The Taviani Brothers Collection

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MichaelB
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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#76 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:08 pm

A sneak preview of seven minutes of the full-length Night of the Shooting Stars commentary, exclusive to the Arrow release:

-

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#77 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:56 am

Just listened to that extract - really fascinating stuff, Michael, setting an erudite, informative & engaging standard for commentary tracks...

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#78 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:33 am

Thanks for that, although for me that section is ruined by the fact that I've only just discovered that the two girls in the church are the Tavianis' own daughters (one father apiece). I was QCing the entire disc over the weekend, and the Tavianis mention it in their interview - which I had of course watched before recording the commentary, to keep overlapping info to a minimum, but I clearly didn't register that bit properly!

It's a very strange experience recording a critical commentary as it's such a weirdly circumscribed medium - both extremely elongated (I had to fill 107 minutes) but with a strict time limit on certain subjects dictated by the film's form. Because I had a copy of the script that was already conveniently broken down into sixty separate scenes, I followed suit, filling sixty spreadsheet cells with notes on the various subjects that I could bring up at particular moments - and for scenes where I couldn't think of much to add (Cecilia's encounter with the Americans, for instance, which is pretty much WYSIWYG), I threw in career overviews of major creative contributors or more generalised discussions about how the Tavianis worked. But this is such a rich film that it's not exactly hard to come up with things to say.

It also made me realise just how easy it is to fall into the trap of merely describing onscreen action, although I hope that in almost every case I've added something to the description that isn't apparent from what's onscreen - I was certainly consciously trying to.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#79 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:36 am

And I've just realised in turn that the girl solemnly shaking her head in the church must also be the girl at the end of Kaos who initiates the plunge down the sand dunes, as I know there are quite a few Taviani offspring in that section of the film.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#80 Post by Ribs » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:51 pm

This is now in stock at the Arrow store \:D/

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#81 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:56 pm

I'm very happy to confirm that a finished copy is sitting a mere two feet away from me. I daresay they'll be shipping ASAP.

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The Taviani Brothers Collection

#82 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:31 am

I strongly suspect that they haven't seen the actual package (they complain that the Arrow edition is "grotesquely overpriced", implying that it's identical to the Cohen release - whereas it has four hours of additional extras and a 100-page book on top), but Socialist Review does at least like the films.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#83 Post by tenia » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:34 am

"£40 is a lot of money to pay for 3 old foreign language movies"
Uh, no.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#84 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:48 am

Also if the pound keeps falling it will soon be half the price of the Cohen set. Are foreign films still going to be available in the UK? MPs to vote on this?

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#85 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:01 am

tenia wrote:"£40 is a lot of money to pay for 3 old foreign language movies"
Uh, no.
It's £34.99 at Amazon, or £11.66 per film - with the book (which cost a fair amount to produce, thanks to translation costs for the Pirandello stories) thrown in as a freebie.

Which is a bit of a bargain for a brand new release.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#86 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:13 am

When's the last time $30 would have been less than half of £35, like 20 years ago? Not to mention that Arrow will surely skip on the intensely irritating forced trailers before the films Cohen's been putting on a lot of their (admittedly otherwise excellent) releases. I was uninterested in this when it was a Cohen release, but will almost certainly buy the Arrow sooner or later- it's a physically beautiful object (another place where Cohen consistently suffers), and I'm a sucker for a scholarly commentary.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#87 Post by Jonathan S » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:19 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote: Are foreign films still going to be available in the UK? MPs to vote on this?
A new version of the 1927 Cinematograph Films Act will compel all UK home video companies to ensure that 75% of their product was originally filmed within the British Empire. To celebrate little English pictures, the BFI is already compiling a set of “32 films from 1932” exclusively concerning toffs posing as servants while performing inane musical numbers.

Arrow’s horror line will take on a new meaning with 4K restorations of the oeuvres of Old Mother Riley and Frank Randle (giving viewers a detailed view inside Randle’s dentureless mouth for the first time), and Masters of Cinema will be incorporating John Paddy Carstairs into their hallowed hall (but “Paddy” will have to be dropped). Films entirely featuring British Subjects will receive priority treatment – though an exemption may be allowed for 1950s B movies with lacklustre American stars.

The BBC will be forced to run nothing but classic serials based on English literature and Rescued by Rover will be promoted as the quintessential British film for its prescient warning of the dangers of thieving gypsies and other undesirable migrants.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#88 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:25 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:When's the last time $30 would have been less than half of £35, like 20 years ago? Not to mention that Arrow will surely skip on the intensely irritating forced trailers before the films Cohen's been putting on a lot of their (admittedly otherwise excellent) releases. I was uninterested in this when it was a Cohen release, but will almost certainly buy the Arrow sooner or later- it's a physically beautiful object (another place where Cohen consistently suffers), and I'm a sucker for a scholarly commentary.
I'm very happy to confirm that there are no forced trailers on the Arrow release. Each feature opens with the Cohen logo, but since they paid for the restorations that's fair enough (and in any case a contractual obligation).

The other differences:

• The Millicent Marcus video essays on Padre Padrone and Kaos (combined running time nearly 90 minutes);
• The full-length commentary on The Night of the Shooting Stars;
• The 40-minute, extensively illustrated Taviani career overview;
• High-definition stills galleries for all three films;
• The 100-page book with Pauline Kael's three New Yorker pieces and the six Pirandello stories;
• Arrow has also fixed a few subtitle flubs. In particular, the translation in the Taviani interview was technically excellent, but I suspect the translator wasn't very film-literate - hence a reference to "Rossellini's film about the doctors" instead of "Rossellini's film about the Medicis" (the Italian being the same in both cases). Arrow has also fleshed out the names, as the Tavianis tend to refer to people by their surname only - fine if it's Morricone, less so if it's [Giuseppe] Ruzzolini.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#89 Post by dda1996a » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:01 am

MichaelB wrote:I strongly suspect that they haven't seen the actual package (they complain that the Arrow edition is "grotesquely overpriced", implying that it's identical to the Cohen release - whereas it has four hours of additional extras and a 100-page book on top), but Socialist Review does at least like the films.
Actually this is really cheap, and if arrow did let me order this and only this with free shipping and I didn't have svankmajer's indiegogo contribution to worry about I would have bought this. Hell if anything the scorpion prisoner box set is overpriced

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#90 Post by Ribs » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:27 am

Is Arrow's release not a different encode, as well? I'm sure Cohen's version is fine but I've presumed Arrow would be just a hair better.

Very surprised (but happy!) to see the length of Marcus' essays. It feels like forever since the last Arrow set even though it's only been three months but I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#91 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:32 am

Same source masters, but David Mackenzie encodes. So they most likely won't look dramatically different at a casual glance, but I'd hope there are visible improvements on closer inspection.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#92 Post by AidanKing » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:02 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:Are foreign films still going to be available in the UK?
I think distributors may well find it more difficult to make any kind of return on distributing foreign films if the value of sterling continues to fall. This article from The Guardian suggests other possible consequences of the referendum result for the film industry in Britain.

Unfortunately, I suspect it's the kind of films distributed by New Wave (e.g. Gomes, Ceylan, Weerasethakul) which are most likely to no longer receive UK distribution. I also suspect the effect on BluRay and DVD releases of older films may not be beneficial, either.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#93 Post by AidanKing » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:42 am

As anticipated, it's an excellent package. The book is very good and it's a real bonus to have the translations of the Pirandello short stories. I haven't had a chance to go through the extras yet but, based on the quality of the films and the book and the quantity of the extras, I don't think the set is overpriced at all.

It'd be nice if the set is followed by future releases of other Taviani brothers films (Arrow has previously released Fiorile on DVD) as there are some, such as Allonsanfan, which appear to have never been released in the UK and others, such as Good Morning, Babylon and Night Sun, that aren't available. However, I suspect this will depend on further restorations being carried out.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#94 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:52 am

AidanKing wrote:It'd be nice if the set is followed by future releases of other Taviani brothers films (Arrow has previously released Fiorile on DVD) as there are some, such as Allonsanfan, which appear to have never been released in the UK and others, such as Good Morning, Babylon and Night Sun, that aren't available. However, I suspect this will depend on further restorations being carried out.
I couldn't agree more, and I'd particularly like Allonsanfán to get circulated in a form other than a long-OOP unsubtitled Italian DVD. In fact, it was theatrically released in the UK, belatedly in 1978 (almost certainly to cash in on the success of Padre Padrone), but that's the only commercial release it's had in Britain. It made occasional appearances in rep in the 1980s, which is how I saw it the first time.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#95 Post by newwavefilms » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:03 pm

MichaelB wrote:
AidanKing wrote:It'd be nice if the set is followed by future releases of other Taviani brothers films (Arrow has previously released Fiorile on DVD) as there are some, such as Allonsanfan, which appear to have never been released in the UK and others, such as Good Morning, Babylon and Night Sun, that aren't available. However, I suspect this will depend on further restorations being carried out.
I couldn't agree more, and I'd particularly like Allonsanfán to get circulated in a form other than a long-OOP unsubtitled Italian DVD. In fact, it was theatrically released in the UK, belatedly in 1978 (almost certainly to cash in on the success of Padre Padrone), but that's the only commercial release it's had in Britain. It made occasional appearances in rep in the 1980s, which is how I saw it the first time.
Cash in is a bit harsh, it was to make another Taviani film available, as before Padre Padrone they were unknown in the UK. And if memory serves me right, it was anyway an extremely unsuccessful attempt..

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#96 Post by AidanKing » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:46 am

Was The Meadow ever released in the UK? As it came between Padre Padrone and The Night of the Shooting Stars but apparently hasn't been restored, I imagine it's not regarded as being as good as the films in the set, but it looks as if it might be interesting, particularly from a political point of view and with regard to its setting.

I think Good Morning, Babylon, which seemed to be regarded as a disappointment after Kaos, was much better than the critical response at the time suggested. The evocation of the contrasts (and similarities) between the main protagonists' work in Italy and Hollywood was very effective and I enjoyed the way the varying nationalities of the cast were used. I had thought (mistakenly) for some reason that Film 4 had been involved in its production and so had been surprised about its lack of availability. To be fair, Kaos is a pretty big act to follow.

I haven't seen Night Sun either but again it sounds worth a look. The Tavianis seem to feel an affinity with Tolstoy and Tonino Guerra's involvement is a good sign too. Charlotte Gainsbourg usually seems to make good choices of material and is always worth watching. I don't think anyone would claim that Julian Sands is a good actor but he has an interesting sort of blankness that can be used effectively by a good director (or directors in this case).

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#97 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:09 am

Re. Good Morning Babylon, a quick check reveals it was Filmtre involved as production company, i.e. 3 rather than 4!...

Just working through the Taviani set - fantastic work by MichaelB & Arrow to present the films in this superb package, booklet & all!....
Last edited by ellipsis7 on Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#98 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:09 am

newwavefilms wrote:Cash in is a bit harsh, it was to make another Taviani film available, as before Padre Padrone they were unknown in the UK. And if memory serves me right, it was anyway an extremely unsuccessful attempt..
Picking up the rights to an earlier film to capitalise on the success of a more recent one is most definitely attempting to "cash in" - not least because it's taking advantage of newly-presented financial opportunities which weren't extant before. Obviously, artistic success is greatly to be prized as well, but even arthouse distributors have rent to pay and mouths to feed.
AidanKing wrote:Was The Meadow ever released in the UK? As it came between Padre Padrone and The Night of the Shooting Stars but apparently hasn't been restored, I imagine it's not regarded as being as good as the films in the set, but it looks as if it might be interesting, particularly from a political point of view and with regard to its setting.
Not theatrically, but it played on television in the mid-80s (Channel 4, I think).

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#99 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:17 pm

Just watching your THE SUBLIME BROTHERS documentary extra, an excellent 40 minute visual essay on the brothers' whole career illustrated by an impressive range of material - posters, frame grabs, clips from all their extant films... Did you get to source this from the Taviani personal archive, MichaelB?... And I'm guessing, a marathon task to clear it all unless as 'fair use/quotation in a critical context'?.... Tantalising glimpses nevertheless of the films mentioned earlier in the thread & quite a comprehensive labour of love on the evidence of this viewing...

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Re: The Taviani Brothers Collection

#100 Post by MichaelB » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:47 am

Heads up - the Taviani set has been reduced to £24.99 in Arrow's current Black Friday sale, running until 10am GMT on Tuesday.

And here's a clip from the Millicent Marcus essay on Kaos that I don't think I've published here before:

https://vimeo.com/170314153" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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