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Streisand TV specials coming to DVD 11/15/05

Old 07-29-05, 05:46 PM
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Streisand TV specials coming to DVD 11/15/05

from barbranews.com:

Barbra Streisand TV Specials to debut on DVD
BarbraNews.com / 27 July 2005.
My Name Is Barbra, Color Me Barbra, A Happening In Central Park, Belle Of Fourteenth Street and Barbra Streisand... and Other Musical Instruments will debut on DVD this November (15th),
More information soon.


Details ... we need more details!

Box set or strictly individual releases?

Extras?
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Old 07-29-05, 05:52 PM
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Fuckin' finally.
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Old 07-29-05, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by marty888
from barbranews.com:

Barbra Streisand TV Specials to debut on DVD
BarbraNews.com / 27 July 2005.
My Name Is Barbra, Color Me Barbra, A Happening In Central Park, Belle Of Fourteenth Street and Barbra Streisand... and Other Musical Instruments will debut on DVD this November (15th),
More information soon.


Details ... we need more details!

Box set or strictly individual releases?

Extras?
The only detail I need is the size of the box, so I can determine how much black electrical tape I need.
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Old 07-29-05, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Lowrey
The only detail I need is the size of the box, so I can determine how much black electrical tape I need.

....and another substantive contribution from DVD Talk's most prolific threadcrapper.
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Old 11-25-05, 07:53 PM
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Well, it came out. I bought it tonight at a good price and I'm exploring the boxset. Things you need to know:

1. It's packaged like an expensive perfume bottle... intricately. It contains an informative booklet that has the stamp of Barbra all over it, down to the last page notice: "If any photographer recognizes a work of his that has not been credited to him, please get in touch with us. We will rectify the credit in subsequent printings and pay our usual copyright fee." I love that woman.

2. I only watched the first special "My Name is Barbra". Memories... The black and white picture is exceptional compared to other video releases of TV material of the era (1965). The blacks are perfectly solid with no glare or horizontal echoes. Furthermore, the viewer has three choices of sound: the original broadcast mono mix; the original genuine stereo mix (that was subsequently used to prepare the individual LPs of each special); and a Chace 5.1 remix of the genuine stereo tracks.

3. Picture and sound have been restored.

4. The set is a little short of extras, except for Barbra's introductions to each of the first video releases (on VHS, long ago), which are still telling and informative.

5. The set doesn't need any extras with Barbra's talent oozing out of every setting, concept, staging, dance step, and channelling of everybody from Fanny Brice to Ella Fitzgerald by way of Jerry Lewis. Did I mention I love this woman?

Last edited by baracine; 11-25-05 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 11-25-05, 08:24 PM
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That is the gayest box set I've ever seen
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Old 11-25-05, 08:45 PM
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[The box: The top part slides up, revealing an inside sheath containing the booklet and the five-fold disc holder, all in the most brazen art deco style and colours. It's gayer than gay, it's luscious.]



Incredible, rapturous review in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/21/mo...P0z/Y2f1azZynw

Critic's Notebook
Long Before MTV, There Was Streisand TV

By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: November 21, 2005

Some pop stars (the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen) inspire love. Others (Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Madonna) demand worship. Between love and worship, there is a world of difference. Love is warm, trusting and generous and allows for forgiveness. Worship is cooler. It involves an exchange of power in which adoration is shadowed with fear.


Peter L. Gould
Barbra Streisand in her 1967 concert in Central Park, broadcast as a television special the next year.

"Barbra Streisand: The Television Specials" is a new DVD anthology of of her five one-woman shows that were broadcast between 1965 and 1973.

To watch "Barbra Streisand: The Television Specials," a DVD anthology (Warner Strategic Marketing) of her five one-woman shows that were broadcast between 1965 and 1973, is to spend nearly five hours in the presence of a self-styled show business goddess. In these meticulously conceived three-act specials, Ms. Streisand wields her star power with a concentrated intensity that is magnetic, intimidating and ahead of its time. Turning her famous bump-in-the-nose profile to the camera, she challenges you to say she isn't beautiful. Directing her cold, critical gaze into the camera, she dares you to look away. But the force within that gaze is transfixing.

The first two specials made television history. "My Name Is Barbra," filmed in black and white and broadcast in 1965, when she was 23, nationalized the New York phenomenon who had recently conquered Broadway in the musical "Funny Girl." It departed from the standard variety-show format in which a genial host greeted famous friends who "dropped in" on the star for neighborly chitchat and musical exchange. It also broke with tradition by taking the star out of the television studio and into the corridors of Bergdorf Goodman. With its childhood sequence and Ms. Streisand's singing in a voice that trembled on the edge of hysteria, it is the only special in which the star exhibited traces of a girlish vulnerability.

A critical and ratings hit, "My Name Is Barbra" was followed a year later by "Color Me Barbra," filmed in balloonlike hues, in which the singer visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she interacted with paintings by Eakins, Renoir and Modigliani, and posed as Nefertiti gazing into a reflecting pool. An elaborate circus sequence found her singing uneasily to a menagerie while observed by a sleepy caged tiger.

It is not until the third special, "The Belle of 14th Street," an elaborate vaudeville show, that a guest, Jason Robards Jr., shared the stage with Ms. Streisand, playing the second-billed performer. This special, in which Ms. Streisand celebrated her roots in the cultural melting pot of the early-20th century vaudeville world that produced her "Funny Girl" alter ego, Fanny Brice, is an ambitious hodgepodge of special material: musically fragmented, strenuously zany and rarely funny.

These first three shows spotlight the youthful star's talents as a fearless comic actress, doing accents, playing dress-up and adopting characters like her eccentric, thrift-shop fantasist, Second Hand Rose. This comic side has been a crucial humanizing ingredient of Ms. Streisand's mystique, right up through the movie "Meet the Fockers."

Viewed in retrospect, the first three specials, in particular "The Belle of 14th Street," reveal the limited shelf life of special material. Often you wish the singer had forsaken her latest too-schematic concept to devote more time to singing ballads in that cry of primal yearning that speaks to the lonely romantic in all of us.

"Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park," broadcast in 1968, a year after it was filmed in the Sheep Meadow before an audience of 250,000, is a distillation of a two-and-a-half-hour concert in which Ms. Streisand's dramatic command largely offsets the thin outdoor acoustics. A feral, unforgiving rendition of "Cry Me a River," in which the singer lashes out like Medea, is nothing less than astounding.

Finally, there is "Barbra Streisand ... and Other Musical Instruments" (1973), a return to the three-act format. One segment, introduced by "I Got Rhythm," follows the star on make-believe jaunts to Europe, Africa, India and the Far East in a world-music vaudeville tour. It is the only special in which a guest star (Ray Charles) steals Ms. Streisand's thunder. He performs a witty, soulful version of "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma" that she follows with her own tense, strained attempt at soul singing. A heavy-handed spoof, "Concerto for Voice and Appliances," in which toasters, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and other household gadgets supply percussive texture, is typical of the specials' labored attempts at novelty.

But if these shows have dated, their influence on the future of pop performance on television and off is considerable. Here, for the first time, is the spectacle of a single performer uninterruptedly acting out her own fantasy of being all things to all people. By the time MTV arrived a decade after "Barbra Streisand ... and Other Musical Instruments," the public was primed to embrace the solo pop performance as flamboyant ego trip.

Until Ms. Streisand's ascendance, the term diva had been restricted mostly to operatic prima donnas. Its current application to every talent-challenged pole dancer lip-synching through a music video really began with Ms. Streisand's assertion of self-glorification as the first principle of pop performance.

It is a principle that Madonna has since standardized. Ms. Streisand's ultimate descendant in the diva sweepstakes, Madonna may not be half as good a singer or actress as her forerunner, but in many ways they are the same person. The chilly, scrutinizing gaze, the playfulness that passes itself off as humor, the public obsession with pleasing a disapproving parent, the continual role-playing and wallowing in fantasy: these ingredients, which run through Ms. Streisand's specials, also define Madonna, who understood more clearly than her forerunner that mega-celebrity is its own popular art form.

The spectacle of one performer's will to power, harnessed to talent, imagination and iron discipline, may not be pretty. But neither is most of what we watch on television. Who wants pretty when you can have exciting?


Barbra Streisand in "My Name Is Barbra," her first television special.

Last edited by baracine; 11-25-05 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 11-26-05, 10:15 AM
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The informative booklet has sixty pages of liner notes. Its art direction is credited to Barbra Streisand (who else?).
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