We are all lovers of film here this is common knowledge. We all recognize that there are films that deserve a chance at DVD release. Something that Mike Spence and I have decided to start a campaign for.
We want to ask you as an Auteurs community to follow us in emailing a select list of DVD distributors that we will provide a document that we will write (though we do encourage you to find your own and write your own, but we want to provide you with as much as we can) showing them demand for these films are there.
It would be preferred and helpful if this email went out once a week, a simple copy and paste whenever during the week you may check your email or log onto this site.
Think about it … we have MANY active forum members here and if each of them sent this email once a week … in a month that would be several thousand emails to each distributor.
Mike and I would also like to ask you to not stop there, we’d like to ask you to spread the word.
I know that personally I have around a dozen real life cinephiles/filmmakers who would love to get involved with this too. I also know each of them has their own circle and so forth …
If we ask our friends to do this … for those of you in college or high school who have access to film study classes, bulletin boards, film based clubs, etc … spread the word. If need me personally message myself or Mike and we will provide you with a document to print out and post … or again write your own.
With the purpose and idea out of the way we’d like to submit to you the first film we would like start with this campaign.
Of the five filmmaker’s whose names are normally associated with the French New Wave movement of the 1960s, Jacques Rivette has had the spottiest history with home video distribution. His first feature, Paris Belongs to Us, which introduces the under-appreciated filmmaker’s obsessions with conspiracies (ultimately more of the mind and soul than the Oliver Stone variety) and theater, is available in a nice edition from the BFI. His playful masterpiece of feminine story-making and unmaking, Celine and Julie go Boating is also available from the same company.
Unfortunately, however, much of the director’s lengthy and complex early work is difficult or nearly impossible to find, making an artistic assessment of the New Wave, if one discounts fame and influence as one should, nearly impossible. The most glaring hole in many New Wave fans appreciation of the movement is the inability to properly watch and enjoy Rivette’s 12 hour and 40 minute opus, Out 1. Described by many important critics as a holy grail of cinema, Out 1 is loosely based on Balzac’s History of the Thirteen and concerns thirteen characters who at one time were or were not involved in a conspiratorial secret society. Jean-Pierre Leaud (more known as the child from Truffuat’s The 400 Blows than his mature work) plays a character obsessed with figuring out who was involved and what they were involved with and Julie Berto plays a similarly disassociated figure. Rivette’s film concerns less the nuances of how conspiracies work than it does, to paraphrase Jonathan Rosenbaum, the end of the revolutionary passion’s of the 60’s generation.
The film was made for television and rejected, then shown once in 1971 at Le Havre only as a work print. Following that it wasn’t seen again until it appeared at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 1989 and appeared on French cable television in the early 90s and on VHS for a short time in france.
Seeing it recently in a version i could only watch on my laptop, with a faded image and italian subtitle’s playing under the english ones, I was stunned by the film’s subtle power. Rivette takes his time, in the best sense, allowing scenes of playful conversation, flirting or theatricality to extend until the audience becomes less spectator than participant in the time it takes to learn things, to experience powerful feeling and to listen. It shouldn’t take an astute viewer long to figure out that the answers Leaud is looking for aren’t even close to being as important as the delays and personal interactions he and the others have along the way. Eschewing non-diegetic sound for the duration of the films running time, Rivette reminds us of the musicality of natural sound and conversation in a completely non-tendentious way. Rivette makes us remember that play is more profound in many ways than work and of the five major filmmakers his films subtleties are the lost difficult to grasp for those looking for big statements about the human condition. In Out 1, the french master is less interested in diagnosing the human condition than he is in lightly conditioning us to relax and simply be more human while keeping up with the small moments when the characters forget their obsessions and unwittingly let down their guard. Truffaut may have introduced us to the 400 "blows’ but in Out 1 and his other early work Rivette reveals that the little moments that make up a life “flow” so fast they can never be reduced to a number or a noun. This rarely seen film is a must see.
OUT 1 Campaign Written By: Mike Spence
PS: Feel free to message recommendations to JP. Schmidt for our next film. The film after Out 1 will be community based. This is just the start. Also feel free to post suggestions and comments on the approach, we’re doing this together. Thank you.
Claude Jutra’s À tout prendre (1964)
I heard about this masterpiece on the supplements of the criterion dvd Mon Oncle Antoine and i was very suprised that A tout prende is not out on DVD considering the how it coincides with the tragic later life of the director Claude Jutra.
Thank you for your interesting in the project Myersc, I’ll take not of your film suggestion but I’d like to please ask all film suggestions to be done via private message and keep the thread open for discussion on the film at hand and the movement itself, but again thank you!
As an English film fan, can we please also include DVD distribution companies in other countries such as the UK as well? In fact another problem we’re faced is that not every country gets films that others do.
The problem there is that is a simple fix, a region free player. I got mine for $60 US and the main focus is to get these films on DVD, I don’t care what region they are on but they need to be available to the public for home use.
we are currently putting a list of distributors together to email about this, and they’re not all US distributors.
What make and model region free player do you use?
ROOM AT THE TOP
Great work, JP.. I’m going to message you in the next few minutes.
Story of the Late Chrysanthemums (Mizoguchi, 1939)
I don’t think this is widely available on dvd. It should be. It was voted in the last Sight and Sound major international critics poll top 25- easily the least known film at that level. It was one of Jonathan Rosenbaum’s top 10; he really knows his stuff and is influential. It’s a beautiful film, with astounding experimental lighting effects, fluid camerawork in long takes, an involving touching narrative. It won 12-0 in the auteurs world cup- among the very best results, well received by viewers! It was picked by distinguished British critic Derek Malcolm in his 100, also by Tony Rayns in the book Film: The Critics’s Choice. So don’t just take my word for it. Anyway, Mizoguchi is the Shakespeare of film and it’s high time more people were given a chance to discover his masterpieces.
Seeing as people are talking region free dvd players you might want to check out the one I have. It’s a bluray player: the LG BD350 and it’s region free for dvds and for bluray discs (which is fairly unusual). I picked one up for £100 (about $150). You can also play movies in .avi format from a USB key via the USB socket on the front of the machine. Can’t ask much more of a player than that.
“Mizoguchi is the Shakespeare of film”
Shakespeare wasn’t god ;)
Directors that NEED DVD RELEASES!!!
Nelson Pereira dos Santos
“Shakespeare wasn’t god”
However, he is regarded by the majority of the population as such and ya gotta speak the language of the masses, heh.
Anyway, I think this thread is a good start. I like a lot of the ideas, good work.
more of films by these good people:
Carl E. Brown
Shakespeare wasn’t God, or vice versa
anyway, another film worthy of worldwide dvd release is Manoel de Oliveira’s Aniki Bobo, much loved 1942 Portuguese classic about young kids in Porto, “neo-realism” with charm
Believe it or not, I saw Aniki Bobo on DVD for sale at a website for children’s books and educational material.
I would like to see the Fantomas TV series (1980-4 episodes) that was directed by Chabrol and Bunuel’s son and starred Helmut Berger. A version with English subtitles please.
I appreciate and love everyone’s enthusiasm but I’d like to stress again please submit film ideas to me via personal message and leave the forum open for the topic at hand, after we do our best with Out 1 we will poll for what to do next. Thank you!
Are people really taking shots at Shakespeare, here?
sorry, JP; Out 1 is i’m sure near the top of many must-see lists (mine included), Rivette is a great master.
I think Snow i the only person we would have to write in this case. I have heard he feels strongly that his work should only be shown in theaters. We will come up with a special letter for his kind so they can see how wrong they are :)
Feel free to message me with any suggestions as well.
As far as Out 1 is concerned, I sure those who care have hear rumors about a potential Criterion release. The hope is that if this is not the case our support for a release will push someone else to make this happen. If it is the case we hope it will push Criterion to speed up the release of this “holy grail.”
Jonathan Rosenbaum on early Rivette:
“I know it sounds perverse to say so, but to my mind all of Jacques Rivette’s greatest films teeter to greater or lesser extents on the edges of madness. (I’m not the only one who has concluded this—which is why some commentators have liked to compare Rivette to Artaud.) His three masterpieces devoted to theatre rehearsals and everyday life during the ‘60s, all of them marathons as well as, for me, key transformative and even life-changing cinematic experiences—L’amour fou (252 minutes, 1968), Out 1: Noli me tangere (1971, 750 minutes), and Out 1: Spectre (1972, 255 minutes)—are the ones that engage with madness most directly as a subject, and they all remain woefully unavailable on DVD. Having recently seen the long Out 1 subtitled in English for the first time at the Vancouver International Film Festival, I can only reiterate how invaluable it would be to have both versions on DVD.”
To anyone who doesn’t really care I would suggest searching for other, non-mainstream critics opinion on this monumental film so you can get excited about this. This would be any company’s crown jewel.
Also, avoid looking at scenes from Out 1 on youtube. Out of context they make no sense.
As far as Out 1 is concerned, I am sure those who care have heard rumors about a potential Criterion release. The hope is that if this is not the case our support for a release will push someone else to make this happen. If it is the case we hope it will push Criterion to speed up the release of this “holy grail.”
while the democratic spirit underlying that post is much appreciated, that is near blasphemous with the kind of institutional access to FILM one in that area enjoys,
instead of making an effort to get films released on DVD I think more people should storm their local art houses, university film departments, film societies, etc. and demand they rent and put on screenings,
it’s all about the windmills man…
EG, I speak not just for myself, but to those less fortunate who cannot see these films in their intended medium and don’t have the resources to rent and project the prints themselves. The chance that these films can be released on DVD (or more preferably blu-ray) for widespread distribution is much likely than a few individuals convincing their local film institution to put on screenings.
yes, sad but true,
nevertheless I must continue to hold this line of thought in the hopes that one of these days a local institution will bite on one of my presentations,
or perhaps one of these windmills will eventually just tip over and crush me altogether and they can all move on in peace…