Thursday, August 8, 2013

OUT 1.5: how does one Out 1?

  1. Live in or around (or be willing and able to travel to) wherever the film happens to be screening. Screenings are a very rare occurrence, and most likely to happen in major cities with thriving cinephilic communities. NYC is probably one's best bet in the US, as the film has been screened several times there, first in 2006. The one print in circulation is putatively quite good, considering the film's rarity, though it has no hardcoded English subtitles, so subtitling is usually accomplished live. I regret not seeing it theatrically. Sharing one's delight, exhaustion, and bafflement is by many accounts one of the Out 1 experience's greatest pleasures.
  2. There is a bootleg copy of the film, a VHS rip from an airing of it on the Italian TV network Raitre. It can be downloaded by torrent, and occasionally makes an appearance on YouTube. There are hardcoded Italian subtitles, but soft English subs are available. I can't vouch for the subs' quality, but I can say that the picture quality is just clear enough to get the gist of what's going on, and no better.
  3. A 5-DVD Region 2 set featuring both the 12 hour (Noli Me Tangere) and 4 hour (Spectre) versions of Out 1 has recently been released by Absolut Medien, who (regardless of the package's several significant issues) are true gods among Teutons for putting it out. There are English subtitles available for Noli Me Tangere, but the subtitles for Spectre and the plentiful and tantalizing extras (including introductions to each episode by Rivette and an interview with Eric Rohmer), as well as a text-heavy booklet, are German only. However, I was able to locate with only a modicum of digging adequate English subtitles for Spectre, which can be manually added to the film if one plays it through a computer-based media player with that feature (VLC Player will do the trick). The unofficial Spectre subs are actually stronger in some respects than the official Noli Me Tangere subs, which while more polished as a translation, leave out large swaths of the dialogue in the theater exercises, and are sometimes ill-timed, rendering certain sequences harder to follow than they already are. The picture quality of Noli Me Tangere is greatly superior to the bootleg, if grainy and with noticeable damage. Spectre's image is a tad murkier but still highly watchable. The set's worst flaw is that the image in Episode 1 of Noli Me Tangere has been vertically stretched, which has the effect of cutting off the top and bottom margins of the frame. It doesn't appear to leave out any essential visual information, but it's a strange and unfortunate mistake. The film deserves better. 
  4. Wait until Criterion or another cadre of brave and mighty souls drops a Region 1 set upon us.

Absolut Medien

No comments:

Post a Comment