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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: April ::
Chimes at Midnight on DVD
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0239  Saturday, 26 April 2008

[1] 	From:	Tanya Gough<
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	Date:	Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 22:26:28 -0400 (EDT)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0235 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List

[2] 	From:	Larry Weiss <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008 02:00:57 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0235 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Tanya Gough<
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 >
Date:		Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 22:26:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 19.0235 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0235 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List

Re: SHK 19.0235 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List:

[Editor's Note: Thanks to Al Magary for submitting this piece. 
Interested subscribers should read the article online at SLATE in order 
to have access to the hot links embedded in the text. I do have one 
quibble with the last paragraph. I sincerely hope that those who hold 
the copyright for Welles' _Chimes at Midnight_ will eventually let a 
highly reputable DVD producer (Criterion for instance) release a 
remastered version with plenty of extras. However, let me put in a word 
for the Brazilian release, which is the best available version of the 
film. Turning off the subtitles and playing the English soundtrack is a 
fairly simple procedure. The Stale editor, however, needs a gentle 
correction: Welles dubbed the soundtrack and in the best of versions the 
soundtrack is badly synched - this synching will not be corrected in any 
remastered release. I recall the poorly synched soundtrack from the film 
I saw in my graduate school days in the early 1970s. The images on this 
Brazilian release are far superior to either that 16mm film version that 
I screened several times and the VHS version I own. Further, I do not 
have the time to check now, but it seems to me that the print used to 
make this DVD appears to me to have more footage than my VHS tape, the 
soundtrack of which is awful compared to how clean this one is. One 
other comment, the link to the Brook Lear with Paul Scofield in the 
Slate article <http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002AAPQW>uncovers in 
Amazon.com a used $79.99 VHS version. The Brook Lear is another film 
that deserves a quality Region 1 (US) DVD release. However, there is a 
UK DVD release (Region 2) for $20 if you have a multiregion DVD player 
to play it on. You can play it on a computer with a program like 
InterVideo WinDVD for 3 to 6 times before being shut out by the 
mismatched region. While I am at it, I also own the Williamson Hamlet 
directed by Tony Richardson. It too is a Region 2 (UK) PAL release, and 
it too deserves a US (Region 1) release. -Hardy]

Hardy,

The Chimes issue is cloudy because Arthur Cantor's son now has the 
rights to the film, but has no inclinations whatsoever to follow in his 
father's footsteps as a video distributor. He's not even interested in 
the business, as far as I know. I know at least 6 people who knew either 
Arthur or his son, but none of them have any idea where the son went (I 
don't even remember his name off hand - I'm sure it's in my Yorick notes 
somewhere in cold storage). I just don't think he's interested. Sucks, 
but that's the way it goes, sometimes. People who own intellectual or 
artistic property don't always feel the need to display it or share it 
with the world. It's terribly unfair, I know.

Tanya

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:		Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008 02:00:57 -0400
Subject: 19.0235 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0235 FYI Ron Rosenbaum's Shakespeare List

 >Welles dubbed the soundtrack and in the best of versions the
 >soundtrack is badly synched - this synching will not be corrected
 >in any remastered release.

I assume that this means that the original ADR or other dubbing 
technique was itself so grossly nonsynchronous that no amount of 
remastering can fix it; i.e., the soundtrack can't be forced to match 
the images without substantial alteration to either the sound or the 
picture (or both). But if the dubbing is reasonably congruent with the 
images, modern techniques and a good AVID machine can make most 
nonsynchronicity nearly undetectable to any but the most trained eye. 
Many voice soundtracks in films, especially long exterior shots, are 
laid down in ADR studios after the principal photography is completed 
and they seldom match the images precisely. Nonetheless, capable sound 
and film editors make the divergences impossible to detect.

However, all this being said, I suspect that the limited market for 
Chimes at Midnight make the cost of such a project prohibitive.

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