Quo Vadis? 1913

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Dave Pitts

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Quo Vadis? 1913

PostThu Jun 08, 2017 9:53 am

So, who has seen this? I realize that it's held in some vaults, but I've never seen it listed at a festival and I've never seen a copy on disc or tape.
If you have seen it, can you tell us:
> Where and how you saw it?
> Print quality?
> Approx. length? (Most references say it is a two-hour film.)
> Your overall impression -- was it a tough haul to watch or does it have more than curiosity value?
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Re: Quo Vadis? 1913

PostThu Jun 08, 2017 11:12 am

A nicely tinted 1:42:18 version with no music score is available for viewing on YouTube at the following link. Note that it is a 240p scan, which does not enlarge satisfactorily beyond 8-10 inches width.

My impression: elaborate staging for 1912-1913 era gives the story its main appeal as a spectacle. The acting is often in the broad tradition of theater of that same era. Camera work is limited to point and shoot, despite rapid editing with a mix of full shots, medium shots, and close-ups that were in full display in works by other directors at that same time. Subtitles sometimes show dialogue, but as often show forecasts of the events to follow, which dilutes any suspense or surprise at the action unfolding (exactly as can be seen in Louis Mercanton's Queen Elizabeth starring Sarah Bernhardt, also in release at the same time).

If seen in 1913 in 35mm on a large screen with full orchestra accompaniment, I can easily imagine how the film would have been magnificently impressive, but watching it at postcard size on a computer screen doesn't do justice, nor does the size even come close to approximating the filmmaker's intent.
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Re: Quo Vadis? 1913

PostThu Jun 08, 2017 11:16 am


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