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Review wanted: Godard's BREATHLESS

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Review wanted: Godard's BREATHLESS

Old 11-21-01, 03:13 PM
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Review wanted: Godard's BREATHLESS

Did anyone pick up this much-delayed disc by the dreaded Fox Lorber/Winstar? If so, I'd like to hear about the quality of the transfer, although I'm afraid I already know what to expect...
Old 11-21-01, 06:34 PM
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My copies of Breathless & Les Carabiniers arrived today. I was happy to find out that Breathless has a commentary track by a film critic named David Skerritt, and my keepcase for Les Carabiniers says that it has a mini-commentary.

I've actually found B&W transfers of DVDs from Fox Lorber to be fairly good.

I'll try and get back soon with reviews!

cheers, Tony Block
Old 11-21-01, 09:52 PM
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Thanks Tony. I agree that there are a handful of decent looking Winstar/FL transfers of foreign classics, but their abyssmal treatment of almost all of the Eric Rohmer films has always made me wary of upcoming releases with the Winstar/FL name attached. Still, I hadn't completely given up hope, because I have been pleased with Fox Lorber's transfer of another Godard film, My Life To Live. Anyway, I'm suprised to hear there's a commentary on the Breathless disc. I look forward to reading your reviews of both DVDs.
Old 11-25-01, 07:38 PM
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Apparently transferred from a PAL source, Fox Lorber's Reg 1 of Breathless has a running time of 1:26.19, instead of the listed running time of 1:30 (my Cinemathique VHS tape runs 1:29.39).

Moreover, although the DVD has been digitally remastered removing specks & tears apparent in my Cinemathique VHS tape, the transfer is a major letdown, washed out & soft compared to the tape, with occasional blurring and smearing of images, and a bad compression job that shimmers with artefacts, exhibits poor contrast and an overall muddiness, which becomes really irritating just a few minutes into the DVD, and throughout the presentation.

Les Carabiniers is also apparently transferred from a PAL Source running 1:16.02 instead of the 1:20 listed on the Disc, although this transfer is a lot more visually pleasing than Breathless.

Both discs have an about this DVD feature on the menu page, and according to Fox Lorber these transfers are from 16 mm films transferred onto tape and digitally remastered by the BBFC, so that they are even "more pristine" than when the films were originally released. I doubt that, especially since Godard had Les Carabiniers washed out on purpose to match documentary footage mixed into the film according to Godard critic & author David Sterritt.

A bout de Souffle has a running commentary by Sterritt, and Les Carabiniers has a 20 minute mini-commentary also by Sterritt. Both are very good, but I doubt that Sterritt saw the finished transfer of Breathless before doing his commentary track, or at least before the DVD was released. I hate to say it, but you would think that Winstar/Fox Lorber would have a little more pride in the product it releases.

cheers, Tony Block

Last edited by Tony Block; 11-25-01 at 07:47 PM.
Old 11-28-01, 02:34 PM
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was Breathless shot in Academy ratio?
Old 11-28-01, 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by garmonbozia
was Breathless shot in Academy ratio?
Yeppers!
Old 11-30-01, 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by Tony Block


Yeppers!
Thanks.
I was hoping that was the case when my dvd arrived and it was fullscreen. With Fox Lorber, one can never tell how screwed up it is going to be................

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