65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Eureka/Masters of Cinema and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here.
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HerrSchreck
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#26 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:50 pm

I've not seen this film in thirty some odd years and have no memory of it-- how do some of the folks around here who have seen it rate it against the preceding classics like T.Angels, MagOb, I.o.Life, ATHAllows, T.A.Tomorrow, etc...?

But I'll add my voice-- because it's Sirk, who rarely made a bad film (though I'm not the biggest fan of WITW or IOL)-- to the cheers. Bravo MoC.

mattkc
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#27 Post by mattkc » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:48 pm

Well, I know my voice counts for nothing here but personally I thought this was, after seeing it in 35mm, his best with The Tarnished Angels. Doubt many will agree but… it seemed to take the aesthetic of the Universal films and combine it a little with his earlier work. The use of mirrors is by far the most subtle in any Sirk I’ve seen, almost nonexistent; the play of surfaces and reflection is far more toned down here, Sirkian space integrated into a more realistic world, and there's a kind of distance much more extreme than in the others. There’s a quality to the images, though, that’s all the more devastating for their supposed reality, a reality rendered just as illusory at the end as in his other works. It’s as if Sirk took a brick and shattered the glass in front of his world and filmed what was behind it, only to reveal that that too was glass.

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Tommaso
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#28 Post by Tommaso » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:34 am

The film has recently been released on disc on Germany (practically barebones, on some small label distributed by Universal), and thankfully the local library bought it and I watched it recently. Now this is a tricky one, really. It's visually striking, surprisingly well acted (I can't stand Lilo Pulver normally), and as a story, entirely believable. However, I cannot quite agree with mattkc's statement that the visuals are "all the more devastating for their supposed reality", even though it's "a reality rendered just as illusory at the end as in his other works". There is a curious quality of 'glossiness' (for want of a better term) to all the sets, which makes the devastating reality of Germany in 1944 all too distant for me. Crucial aspects of the political situation are toned down, despite the plot points of Lilo's father being in a concentration camp and so on. We only seldom see swastika flags or hear people greeting themselves with the 'Hitlergruß'. There are those moments when we see the protagonist meeting his old acquaintance (now a convinced nazi official) in his lavish house, or later going with Pulver to a stylish restaurant despite the destruction all around. These scenes are supposed to show the decadence of those in power, of course, but they never have the de-constructive touch that Fassbinder would have brought to them (although these scenes actually look as if they came directly out of "Lili Marleen" or "Lola"). So, all this left me somewhat uneasy, although I think that it's actually a great film all in all. But it never shows the devastation in the grim way that Rossellini's "Germania Anno Zero" does, or the sense of oppression and man-hunt in a way that Käutner's "Des Teufels General" (for me, one of the very best films about Nazi Germany ever) does. Stilystically totally different films, of course, but while I normally don't give a damn about 'realism' and usually value style over content, in this case I was somewhat left with doubts. Just my five cents...

As to that German dvd: MoC will have a hard time to improve on that transfer, because it is close to perfect in terms of sharpness, lack of artefacts, and colour vibrancy. Even if MoC use exactly the same telecine without any further work on it, I'd say you're all in for a treat. Not to speak of the MoC extras, of course.

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david hare
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#29 Post by david hare » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:59 am

Tag's essay on Sirk for Senses of Cinema.

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Finch
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#30 Post by Finch » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:46 pm

Relevant excerpts from the review at The Auteur's Notebook:

"The Eureka!/Masters of Cinema Region 2 DVD is in several respects almost identical to the excellent 2007 French disc from Carlotta. The superbly detailed video transfer appears to be the same. Some supplements—a film montage with Jean-Luc Godard's rapturous review of the film as the soundtrack, an interview with screenwriter Wesley Strick about his Sirk-inspired novel, and a television interview with the maestro himself—are also here. But the MOC version has English subs where the Carlotta hasn't, and also an exceptional (as usual) booklet of texts, among them the aforementioned Godard review and a Sirk appreciation by Tag Galagher.

Ernest Hemingway once said, "Never think that war, no matter how necessasry, nor how justified, is not a crime." By viewing World War II from the side of a character who is both crime's perpetrator and victim, Sirk crafts an anti-war film of sustained power, topped by a note of tragic irony even more pertinent than the one that ended Remarque's prior anti-war novel, All Quiet on the Western Front. Too long put to the side of Sirk's other masterpieces, MOC's release of the picture should help put it with the top-shelf Sirk, where it belongs."

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domino harvey
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#31 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:59 am


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peerpee
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#32 Post by peerpee » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:48 pm

I've let Gary know that we were perplexed by the apparent difference between the MoC and the Carlotta at DVDBeaver. They should look much more similar.

On further investigation, our own grabs look different to DVDBeaver's grabs. We believe the software that DVDBeaver is using to resize the images to 800 pixels wide is introducing picture shift / "haziness" which misrepresents the image. This is frustrating, especially when paragraphs are written about these so-called differences, and we start receiving emails asking why we've 'dropped the ball' because the MoC edition is perceived to be inferior.

A close-up of DVDBeaver's Carlotta grab:
Image

A close-up of DVDBeaver's MoC grab:
Image

A close-up of MoC's own MoC grab:
Image

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domino harvey
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#33 Post by domino harvey » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:46 pm

For what it's worth, after the last DVDBeaver fiasco, I've learned to automatically assume MOC hasn't dropped the ball. So until you guys actually do drop the ball, don't worry too much about it. I'm counting down the days til my copy arrives, and I'm sure it'll look fine

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Gary Tooze
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#34 Post by Gary Tooze » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:23 am

Nick,
HERE is our full response with PNG files (as lossless as we are going to get). The grey lines are on the BMPs produced by PowerDVD - the same software we have used from the beginning.
Regards,
Gary

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peerpee
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#35 Post by peerpee » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:36 am

Gary, the issue is simply that our Carlotta grabs and our MoC grabs look practically identical. Yours do not. Therefore, your argument that the exact same resizing/compression methods have been used for both discs does not ring true to us.

As you're aware, there have been a number of similar issues in the past too. Pretty bad looking DVD grabs that misrepresent the discs, and lead to confusion amongst many of your readers and our prospective customers. We feel it's fair to point it out.

Just because a process has been used for many years, doesn't mean that it should be used forever if it's flawed. It can't be a filesize issue, because Blu-ray grabs are much larger, so why not use Photoshop's superior technology and compress the files less or not at all?

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Gary Tooze
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#36 Post by Gary Tooze » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:08 am

...why not use Photoshop's superior technology and compress the files less or not at all?
Since the Carlotta grabs were produced using the consistent settings of PowerDVD and ThumbsPlus, why should we use a different system to produce your grabs?

Can you at least respect that this would not be accurate? and all images on the site are representational to each other.
Nick, I know you'd like your images to look better - perhaps even better than they actually are - but...
OUR RESPONSE: Nick our goal is not to give a 100% accurate representation of the image found on your, or any DVD production companies, discs. I don't believe this is possible no matter your fervent desire for it to be so. We compress using jpeg's, at 90%, and this will alter the image to a small degree. Resizing the image to 800 pixels wide is a factor of ease for web visibility. Any screen grabs posted on the Internet will not give a 100% accurate representation of a DVDs image quality on an individuals system (which all vary, by the way). Our goal is not to make Masters of Cinema look good - or better than it's competitors. Our goal is to:
a) give a reasonably strong and consistent facsimile of the images from DVDs and Blu-rays.
b) compare using the exact same criteria (same software, same settings) between opposing transfers.
If you are talking about the grey lines which your guys deem is a
...introducing picture shift / "haziness"
then your gripe is with PowerDVD and moving to Photoshop won't cover up those grey bars.
that our Carlotta grabs and our MoC grabs look practically identical.
Theirs does look sharper in stills, and also contrast boosted compared to yours (such stark whites in particular can give the impression of increased resolution, as you know). Others have pointed out that the Carlotta looks artificially sharpened and more "video-y" beside yours. I agree. Anyway this is minor- as we state
...there is hardly any visual difference.

I will find my Carlotta and redo - using the same settings as I created the MoCs - when I have time. There is always the possibilty that our settings have altered from one point to another. Although that possibility is slim, I am willing to accept that it exists... but it is not going to make your images look any better - I still have the BMPs produced by PowerDVD8. I will simply create matching Carlotta BMPs.
regards,
Gary

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peerpee
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#37 Post by peerpee » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:20 am

Gary Tooze wrote:
...why not use Photoshop's superior technology and compress the files less or not at all?
Since the Carlotta grabs were produced using the consistent settings of PowerDVD and ThumbsPlus, why should we use a different system to produce your grabs?
Can you at least respect that this would not be accurate?
Gary, I'm not asking for special treatment, I'm pointing out that when we do grabs of the same disc using the same method, they look practically identical. When you do grabs of the same disc, apparently using the same method, you have quite different results. That's all.

Thanks for listening.

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Gary Tooze
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#38 Post by Gary Tooze » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:06 pm

Hey Nick,
Don't worry - I hear you alright.
When you do grabs of the same disc, apparently using the same method, you have quite different results.
It is quite possible that my software is more discerning than yours, but I'll dig up that Carlotta and go through the process again.

***

Just so readers don't get the wrong impression - Nick and I have been friends for years before he even started MoC. As serious film fans - we essentially have the same goals, but, he knows, I would never lie about his products. I endorse his A Time To Love and a Time to Die because it is the best package, IMO, and as I stated in the review image quality:
...there is hardly any visual difference. While the Masters of Cinema disc may look a bit thicker and perhaps truer - both appear very strong and produce an excellent viewing.
Until I create concrete evidence that this is inaccurate - I stand by my statements. It's important for those equally passionate in this forum to believe me that I am not at odds with Nick or MoC - on the contrary, I strongly support them - and will continue to do so - while maintaining a healthy objectivity. I know we all appreciate his devotion and work ethic to expose important cinema to our community of DVD-ophiles. I can no longer imagine my collection without them.
Cheers,

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GringoTex
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#39 Post by GringoTex » Tue May 05, 2009 10:03 am

Marvelous- a fever pitch fairytale war pic and Sirk's most beautiful film. I had never realized until reading Gallagher's essay that this was Sirk's re-imagining of the last days of his own son.

One interesting aspect is Gavin's monotonous performance in contrast to all the other brilliantly interesting performances. While watching the film, he seemed a weakness, but thinking back, this may have been necessary to the surrealist fairytale aspect of the film.

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knives
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#40 Post by knives » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:26 am

Wow, this is the best Sirk I've encountered. I can't really say anything that the DVD doesn't already say perfectly, but I have to note Gavin's 'friend' who is the most frightening nazi performance I've ever seen.

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manicsounds
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#41 Post by manicsounds » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:22 am

I can't find any info on this on the DVD or booklet, but I'm still going through the extras, maybe I'll find it eventually. The extras seem to be more centered on Sirk himself, and not much on the actual movie, or even about Remarque's book.

What I wanted to know is, was this completely filmed in Germany on location? IMDB lists "Berlin" and that's about it. The bombed out town, that was obviously not a set or a miniature, was that filmed in some abandoned town? I wouldn't think a German town would look like that a full 13 years after the war.

I only encountered a few scenes using blue screen, but most of it seemed real...

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vsski
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Re: 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#42 Post by vsski » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:08 pm

According to notes on rotten tomatoes about the film it was indeed filmed in various places in Germany:
A Time to Love and a Time to Die was shot entirely on location in Germany with a crew consisting of Americans and Germans. Although Danish-born director Douglas Sirk spent his early career making films for Germany's Ufa, he fled the country during the Nazi regime. Sirk could not use the Ufa offices at the time that A Time to Love and a Time to Die was produced because they were located in Berlin's Russian sector, hence the film's studio work was done at CCC (Central Cinema Company) Studios in Spandau. A November 1957 New York Times article detailed the various locations being used for the film, including Grafenwoehr (near Nuremberg) and Berlin's Tiergarten. Universal production notes add that the Russian battlefront sequences were photographed in northern Bavaria. According to the New York Times article, the filmmakers set up offices in Charlottenburg, in the British sector, installing German staff members to mirror each job held by an American. To shoot in war-torn Berlin, the crew built entrances, exits and stairways in bombed buildings and "were obliged to reinforce the remains of structures where action was planned." The twenty-five-person special effects department, according to an April 1958 Films and Filming piece, blew up four partially demolished buildings in Berlin for bombing raid sequences.

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swo17
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#43 Post by swo17 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:42 am

Blu-ray upgrade coming in September

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knives
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#44 Post by knives » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:42 am

Cute on the spine listing.

eerik
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#45 Post by eerik » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:15 am

CSM126 wrote:- Gorgeous new high definition anamorphic transfer, original 2:35:1 CinemaScope aspect ratio.
- New optional English subtitles (SDH) for the hearing impaired
- Original theatrical trailer, from when the film was called A Time to Love
- Of Tears and Speed: According to Jean-Luc Godard [12:00] A visually annotated recitation of Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal essay on Sirk’s film.
- Out There in the Dark: Wesley Strick Speaks About Douglas Sirk's Secret [19:00] Video interview with Wesley Strick, screenwriter of Scorsese’s Cape Fear and author of the novel Out There in the Dark, a roman-à-clef based upon Sirk’s life in Hollywood and his relationship with the estranged son who took a starring role in Hitler Youth propaganda.
- Imitation of Life: A Portrait of Douglas Sirk [49:00] A film portrait from 1984, directed by Daniel Schmid and photographed by Renato Berta, of Douglas Sirk and his wife Hilda in conversation, and reflecting, from their apartment in Germany, back upon their lives in Hollywood.
- Original 1958 dialogue and continuity script (pdf)
- 36-page booklet containing: the complete text of Jean-Luc Godard’s essay on the film; writings from critic Tag Gallagher; excerpts from Sirk’s reflections; a new translation of Goethe’s poem Blissful Longing, beloved by Sirk
Blu-ray specs:
  • Gorgeous 1080p presentation of the film in its original 2:35:1 CinemaScope aspect ratio
  • English SDH subtitles for the hearing impaired
  • Optional isolated music & effects track
  • OF TEARS AND SPEED: ACCORDING TO JEAN-LUC GODARD - a 12-minute, visually annotated recitation of Jean-Luc Godard's seminal essay on Sirk's film.
  • 19-minute video interview with Wesley Strick, screenwriter of Scorsese's Cape Fear and author of the novel Out There in the Dark , a roman- à-clef based upon Sirk's life in Hollywood and his relationship with the estranged son who took a starring role in Hitler Youth propaganda.
  • IMITATION OF LIFE [MIRAGE OF LIFE]: A PORTRAIT OF DOUGLAS SIRK - a 49-minute film portrait from 1984, directed by Daniel Schmid and photographed by Renato Berta, of Douglas Sirk and his wife Hilda in conversation, and reflecting, from their apartment in Germany, back upon their lives in Hollywood.
  • The original trailer for the film, from the time it retained the provisional title of simply " A TIME TO LOVE "
  • 36-page booklet containing the complete text of Jean-Luc Godard's essay on the film, writings from critic Tag Gallagher on the film and Sirk's career in general, and an assemblage of notes that includes excerpts from Sirk's reflections upon the film, remarks upon visual motifs inside the movie, the CinemaScope process used to photograph the picture, and more.

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GaryC
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#46 Post by GaryC » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:57 am

I've just received a Blu-ray checkdisc of this, and can confirm that the aspect ratio is actually 2.55:1 (measured). The DVD release was 2.40:1 and I did wonder then if it had been slightly cropped at the left hand side. If I can find my old DVD checkdisc I'll put in a screengrab comparison when I review this.

Other than a French dub being replaced by a music and effects track, the disc contents are the same as on the old two-disc DVD. I can't comment as to whether the booklet is different as I haven't yet received a PDF of it.

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Altair
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#47 Post by Altair » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:15 am

To my knowledge, the few times Masters of Cinema have included new articles in their booklets for Blu-ray issues of titles that have already been put out on DVD, don't they normally mention it in their specifications?

Arrow
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#48 Post by Arrow » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:35 am

Any chance this is region free like the dvd was?

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#49 Post by EddieLarkin » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:32 pm

Beaver
GaryC wrote:I've just received a Blu-ray checkdisc of this, and can confirm that the aspect ratio is actually 2.55:1 (measured)
Your post really threw me off for a while because I was sure 2.55:1 'Scope was abandoned around 1956. But DVDBeaver caps confirm the disc is actually 2.35:1. Are you sure your measurements are correct?
Last edited by EddieLarkin on Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: 65 / BD 65 A Time to Love and a Time to Die

#50 Post by MichaelB » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:54 pm

Arrow wrote:Any chance this is region free like the dvd was?
None whatsoever, I'm afraid - I've just tried playing the checkdisc in a Region A player.

For the record, the region-coding message this time round is headed "A good time to die?" - which I'm afraid confirms that it's not a Winstanley situation where the checkdiscs were accidentally region-locked but the final release was region-free. This one is clearly intentional.

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