2018 is starting off with a bang as a pair much-anticipated silent films are coming to HD home video at long last. Let’s jump in and see what goodies await us.
(These DVDs and Blurays will likely be region 1/A. Be sure to check as to whether you can play them if you are located outside these regions.)
Criterion Collection’s The Passion of Joan of Arc on DVD and Bluray
The Criterion Collection is releasing an all-new edition of Dreyer’s famed silent. The film has been restored and transferred in HD and will be presented at both 20 and 24fps. We also get three scores: Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light; a score by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory and Portishead’s Adrian Utley; a third by pianist Mie Yanashita. There are lots more extras (this is Criterion), so Dreyer fans should be pleased.
The film will be released on DVD and Bluray on March 20, 2018. Read more and pre-order here.
Kino’s The Covered Wagon
James Cruze’s western epic has only been available on VHS but now we can see it in high definition. The release will feature an organ score by Gaylord Carter and is part of Kino’s ongoing release of Paramount silents on home video, a campaign I heartily support.
The film will be available on DVD and Bluray on February 20, 2018. Read more and pre-order here.
EYE Treasures for Free & Legal Viewing
This is fairly old news but in case you missed it, the National Film Preservation Foundation has made a whole stack of films from the EYE Institute available for free and legal viewing with professional scores. Lots of goodies and the price is nice. Enjoy!
My own DVD release is moving right along. (I am working on releasing a complete night at the movies and was funded by generous backers on Kickstarter.) I am keeping my backers involved in the process and am sharing regular updates. I will be sure to announce when the film is available to non-backers so watch this space!
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You must be getting more and more excited as your release date draws near. I was so happy to see The passion of Joan of Arc at the theatre with the full Chorus Niagara-it was amazing!
Since there’s been discussion about which film made the readers fans of silents, now it’s time to mention that this was it: purchasing Joan of Arc Bluray two years ago.
I’ve had interest in classic cinema for about two decades. Over the years I had seen all Chaplin features, some Keaton and Lloyd, and then Metropolis and Nosferatu with horrible music scores. They didn’t make me a fan. Dreyer did.
At the moment I envy Americans a bit. The Covered Wagon has been for some time on my “must see” list, and now there’s a Bluray that I can’t watch with my European player.
Region codes are the bane of niche film fans everywhere.
Luckily some Kino Lorber releases are region free. I hope adding the code is not a new policy there.
Ironically, if I want to see films from the most important director ever come from my home country (Mauritz Stiller), I need to order them from US. Even though Sweden was clearly his cinematic home country, he also made films of Finnish subjects, which I haven’t been able to see. Oddly enough, the other Finnish director with some international fame, Kaurismäki, has made a modern silent film based on the same classic novel by Juhani Aho as Mauritz Stiller. It would be interesting to compare them.
Yes, so many silent films find release far from home. For example, the best DVD version of Hitchcock’s BLACKMAIL is from Germany.
I have not yet seen any Finnish silents, I do hope to get a chance some day.
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