25 Alphaville

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Noiretirc
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#51 Post by Noiretirc » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:35 pm

Jean-Luc Garbo wrote:This film never gets old, Noiretirc. Reattack if with flair because it's got a lot going for it in Godard's canon.
Nothing can beat that scene where Lemmy busts through the door/wall and shoots 'em up. Badassery at it's best. I watched that scene a dozen times, mesmerized by the cutting and the economy. Damn!

Alphaville lingers and beckons. Les Carabiniers nearly made me vomit at first, and now I love it. Damn you JLG.

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Noiretirc
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#52 Post by Noiretirc » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:03 pm

My second viewing of this last night was so endarkening. I genuinely felt quite sad for most of the characters. I read somewhere that Godard didn't want us to feel this or that about Alphaville, and perhaps I have betrayed him. I just want to hug Lemmy. And I kept waiting for a chase through sewers.

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dad1153
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#53 Post by dad1153 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:57 pm


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Svevan
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#54 Post by Svevan » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:54 pm

Looking for a reason to justify buying this disc. I love Alphaville, but I never bought the Criterion in the hopes that they would do a re-release. I thought the transfer was overly grainy and had a weak black level when I saw it five or eight years ago, but will Lionsgate/Studio Canal improve any of that? I'm allergic to PAL speedup, so the R2 is out of the question.

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carax09
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#55 Post by carax09 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:30 pm

If you're allergic to speedup, then you need to avoid a R1 dvd from an unconverted PAL source.

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Svevan
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#56 Post by Svevan » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:34 pm

carax09 wrote:If you're allergic to speedup, then you need to avoid a R1 dvd from an unconverted PAL source.
You're not talking about the Criterion, are you? According to the Beav, it's an NTSC transfer with a 5% longer running time than the PAL release. Or are you implying that a future Lionsgate release will be unconverted?

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carax09
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#57 Post by carax09 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:10 pm

No, I assumed your avoidance of the Optimum was based on a misunderstanding of the circumstances under which speedup comes into play---obviously I was incorrect, and I apologize. I had seen the Beaver comparison, but hadn't noticed the runtime discrepancy. I'm actually having a hard time getting my head around this; Are we to assume the Criterion and Optimum are from the same telecine?

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Re: 25 Alphaville

#58 Post by James » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:45 am

I have a strong feeling this will be released on Blu-ray.

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Re: 25 Alphaville

#59 Post by MTRodaba2468 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:42 pm

James wrote:I have a strong feeling this will be released on Blu-ray.
It probably will. Just not from Criterion.

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jsteffe
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#60 Post by jsteffe » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:06 am

Svevan wrote:Looking for a reason to justify buying this disc. I love Alphaville, but I never bought the Criterion in the hopes that they would do a re-release. I thought the transfer was overly grainy and had a weak black level when I saw it five or eight years ago, but will Lionsgate/Studio Canal improve any of that? I'm allergic to PAL speedup, so the R2 is out of the question.
It is indeed grainier than the Optimum disc, but the question I have is how much grain should the film have? I may be wrong, but didn't Coutard shoot it entirely with available light? I think he used a very fast film stock, which would mean more pronounced grain. Well, at any rate we'll see what happens if or whenever the Lionsgate/Studio Canal disc is released.

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Svevan
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#61 Post by Svevan » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:24 am

I'd like to think that years of printing this disc will help ameliorate outrageous scalping once it's OOP, but that's probably naive. Meantime I'm going to solicit used copies in the Trades/Bargains forum, I think.

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Askew
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#62 Post by Askew » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:07 pm

Is the Criterion worth tracking down or is there an in print version that's just as good or better?

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ccfixx
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#63 Post by ccfixx » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:58 pm

Askew wrote:Is the Criterion worth tracking down or is there an in print version that's just as good or better?
You could go for the Optimum release in the UK, which has been compared to the Criterion release over at DVDBeaver.

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colinr0380
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#64 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:07 pm


rrenault
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#65 Post by rrenault » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:19 pm

The Criterion version isn't that hard to find.

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Re: 25 Alphaville

#66 Post by rrenault » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:22 pm

I'd go Criterion on this one if only for the reason that the Optimum is slightly cropped.

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djproject
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#67 Post by djproject » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:01 pm

Does anyone know exactly the reason why it went OOP? I don't think it was one of the StudioCanal cases.

Given the recent restoration and the DCP theatrical run sponsored by Rialto, I wouldn't be surprised if this gets resurrected as a Criterion Blu-ray. One can dream right? =]

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Askew
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#68 Post by Askew » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:28 pm

It is a Studio Canal title.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#69 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:03 pm

I keep waiting for this on Blu-Ray...

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djproject
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#70 Post by djproject » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:08 am

Askew wrote:It is a Studio Canal title.
Is there a good scan of the back cover? I tried looking for one and I was not able to find it. I was also trying to confirm if StudioCanal either owns the copyright or owns the home video rights or not (hence looking at the back cover).

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swo17
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#71 Post by swo17 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:18 am


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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#72 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:06 am

Canal picked up Alphaville in 1996, when they bought the UGC/D.A. catalog. Criterion first released it on LD in 1995, so presumably their licensing deal was struck with whoever handled the rights before Canal (there's no mention of licensor on the DVD back cover, but there might be one in the liner notes). Similarly, the This Is Spinal Tap LD (1994) and DVD (1998) make no mention of Canal even though they acquired the Embassy library in 1994; presumably that's because Spinal Tap was with New Line as part of an existing deal (they released it on VHS in 1992) and Criterion licensed it from them, before Canal had anything to do with it.

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colinr0380
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#73 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:27 pm

I can confirm that the DVD starts off with the UGC D.A. International logo.

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djproject
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#74 Post by djproject » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:20 am

Thank you for curing my ignorance =]

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colinr0380
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Re: 25 Alphaville

#75 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:30 pm

Watching the film again, I was interested by the way that finally it seems that recent cinema is catching up to it. There are moments that some films from around the same time captured and re-presented (such as the couple facing each other fading into them looking directly, almost accusingly, into the camera in The Man Who Fell To Earth. And the low key spacestation sequence of 2001, full of telephone booths and groups of scientists having atrium based discussions could arguably have taken that influence from Alphaville) but I'm seeing traces of Alphaville everywhere in the recent decade, from It's All About Love to 2046. Films which make the contemporary environment strange; or show the past as loverlorn as the future, while the present is only desolation containing once meaningful gestures stripped of their content or confused.

There's a beautiful low key, almost everyday, quality to the locations that nonetheless keeps throwing up beautiful and bizarre, though often cold and inhuman, imagery. I love that much of the action is over the top (I think a gun is fired more times in this film than in any Godard, perhaps emphasising its generic qualities) yet fragmented or obscured enough to not fully satisfy as such. For example the final sequence involves a car chase from the snowy Northern (neige du nord) zone of Alphaville to the sunny Southern (sud du soleil) and back again! Yet that emphasises the poetic qualities, as if in banal, transitory spaces and surrounded by brainwashed (robotic? cloned? lobotomised? collaborators? children with no experience of the wider world that they are told is threatening and they have to wage war with?) citizens whose 'Bibles' in a 1984-esque way contain ever decreasing numbers of words with ever changing and multiplying meanings, perhaps a poetic imagination is the only response. In an environment where intellect is viewed with suspicion, having multiple personalities or agendas, or an inner life or personal allegiance, is as threatening as active subversion.

It is a film both situated squarely in its time (from computers taking up entire rooms, to panels of blinking lights, to number-tattooed residents and the pointedly named Professor von Braun being the significant figure who has to be turned or killed alluding to the legacy of World War Two rocket-to-atomic scientists) and strangely more alien and sci-fi-feeling the further away that we get from its era and its then-urgent, now of their time, maybe even obscured by being so of their period, messages.

Also, I couldn't help but think that this is really a remake of Godard's earlier film Band of Outsiders in two key scenes, albeit with generic sci-fi/noir/Lemmy Caution signifiers added and coming from a darker, colder place. The violence in Alphaville is greater, yet doesn't seem to hurt as much as in Band of Outsiders, despite Band of Outsiders having its own layer of ironic detached distanciation from identification with its characters. In particular the English lesson translating Romeo & Juliet from Band of Outsiders here gets turned into the room of people listening attentively to the supercomputer Alpha 60 making its philosophical pronouncements, while both of our guys have more pressing problems of trying to pass messages across to the girls during the class. And the final sequence of betrayal, or sacrificial murder, of the other man in our heroine's life that frees our remaining characters to escape, sequeing into a scene of them driving caught in between one world and the other ("I can't decide between the north and the south"), focused intently on Karina's character's ambivalent, exhausted, fractured speech-based epiphanies regarding their future as their final image. Even though Band of Outsiders then pushes on into the short Chaplin homage scene.

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