Any fans of this great masterwork?
Few films are equal to this one. Few have as much life or scope. Few break as much ground.
I am a fan of J’accuse! but I cannot find Napoleon. Where did you find Napoleon?
One of my local libraries had it on VHS. I made a copy of it on dvd, complete with my own chapter markers.
I liked J’accuse, but much preferred La Roue, when I saw it on Turner.
I want to get it on dvd, but its like 40 bucks, so maybe I’ll wait until they put La Roue out on blu ray.
Check you library system for Napoleon on VHS.
I will do that and pardon me for being dense, but what method did you use to convert VHS to DVD? My library has some tantalising VHSs that I have always wanted to see but my VHS player has long been sent to the gallows.
Also, did the VHS of Napoleon have it in its original 4.00 aspect ratio?
Napoleon is in the standard 1.33:1 ratio for 95% of the movie. As I understand it, only the final sequence had the three wide projection, so the way that it is handled on the home video is that the main picture shrinks to the center of you screen and then the left and right screens appear on the sides, creating the 3:1 ratio, and essential first ever widescreen shot.
My parents had bought a dvd burner to transfer home movies and stuff to dvd for posterity, I just ran the VHS through the dvd burner as the input and did a live recording. (had to cover up the holes on the VHS, though)
Is it my post that is not interesting? Ok, I can see that. I didn’t say anything really interesting or intelligent, fair enough.
I surely hope that the lack of interest in this thread is an indication that people on this site either:
a.) don’t know who Abel Gance is
b.) haven’t seen or heard of the movie
c.) did not like the great film.
I guess we should just go back to discussing Godard and Lynch.
I think it is mostly the lack of access to this movie. Not many people are able to view VHS tapes let alone go to the library.
Am I really getting that old? That I’m the only guy here who knows what a VHS is?
Jason: No, you’re not alone. I too remember the days of VHS, but I think I was around at the tail-end of that era. Watching terrible family and straight-to-video sequel movies.
The horror, . . . the horror . . . . .
I think I have a VHS somewhere up in my attic….
That used to be the only way my family would watch movies. And not even store bought VHS tapes, but we RECORDED films on the TV and saved them. I don’t think we bought one until one day at a garage sale. :D
I’m only 27, though. Man that looks old written down.
I’m only 15
I just bought Napoleon off of Amazon. I looked at just a little bit of it and am looking forward to watching the whole thing. I got it used on VHS. It’s the 3 hour and 55 minute version with the score by Carmine Coppola. I’m not sure when I will get exactly around to watching the whole movie though, because I want to watch other movies that I own and have not seen yet as well as others that I get from the library or friends. There are still some copies on Amazon I think and I believe they are all VHS.
Have you seen Nelly Kaplan’s portrait of Abel Gance and his Napoleon ?
’"Abel Gance hier et demain"
Count me in for “Napoleon”; it is quite amazing, and it begs to be seen on a big screen.
I was fortunate to be in Washington DC already when the Coppola restoration premiered.
It was shown at the Kennedy Center opera house, 35mm on 3 projectors (when needed), with Carmine Coppola conducting the opera house orchestra playing his score. One of the greatest movie nights of the first 50 years of my life.
When the side screens kicked in for the big finish, and the tints of the three panels combined into a giant French flag, and with Coppola whipping the orchestra into “La Marseillaise”, people in the audience were standing, jumping, sceaming “Vive la France!!”
For anyone interested, Kevin Brownlow wrote a wonderful book titled “Napoleon: Abel Gance’s Classic Film” detailing the production. The film has been a life-long preoccupation for Brownlow.
It’s a pity there has been such a tug-of-war over rights between his restoration and Coppola’s. Let’s hope this gets settled so this epic can have the Blu-Ray box it deserves. Criterion….?
I’m attending the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, and saw the opening night attraction of John Ford’s long lost UPSTREAM, one of the films found in the New Zealand film archive. The audience had been warned to wait at the end of the film, as there would be an announcement of particular interest to us all. So we watched UPSTREAM, a fine speedy little comedy of great charm and energy, and then were treated to a trailer advertising the below:
The press release says that there are no plans for this to happen anywhere else in the U.S., but I can’t imagine that these will be the only screenings.
And if nothing else, I think this is encouraging in terms of a future DVD release.
Definitely a beautiful film. Incredible cinematography, especially for its time.
Although I watched it thinking that a four hour long film about Napoleon would have to cover his rise and his fall, and it turned out only to cover his rise.
Jirin, Gance had originally intended a multi-film series about Napoleon’s life, and only the first part was completed.
Super excited about this!
Ahh, I wasn’t aware of that. That explains it better.
Still, the way it ended, it comes off like it was intended for national chest-beating by portraying a famous conquerer as a superhuman patriot.
Should be an incredible event. The Paramount is quite the Palace. Even moreso than The Castro. Plus a real orchestra? Call me crazy but that’s worth a cross country trip…
I’m going. I bought my ticket. God in heaven help me get a cheap airfare. After waiting 30 years for the chance to see this again with full orchestra and real Polyvision, I just had to do it.
I applaud you. You’re a true, dedicated cinephile. No one can ever pull your card.
Have fun, Roscoe, you lucky dog. I just may have to join you. $104 bucks for orchestra…..
You’ll finally get to see the longer Brownlow version with Carl Davis conducting his score.
Should be incredible.
You were the other poster who was at the Kennedy Center when I was there 30 years ago, right?
We had a thread about that a while back.
Bobby, man — it is going to be amazing. Amazing.
Yeah, Claus, I saw it at the Kennedy Center in 1982 or so, we might even have seen the same screening — I remember lots of French-speakers getting very excited, it seemed there was a French Embassy contingent in the house. One of the great joys of my life, an astonishing experience. I just have to see this again on a big screen at least once more, and since they’re showing the full length restoration, it is just plain irresistible.
They kept running that trailer alll through the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, before most of the screenings, and I just sat there with my heart breaking a little more each time I saw it. I’ll probably miss the full-out San Francisco Festival in July next year, there’s just no way I can do both, but I’m sure I’m getting the good end of the deal.
And they went out of their way to make sure that we got the message that there are NO PLANS for this to be repeated anywhere else, the logistics and expense and everything are apparently just too outlandish for it to be made into a tour or something like that.
And Kevin Brownlow made it quite clear, during a presentation on the restoration’s history, that there are no plans for it to be released on DVD or Blu-Ray.
My fingers are crossed that they mean no plans as in no plans RIGHT NOW, that there will be further screenings and a home video release.
Why is it so difficult for another film screening? Even if they don’t have the full orchestra. Surely they can scan it digitally and let it tour the country. Even the print should be able to tour like any other film print. Is it because of the specific multi-screen effects that require a special projector?
Bobby, I’d imagine the three projectors are an issue, and getting them synchronized for the finale, and the expense of a full orchestra would be prohibitive, and then there’s the sheer length — 5 1/2 hours.
And apparently there’s only the single print (including the triple screen sections) in existence, according to Brownlow. I’d wager that someone out there with extreme wealth could pick up the cost of scanning the thing for digital projection. But we’re talking about a silent film here, and a classic film, and all that, and folks with extreme wealth don’t seem to be interested in picking up the tab.
Yeah, a tour of this film (apart from the cost of getting the prints made) would face the same problem Cinerama faced when it came out: re-rigging theatres for 3 machines, having highly trained projectionists who could run the three machines in correct interlock, a screen big enough….and that’s before one even gets into if there should be live accompaniment.
Few theatres in the US could handle this. It could be THE roadshow presentation of all time, but the cost…..