Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

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Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby Brent_Reid » 06 Feb 2019 14:36

Title: Körkarlen
Country: Sweden
Region: 2
Releasing Studio: Svenska Filminstitutet
Case Type: Keep Case
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Anamorphic?: Non-Anamorphic
PAL or NTSC?: PAL
Soundtracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 (orchestral music score by Matti Bye)
Subtitles (are they optional?): Swedish intertitles with optional English, German, French, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles
Cuts: (and if you know it, precise run time) None (107:17)
Commentaries: None
Extras:
The Shooting of Wild Strawberries (1957) (17:19) - behind-the-scenes footage by Ingmar Bergman, with Swedish or English narration
The Construction of Råsunda film studio (1920) (5:06) - behind-the-scenes footage
Interview with Ingmar Bergman (29:01) - excerpt from the documentary Victor Sjöström - ett porträtt av Gösta Werner (1981)
Photo Gallery (2:37)
12-page illustrated bilingual booklet (Swedish and English)
Notes: All extras have scores by Matti Bye and optional English subtitles. Also in the 6-DVD Svenska Stumfilmsklassiker box set.
Easter Eggs: None
Amazon ASIN (UK, French, German, USA releases only):
Source:* Own copy

The DVD comparison hasn't been altered since its initial entry and needs overhauling:

Tartan 2-DVD:
Missing runtimes: 107:21 / The Image Makers: 99:50
The current listing says this is in a "Digi-Pack", but I can find no evidence for it having ever been issued this way. Every copy I've seen, including mine, is in a keep case and has a 4-page booklet with an essay by film historian David Thompson.

By the way, that particular type of packaging is correctly spelled "Digipak", as it's a registered trademark. I always enter comparisons with the correct spelling but it usually gets altered to some other variant. Annoying!

Tartan KTL DVD:
New note: Issued in a numbered limited edition of 2000 with a tri-fold sleeve insert and spine slip designed by Stephen O’Malley of KTL. Thereafter, it was issued with a standard sleeve insert.

The KTL score is described in the DVD and BD listings as "modern", but "electronic" is a better word as all contemporaneously-recorded scores are "modern"!

Grapevine Video DVD-R:
The listing itself doesn't state that it contains both the original Swedish version and "The Stroke of Midnight" 1922 US re-edit.
Soundtrack: Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo live theatre organ score by Blaine Gale (both versions)
New note: Heavily compressed and unrestored 24fps transfers on a single-layer DVD-R.

New footnotes:

OVERALL: Draw
- The R2 Svenska Filminstitutet DVD is restored and has many exclusive extras.
- The R2 UK 2-disc Tartan release is restored and has a TV movie on the making of the film.
- The R2 UK 1-disc Tartan release is restored and has a different score.
- The R0 US DVD-R has two versions of the film, a different score and an exclusive featurette, but the transfers are sped-up and of overall poor quality.

Though full specs are unavailable at present, there is also a US Criterion DVD featuring the latest restoration, both the Swedish and UK scores, and several exclusive extras. The film has also been released in Germany by Absolut Medien. If you have access to these releases or know of a reliable review, then please let us know via our forums.

Ultimately, it's up to you which you choose but a fan may wish to own more than one.

These are the versions of the film currently in circulation:
- Original Swedish version: unrestored 16mm reduction, tinted and transferred at 24fps (74 min)
- The Stroke of Midnight (1922 US re-edited release): unrestored, untinted 16mm reduction, transferred at 24fps (74 min)
- Original Swedish version: 1998 Swedish Film Institute restoration, tinted and transferred at 16fps (106 min)
- Original Swedish version: 2011 Swedish Film Institute/Criterion restoration, tinted and transferred at 16fps (106 min)


BD:
New note: 1080i due to pulldown method used for 16fps transfer.

New footnote:
OVERALL: Blu-ray A
The only official release to date.


After the footnote runtime, add: Original Swedish version: 2011 Swedish Film Institute/Criterion restoration, tinted and transferred at 16fps

Caps-a-holic, for both comparisons.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby Markus_Lang » 06 Feb 2019 15:10

I own the Criterion Blu-ray and can confirm that the 2.0 audio track (KTL) is stereo.

I’d rather call it “contemporary” or “experimental” than “modern” — or leave the attribute away. (Also the Bye score is a newish one.)

The video format is 1080i60.

Suggested formulation:

No cuts — original Swedish version (107:47).
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby Brent_Reid » 06 Feb 2019 16:13

The KTL score was only ever recorded in 2.0 stereo. It's a shame Tartan and Criterion didn't retain the Bye score's original 5.1 mix, as it sounds great on the Swedish DVD.

The Bye score is from 2006, so it's modern in that sense, but is very much a traditional orchestral score. As opposed to KTL's accompaniment, which is more in the vein of, say, Art Zoyd's avant-garde score for Nosferatu. I think "electronic" most clearly conveys the fact it's created with modern equipment and not traditional instruments.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby Markus_Lang » 06 Feb 2019 18:42

According to Criterion info, Bye’s score was first performed in March 1998. It has been performed live several times, and there may be several recordings. Criterion states that its recording comes from Cinemateket, Stockholm, 1998.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby Brent_Reid » 06 Feb 2019 20:31

You''re right: Körkarlen's score was indeed first performed live at the Stockholm Cinemateket in March 1998. But most, if not all, of the scores for the six films in the Svenska Stumfilmsklassiker set and their many silent extras were specially recorded in 2006 and 2007, immediately prior to its release. That's according to the booklets for each film, which are very detailed. Either someone, perhaps Criterion, made a mistake or there is, as you say, more than one recording. Or some other explanation. Either way, it's a fine accompaniment!
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby Markus_Lang » 07 Feb 2019 14:46

Criterion states specifically that it uses the March 1998 recording. Also the musicians of the chamber orchestra are listed in the booklet. Does the Svenska Stumfilmsklassiker set provide a similar listing?
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby Ulrich_Christensen » 07 Feb 2019 20:27

Brent_Reid wrote:By the way, that particular type of packaging is correctly spelled "Digipak", as it's a registered trademark. I always enter comparisons with the correct spelling but it usually gets altered to some other variant. Annoying!

Firstly, when data is inputted into our system by our editors, the case type is selected from a drop-down menu where the spelling used is "Digi-Pack". They are not given the choice to comply with your wishes. This spelling will however be changed going forward.

Secondly, as you mention, Digipak is a registered trademark. You may also be aware that companies don't like their trademarks being genericized, because they lose said trademark. According to Wikipedia's sources, "digipack" is an accepted generic name.

Now the question is: Do we contribute to Digipak becoming a genericized term or do we choose the lesser used generic name instead?
We will probably do the former, but if we get a letter from Digipak requesting a change, we'll need to comply, even if it will once again earn your ire.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby Brent_Reid » 08 Feb 2019 05:34

I wasn't blaming any one person for changing my spelling, merely that it was constantly altered to a nonstandard, incorrect form. But spelling it with a lower case "d" and no hyphen is absolutely fine, as trademark erosion set in a long time ago for this brand. I can't find any evidence they have ever opposed it, but should they decide to come after DVDCompare for perpetuating it, you can point the blame at me! :D
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 08 Feb 2019 14:42

Updated the Blu-ray
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 09 Feb 2019 03:14

Added and updated. Thanks!
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby Brent_Reid » 09 Feb 2019 07:13

Thank you, James! A few things:

The German DVD features an orchestral score by Elena Kats-Cherin.
It additionally contains the only surviving fragment of Dödskyssen (1916) (32:50), with a Matti Bye piano score and German subs.

Add "1998" before "restored Swedish version at 16fps" for each of the Swedish and UK DVDs. This is to distinguish their restoration from the earlier one.

The "No cuts" status of the US and German DVDs isn't quite true, as they're both slightly less complete then the 1998 restoration versions.

Footnote typo: The US release has two versions of the film, but uses [missing "s"] unrestored sped-up transfers.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 09 Feb 2019 07:16

Done
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby Brent_Reid » 09 Feb 2019 07:24

Blimey, quick work! I was still editing my post though: additional points:

The German DVD features an orchestral score by Elena Kats-Chernin.
It additionally contains the only surviving fragment of Dödskyssen (1916) (32:50), with a Matti Bye piano score and German subs.

The "No cuts" status of the US and German DVDs isn't true, as even allowing for their different running speeds, they're much less complete than the 1998 restoration DVDs.

To distinguish it from the earlier restorations, alter the BD comparison footnote to:
"No cuts - 2011 restored Swedish version at 16fps (107:47)"
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 09 Feb 2019 08:37

Where does it say the Blu-ray is a 2011 restoration? And what is different with the 2011 restoration compared to the DVD 1998 restoration?
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 09 Feb 2019 08:39

Brent_Reid wrote:It additionally contains the only surviving fragment of Dödskyssen (1916) (32:50), with a Matti Bye piano score and German subs.

The "No cuts" status of the US and German DVDs isn't true, as even allowing for their different running speeds, they're much less complete than the 1998 restoration DVDs.

German subs for what exactly? Intertitles, but for what language? Also are the German subtitles optional for Phantom Carriage?
For the cuts, what exactly is missing?
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby Brent_Reid » 09 Feb 2019 09:20

The 2011 restoration is a brand new HD scan that Criterion did in collaboration with the Swedish Film Institute. It's detailed in the booklet, all their publicity and on their website. The image has now been extensively digitally cleaned up and stabilised; the 1998 restoration, while excellent, was purely photochemical, done in the much more limited analogue realm.

The 1995 version (it wasn't a full restoration, just a straight transfer of a very good but edited print) is approximately 6057 feet in length. The 1998 restoration is approximately 6438 feet, so much longer. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison to determine exactly what's missing: it's too difficult, due to their differing transfer speeds (18 vs 16 fps). I was planning to add it once I'd scrutinised it more closely, but you beat me to it!

Both of the films on the Absolut Medien DVD have optional German subs for Swedish intertitles.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 09 Feb 2019 11:01

Where does it say that the Criterion’s restoration was done in 2011?
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby Brent_Reid » 09 Feb 2019 11:59

Well, they specifically state that it's a "New digital restoration..." and as their BD and DVD were released on September 27, it's reasonable to assume that having ponied up a small fortune to restore it, as usual they released it asap to recoup their investment. Would you like me to try and find out the exact dates they actually did the scan and worked on it?

I don't really mind what you decide to call it, but as silent films often come in very different versions, I'm just trying to differentiate all the transfers, including Criterion's, from each other.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby James-Masaki_Ryan » 09 Feb 2019 12:13

It may be a new digital transfer, but is it actually a new restoration? The booklet doesn't state any year or when the restoration was done. Also, if a major classic was restored, it would most definitely do the festival circuit before a DVD or Blu-ray release which could be a year or more later, so writing "2011" may be wrong.

Just to lay it to rest, I've put 1998 photochemical restoration of the Swedish version at 16fps for the UK DVDs and Digital restoration of the Swedish version at 16fps for the Criterion.
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Re: Körkarlen AKA The Phantom Carriage (1921) ADDED

Postby Brent_Reid » 09 Feb 2019 13:10

Yup, re the fest circuit, but I haven't checked that it didn't have a fresh round of screenings at the time. What I did see, via the SFI's website, is that this latest incarnation became their default rental DCP, supplanting the 1998 restoration.

Could you add the feature performer credit to the German DVD please?
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