More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

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Uli Ruedel
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Uli Ruedel » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:37 am

More details on the new Lobster DCP of the alternate version can be found in the Pordenone catalog:
http://www.cinetecadelfriuli.org/gcm/allegati/GCM13_Catalogo_WEB.pdf
And yes, it's quite different from the known version, and does have one of Keaton's most memorable gags ever (not preserved in the 9.5), which brought down the house in Pordenone.

Uli

Richard M Roberts
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Richard M Roberts » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:19 am

Uli Ruedel wrote:More details on the new Lobster DCP of the alternate version can be found in the Pordenone catalog:
http://www.cinetecadelfriuli.org/gcm/allegati/GCM13_Catalogo_WEB.pdf
And yes, it's quite different from the known version, and does have one of Keaton's most memorable gags ever (not preserved in the 9.5), which brought down the house in Pordenone.

Uli



Well, we shall see what we shall see. It's not like I'd mind being wrong on this occasion.

Now, what I want to know Uli is: how was TOO MUCH JOHNSON?


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Gary Johnson
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Gary Johnson » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:20 am

As I've said before.....there can never be TOO MUCH ME.

(and I still say, the same oily handprint gag on both the horse and limo do not belong together on the same reel....grumble...grumble...)

Uli Ruedel
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Uli Ruedel » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:32 am

More here -- http://variety.com/2013/film/news/keatons-lost-blacksmith-forges-new-path-in-lyon-1200736454/
Well, whether work print or final cut, it is a fascinating find, admittedly much more so than I anticipated!

So is, not unexpectedly of course, TOO MUCH JOHNSON. Now this is, obviously, a work print full of alternate takes, rushes basically, so it much needed and benefited from the live commentary (eloquently presented, in Pordenone, by Paolo Cherchi Usai) with the historical background, location info and tribute to this film's preservation history and the field in general. And if someone would ever try to make a 'conjectural' final cut, say, the way Munich Filmmuseum's Stefan Droessler beautifully did with material from that archive's Welles collection, it would still be confusing, missing the references to the stage play. So presenting it as found (and beautifully, photo-chemically-only, preserved, no digital intervention at all) is clearly the way to go. It looks like Welles, and with the lost-and-found stories, the detective work and the open question that remain, it felt quite ...Arkadian. An extra treat, and equally fascinating, was another short find at the end of the show, a just-rediscovered home movie of JOHNSON's shooting, showing whimsical Welles himself directing. I do hope all the media attention that it rightfully got will help not only the general cause of film preservation, but also encourage archival efforts to investigate and gauge the Welles materials that must still be scattered all over Europe.

Now, you didn't ask about Polis Paulus' påskasmäll ...

Uli

Gary Johnson
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Gary Johnson » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:04 pm

Uli, I appreciate the link on the latest showing of THE BLACKSMITH. I was becoming uncomfortably quoting third parties and hearsay for something that I have not seen. This article helps gives substance to a lot of what I have been reading.

As for the Welles' find being along the lines of another Mr. Arkadin, well...for many of us who are not enamored with every single scrap of film that he ever exposed -- that could mean the kiss of death.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:23 pm

Okay, I was reading John Bengston's second piece on THE BLACKSMITH where he expostulates that he thinks this newly discovered version of the film is actually the final finished version and the one we have been seeing for years is some early version that Keaton shelved and then re-shot. He bases this assumption on the idea that all of the prints circulating over the years came from a print in the Keaton Vault at the Italian Villa by James Mason in the early 1960's.

I hate to say this is incorrect. Rohauer's materials may have derived from this material, but THE BLACKSMITH has always been one of the more easily and generally available of Keaton's films. Several 35mm nitrate prints from different sources have been available for decades, including a different print that was the basis for the Paul Killiam materials that also became the basis for the Blackhawk Films print. Another 35mm nitrate was used as the basis for the Griggs Moviedrome/Essex Film Club release. These prints are all basically the same print we have seen and know, and was obviously the the general release version seen in America.

Now, the already previously discussed other different prints that have turned up in the last few years, including one with a re-shot ending not taking place at the haystack, have all come from foreign material or other early home movie versions. THE BLACKSMITH has circulated in 16mm, 8mm, and 9.5mm home prints since the 1930's, many from non-American sources, and this is where the variables have turned up, though most of these prints resemble the version we have always seen.

While it is interesting that the new footage appears to have been shot at a later date, I think there is still far too much evidence that the print we have seen for years was indeed the General Release print. But again, considering the inconsistencies of silent film release prints, both versions could have circulated in America at the time, but for now, I still have to question the conclusions Bengston is making regarding which can be considered the "definitive" version, if any of them can be called such.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Gary Johnson
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Gary Johnson » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:52 pm

And unless someone suddenly uncovers long lost production notes on THE BLACKSMITH, which speaks of the final cut, this matter will never be permanently resolved. It will eventually just come down to choice -- those who wish to watch version 1 and those who prefer version 2. Whenever I feel the need to revisit THE GOLD RUSH I never put in the '42 version. It's always the '25 version. AHHH!!! Choice!! It's what makes America work.

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Joe Migliore
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Re: More Discoveries from the new version of The Blacksmith

Postby Joe Migliore » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:46 am

Gary Johnson wrote:
And unless someone suddenly uncovers long lost production notes on THE BLACKSMITH, which speaks of the final cut, this matter will never be permanently resolved. It will eventually just come down to choice -- those who wish to watch version 1 and those who prefer version 2.


I suspect that a significant slice of this community, myself included, would be found in the portion of the Venn diagram labeled: "People hell-bent on purchasing both versions of THE BLACKSMITH".

I'll pay for even a few minutes of new Keaton. (Buster...not Michael.)


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