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The Last Emperor (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY EDITION FEATURES:
Restored, high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro
DTS-HD Master Audio stereo surround soundtrack
Audio commentary by director Bernardo Bertolucci, producer Jeremy Thomas, screenwriter Mark Peploe, and composer-actor Ryuichi Sakamoto
The Italian Traveler: Bernardo Bertolucci, a 53-minute film by Fernand Mozskowicz, tracing the director s geographic influences, from Parma to China
Video images taken by Bertolucci in China
The Chinese Adventure of Bernardo Bertolucci, a 52-minute documentary that revisits the film s creation
A 47-minute documentary featuring Storaro, editor Gabriella Cristiana, costume designer James Acheson, and art director Gianni Silvestri
A 66-minute documentary exploring Bertolucci s creative process and the making of The Last Emperor
A 30-minute interview with Bertolucci from 1989
Interview with composer David Byrne
Interview with Ian Buruma examining the historical period of the film
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Thomson
Top Customer Reviews
I have long been a fan of your company and the fine treatment it gives to movies. I originally purchased one of my all time favorite movies, The Last Emperor earlier this year when it was given the deluxe 4 disc treatment, I was thrilled with all of the extras that were included. I was most impressed that both versions of the movie were included for me to chose from. When it was announced that it was coming to Blu-ray, I sold my copy and was waiting to upgrade. I was! I have learned that the 165 min. version is the only one that will be included on the Blu-ray and not the 218 min (my preferred version) cut. WHY, WHY WHY? I am sad to say, that if this is indeed really true, I will not be upgrading to the Blu-ray version since this would in fact be considered a step down from the standard DVD edition. Why give us a great product initially, but then short change us on the Blu-ray upgrade, How sad!!!
Jon's reply is as follows:
When we made the special edition dvd of The Last Emperor, we pulled out the stops. The film won nine Academy Awards - from best picture and director to production design and editing. On top of that, it was the first international film of this scale produced in China, and that story in and of itself was extraordinary. In short, all aspects of the film merited attention and discussion.Read more ›
This is a truly magnificent set. Criterion at its best. Spread over 4 discs, it includes both versions of the film, fully restored and remastered, plus an additional 6 hours worth of Extras; about everything you could possibly want to know about the film, the director or the central character, Pu Yi.
The roaring controversy however is over the decision to crop the film from its original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio down to a narrower 2:1. Vittorio Storaro who was responsible for this has defended his action and Criterion has taken the line that they follow the wishes of the creator. However after having seen the new cropped versions, my preference is still for the older 2.35:1 widescreen.
The newer versions by and large look fine and you won't notice the cropping unless you do a 1 to 1 comparison. However in more than a few scenes, the new visual composition looks askew - awkward and ugly.Read more ›
Unfortunately Criterion fell into the same trap that the producers of the previous "Apocalypse Now" DVDs did. They allowed Vittorio Storaro, the original cinematographer, to tamper with the widescreen image. Storaro has been on a crusade for the last few years to advocate 2.00:1 as the most desirable widescreen aspect ratio. This is fine if applied to new productions but, disastrously, he wants to demonstrate his passion for this by going back and chopping up movies he worked on in years past. Despite whatever care he may have taken in this project, it is painfully obvious in many scenes that some of the screen image has been cropped from the sides. I compared this to the scenes in their original ratio of 2.35 and there is significant information missing. In tight scenes inside cars you often lose portions of people seated on either side of the picture. The worst for me, though, was what happened to a couple of the breathtaking scenes where the child emperor is viewing the large assembled crowd of his subjects. In the original framing you can see the complete perfectly symmetrical formations filling the screen and perfectly tapering off right at the edges of the picture. In this version chunks of that image are chopped off on either side and a lot of the power and beauty of the scene is diminished.
I had been eagerly anticipating this release but the butchering of the image took all of the joy out of it for me. Even though other aspects of the package such as the extras are very nice and well done, I ended up selling off my copy
I'm surprised and disappointed that Criterion let something like this happen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The movie is visually beautiful, and tells much about how life was life for Pu-Yi, the child emperor of China who was never really an emperor but a figurehead kept under effective... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Long Tom
It's okay. Nice to see Peter O'Toole but the movie is so long and drawn out...Published 2 months ago by Gars
I appreciate it is award winning but it is really really long and slow. We went to China and the Forbidden City recently and were interested in learning more but this is very... Read morePublished 2 months ago by ICthree
One of our all time favorite movies. I gave it as a gift to a friend who is leading a group to China. She loved it, also! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
We just got back from China and the tour director showed us where in the Forbidden City the movie was filmed. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chuck Jones
An overwhelmingly sad but informative film about the last and only emperor of China to live through the transition to life in Mao's China.Published 4 months ago by Janet Shannon
I cannot give this item an appropriate rating as it was a gift for someone else.Published 4 months ago by Maureen B.