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Eureka's Masters of Cinema - R2

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Eureka's Masters of Cinema - R2

Old 06-23-06, 07:30 PM
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Eureka's Masters of Cinema - R2

I just saw a bunch of these listed at CDWOW, and I'd just like to know which ones are really worth looking into. The best I can tell, the series looks to be something of a R2 type Criterion Collection:

http://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/index.htm

http://www.dvd-basen.dk/uk/home.php3?&mvis=ok&ok4=go

After just looking over the list really quickly, I'm highly interested in The Face Of Another and Vengeance Is Mine. Are the prices at CDWOW about the best out there for these DVDs?

I'm sure most know about this series, but I couldn't find a topic dedicated to it at all, just a few mentions here and there in random threads. Here is the list of films released in this series so far:

#34 - Fantastic Planet (Laloux, 1973) - August 2006
#33 - Shoeshine (De Sica, 1946) - September 2006
#32 - Funeral Parade of Roses (Matsumoto, 1969) - August 2006
#29 - Kwaidan (Kobayashi, 1964)
#28 - Toni (Renoir, 1934)
#27 - Abhijan [The Expedition] (S. Ray, 1962)
#26 - The Savage Innocents (N. Ray, 1959)
#24 - Faust (Murnau, 1926) - June 2006
#22 - The Prisoner of Shark Island (Ford, 1936)
#21 - Punishment Park (Watkins, 1971)
#20 - Assassination (Shinoda, 1964)
#19 - Nightmare Alley (Goulding, 1947)
#18 - Twenty-Four Eyes (Kinoshita, 1954)
#17 - Vengeance is Mine (Imamura, 1979)
#16 - The Idiot (Kurosawa, 1951)
#15 - Scandal (Kurosawa, 1950)
#14 - Kuroneko (Shindo, 1968)
#13 - Onibaba (Shindo, 1964)
#12 - The Naked Island (Shindo, 1960)
#11 - Humanity and Paper Balloons (Yamanaka, 1937)
#10 - Francesco giullare di Dio [Francis, God's Jester] (Rossellini, 1950)
#09 - Spione [Spies] (Lang, 1928)
#08 - Metropolis (Lang, 1927)
#07 - Asphalt (May, 1929)
#06 - The Face of Another [Tanin no kao] (Teshigahara, 1966)
#05 - Pitfall [Otoshiana] (Teshigahara, 1962)
#04 - Tartuffe [TartŁff] (Murnau, 1926)
#03 - Michael [MikaŽl] (Dreyer, 1924)
#02 - The Holy Mountain (Fanck, 1926)
#01 - Sunrise (Murnau, 1927)
Old 06-23-06, 10:24 PM
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They have a really good Web site here: http://www.mastersofcinema.org. I used to go to it all the time. From what I have seen of reviews, comparisons on DVDBeaver, they seem to put out a really good product with very good transfers. I have to admit that I have yet to buy any of their discs, not because I'm not interested but more because I'm too broke.
Old 06-23-06, 10:50 PM
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cd wow has the best prices for them, thats where I got mine from.
I have Onibaba, Humanity and Paper Balloons, and Kwaidan, and all 3 are exceptional releases. All their discs are PAL, except Kwaidan, which is for some reason NTSC, I wonder how the Brits can watch that disc without a region free player.....

Regardless, go for their stuff. Nothing disappointing.
Old 06-24-06, 02:09 AM
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Face of Another
Metropolis
Punishment Park
Sunrise

All are must owns, imo. You can pick up the R1 Sunrise with a little work and it is a fine release but the R2 has a better looking booklet. Their Metropolis is definitive.
Old 06-24-06, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by manicsounds
All their discs are PAL, except Kwaidan, which is for some reason NTSC, I wonder how the Brits can watch that disc without a region free player.....
Actually, a couple of their Japanese films are NTSC. At least, I think that their release of Kurosawa's Scandal is. The reason they do this is because the Japanese masters are already in NTSC and they don't want to do a bad NTSC->PAL transfer. Since most UK viewers are already multi-region capable (whether they know it or not), this is a good decision.

MoC is fast becoming a very good label. They're not quite at Criterion's level yet because they're still a pretty small operation, but they're well on their way. I'd say that you could buy any of their DVDs with confidence. And in instances where their stock overlaps with Kino's, definitely go with MoC!

Their release of Renoir's Toni is particularly strong, if you like Renoir.

Last edited by Ambassador; 06-24-06 at 12:41 PM.
Old 06-24-06, 02:15 PM
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Would all of the following be solid picks? Any specific comments on any of them from you guys?

THE FACE OF ANOTHER
METROPOLIS
THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND
THE NAKED ISLAND
TWENTY-FOUR EYES
VENGEANCE IS MINE
Old 06-24-06, 02:29 PM
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I love this series! As a growing fan of classic Japanese cinema, I'm happy that they understand that there are other classic Japanese directors besides Akira Kurosawa (and as much as I love 'em, other genres besides samurai and yakuza films).

Besides the official list, some of the other upcoming titles include:
- Mikio Naruse boxset
- The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films 1917 - 1923
- F for Fake

I own 13 of the titles so far and will be ordering "Abhijan", "Kwaidan", and the just-released "Faust" ASAP. Note that "Kwaidan" is a longer cut than the Criterion release so it is definitely the preferred choice.

I haven't watched all 13 titles yet, but I've been very satisfied with those I have viewed. I've got to show some love for #18 "Twenty-Four Eyes"....great, great film (though it does go overboard in its use of the song "Auld Lang Syne"). Something I've been wanting to ask....I've read that "Twenty-Four Eyes" was selected by Japanese critics a few years ago as one of the 10 Best Japanese Films of All Time. Anyone know what others round out that particular list? #12 "Naked Island" is nice too, but is a little more unconventional and perhaps not for everyone....still an impressive display of filmmaking.
Old 06-24-06, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
METROPOLIS
THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND
Well, as Chente says, their version of METROPOLIS is definitive. It's the same print and carries all the same extras that the Kino release does, but MoC's release has two advantages over the Kino:

1.) The Kino is a PAL->NTSC port, which means you get a lot of "ghosting" going on. The MoC was mastered in PAL, so it has none of that.

2.) The MoC spreads its extras over a second disc, which means it uses a higher bit-rate for the movie. Hence a better all-round image.

As for PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND, it's got a fine progressive transfer and lots of nice extras.

If you're asking about the quality of the movies themselves, then I'd have to say that they're both near-masterpieces. METROPOLIS is one of the key silent films, and it's still pretty fascinating and entertaining. (I actually like some of Lang's other silents better, but it's a must for anyone interested in the history of cinema.) PRISONER is one of John Ford's lesser-known films, but it contains some of his best work from the 1930s: beautiful black & white photography that was clearly influenced by German expressionism, outstanding performances (particularly by John Carradine in a nasty, juicy role), an interesting depiction of a black man for the time it was made, and an interesting "liberal" message about the treatment of political prisoners that's become quite relevant again.


I don't know much about the other titles you mentioned, as I haven't seen them yet. But you really can't go wrong with any of the DVDs MoC has released so far.
Old 06-24-06, 02:41 PM
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Oh yeah, does anyway get a kick out of the screen that displays when you hit the pause button while watching a film in the series? I don't recall if all of the films do it, but I do remember it for the most recent one I've viewed "Toni" (and "Twenty-Four Eyes" too). I think the one for "Toni" shows an image of Jean Renoir and states something like "Jean Renoir awaits your return". A really nice little touch (as opposed to just a black screen when hitting "pause").
Old 06-24-06, 03:10 PM
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I have Eureka's old Metropolis edition. The only MoC I have is Onibaba. I want more though. Definately a class act. I want to pick up Kwaidan badly.
Old 06-24-06, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Subgeniusguy
I want to pick up Kwaidan badly.


Then may I suggest trying to pick it up utilizing only the pinky and index finger of your left hand........Subgeniusguy, don't mind me, I'm just being an a$$, but having recently watched "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" I couldn't resist....okay, humor is not my strong suit.....heck, for all I know, "badly" is proper usage in this case.
Old 06-25-06, 09:57 PM
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Vengeance is Mine is amazing. There's a lot of stuff going on, it definitely reveals more with careful rewatching. If you read a crummy review like, "Wow it's really crazy, but whatever you think the violence might mean, it's sure is a great ride!" or something, don't worry; the movie is not vague or unsure of itself at all. It does require careful consideration, however. Its director, Shohei Imamura, died recently, unfortunately. He really knew how the Pacific War went and what legacies it left for Japan. It's somewhat rare to see these topics covered, so I definitely recommend it. Also, I think the only other version is a poor quality R3.

Face of Another I have, but I haven't watched it in a long time, so I can't comment so readily. If you've read the book, definitely check it out, Iíd think youíll be pleased. It doesnít require that youíve read the book or anything mind you. Not at all. Thatís just why I picked it up. Anyway, itís pretty abstract, very interesting. That sounds really general, but hopefully it gives you some idea.

Oh yeah, Kwaidan gets my recommendation too. Watch it in the dark
Old 06-25-06, 10:06 PM
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I am awaiting to see how De Sica's Shoeshine will compare to the recently released Italian SE. From the more recent ones Toni and The Naked Island were both quite good.

Ciao,
Pro-B
Old 06-26-06, 12:44 PM
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I just purchased PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND and THE SAVAGE INNOCENTS and was very impressed with the quality of both of them (although I haven't had time to go through the supplements).

SAVAGE INOCENTS has a very nice anamorphic transfer. Despite it's place in pop culture (it was the inspiration for the Bob Dylan song "Quinn the Eskimo"), I doubt that Paramount will ever release it in the US because it's obscure and pretty grim. Look at that cute polar bear-oh, wait he got harpooned. And Inuk (Anthony Quinn)'s eskimo remedy for frostbitten hands would surely have animal rights groups up in arms.
Old 09-24-06, 10:53 AM
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Kuroneko is also very good. Really great imagery on this Japanese ghost story.
Old 09-24-06, 03:49 PM
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I'm dying to pick up Kwaidan, Abhijan and Shoeshine, but am waiting for the prices on CDWow to drop within that magical $15 - $18 range. Anticipation....
Old 09-24-06, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
Would all of the following be solid picks? Any specific comments on any of them from you guys?

THE FACE OF ANOTHER
METROPOLIS
THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND
THE NAKED ISLAND
TWENTY-FOUR EYES
VENGEANCE IS MINE
Teshigahara's Face of Another is a brilliant, mesmerizing piece of work and HIGHLY recommended (along with his earlier film Pitfall, which MoC also released).

Vengeance Is Mine is also well worth a buy if you're intrigued by the idea of a methodical, deliberately paced study of a killer. It's a fascinating movie and a lovely DVD, at that.

For pricing, I've found that Bensons World generally has the best deals on MoH discs, with the exception of the occasional steal to be had on CD Wow. I'm looking to pick up Shoeshine and Abhijan eventually... If I have any complaint with the line (and a minor one at that) it's their strong focus on Japanese cinema, as this isn't a decided interest of mine (the two titles I mentioned are among the rare exceptions to the rule). I'm sure this is wonderful for those who enjoy the country's output, since many classics from Japan are difficult to come by in any form, let along such quality packages, just that it isn't my particular cup of tea.
Old 09-24-06, 06:12 PM
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I'm dying for the Buster Keaton set to be released.
Old 09-24-06, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Bus
For pricing, I've found that Bensons World generally has the best deals.....
There's some bad news on that front (at least for U.S. residents), Bensonsworld recently changed their shipping rates......instead of the consumer-friendly 1.00 GBP per disc, the new rate is now 5.00 GBP per disc. I don't anticipate doing any business with them under the new shipping rates. It's too bad as I was happy with their service.
Old 09-24-06, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
There's some bad news on that front (at least for U.S. residents), Bensonsworld recently changed their shipping rates......instead of the consumer-friendly 1.00 GBP per disc, the new rate is now 5.00 GBP per disc. I don't anticipate doing any business with them under the new shipping rates. It's too bad as I was happy with their service.

5.00 GBP definitely will discourage me from ever shopping there again. That doesn't represent shipping cost, that's simply a rip-off
Old 09-25-06, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
There's some bad news on that front (at least for U.S. residents), Bensonsworld recently changed their shipping rates......instead of the consumer-friendly 1.00 GBP per disc, the new rate is now 5.00 GBP per disc.
Oof! That's terrible. It had been a couple of months since I'd done business with them, but was looking to place an order soon. Looks like that won't be happening... It's unlikely to matter, but I'll probably drop them an e-mail expressing my disappointment in this increase.
Old 09-25-06, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by flixtime
Besides the official list, some of the other upcoming titles include:
- Mikio Naruse boxset
Date of release : November 11
39.99£

I've got to show some love for #18 "Twenty-Four Eyes"....great, great film (though it does go overboard in its use of the song "Auld Lang Syne"). Something I've been wanting to ask....I've read that "Twenty-Four Eyes" was selected by Japanese critics a few years ago as one of the 10 Best Japanese Films of All Time. Anyone know what others round out that particular list? #12 "Naked Island" is nice too, but is a little more unconventional and perhaps not for everyone....still an impressive display of filmmaking.
From what I read about, "24 Eyes" is very conventionnal in its treatment and its purpose. "Naked Island" and "Assassination" are on my list,
actually I'm interested in Masahiro Shinoda's work and his beautiful wife/actress Shima Iwashita
Old 09-25-06, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ambassador
Actually, a couple of their Japanese films are NTSC. At least, I think that their release of Kurosawa's Scandal is. The reason they do this is because the Japanese masters are already in NTSC and they don't want to do a bad NTSC->PAL transfer. Since most UK viewers are already multi-region capable (whether they know it or not), this is a good decision.

MoC is fast becoming a very good label. They're not quite at Criterion's level yet because they're still a pretty small operation, but they're well on their way. I'd say that you could buy any of their DVDs with confidence. And in instances where their stock overlaps with Kino's, definitely go with MoC!

Their release of Renoir's Toni is particularly strong, if you like Renoir.

just got from Nicheflix (A La Carte) Toni - been very much looking forward to seeing this.

Last edited by Giles; 09-25-06 at 12:26 PM.
Old 09-27-06, 12:40 PM
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i have
onibaba
kuroneko

i thoroughly enjoyed both of these. i have been eyeing other MOC releases but my budget won't allow for any more right now. here is my wishlist

punishment park
the face of another
kwaidan
nightmare alley
metropolis
Old 09-27-06, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mezcla
here is my wishlist

punishment park
the face of another
kwaidan
nightmare alley
metropolis
Those are all great. Punishment Park is particularly amazing.

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