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La Dolce Vita Cover and Features

Old 06-16-04, 06:27 PM
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I guess I don't have to worry about how piss poor Richard Schikel's commentary will be since I won't be buying this PAL converted piece of shit.

Now I'm totally kicking myself for skipping this in revival not once, but twice in the last three months
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Old 06-16-04, 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by FilmFanSea
Michael DVD has a good explanation about the concept of PAL speed-up.
Thanks.
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Old 06-16-04, 09:00 PM
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According to one of the members of the Criterion forum, it costs about $500 to do a decent PAL>NTSC port for a film.
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Old 06-16-04, 09:57 PM
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I would wait and actually see the DVD before I slam any negative comments on it. I have yet to see some steady proof that this is indeed a PAL to NTSC port. Some here have responded with much anger yet I dont see why. Koch Lorber and Fox Lorber clearly have a different record as far as I am concerned.

So, wait...see the release and then decide for yourself. With this said the Italian disc is indeed SUPERB and in my opinion it will take a lot of effort to top it off.



Cheers,
Pro-B
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Old 06-16-04, 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
I would wait and actually see the DVD before I slam any negative comments on it. I have yet to see some steady proof that this is indeed a PAL to NTSC port. Some here have responded with much anger yet I dont see why. Koch Lorber and Fox Lorber clearly have a different record as far as I am concerned.

So, wait...see the release and then decide for yourself. With this said the Italian disc is indeed SUPERB and in my opinion it will take a lot of effort to top it off.



Cheers,
Pro-B
Fine words spoken by Pro-B...
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Old 06-16-04, 10:37 PM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
I would wait and actually see the DVD before I slam any negative comments on it. I have yet to see some steady proof that this is indeed a PAL to NTSC port. Some here have responded with much anger yet I dont see why. Koch Lorber and Fox Lorber clearly have a different record as far as I am concerned.

So, wait...see the release and then decide for yourself. With this said the Italian disc is indeed SUPERB and in my opinion it will take a lot of effort to top it off.



Cheers,
Pro-B
The Koch Lorber website clearly gives a run-time of 167 minutes--hard to believe that a data entry error could result in an identical duration to that found in PAL territories (and exactly 96% of the actual run-time). Also, the only audio track listed is Dolby Digital 5.1, for this monaural film.

I would rather be proactive than take a "wait and see" attitude. I have sent Koch Lorber two different emails voicing my concerns about this release, and I encourage others to do the same. Since the release date is nearly 3 months off, there may still be time for KL to change the discs' contents if enough people complain. KL should also realize that, in this era of all-region players, consumers have an excellent alternative in the R2 PAL Italian release from Medusa. There's no excuse for this "marquee" release to be less than stellar.

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Old 06-16-04, 11:23 PM
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FilmFanSea,

I agree with the pro-active attitude and will also "promote" concern to Koch Lorber.
However.....
My earlier comment was rather dirrected to the harsh words some have slammed on Koch. I have a few of Koch's most recent releases and they are indeed not as poor as what Koch Lorber used to produce. Again, I would say it one more time...I see it as highly-inlikely that this R1 release could top off the Medusa presentation. Quite frankly no matter what the extras I am not going to upgrade though I am curious and therefore will rent this new edition when it comes out. But I do agree that foreign classics (and foreign cinema in general) does not get much respect from the DVD companies (sans Criterion).

Pro-B
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Old 06-16-04, 11:59 PM
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If the extras on the Medusa release were subtitled, I would have bought it long ago. I'm hoping I won't have to own two copies of La Dolce vita--one with the proper audiovisual presentation; the other with extras I can understand. I really want Koch Lorber to get this right. Since they are aggressively buying the rights to films that might have fallen to Criterion in the past, I want them to distribute a good product. If their business plan calls for using PAL masters in order to decrease production costs, they won't be getting my business (I've taken the same attitude toward New Yorker's releases).

I have a few of Koch's most recent releases and they are indeed not as poor as what Koch Lorber used to produce.
Also, pro-B, it appeared from your comments that you're perhaps equating Fox Lorber (now Wellspring) with Koch Lorber (which was formed just a year ago, and which has released only about 20 DVDs thus far); they are separate companies which were both founded by Richard Lorber. I would also expect the quality of the Koch Lorber releases to exceed those from the other Koch subsidiaries. My apologies if I misread your comment.
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Old 06-17-04, 12:46 AM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
FilmFanSea,

My earlier comment was rather dirrected to the harsh words some have slammed on Koch. I have a few of Koch's most recent releases and they are indeed not as poor as what Koch Lorber used to produce.

Pro-B
No, actually I wanted to reiterate the fact that these are INDEED DIFFERENT companies (though they seem to share the dreaded Lorber name). So, I think that we are both on the same page here.

As to classic European films (La Dolce Vita being a perfect example) I have adopted a policy which I have been following for over 2 years now since I acquired my region-free player. When it comes to Italian/Spanish/French/Scandinavian films I always buy directly from the country of origin. The only country I have left out is Germany since they absolutely ignore the English speaking market!!

As you very well point out it seems like R1 companies tend to go the "cheap route" and use PAL ports for many of the foreign films that are released in the US (around 90%...excluding the Criterion treatment). For me this is unacceptable!! Yes, extras could be quite interesting but if the film presentation lacks proper treatment then.....everything else does not matter. (see recent The Son release).

Yes, the Medusa extras are not English friendly but trust me the film presentation is SUPERB!!

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 06-17-04 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 06-17-04, 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by sracer
Fellow Fellini fans... don't forget Barnes & Noble's buy-2-get-1-free DVD sale going on during the entire month of June.

They have a great selection of Criterion discs, and I just picked up Amarcord (Criterion), 8 1/2 (Criterion), and La Strada (Criterion)... all 3 for $71 including tax.

I'm looking forward to getting La Dolce Vita. (and hopefully one day, City of Women).
How do you activate this deal? I would really like to take advantage of it but I don't see anything about it on their website. Do you need a coupon code or anything like that? Thanks.
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Old 06-17-04, 02:10 PM
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Here's where I'm confused (sorry, guess I'm just slow): if the KL release has the same runtime as the Medusa disc, which is 94% of the correct run-time for the film, why is the Medusa disc better? It has the same speed-up problems that the KL disc allegedly will have, right?

Again, sorry if I'm being a big n00b...I just don't get it.
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Old 06-17-04, 02:20 PM
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I good way to explain the disparity in quality is to focus on to the conversion from PAL to NTSC instead of using the original film source when producing a DVD.

The system which the Italian disc is encoded with- PAL- has nothing to do with what the picture quality is like. With other words they(Medusa) used a film source that was in great condition. KL would also have a great transfer if they used the film source directly not copy it so to speak. Do you follow me now? Tne issues many are concenred come from the improper tranfer of PAL to NTSC...that is where you see the "ghosting". Hope you understand this....You could have a great PAL source that when transfered directly to NTSC will have ghosting. OR....you could have a great NTSC source that will show "ghosting" when transfered improperly to PAL. This could occur both ways.

Also the primary source's quality does not affect the "ghosting" either. You could have a great source (PAL or NTSC) that will produce "ghosting" (PAL to NTSC ..or... NTSC to PAL) and you could also have a poor source (PAL or NTSC) that will again produce "ghosting" (PAL to NTSC ...or...NTSC to PAL). Bottom line such conversion should not be used for DVD production....it is improper, simple as that!! Even with the massive "adjustments" which nowadays you could offset the "ghosting" and pitch speed up of an improper trasnfer....I would always insist that a DVD should be produced based off of a film source. PERIOD!!

Hope you understand what I was trying to explain to you!!

Cheers,
Pro-B

ps
Last but not least the 4% "problems" you mention are in the heart of the great debate - PAL vs NTSC. Some regard it as a "problem" I dont. My stance has always been that you could detect the speed-up only if you listen to your native tongue (I would assume Engilsh) and have been exposed to the original film product sans the 4% speed-up. In a foreign tongue (and I do use my region-free player 99% for foreign European PAL releases) I would challenge anyone to prove to me that they could accurately detect the 4% disparity. In my opinion even if one has a perfect pitch one will be unable to detect a difference (imagine Japanese, Korean, Italian, French or whatever film obviously in a language you dont understand....how will you know/detect the speed-up??...the obertones, nasal vibrations, etc., ARE absolutely unique for each language).

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 06-17-04 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 06-17-04, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for the very clear explanation , I get it now.
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Old 06-17-04, 02:54 PM
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I'm a bit confused about the Medusa version as well.

So those of you who have the Medusa watch it converted from PAL to NTSC using a multi-region DVD player that does the conversion. Doesn't this also create ghosting, and aren't you still being effected by the 4% speed up?
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Old 06-17-04, 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
Doesn't this also create ghosting,
NO

[i]
and aren't you still being effected by the 4% speed up? [/B]
YES


Pro-B
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Old 06-23-04, 08:09 AM
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Hello From Koch Lorber Films

Hello From Koch Lorber (or whatever you are calling us today). It was suggested to me by a member of this board that I should sign on and try to answer as many questions as I could about the upcoming DVD release of La Dolce Vita. As the DVD producer on this project, I will try to answer as many questions as I can regarding the transfer, bonus features and restoration. After reading through the forum, here are the main concerns as I see them:

1) PAL/NTSC conversion. We did have to use a PAL master for the restoration, as all 35mm and NTSC materials that we located were of very poor quality. Painstaking efforts were made to ensure that the transfer effects were minimized and the results are fantastic. Technology has improved greatly since the Fox Lorber days (not affilated), so I believe that you will be satisfied with the results.

2) Mono. The original mono has been restored and will be available on the disc, as well a stereo and 5.1 track, with or without subititles (English or Spanish), which have also been completely redone.

3) Quality. We used the Medusa version as a guidline and I believe we have way surpassed the quality. The Medusa version has many audio drops and spots of film dirt, which have all been removed in our version, as well as large portions of the film that are completely out of synch (check out Emma slamming the car door on Marcello after the Madonna scene and you'll get the idea) which we have made painstaking efforts to correct. We are still in the final stages of encoding, but I believe the finished product will be far superior to any DVD version of this on the market.

4) Schikel. Richard is not only an authority on Italian neo-realism, but also a film restoration expert as well (he is currently restoring Sam Fuller's The Big Red One), which makes him uniquely qualified for this commentary. To round out the experts in the package, we have included liner notes from Dennis Bartok of American Cinemateque and a filmed introduction by Alexander Payne.

5) The bonus features. We tried to give good value to the set, so we added a lot of material that has not seen the light of day here in the States, including Fellini TV, a collection of surrealist shorts done by Fellini over the years to run as commercials on Italian TV.

I hope that this e-mail answers some of your questions. If you have any thing else you would like to ask, feel free to do so and I will try to answer as quickly as possible. This has been a labor of love here at KLF for well over a year, and I hope you all enjoy seeing it as much as we have enjoyed working on it.

Best,

tim

Last edited by tim hinsley; 06-23-04 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 06-23-04, 08:42 AM
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Re: Hello From Koch Lorber Films

Originally posted by tim hinsley
Hello From Koch Lorber (or whatever you are calling us today). It was suggested to me by a member of this board that I should sign on and try to answer as many questions as I could about the upcoming DVD release of La Dolce Vita. As the DVD producer on this project, I will try to answer as many questions as I can regarding the transfer, bonus features and restoration. After reading through the forum, here are the main concerns as I see them:

1) PAL/NTSC conversion. We did have to use a PAL master for the restoration, as all 35mm and NTSC materials that we located were of very poor quality. Painstaking efforts were made to ensure that the transfer effects were minimized and the results are fantastic. Technology has improved greatly since the Fox Lorber days (not affilated), so I believe that you will be satisfied with the results.

2) Mono. The original mono has been restored and will be available on the disc, as well a stereo and 5.1 track, with or without subititles (English or Spanish), which have also been completely redone.

3) Quality. We used the Medusa version as a guidline and I believe we have way surpassed the quality. The Medusa version has many audio drops and spots of film dirt, which have all been removed in our version, as well as large portions of the film that are completely out of synch (check out Emma slamming the car door on Marcello after the Madonna scene and you'll get the idea) which we have made painstaking efforts to correct. We are still in the final stages of encoding, but I believe the finished product will be far superior to any DVD version of this on the market.

4) Schikel. Richard is not only an authority on Italian neo-realism, but also a film restoration expert as well (he is currently restoring Sam Fuller's The Big Red One), which makes him uniquely qualified for this commentary. To round out the experts in the package, we have included liner notes from Dennis Bartok of American Cinemateque and a filmed introduction by Alexander Payne.

5) The bonus features. We tried to give good value to the set, so we added a lot of material that has not seen the light of day here in the States, including Fellini TV, a collection of surrealist shorts done by Fellini over the years to run as commercials on Italian TV.

I hope that this e-mail answers some of your questions. If you have any thing else you would like to ask, feel free to do so and I will try to answer as quickly as possible. This has been a labor of love here at KLF for well over a year, and I hope you all enjoy seeing it as much as we have enjoyed working on it.

Best,

tim



So... Can I get a complimentary copy to compare to my Medusa DVD???

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Old 06-23-04, 09:18 AM
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How would I make up all the cost if I gave away complimentary copies ;-)

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Old 06-23-04, 10:05 AM
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While we're on the topic...Mr. Hinsley, can you comment on the upcoming release of The Tree of Wooden Clogs, which also seems to be a PAL transfer?

I'm relieved that Koch Lorber is atleast attempting to do a proper PAL transfer; and it can be done, from my understanding...its just dissapointing that the best materials available are PAL, though. But since the DVD producer is actually taking his time to talk on this board, I'm going to be a little less skeptical than I would of, say, Paramount, or that Superbit company, or whoever it was that wanted to release this on DVD. I'm still going to be a little bit of a skeptic, but I think that's understandable, considering how PAL transfers have marred various Kino, Milestone and even a couple of Warner Brothers DVDs.

I'm also glad the mono will be included. Whew.
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Old 06-23-04, 10:44 AM
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Re: Hello From Koch Lorber Films

Tim:

Thanks very much for your comments in this thread. Reliable information about upcoming releases can be difficult to come by, so we are often forced to read between the lines of the "specs." With the notable exception of Criterion, classic foreign films have received mostly indifferent--and occasionally criminal--presentations on Region 1 DVDs, so many of us have come to expect the worst. You've allayed many of my fears about this release, which I now feel confident enough to preorder. As I've said before, I'm rooting for Koch Lorber to produce a stellar La Dolce vita. Your comments are always welcome here.

One question: Are you referring to Richard Schickel--the film critic for Time magazine--as the commentator on this DVD? (His name is also spelled Schikel on the KL website, which I believe is an error.)

I would also suggest that the specs which appear on the Koch Lorber website (particularly with respect to the audio tracks) be corrected to reduce further confusion.

Brian Burke



Originally posted by tim hinsley
Hello From Koch Lorber (or whatever you are calling us today). It was suggested to me by a member of this board that I should sign on and try to answer as many questions as I could about the upcoming DVD release of La Dolce Vita. As the DVD producer on this project, I will try to answer as many questions as I can regarding the transfer, bonus features and restoration. After reading through the forum, here are the main concerns as I see them:

1) PAL/NTSC conversion. We did have to use a PAL master for the restoration, as all 35mm and NTSC materials that we located were of very poor quality. Painstaking efforts were made to ensure that the transfer effects were minimized and the results are fantastic. Technology has improved greatly since the Fox Lorber days (not affilated), so I believe that you will be satisfied with the results.

2) Mono. The original mono has been restored and will be available on the disc, as well a stereo and 5.1 track, with or without subititles (English or Spanish), which have also been completely redone.

3) Quality. We used the Medusa version as a guidline and I believe we have way surpassed the quality. The Medusa version has many audio drops and spots of film dirt, which have all been removed in our version, as well as large portions of the film that are completely out of synch (check out Emma slamming the car door on Marcello after the Madonna scene and you'll get the idea) which we have made painstaking efforts to correct. We are still in the final stages of encoding, but I believe the finished product will be far superior to any DVD version of this on the market.

4) Schikel. Richard is not only an authority on Italian neo-realism, but also a film restoration expert as well (he is currently restoring Sam Fuller's The Big Red One), which makes him uniquely qualified for this commentary. To round out the experts in the package, we have included liner notes from Dennis Bartok of American Cinemateque and a filmed introduction by Alexander Payne.

5) The bonus features. We tried to give good value to the set, so we added a lot of material that has not seen the light of day here in the States, including Fellini TV, a collection of surrealist shorts done by Fellini over the years to run as commercials on Italian TV.

I hope that this e-mail answers some of your questions. If you have any thing else you would like to ask, feel free to do so and I will try to answer as quickly as possible. This has been a labor of love here at KLF for well over a year, and I hope you all enjoy seeing it as much as we have enjoyed working on it.

Best,

tim
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Old 06-23-04, 11:02 AM
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I think all of us are hoping that the Koch-Lorber LA DOLCE VITA disc will be a first-class product. And that many others will follow!

I pre-ordered LA DOLCE VITA a while ago (as a Fellini diehard, I could do little else) but must admit I had my fingers crossed at the time. It's gratifying to hear somebody is giving this much-anticipated release the TLC it deserves.
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Old 06-23-04, 11:07 AM
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Re: Hello From Koch Lorber Films

Originally posted by tim hinsley
Hello From Koch Lorber (or whatever you are calling us today).
We've just been Koch blocked!
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Old 06-23-04, 11:15 AM
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I too am looking forward to La Dolce Vita. I already have mine pre ordered and I would like to thank Tim for taking time to share with us some details of the upcoming DVD. I wish there were more folks at other studios willing to do the same and realize that there are alot of us movie diehards out there, we all are not just Wal-Mart (Full Screen) buying fools. I hope Tim will continue to hang out here once in awhile and update us on more future releases as they are announced. I hope Koch Lorber will put out a fine product and continue to do so in the future.
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Old 06-23-04, 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by Pants
I guess I don't have to worry about how piss poor Richard Schikel's commentary will be since I won't be buying this PAL converted piece of shit.

Now I'm totally kicking myself for skipping this in revival not once, but twice in the last three months
Take a pill, it might help your whining.

Honestly, you'd think it was a matter of life or death.

Kudos for the Koch rep. coming on the forum!
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Old 06-23-04, 11:43 AM
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You are correct about Schickel, mistake on my part in the e-mail. The KL site was to be fixed weeks ago (web masters!)

Generally on foreign films, we are at the mercy of the copyright holders for materials. We are increasingly getting 35mm masters and doing our own conversions (in anticipation of HD). Unfortunately on La Dolce, that was not in the cards.

I'm glad that you enjoyed Umbrellas, it was great to work with Anges Varda. We are hoping to announce another collaboration with the Demy estate in the very near future.
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