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marioscido
03-09-2003, 05:12 PM
I just returned from two weeks in Paris with all three Tourneur/Lewton films on dvd: "Cat People," "I Walked with a Zombie," and "Leopard Man." I'm very happy about this!

The transfers are good, not great. The framing is a little tight, but otherwise, good quality bare-bone discs. Certainly, the best print quality of "I Walked" that I've ever seen.

The French company that released the films, Editions Montparnasse, has also released a bunch of great films not yet available in R1, including "King Kong," "The Thing," "The Body Snatcher," "Return of Cat People," and others. However, some of these titles have already been deleted, so I was lucky to get the three Tourneur films. The films are relatively inexpensive compared to other discs in France. The only drawback is the un-removable French subtitles. I hope to get more in the series.

I also purchased George Franju's "Les yeux sans visage," which looks really good. But there are no subtitles for those who do not speak French.

Dorian Gray
03-10-2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by marioscido
The only drawback is the un-removable French subtitles.

I'm surprised. I remember having being able to remove those subtitles on I walked with a zombie. Moreover, it should be possible as the back cover states:
- Original version
- Original version with subtitles

I'll try to check tonight.

marioscido
03-10-2003, 07:01 PM
Yes, you are right it does say that on the back of the DVDs, but I don't remember seeing a subtitle menu anywhere on the disc?

Dorian Gray
03-10-2003, 11:09 PM
You're right, there's no subtitles menu, but you can turn them off by using your remote control. You just switch them from "French" to "None"... ;)

I just checked a few minutes ago: it plays fine.
And it works for all Montparnasse releases (at least the ones I own).

MaxRenn
03-11-2003, 01:49 AM
I'd love to see these films on Region 1 DVD. I love all the Val Lewton movies and the Tourneur ones are the best (with the possible exception of "Seventh Victim"). Lewton and Tourneur make a formidable team and these three films are full of frightening yet poetic moments. They basically set a standard for a certain type of horror film that, for me, has rarely been surpassed. It's just not that easy to make a film that achieves its horrific effects "quietly". For example, the recent film "Signs" tries to emulate some of the Tourneur magic but comes up quite short.

marioscido
03-11-2003, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by Dorian Gray
You're right, there's no subtitles menu, but you can turn them off by using your remote control. You just switch them from "French" to "None"... ;)

Since the only access I have to R2 right now is my computer, I cannot use this feature. I am working on getting an all-region player very soon. But for now, Tourneur on my computer is fine by me!

marioscido
03-11-2003, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by MaxRenn
Lewton and Tourneur make a formidable team and these three films are full of frightening yet poetic moments. They basically set a standard for a certain type of horror film that, for me, has rarely been surpassed. It's just not that easy to make a film that achieves its horrific effects "quietly". For example, the recent film "Signs" tries to emulate some of the Tourneur magic but comes up quite short.

I agree with you completely. And you are right to highlight the work of Shyamalan with respect to the uncanny and unseen, even if his work does come up quite short. However, I also think Shyamalan's work does not come anywhere close to the progressive politics of the Lewton/Tourneur films.

"Signs" is basically a remake of "War of the Worlds" with some important elements recreated: farmhouse scene with the single alien, aggressive attack and unexpected retreat/death... And like some paranoia film form the 1950s, I found "Sighs" to be quite reactionary in light of 9/11. The ending was frightening, not because of the aliens, but because of the implications of aliens (read immigrants) being assaulted with baseball bats (neo-nazi style).

Unlike Shyamalan, Lewton/Tourneur films critique colonial (and patriarchal) relations by focusing on the unseen and shadowy as the repressed of systems that thrive on domination. These systems create their own specters, who come back to haunt the living. Great stuff!

dwatts
03-15-2003, 09:57 AM
Just back from France - bought Fahrenheit 451. nice one :)