Luis Buñuel on DVD

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
porquenegar
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:33 pm

#1 Post by porquenegar » Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:22 am

I'm in Mazatlan, Mexico currently visiting the folk for the Holidays. Anyway, I just spotted about 12 different Alter films at the local Walmart. They were less than $10 each. Unfortunately they didn't have any of the Bunuel ones. These movies fall under their "Vive Mexico!" line of DVDs. At the risk of being kicked off the forum, I will admit to picking up "Santo Y Blue Demon Contra Los Monstruos" for nostalgia's sake. The picture and sound quality were decent and it included english subs and some really minor extra features. It is in 4:3 aspect ratio and box cover made no mention of aspect ratios on any of the films. I'm having trouble finding out the correct aspect ratio for this film but it look properly framed from what I could tell so maybe 4:3 is correct. They are all encoded for Region 1 and Region 4 playback. One annoying thing about the disc I bought was that there were forced trailers. The trailers were for

Dos Tipos de Cuidado (Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante)
Ah� est� el Detalle (Cantinflas)
Dos caras tiene el destino (looks great, very noirish)

User avatar
swingo
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:35 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

#2 Post by swingo » Fri Dec 31, 2004 11:00 am

sskeats wrote:All the Bunuel's listed in this thread and released by Alters have english subs.
Hi, I'm Mexican and of course I do own all four, and all of them have english subtitles except subida al cielo. Both subida... and ilusion... are for Buñuel fans... they're not good for a starter.

Alterfilms pulled up a good job, Los Olvidados version has an alternate ending which makes it even more interesting. The Nazarin one has a raw sound mix but it can hold up...

send a mail to the www.alterfilms.com and explain you want some of them 'overseas' maybe you can fix some.

May I also recommend of the same: "La Perla", "Maria Candelaria", "Macario", "Frida:Naturaleza Viva" and "Enamorada." great mexican flicks.
porquenegar wrote:I'm in Mazatlan, At the risk of being kicked off the forum, I will admit to picking up "Santo Y Blue Demon Contra Los Monstruos" for nostalgia's sake. The picture and sound quality were decent and it included english subs and some really minor extra features. It is in 4:3 aspect ratio and box cover made no mention of aspect ratios on any of the films. I'm having trouble finding out the correct aspect ratio for this film but it look properly framed from what I could tell so maybe 4:3 is correct. They are all encoded for Region 1 and Region 4 playback. One annoying thing about the disc I bought was that there were forced trailers. The trailers were for

Dos Tipos de Cuidado (Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante)
Ah� est� el Detalle (Cantinflas)
Dos caras tiene el destino (looks great, very noirish)
I found a trick for the trailers it can work on some, when the trailer starts press stop and then quickly press play and it'll go directly to the movie, yes they are annoying...

santo es la neta, mi hermano es fanaticazo de el y tiene casi todos los dvds que han salido a la fecha...

User avatar
dekadetia
was Born Innocent
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:57 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

#3 Post by dekadetia » Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:57 pm

At the risk of running off topic (although this thread's been dead for quite a while), I thought it appropriate to note here that the newest issue of the American literary journal 3rd Bed includes a complete English translation of Bacanal, a series of five poems by Luis Bu�uel accompanied by paintings by Jose Hernandez. I believe these pieces were originally published in Spain in the 1970s, but the journal is unclear about when they were written. A sampling from the first piece, "Palace of Ice" ("Palacio de Hielo"):
Near the door a hanged man dangles over the enclosed abyss of eternity, howling for a long while. It's me. It is my skeleton with nothing left now but the eyes. Now they smile at me, now they squint, now THEY ARE GOING TO EAT A CRUMB OF BREAD IN THE INTERIOR OF MY BRAIN. The window opens and a lady appears filing her nails. When she considers them sharp enough she tears out my eyes and throws them into the street. My empty sockets remain, no gaze, no desires, no sea, no little chicks, no nothing.
To make a filmic connection, the pieces generally remind me of the tangential dream passages and substories in Discreet Charm, fleeting and fatalistic. Definitely worth a look.
Last edited by dekadetia on Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
swingo
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:35 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

Nazari­n or Los Olvidados?

#4 Post by swingo » Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:36 pm

Although many people consider this to be, one of Bunuel's strongest efforts; I feel that, somehow, it hasn't been mentioned and praised as much as it deserves.

It is hard for me to choose which one is better if Nazarin or Los Olvidados.

This is the only film that Bunuel made with the, then "Independent Producer" Manuel Barbachano Ponce, which was known to be respectful to the director's work allowing them a complete freedom. This was still a time when the Mexican Film Industry was at it's peak. And after some commercial flops, and some rule breaking on the imagery of the "Mexico" the film industry wanted, Buñuel didn't received any fund from the Film industry.

The cinematography was by the great Gabriel Figueroa, whom was widely known for his cinematography of Emilio Fernandez' films. Oddly enough, Gabriel didn't had the usual "complete freedom" (complete control) of the mise en scene.

The best thing of the movie, for me, is the ambiguity regarding the catholicism. It has strong elements that can be taken as a pro-religious and anti-religious.

The charachter of Father Nazario is one of the most in-depths charachters of Bunuel's filmography. He starts as a strong and faithful man. But all along the movie his persona becomes more doubtful and soul harmed.

Another character I enjoy so much is of Marga Lopez' "Beatriz" which is a poor soul that longs for his 'macho' to return (Even the then commonly portrayal of "Machismo" was treated different by Bunuel. Along the film she has fantasies of making Noe Murayama's "Pinto" suffer for her, which was quite the opposite.

Father Nazario suffers from many confusions, He doesn't accomplish his goals along the way.
SpoilerShow
he's almost beaten and being laughed at by some crooks while sharing a jail with them as if he was just as much of a criminal, Father Nazario is being defended by Ignacio Lopez Tarso's charachter of "Thief". The dwelling bottom at the end is when he's being taken imprisoned and he receives a pineapple as a charity.
It also contains some of the best surrealism images in Bunuel's filmography.

Any comments to share about this masterpiece?

User avatar
Cinephrenic
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:58 pm
Location: Paris, Texas

#5 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:29 pm

It is hard for me to choose which one is better if Nazarïn or Los Olvidados.
Why do you have to choose?

User avatar
bunuelian
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:49 am
Location: San Diego

#6 Post by bunuelian » Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:06 pm

The ambiguity of Nazarin lies not in its relationship to religion, but its relationship to Father Nazario himself. God is entirely absent from the film - it is distinctly atheist. The Catholic Church, represented by the elder priest and his hot chocolate, is remote and disinterested in what happens at the level of society where Nazario lives - except to express some embarrassment at his condition. Bunuel's problems with the Catholic Church went far beyond its religious aspects (though clearly he took exception to many things). In this film Bunuel doesn't address Catholicism's religious elements - instead, he focuses on the hypocrisy of the priest's opulence in the face of the obvious "Christ-like" quality of Nazario aiding the wounded prostitute. God never really comes into the discussion, except vicariously through the peasant ritual with the dove - equally pointless, equally ineffective in dealing with the problems of the world.

Nazario goes off into the world to live in a kind of St. Francis mode, wanting to live in abject poverty and do good works. But whatever good works he tries to accomplish are frustrated by his obliviousness to reality (the violence that erupts in the wake of his attempt to work for bread - ignoring the plight of the men who were in line ahead of him), rejection by those he wishes to help (the man and woman in the plague-ridden village) or simple inefficacy in the face of human cruelty (the prisoners who taunt him). At the end of the film, Nazario is utterly defeated - despite his faith, everything has gone wrong and he's slipping into a nether region of hopelessness.

I think the acceptance of the pineapple is evidence of a breakthrough: his efforts to be holy have really been, at bottom, foolish. Taking the pineapple is a simple acceptance of his humanity - ultimately the most important thing for Bunuel in all his characters, even the least sympathetic. This is the same revelation that occurs to Viridiana.

Bunuel's atheism was not a virulent hostility to religion of every variety. He clearly had respect for faith as a powerful human condition. Bunuel never mocks a character's belief in God except to the extent that that belief contravenes the reality in front of the character's nose. The film is sympathetic to Nazario, but at the same time objectively shows the absurd impotence of efforts to do good in the absence of a grounding in reality.

User avatar
david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

The Young One (Bunuel)

#7 Post by david hare » Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:06 pm

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this elsewhere but Rosenbaum reports this incredibly rare title is available in an unrestored but perfectly serviceable version form Mexico R4. (It is of course in english and I think the disc has removeable Spanish subs.) Anyone recommend some Mexican etailers??

User avatar
swingo
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:35 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

#8 Post by swingo » Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:13 pm

davidhare wrote:I don't know if anyone has mentioned this elsewhere but Rosenbaum reports this incredibly rare title is available in an unrestored but perfectly serviceable version form Mexico R4. (It is of course in english and I think the disc has removeable Spanish subs.) Anyone recommend some Mexican etailers??
As long as I can remember, there is none r4 mexican release of the Young One. There are the 4 alterfilms and "El" with a label called Zima ent. with NO english subtitles.

Alterfilms are on the work of Viridiana and Exterminating Angel.

Lemme do a research of it, although I'm pretty sure that there is no such version of it... and if I bump into one I'll let you know.

User avatar
FilmFanSea
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: Portland, OR

#9 Post by FilmFanSea » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:57 am

I think Rosenbaum is mistaken about the details. La Joven was released last September in Spain (R2 PAL) by Manga Films. It can be purchased thru FNAC.

It has two audio tracks: English & a Spanish dub (also Spanish subtitles). AR is 1.33:1---not sure if this is the OAR.

EDIT: Rosenbaum's quote comes from this article:
[The Young One (1960)]—which boasts no restoration, but still looks fine—is released by Manga Films in Mexico under its Spanish title, La Joven, a Region 2 PAL item with optional Spanish subtitles (or dubbed Spanish dialogue, if that’s your trip).
So, it appears that he meant to write "Spain" instead of "Mexico."

User avatar
david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

#10 Post by david hare » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:10 am

Thanks for the info guys. I am in Paris in eight weeks and might try buying it then from FNAC.
Re OAR - although it's not clear if this should be something like 1.66 a friend has seen it screened in NY over the years in both full-frame and slightly masked format (1.5?) and feels the 1.37 ratio looks fine. Considering that the picture wasn't a major studio release maybe Figueroa shot it with a view to both a "centre cut" and slightly widescreen projection.

Just realized this is FNAC Spain and will order. Do you have any idea of quality of the R2 Sp. TRISTANA?

User avatar
FilmFanSea
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: Portland, OR

#11 Post by FilmFanSea » Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:24 pm

I sent an email to Milestone Films today:

It appears that Milestone holds (or held) the theatrical distribution rights to Luis Bu�uel�s underrated 1961 film The Young One (La Joven). [Jonathan Rosenbaum said in his 1993 review of the film: "Facets Multimedia is showing a new 35-millimeter print, recently released by Milestone Films."] This little-seen film by one of history�s greatest directors begs for a wider audience. Are there any plans for Milestone to release it on DVD?

I received the following reply:
I'm sorry, but we don't own the rights anymore and it was prohibitive to get the rights back.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
XploitedCinema is selling the Spanish Manga release at a reasonable price, so I've ordered it (which virtually guarantees that a superior Region 1 release will be announced next week).

User avatar
bunuelian
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:49 am
Location: San Diego

#12 Post by bunuelian » Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:59 pm

Thank you, FilmFanSea, for your great sacrifice.

User avatar
FilmFanSea
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: Portland, OR

#13 Post by FilmFanSea » Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:08 am

Xploited Cinema shipped this R2 PAL (Spain) disc very quickly: I received it today & watched it this evening. The movie itself is excellent, though it doesn't have the characteristic absurdist/surrealist touches of later (or earlier) Buñuel. The picture quality is more than adequate--minimal print damage, sharp image, reasonable greyscale; minimal compression artifacts. There are no extras to speak of. NOTE: as detailed on the Xploited Cinema website, there is a special procedure for getting rid of the Spanish subs--which worked perfectly.

Highly recommended.

User avatar
david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

#14 Post by david hare » Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:51 am

To both FilmFan Sea and Swingo --thousand thanks!! My copy due next week.

This is not an ideal transfer by any means but Gabriel Figueroa's photography still looks superb Then again don Luis is in Prime form. I LOVE this movie! If anyone needs keys to his directions (either backwards or forwards) look at the two shots of animal killing, (can you forget Gaston in REGLE DU JEU and L'AGE D'OR) (anathema to Bunuel) then the "ironic" shots of the skinned rabbit being cooked (then four or five shots later the dinner in the frypan!) Within this scene look at the "black guy/escapee". Then look at the montage. Then cut to the "girl making her hair" and Zach's reaction. Try some shots of the shoes the girl puts on dead grandad, etc.... ((More ellipses ????)

SUCH a great movie. This is up there with CHARME DISCRET and VIRIDIANA. And - should I mention Bunuel's greatest testament to atheism - in this ghastly world of piety and religion - SUBIDA AL CIELO.

Which reminds me. Did Swingo mention a Mexcan label which included SUBIDA? How good/bad are the prints??? (I already have it = and it is a favorite Bunuel - but I wanna better print.)

User avatar
swingo
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:35 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

#15 Post by swingo » Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:36 am

davidhare wrote:To both FilmFan Sea and Swingo --thousand thanks!!!

This is not an ideal transfer by any means but Gabriel Figueroa's photography still looks superb Then again don Luis is in Prime form. I LOVE this movie! If anyone needs keys to his directions (either backwards or forwards) look at the two shots of animal killing, (can you forget Gaston in REGLE DU JEU and L'AGE D'OR) (anathema to Bunuel) then the "ironic" shots of the skinned rabbit being cooked (then four or five shots later the dinner in the frypan!) Within this scene look at the "black guy/escapee". Then look at the montage. Then cut to the "girl making her hair" and Zach's reaction. Try some shots of the shoes the girl puts on dead grandad, etc.... ((More ellipses ????)

SUCH a great movie. This is up there with CHARME DISCRET and VIRIDIANA. And - should I mention Bunuel's greatest testament to atheism - in this ghastly world of piety and religion - SUBIDA AL CIELO.

Which reminds me. Did Swingo mention a Mexican label which included SUBIDA? How good/bad are the prints??? (I already have it = and it is a favorite Bunuel - but I wanna better print.)
I'm glad you liked the film, I for one, haven't seen it, since it's hard to see any Bu�uel films besides Los Olvidados and Nazar�n here in M�xico.

Now, regarding the Subida al Cielo, it has been released by Alterfilms, it does have English subtitles and the transfer is acceptable, Alterfilms hasn't passed the Beav test though. (although it doesn't mean it's worthless) but I don't know if there is a better version than the Alterfilms. which one do you have?

User avatar
justeleblanc
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:05 pm
Location: Connecticut

Luis Buñuel on DVD

#16 Post by justeleblanc » Tue Jun 14, 2005 3:55 pm

Does anyone know if this DVD of El Bruto is any good?

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

#17 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jun 14, 2005 4:08 pm

It's pretty basic. As I recall, the subs are yellow. The film itself is pretty impressive.

User avatar
GringoTex
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:57 am

#18 Post by GringoTex » Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:09 pm

Here's another Bunuel coming out in two weeks. A company called Vanguard Cinema? Anybody know of their quality?

User avatar
swingo
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:35 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

#19 Post by swingo » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:56 am

Vanguard is good, they had done a nice job on several Mexican movies, even in some cases restoring them. We had some discussions towards Gran Casino in another thread, which I can't remember at this very moment...

Axel.

User avatar
justeleblanc
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:05 pm
Location: Connecticut

#20 Post by justeleblanc » Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:44 pm

Maybe there's hope of seeing some Mexican Bunuel on DVD after all, albeit with small DVD companies.

User avatar
numediaman2
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:51 pm

#21 Post by numediaman2 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:56 pm

I wonder if Gran Casino is, like Welles' "The Stranger" copyright free enabling some company to go ahead and try and take advantage of the fact that Bunuel is a"known" director?

Gran Casino is definitely minor-Bunuel. I saw it many years ago and thought "I'm glad Bunuel got paid for this while he waited to do projects he really wanted."

User avatar
dx23
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico

#22 Post by dx23 » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:10 pm

I just came back from Mexico and while i was there, I purchased "Los Olvidados". That wonderful film has led me to seek the other Bunuel mexican films and I found out that Televisa, a major TV network in Mexico and Latin America, owns much, if not all of the rights to these movies. They have a widely known bad reputation when dealing with right issues of their TV and film properties, so it doesn't surprise me at all that Bunuel Mexican films haven't been released properly in the states or region 1 yet. The good thing is that those Mexican releases of the Bunuel films are Region 0 and have pretty decent transfers and some extras, but still they haven't released their own version of El Bruto. I just hope Criterion can get the rights for distribution on the US, because, from what I have seen, those Bunel films are magnificent.

User avatar
swingo
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:35 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

#23 Post by swingo » Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:47 am

dx23 wrote:I just came back from Mexico and while i was there, I purchased "Los Olvidados". That wonderful film has led me to seek the other Bunuel mexican films and I found out that Televisa, a major TV network in Mexico and Latin America, owns much, if not all of the rights to these movies. They have a widely known bad reputation when dealing with right issues of their TV and film properties, so it doesn't surprise me at all that Bunuel Mexican films haven't been released properly in the states or region 1 yet. The good thing is that those Mexican releases of the Bunuel films are Region 0 and have pretty decent transfers and some extras, but still they haven't released their own version of El Bruto. I just hope Criterion can get the rights for distribution on the US, because, from what I have seen, those Bunel films are magnificent.
Televisa owns approx. 70-80% of all the mexican filmography. and they have their film vault below the Azteca Stadium.

unclehulot
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:09 pm
Location: here and there

#24 Post by unclehulot » Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:15 pm

Well, I hope that even if the rights to issue them in the US are through them, that some other materials are located.....the version of Nazarin from them that was aired on TCM recently wasn't even as good as the aging analog video master from the old LD...terrible "wavering" of the image from inferior source materials.

iangj
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:52 pm
Location: Taipei, Taiwan

#25 Post by iangj » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:53 pm

swingo wrote:Vanguard is good, they had done a nice job on several mexican movies, even in some cases restoring them.
Don't know about the quality of these Mexican movies, but I'd say Vanguard is very very bad. I had the misfortune to buy their very poor DVD of MEDEA and their outrageous massacre of De Oliveira's ABRAHAM VALLEY. They never replied to an email I sent them about the latter.

Post Reply