New Footage for Pandora's Box?

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Gary Newman

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New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostSat Sep 23, 2017 7:12 pm

The New York Film Festival is showing a restored Pandora's Box from the Deutsche Kinemathek. At 143 minutes, it seems to be longer than the film I'm familiar with. Does it include new footage?
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Roscoe

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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostTue Sep 26, 2017 7:59 am

This seems to be the same restoration that played at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival a few years back. I saw it and was bowled over, truly, this isn't to be missed. I don't think there's any significant new footage, but I and the friends I saw it with were unanimous in finding the sequence on board the floating casino/bordello to make a lot more sense than it ever had before, so maybe something was added in there. Myself, I suspect the increased length is a matter of projection speed and titles, stuff like that.

I'm seeing that this film is getting a lot of play around the world -- I hope it means a Criterion Blu-Ray upgrade is on the horizon.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Sep 27, 2017 9:17 am

With any new restoration, it is possible new footage was used that turned out to be "alternate camera angles," and the restorers chose to use them because they offered better picture quality and/or the "main" camera angle footage was lost (or not lost, but unavailable to the restorers).
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Sep 27, 2017 11:08 am

Could also have something to do with fps…
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostFri Sep 29, 2017 1:42 pm

As it happens, Pandora’s Box is playing this Sunday at the Film Forum in Manhattan with a running time of 109min. The film that played in San Francisco was listed at 110min. The version that will play at the New York Film Festival is 143min. Can a 31% increase in running time really be explained by different titles and running speed?
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostFri Sep 29, 2017 7:58 pm

Some questions are answered in this interview with Neil Brand from 2010 (see the last paragraph for speed):
http://old.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/new ... as-box.php
If the film runs 143 minutes at 19 fps it may run 110 minutes at sound speed.
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Roscoe

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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostTue Oct 03, 2017 10:45 am

Did anyone see the Film Forum screening on Sunday October 1? Were they running the restored 133-minute version, which had title cards dividing the film into acts and which wound up on the Criterion Collection DVD? Or did they show the old Kino version (the one that wound up on VHS that ran for about 109 minutes) that was circulating for a long time -- the last time Film Forum ran the film they ran the Kino version, and it was a real disappointment.

Two versions of the film have played at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival -- the Kino version ran in 2006, and the Bologna restoration ran in 2012 where I had the great life-altering thrill of seeing it.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Oct 04, 2017 11:36 am

Roscoe wrote:Did anyone see the Film Forum screening on Sunday October 1? Were they running the restored 133-minute version, which had title cards dividing the film into acts and which wound up on the Criterion Collection DVD? Or did they show the old Kino version (the one that wound up on VHS that ran for about 109 minutes) that was circulating for a long time -- the last time Film Forum ran the film they ran the Kino version, and it was a real disappointment.

Two versions of the film have played at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival -- the Kino version ran in 2006, and the Bologna restoration ran in 2012 where I had the great life-altering thrill of seeing it.


When the old version was shown, did they use the Stuart Oderman score or some other compositions? It would not be a total loss if the Oderman accompaniment were used, since it was pretty good. I keep my old Home Vision VHS just for that. My guess is that other compositions were used in these theatrical showings since the Oderman score, like most scores, was and may still be tied up in copyrights. The Criterion DVD couldn't used that probably because of that. I read on the old IMDb boards from someone close to Oderman who said that Oderman had wanted to re-compose his score for the Criterion DVD but Criterion wouldn't let him (probably because of money issues). Instead, we got 4 lackluster scores on the DVD from composers who were probably paid minimum wage.

Mr. Oderman passed away two months ago.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 11:39 am

The last screening I attended of the Kino version of PANDORA'S BOX had a live piano accompaniment by Steve Stern, who does a very good job. I'm hoping against hope that any upcoming Criterion Blu-Ray would include the score by the Matti Bye Ensemble which accompanied the film in San Francisco in 2012.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 3:40 pm

Here's the listing for the Lincoln Center showing from the NY Film Festival web site. I've got my ticket. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to see this one on the big screen with an orchestra. I have to admit it's the first time I'll be seeing a silent film with live accompaniment, even though I've been a fan of silent films for more than three decades. In fact, I'm somewhat embarrassed to say it's the first time I'll be seeing a silent film on a big screen (unless you count a crappy copy of The Gold Rush projected on a small, crappy screen during a film course at Rutgers University in 1984... which I DON'T count as a proper screening even though the film was obviously a delight).

Pandora’s Box
143 minutes
G.W. Pabst’s immortal silent film version of the Frank Wedekind play gave us one of the most enduring presences in cinema: helmet-haired Louise Brooks as Lulu. A new restoration, featuring the world premiere of an orchestral score composed and conducted by Jonathan Ragonese. A Janus Films release.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 1:24 pm

Here are clips of the 1983 music accompaniment by Stuart Oderman: clip 1, clip 2.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 4:14 pm

I've kept my old wavers-in-the-gate Griggs copy of Jack Barrymore's JEKYLL for just that reason.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 3:10 pm

SilentsPlease wrote:
When the old version was shown, did they use the Stuart Oderman score or some other compositions?


Not sure whether you are referring to the SF Film Festival or Film Forum, but both of those venues usually use live music, and would not have used a recorded score.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 8:04 pm

I just came back from the NY Film Festival's showing, and I didn't notice any new footage compared to the Criterion DVD. This page says the latest version runs at 19 fps, slower than the 20 fps used by Criterion. So that may explain the time difference, since 133 min (Criterion's run time) x 20 / 19 = 140 min. Longer credit sequences and intertitles here and there would yield 143 min.

The picture quality isn't a whole lot better compared to the high-definition streaming at Filmstruck (which is a HD version of the Criterion DVD). So I don't know what exactly is different and new about this latest version other than the slower frame rate. Yes, the live score was terrific, but we most likely won't get that put on home video.

The live score tonight was totally devoid of the kind of "cliche" silent score composition that we have often heard. Every instance of emotion, seductiveness, humor, sadness, anger, nuance, etc., was done with great creativity, In a good way. At times it was almost avant-garde, making me feel like I was listening to the Alloy Orchestra instead. What was lacking was a good motif, though. The 1983 score by Stuart Oderman, which is a piano solo, has an effectively foreboding motif that is played throughout.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 7:55 am

SilentsPlease wrote:I just came back from the NY Film Festival's showing, and I didn't notice any new footage compared to the Criterion DVD. This page says the latest version runs at 19 fps, slower than the 20 fps used by Criterion. So that may explain the time difference, since 133 min (Criterion's run time) x 20 / 19 = 140 min. Longer credit sequences and intertitles here and there would yield 143 min.

The picture quality isn't a whole lot better compared to the high-definition streaming at Filmstruck (which is a HD version of the Criterion DVD). So I don't know what exactly is different and new about this latest version other than the slower frame rate. Yes, the live score was terrific, but we most likely won't get that put on home video.

The live score tonight was totally devoid of the kind of "cliche" silent score composition that we have often heard. Every instance of emotion, seductiveness, humor, sadness, anger, nuance, etc., was done with great creativity, In a good way. At times it was almost avant-garde, making me feel like I was listening to the Alloy Orchestra instead. What was lacking was a good motif, though. The 1983 score by Stuart Oderman, which is a piano solo, has an effectively foreboding motif that is played throughout.


I saw the film last night, too, and was surprised at how relatively ill-attended it was. Plenty of empty seats. The score was pretty good, but did some over-reaching, going for more when less would have been more effective. Very early in the film, Lulu is encouraged to dance by Schigolch, her old pimp, who accompanies her on harmonica, and the score just went berserk -- a blast of dissonant craziness that felt way out of place. Some of the sound effects were effective, though, but I wanted to tell the percussionist to stop waving that rag around during the final section, apparently to create the sound of a piece of fabric nailed over a window: no sound managed to get past the plastic baffle he was standing behind anyway, and it just wound up being a serious distraction, this guy waving a rag just barely in the corner of my vision. The score did settle down after a while, managing some fine moments, but overall I still prefer the Matti Bye score heard in San Francisco a few years back.

New footage-wise -- I didn't really spot anything, but I did feel like two little scenes, very brief in themselves, felt more prolonged than they had before. Specifically, Lulu's interaction with the meter reader in the film's very first scene felt more detailed than it had before, it seemed there was more interplay between them than I'd noticed before, and the later scene backstage during the revue, in the prop-room where Dr. Schon grabs Lulu and just shakes the living daylights out of her went on longer than I'd thought possible, long enough to actually produce some giggles from someone behind me. Later, when I got home, I dug out the Criterion DVD and found that both of those moments were much shorter on the DVD than in what I remember from a couple of hours before. Hard to say for sure, without some kind of real straight up comparison between the two. Maybe some shots were trimmed of Lulu really charming the meter reader, and of the attack in the prop room. Who knows. It's unlikely that anything really significant was restored, certainly nothing like what was restored to METROPOLIS where entire subplots were put back.

I haven't checked the version of the film streaming on FilmStruck, but the picture in this restoration is a hell of a lot better than the version on the Criterion DVD, which has lots of scratches and even hairs in the gate in certain shots. The opening titles mentioned that the new version was meant to be projected at 20 fps, whatever that means, I'm afraid I can never keep that straight. It certainly felt a lot more leisurely overall, as opposed to the Criterion DVD that just flew by on my TV in comparison.

And I'll note that the gentleman who introduced the film specifically thanked both Criterion and Janus -- my fingers remain crossed about a possible Blu-Ray upgrade.

And the film itself -- there's just nothing better. Few movies or works of art pack the wallop that PANDORA'S BOX packs. I'm always bowled over by it. Louise Brooks's staggering beauty always knocks me for a loop -- she's the one femme fatale where I see why people are falling over themselves, even unto death, to get their hands on her. Louise Brooks is the most dangerous drug of all.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 8:00 am

Roscoe wrote:
And the film itself -- there's just nothing better. Few movies or works of art pack the wallop that PANDORA'S BOX packs. I'm always bowled over by it. Louise Brooks's staggering beauty always knocks me for a loop -- she's the one femme fatale where I see why people are falling over themselves, even unto death, to get their hands on her. Louise Brooks is the most dangerous drug of all.

Totally, utterly agree!
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 9:06 am

Roscoe wrote:And I'll note that the gentleman who introduced the film specifically thanked both Criterion and Janus -- my fingers remain crossed about a possible Blu-Ray upgrade.


I hope so too! I can't imagine Criterion won't be upgrading this to blu-ray.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 9:25 am

Roscoe wrote:
SilentsPlease wrote:I just came back from the NY Film Festival's showing, and I didn't notice any new footage compared to the Criterion DVD. This page says the latest version runs at 19 fps, slower than the 20 fps used by Criterion. So that may explain the time difference, since 133 min (Criterion's run time) x 20 / 19 = 140 min. Longer credit sequences and intertitles here and there would yield 143 min.

The picture quality isn't a whole lot better compared to the high-definition streaming at Filmstruck (which is a HD version of the Criterion DVD). So I don't know what exactly is different and new about this latest version other than the slower frame rate. Yes, the live score was terrific, but we most likely won't get that put on home video.

The live score tonight was totally devoid of the kind of "cliche" silent score composition that we have often heard. Every instance of emotion, seductiveness, humor, sadness, anger, nuance, etc., was done with great creativity, In a good way. At times it was almost avant-garde, making me feel like I was listening to the Alloy Orchestra instead. What was lacking was a good motif, though. The 1983 score by Stuart Oderman, which is a piano solo, has an effectively foreboding motif that is played throughout.


I saw the film last night, too, and was surprised at how relatively ill-attended it was. Plenty of empty seats. The score was pretty good, but did some over-reaching, going for more when less would have been more effective. Very early in the film, Lulu is encouraged to dance by Schigolch, her old pimp, who accompanies her on harmonica, and the score just went berserk -- a blast of dissonant craziness that felt way out of place. Some of the sound effects were effective, though, but I wanted to tell the percussionist to stop waving that rag around during the final section, apparently to create the sound of a piece of fabric nailed over a window: no sound managed to get past the plastic baffle he was standing behind anyway, and it just wound up being a serious distraction, this guy waving a rag just barely in the corner of my vision. The score did settle down after a while, managing some fine moments, but overall I still prefer the Matti Bye score heard in San Francisco a few years back.

New footage-wise -- I didn't really spot anything, but I did feel like two little scenes, very brief in themselves, felt more prolonged than they had before. Specifically, Lulu's interaction with the meter reader in the film's very first scene felt more detailed than it had before, it seemed there was more interplay between them than I'd noticed before, and the later scene backstage during the revue, in the prop-room where Dr. Schon grabs Lulu and just shakes the living daylights out of her went on longer than I'd thought possible, long enough to actually produce some giggles from someone behind me. Later, when I got home, I dug out the Criterion DVD and found that both of those moments were much shorter on the DVD than in what I remember from a couple of hours before. Hard to say for sure, without some kind of real straight up comparison between the two. Maybe some shots were trimmed of Lulu really charming the meter reader, and of the attack in the prop room. Who knows. It's unlikely that anything really significant was restored, certainly nothing like what was restored to METROPOLIS where entire subplots were put back.

I haven't checked the version of the film streaming on FilmStruck, but the picture in this restoration is a hell of a lot better than the version on the Criterion DVD, which has lots of scratches and even hairs in the gate in certain shots. The opening titles mentioned that the new version was meant to be projected at 20 fps, whatever that means, I'm afraid I can never keep that straight. It certainly felt a lot more leisurely overall, as opposed to the Criterion DVD that just flew by on my TV in comparison.

And I'll note that the gentleman who introduced the film specifically thanked both Criterion and Janus -- my fingers remain crossed about a possible Blu-Ray upgrade.

And the film itself -- there's just nothing better. Few movies or works of art pack the wallop that PANDORA'S BOX packs. I'm always bowled over by it. Louise Brooks's staggering beauty always knocks me for a loop -- she's the one femme fatale where I see why people are falling over themselves, even unto death, to get their hands on her. Louise Brooks is the most dangerous drug of all.


It was still a good crowd by today's standard. And this isn't a major restoration like the one shown in 2006, when it became the second highest grossing indie film in the US. The score was cacophonic at times like you said, but I liked that it went for satire and other unusual effects that silent scores don't usually go for. I gave them points for creating a fairly untraditional score from start to finish. You were probably sitting too close to the orchestra, as I wasn't distracted 16 rows away from it. I also noticed some sound effects were not carried out successfully as intended. A Criterion Blu-ray is almost assured, as that was the reason they put the DVD out of print, to make way for a new version.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostWed Oct 11, 2017 6:44 pm

http://louisebrookssociety.blogspot.com ... s-box.html

"Pandora’s Box is set to screen at 6pm on October 14th at the National Film Theater 1 in London. The new restoration is listed at 143 minutes, ten minutes longer than a “restored version” released by Criterion on DVD in 2008. A bit more info at http://www.examiner.com/louise-brooks-i ... cedtarget=" target="

Not sure if the text it's wrong or not, like a mistake about not consider projection speed.

Edited: Here they said the restoration runs at 19 frames per second.
http://old.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/new ... as-box.php
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 7:11 am

And for what it's worth -- the PANDORA'S BOX running on FilmStruck/Criterion Channel is the version they released on DVD, not the current restoration that seems to be making the rounds at long last.
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Re: New Footage for Pandora's Box?

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 12:15 pm

There was some discussion of possible new footage when this restoration debuted in San Francisco a few years back. Nobody spotted any; it appears a speed correction accounted for the extra length. I am not aware of any plans to release the restoration on DVD or to streaming services, but I'd be pleased to be proven wrong. It's good to see it making further appearances on the festival circuit.

It was indeed a revelation - probably the best version of the film that we'll ever get, given the compromised source (which, as I understand it, is a dupe of a now-lost original print with scratches, jumps etc printed in).

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