Lola Montès restoration

(Click to enlarge.)

In case you’ve only seen Max Ophüls’ last and only widescreen, color film on the abysmal Fox Lorber DVD that refuses to go away, you might check out this comparison I’ve made between a direct screengrab of the DVD versus a still courtesy of Rialto Pictures from the new restoration. I just saw the new print today, and I can vouch that it looks just as good–or even better–than the still provided here. Note that in addition to the fact that the DVD doesn’t include the full 2.55×1 early CinemaScope frame, it also horizontally compresses the image, which suffers from pink-faded colors, less contrast, less resolution, and a darker tone. In short, it’s unwatchable.

Given the fact that Fox Lorber no longer produces DVDs (though its descendent Koch Lorber does), this may be an instance of beating a dead horse, but this comparison merely underlines the necessity of seeing this film (and many like it) on the big screen if at all possible.

The restored Lola Montès–which includes a Dolby Digital soundtrack taken from the original tapes, plus five minutes of unseen footage–opens theatrically on October 10, when it will begin a multi-city tour. Keep an eye on Rialto’s page for playdates.

5 thoughts on “Lola Montès restoration

  1. Hey, don’t knock that Fox Lorber DVD, it was leaps and bounds ahead of my old Video Yesteryear VHS which had a lot of built in jitter (although they seem to both have stretching problem)! :) Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to seeing the new print in a couple of weeks at NYFF.

  2. It’s hard to believe anything could be worse than the Fox Lorber DVD! I jitter just thinking about it…

    The new print really is smashing. What else are you anticipating at NYFF?

  3. I basically bought tickets to all the Week 2 films (10/4-12). The ones I’m really looking forward to are Omirbaev’s Chouga, Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale, Martel’s The Headless Woman, Dorsky’s Nocturne and Sarabande (I had gotten a ticket to Ashes of Time Redux for the same time slot, but I’ve decided to donate it when I saw the Dorsky program posted).

    I was also invited to participate in that panel on film criticism next Saturday, so I’m hoping to catch Oshima’s Diary of a Yunbogi Boy (screening with A Town of Love and Hope) if I can duck out of the reception thing, it’s the program right after the panel. Who says cinephilia is a communal thing, we’re talking rare Oshima dagnabbit! :)

  4. Congratulations, Acquarello, that sounds great! And yes, hopefully you’ll get to see the Oshima. I’ve just heard high praise for Tulpan so you might keep an eye out for it.

  5. Yup, I have tickets for the Desplechin, Omirbaev, and Tulpan for the final Saturday. Sounds like a killer day then …and I don’t mean my bad knees. ;)

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