DVD Talk Talk about DVDs and Movies on DVD including Covers and Cases

La Dolce Vita Cover and Features

Old 06-25-04, 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
The coverwork looks decent. I own the Italian 2DVD-SE though and am pretty happy...



However...I am quite a bit curious to see what the transfer of this edition will look like. Hopefully it is not a PAL to NTSC port....

Looking forward to it.....

Pro-B
I have the Italian disc as well. I will probably double dip and purchase this one as well.
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Old 06-25-04, 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
With this said I challenge you to listen to visiting European orchestras (if you happen to be in Chicago, LA, NY,Boston) they all perform at 441-444 pitch base. American orchestras perform at 338 often even lower. Not once have I heard someone complaining about the pitch difference. Keep in mind that a difference of 436-442 equates in a much bigger discrepancy than what you would encounter in a PAL to NTSC conversion which is arguably around 4%.

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I'm not in disagreement -- most PAL discs I have without having prolonged exposure to the musical scores don't affect me in any discernable way. I'm just not happy that THIS film of all films, that WILL affect me will be sped up -- I know so because I cringed when I first put the Medusa disc on. I can't say I'm (knowingly) exposed to an A of less than 440 too often, but I'm certainly aware of the higher A of many European orchestras -- even so, the range we're talking about is less than a 1/2 step from 440-- which is what the PAL speedup raises things. As a pianist working mostly with string players, there seems to be an epidemic of them trying to tune sharp to the piano-- maybe that's why it bugs me!! At least I'm not subjected to an orchestra where the oboe gives a low A and the Strings tune high -- I hope you're not either!

If I buy a cd of a recording from the analog era, and it's been remastered so that it's a half step off, I think I have the right to be upset, and I certainly notice the problem. Obviously I'm less prone to react the same way to film soundtracks, but this is one of them.
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Old 06-25-04, 11:53 AM
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As per previous posts from MR Hinsley (and me), we only had the PAL master to work from. Therehore you know better than I that the PAL speed-up is presentin our version just like it is in the Medusa version.

It is unfortunate that we did not have better source material but we worked with what we were able to obtain from the rights holder

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-25-04, 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by V Morante
As per previous posts from MR Hinsley (and me), we only had the PAL master to work from. Therehore you know better than I that the PAL speed-up is presentin our version just like it is in the Medusa version.

It is unfortunate that we did not have better source material but we worked with what we were able to obtain from the rights holder

Hope this helps.
That is very, very unfortunate. I was hoping that new advances in technology would have made it possible to transfer a PAL master into NTSC without the 4 % speed-up or ghosting.

Apparently not. Maybe the film should be retitled Fellini's 96/100.
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Old 06-25-04, 12:32 PM
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I, for one, am extremely happy to finally have a region 1 release of this film. Am I happy that it's sped up by 4%? Of course not, but I'd much rather have a good sped up PAL transfer than an inferior/incomplete NTSC version.

I was very pleased with the work Koch Lorber did on the Umbrellas of Cherbourg release, and look forward to adding La Dolce Vita to my collection as well.
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Old 06-25-04, 12:33 PM
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According to a post over at HTF, one possible reason that the pristine 35mm print shown here theatrically was not available to KLF is that it is owned by Paramount.
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Old 06-25-04, 02:01 PM
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I work in film post-production and have often had to deal with the PAL/NTSC problems. It used to be a real pain, but recently we have been making something called Slow PAL conversions. This is basically what was suggeted earlier: each PAL frame is treated as a film frame and converted with the usual 3:2 pulldown. This solves the problems listed above.

I don't understand why a dvd company that clearly is interested in putting out the highest quality disk would not use this technique. It does need to be done digitally, but it doesn't have to be too expensive. You can load the PAL master into an Avid Symphony with no compression and then output a version at the corrected rate in about six hours total (since it's a long film). I do the same thing on a standard Avid film composer all the time - although the best it will do is 14:1 compression.

Sometimes I am amazed by how technical these discussions become.
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Old 06-25-04, 02:20 PM
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Ugh. Yeah, it sounds like Koch doesn't have the budget to invest in an Avid Symphony or the equipment necessary to re-sequence PAL transfers to the NTSC frame rate.

I think I'm going to pass on this release based on what I've read here. It's a damn shame, because this is one of my most anticipated titles. If I'm going to have to deal with PAL speedup I may as well just get the R2 version that's natively PAL - at least I won't have to deal with the ghosting that the NTSC conversion will introduce.
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Old 06-25-04, 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by jough

If I'm going to have to deal with PAL speedup I may as well just get the R2 version that's natively PAL - at least I won't have to deal with the ghosting that the NTSC conversion will introduce.
Agreed. I am however looking forward to the extras provided on the R1 disc.

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 06-25-04 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 06-25-04, 04:02 PM
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Yes, I will rent the extras disc from Netflix.
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Old 06-25-04, 05:25 PM
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You guys are hilarious.

I remember when I had an old worn-down VHS of LaDolceVita in pan-'n-scan, no less and I still loved it. I was just happy with what I could get. And I'll be happy with a PAL to NTSC conversion as well. Is it perfect? no, but my god, it's freaking good enough to enjoy the movie all the same.
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Old 06-25-04, 06:40 PM
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My point is that there's already a PAL version out that looks really good from Medusa.

The R1 version will probably look much like this, only with ghosting and jitter added!

So I guess I'll buy the R2 and rent the bonus disc of the R1 for the extras. I'd much rather buy the R1 from Koch but as I said, unless reviews are really good, what I've heard here will not encourage me to pre-order this title.
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Old 06-25-04, 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by slop101
I remember when I had an old worn-down VHS of LaDolceVita in pan-'n-scan, no less and I still loved it. I was just happy with what I could get.
I've seen the movie 3 times theatrically (a couple of local art house theaters used to have a very nice print that they passed back and forth). I swore I would never watch the movie on home video in pan & scan. I just couldn't bear to think of it. I'd rather never see the movie again and just live with my memories of it.

It wasn't until the Medusa disc that I was satisfied that I could finally watch the movie at home.
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Old 06-26-04, 06:23 AM
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Originally posted by slop101
You guys are hilarious.

I remember when I had an old worn-down VHS of LaDolceVita in pan-'n-scan, no less and I still loved it. I was just happy with what I could get. And I'll be happy with a PAL to NTSC conversion as well. Is it perfect? no, but my god, it's freaking good enough to enjoy the movie all the same.
I'd rather live with my theatre memories of La Dolce Vita and the occasional TV presentation. I 'm actually starting to feel sorry for the European cinephiles who have to watch every friggin' film classic on DVD in a 4 % speeded up version! I think it demeans cinema.

Mind you, the first time I saw Vertigo was during a Jesuit college film appreciation class and they had it in a black and white 16 mm version. It still made me fall out of my seat. I didn't know until years later it was shot in colour... BUT WE ALL GROW UP!!!
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Old 06-26-04, 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by slop101
You guys are hilarious.

I remember when I had an old worn-down VHS of LaDolceVita in pan-'n-scan, no less and I still loved it. I was just happy with what I could get. And I'll be happy with a PAL to NTSC conversion as well. Is it perfect? no, but my god, it's freaking good enough to enjoy the movie all the same.
So glad we amuse. It's nice to hear from Madacy's quality control department, at long last.
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Old 06-26-04, 12:57 PM
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First, I would like to thank the representatives from Koch Lorber for coming on the board and offering input.

Nevertheless, I will have to politely decline the purchase of La Dolce Vita. There are so many other films out there on DVD that I love which have been treated properly that I'll always choose to pick one of them up instead of a film with a less than perfect transfer. I'm willing to wait unitll someone transfers it properly. Nice try guys

Last edited by Pants; 06-28-04 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 06-28-04, 04:44 PM
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In the new brochure announcing (NYC's) Film Forum's Summer/Fall Screening Schedule, they advertise a "NEW 35mm PRINT!" for the July 23rd-August 5th run of La Dolce vita.

At the bottom of the listing are the words A PARAMOUNT RELEASE.

So, if Paramount holds both theatrical distribution rights and video distribution rights*, we very well could see a Paramount DVD (which would undoubtedly derive from an NTSC master using the elements utilized for the new 35mm print). This may also explain why Koch Lorber had no access to the best elements for their transfer. Stay tuned ...


* It's unclear to me how both Paramount and Koch Lorber could legitimately own the DVD rights to the same film in Region 1. It may be that the dispute over the DVD rights has been resolved by an agreement hammered out by their corresponding legal departments (perhaps allowing Paramount to retain the theatrical distribution, and limiting Koch Lorber's DVD rights to a small window--say 1 year, after which Paramount could release its own DVD of the film). Or it may be that no agreement was reached, and the companies plan to go head-to-head with competing DVD releases (in which case, Paramount better get cracking before KL steals their thunder). All pure speculation ...

Paramount's Martin Blythe has declined to comment on the situation, and I doubt that our friends from KL can shed any light either.

Last edited by FilmFanSea; 06-28-04 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 06-28-04, 04:55 PM
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Yeah, I passed on seeing the Paramount print last month in Los Angeles at the American Cinematheque, and the month before that at the Nuart. Now I'm kicking myself.

Anyway, perhaps Paramount has the video rights as well, and releases a DVD as fantastic as Once Upon A Time In The West
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Old 06-28-04, 05:46 PM
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At this point I think I need to cancel my preorder and do a wait and see on this....
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Old 06-28-04, 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by FilmFanSea
In the new brochure announcing (NYC's) Film Forum's Summer/Fall Screening Schedule, they advertise a "NEW 35mm PRINT!" for the July 23rd-August 5th run of La Dolce vita.

At the bottom of the listing are the words A PARAMOUNT RELEASE.

So, if Paramount holds both theatrical distribution rights and video distribution rights*, we very well could see a Paramount DVD (which would undoubtedly derive from an NTSC master using the elements utilized for the new 35mm print). This may also explain why Koch Lorber had no access to the best elements for their transfer. Stay tuned ...


* It's unclear to me how both Paramount and Koch Lorber could legitimately own the DVD rights to the same film in Region 1.

Basically, theatrical rights and home video rights have nothing to do with each other. That's not to say that they can't belong to the same company, but they certainly don't have to. For instance, a number of re-issues have had theatrical showings under the KINO or RIALTO umbrellas, that have ended up as Criterion DVDs ("I Vitelloni from Kino, now a Crit. DVD). The fallout from Cowboy Pictures failure has caused some of these odd pairings. To my knowledge, Koch Lorber doesn't present theatrical showings. Wellspring did -- including a really crappy theatrical print of "Ran" which rivaled the awful "restored" DVD. There are certain companies that are much less likely to license DVD rights to an independent company (for DVD, that is), but European films often are not owned by those companies, and they change hands more frequently (as far as US theatrical and video rights).

So, Paramount does not own DVD rights, and probably wouldn't pursue them. I think most would say at this point, it's a shame Criterion wasn't able to secure DVD rights.
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Old 06-28-04, 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by unclehulot
Basically, theatrical rights and home video rights have nothing to do with each other. That's not to say that they can't belong to the same company, but they certainly don't have to. For instance, a number of re-issues have had theatrical showings under the KINO or RIALTO umbrellas, that have ended up as Criterion DVDs ("I Vitelloni from Kino, now a Crit. DVD). The fallout from Cowboy Pictures failure has caused some of these odd pairings. To my knowledge, Koch Lorber doesn't present theatrical showings. Wellspring did -- including a really crappy theatrical print of "Ran" which rivaled the awful "restored" DVD. There are certain companies that are much less likely to license DVD rights to an independent company (for DVD, that is), but European films often are not owned by those companies, and they change hands more frequently (as far as US theatrical and video rights).

So, Paramount does not own DVD rights, and probably wouldn't pursue them. I think most would say at this point, it's a shame Criterion wasn't able to secure DVD rights.
Yes, I am quite aware that theatrical distribution rights and DVD distribution rights are separate issues, and that the possession of one does not guarantee the other. But you miss two important points:

1. In December 2003, the New York Times reported that there was a dispute between Koch Lorber and Paramount over the ownership of DVD rights to La Dolce vita:
Sometimes, ownership is in dispute. Last February, a new video company, Koch-Lorber, announced that one of its first DVD's would be "La Dolce Vita" by Fellini. The company had bought the rights from a small company called International Media Films, which claimed it owned the movie.

But Paramount Pictures claims that it owns "La Dolce Vita." A legal battle is brewing. Koch-Lorber's DVD has been delayed. Paramount, meanwhile, is reportedly preparing its own DVD.
This dispute led to the delay in KL's release from September 2003. So Paramount believes it DOES own the DVD rights to this film.

2. Given the paltry potential income from a limited arthouse re-release, what could have possessed Paramount to purchase the theatrical distribution rights only, and to strike a new 35mm print if not to promote a planned DVD release (where the real money is to be made)??? Are you aware of any other major studio which has purchased theatrical distribution rights alone for a foreign art film?

Last edited by FilmFanSea; 06-28-04 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 06-28-04, 08:55 PM
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Thanks, I missed that one. I was just assuming that the Paramount distribution arm sprung for the prints (since Koch Lorber doesn't deal in that area, to MY knowledge). Paramount is a mystery to me regarding foreign film on DVD. I can't imagine they wouldn't have had the clout (or money) to have procured this if they wanted to. Considering that, in general, they don't go for big SE's of foreign films, but rather go for cheap bare bones releases, it's hard to say which release would have been superior. Certainly, the transfer would have been done in native NTSC, but the extras might have been slender. This possibly DOES explain why Koch Lorber had to go to a PAL source since Paramount might be sitting on the best 35mm material in the US right now.

Don't you think that the dispute has been settled in (our out of) the courts, accounting for the delay, and that Paramount has backed off of any claims for the video rights now?

All the more reason for me to see it at Film Forum next month while I'm in NYC!

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Old 06-29-04, 07:18 AM
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I saw this thread just today and I have read it carefully and I understand that I have to delay one more time buying La Dolce Vita. I won't by Medusa for 3 reasons
1 - extras stinks
2 - Medusa's owner
3 - PAL
The restored film was shown last year in Cannes and then in Italy and now I read it is shown even in the US, so Koch Lorber had not access to the restored 35mm print because someone else - Paramount - hold the rights to that copy. Since the money are in the DVD business it makes no sense that Paramount bought the theatrical rights forgetting the DVD rights.
Be as it, I'll be patient, to be patient is the only method to be an happy DVD collector!
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Old 06-29-04, 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by mdm67
The restored film was shown last year in Cannes and then in Italy and now I read it is shown even in the US, so Koch Lorber had not access to the restored 35mm print because someone else - Paramount - hold the rights to that copy. Since the money are in the DVD business it makes no sense that Paramount bought the theatrical rights forgetting the DVD rights.
Be as it, I'll be patient, to be patient is the only method to be an happy DVD collector!
Good points, and thanks to FilmFanSea for pointing out that article.

Don't know whether Paramount or International Media correctly own the video rights to La Dolce Vita. However, video rights (at least by geography) will belong to one or the other.

A compromise is not out of the question. If the loser of the video rights can offer up video rights of other films that tempt the other group - anything can happen.

However, I agree with the point that Paramount did not restore the print just so it can make the film circuit. Obviously (right or wrong) the money is in the video sales of the restored print.
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Old 06-29-04, 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by unclehulot
Considering that, in general, they don't go for big SE's of foreign films, but rather go for cheap bare bones releases, it's hard to say which release would have been superior.
Don't forget about their excellent treatment of Once Upon A Time In The West
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