think this is the only extant Murnau where an original negative not only exists in tact but comes to us in pretty amazing condition.
Yes, I've only seen the film via the arte broadcast, and even there it looked absolutely breathtaking, perhaps even better than the new "Nosferatu" resto. Totally amazing tintings on top of it. As to the neg situation: IIRC, the original negative of "Vogelöd" also exists in almost complete form, and that's where the equally stunning new resto of that film comes from for the most part.

I hope that this new set sells well so that MoC might consider to release the other missing Murnaus, too. "Vogelöd" or better "Gang in die Nacht" (no idea how good the elements are for that one) in a nice double-discer with "Der brennende Acker"....

peerpee
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Re: 84 Phantom

#40 Post by peerpee » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:01 pm

Our PHANTOM / FINANZEN set contains two discs that are both PAL. Both films contain original German intertitles, or original German intertitles with partial FWMS re-constructed German intertitles, and our newly translated optional English subtitles are accurate and thorough. It took a few goes to locate the PHANTOM master with German intertitles. Both are looking sweet.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 84 Phantom

#41 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:34 pm

Tommaso wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:
I can say that the FWMS restoration of Phantom is absolutely stunning. I may be mistaken but I think this is the only extant Murnau where an original negative not only exists in tact but comes to us in pretty amazing condition.
Yes, I've only seen the film via the arte broadcast, and even there it looked absolutely breathtaking, perhaps even better than the new "Nosferatu" resto. Totally amazing tintings on top of it. As to the neg situation: IIRC, the original negative of "Vogelöd" also exists in almost complete form, and that's where the equally stunning new resto of that film comes from for the most part.

I hope that this new set sells well so that MoC might consider to release the other missing Murnaus, too. "Vogelöd" or better "Gang in die Nacht" (no idea how good the elements are for that one) in a nice double-discer with "Der brennende Acker"....
The problem Tom is it's apparently not intact-- or in tact enough to where the neg constituted the source of the entire film's image-- as a seperate Portugese nitrate print element had to be used in the restoration of Schloss Vogelod to the point that we see it now..

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Dadapass
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Re: 84 Phantom

#42 Post by Dadapass » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:57 pm

DVDBeaver on both The Finances of the Grand Duke and Phantom

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Der Spieler
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Re: 84 Phantom

#43 Post by Der Spieler » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:09 pm

Sorry if this has been adressed before, but what will the packaging look like? Will it be overlapping holders? And will the cover image be Phantom ot Finanzen?

peerpee
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Re: 84 Phantom

#44 Post by peerpee » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:12 pm

The cover image is PHANTOM. The sleeve is reversible, so you can make it FINANZEN if you want. The box is a figure of 8.

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Der Spieler
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Re: 84 Phantom

#45 Post by Der Spieler » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:47 pm

Thank you very much!

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perkizitore
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Re: 84 Phantom

#46 Post by perkizitore » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:39 am

Dadapass wrote:DVDBeaver on both The Finances of the Grand Duke and Phantom
Gary states Phantom as the supplement. Why is the Finances of the grand duke considered a more important film than Phantom?
Last edited by perkizitore on Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 84 Phantom

#47 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:35 am

What's the dif? They're both generally considered to be very good films from Murnau, but ones on the, how you say, second tier, perhaps. In other words not on a par-- as far as mass critical opinion in concerned-- with say Sunrise, Tabu, Faust, Nosferatu, Der letzte Mann. I'd say that Phantom is probably the better known of the two, and probably the more cinematic looking of the two-- I mean in terms of the fab art direction and meticulous, completely stunning cinematography... but still and all they're both within the same ballpark of regard. Either way, what's the big deal? You're getting THE definitive R2 edition of these films, end of story-- who cares how the titles are ordered.

One thing I was kind of surprised by, was the non-inclusion of the nice doco that Janet Bergstrom did for Phantom, which was included on the (also very excellent, probably Flicker Alley's best release so far.. with Judex creeping very tightly behind) R1 from Jeff Massino @ F.A.. Usually those Bergstrom docs migrate regions for equivalent releases. In the absence of a living Lotte Eisner, I'd say she's probably my favorite Murnau scholar (not counting Luciano B)... everything she's done so far has been a home run, beginning with the very old commentary for Milestone's (still worth holding on to for the excellent commentary and the wonderful extras which include a decent sized hunk of the huge amount of unedited unused takes/surplus action from the shoot) release of Tabu, and through to this and the Borzage-Murnau box from their work at Fox.

One thing that strikes me about the Finances disc in comp vs the Kino, is the MoC looks a touch contrast boosted, with the tinting ratched up to correspond accordingly. I also noticed a curious black line running across the bottom of the frame in all the grabs-- initially I was thinking that it was improper frame lineup perhaps at FWMS/L'imagine Ritro, but it seems a little too thin for that. Many times you get that bad lineup of copies, and it usually runs up top, as in the old resto of M, or the old Caligari. But this is very thin, and runs just along the bottom. Is this inherent in the transfer Nick-- or is this something that popped up just during Gary's cap process? I expected the MoC would be eseentially the same digital videotape as the Kino-- as is usually the case with these Transit Films licenses-- but one can see they're not the same in this case.

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Tommaso
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Re: 84 Phantom

#48 Post by Tommaso » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:28 pm

Too bad that I cannot watch the divisa disc for a comparison anymore (already sold via ebay), but looking at those caps, and the size-reduced ones from the divisa I once posted in the Silent Film thread, it seems to me that the MoC is far closer to the divisa than to the Kino in terms of colour intensity, and I actually prefer the stronger colours here. Which one is more correct is everyone's guess of course, but I would assume that divisa and MoC used the same transfer, whereas Kino didn't. Or Kino manipulated it a bit in the process; they had to change it anyway for getting their intertitle translations into it.

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MichaelB
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Re: 84 Phantom

#49 Post by MichaelB » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:10 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:One thing I was kind of surprised by, was the non-inclusion of the nice doco that Janet Bergstrom did for Phantom, which was included on the (also very excellent, probably Flicker Alley's best release so far.. with Judex creeping very tightly behind) R1 from Jeff Massino @ F.A.. Usually those Bergstrom docs migrate regions for equivalent releases.
Bear in mind that there's a pretty comprehensive Bergstrom essay in the booklet - eighteen pages of text plus plenty of illustrations. So Nick may well have felt that licensing the doc might have been redundant.
I also noticed a curious black line running across the bottom of the frame in all the grabs-- initially I was thinking that it was improper frame lineup perhaps at FWMS/L'imagine Ritro, but it seems a little too thin for that. Many times you get that bad lineup of copies, and it usually runs up top, as in the old resto of M, or the old Caligari. But this is very thin, and runs just along the bottom. Is this inherent in the transfer Nick-- or is this something that popped up just during Gary's cap process? I expected the MoC would be eseentially the same digital videotape as the Kino-- as is usually the case with these Transit Films licenses-- but one can see they're not the same in this case.
This is total guesswork on my part, but might this be a by-product of frame judder correction?

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MichaelB
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Re: 84 Phantom

#50 Post by MichaelB » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:13 pm

perkizitore wrote:
Dadapass wrote:DVDBeaver on both The Finances of the Grand Duke and Phantom
Gary states Phantom as the supplement. Why is the Finances of the grand duke considered a more important film than Phantom?
I think you've missed the primary purpose of that page, which was to compare two different releases of The Finances of the Grand Duke. Presumably Gary has a similar comparison of The Phantom (MoC vs Flicker Alley) in the works.

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