Friday, February 16, 2007

Performance on DVD - the missing line


I plan to do a detailed comparison at some point of Warner Brothers' new DVD release of Cammell and Roeg's Performance with my Japanese VHS edition, to note any points of difference. Right now, I can only briefly mention one important detail that's already been remarked upon, an odd and disappointing glitch that occurs during the "Memo from Turner" song. At 1:29:50, by my counter, you see the image above (lifted from DVDBeaver, I hope he doesn't mind) and see Mick Jagger's lips move, with no words coming out; he's raising a glass, and should properly be heard to say, "Here's to old England!" The music continues, but the line of dialogue has been removed. This was first reported by Tim Lucas, who speculates it was just a mistake - someone accidentally hitting a mute button - but I wonder... and I don't trust that there aren't other such "errors," tho' the film does have the same runtime as the Japanese video (the best version I've previously seen). Oddly, I feel the same way about the image quality on this one as I did with the Criterion Bad Timing last year; after having grown accustomed to the Japanese VHS versions of these films, the colours seem oddly cool and muted and the image almost too crisp... It'll be an odd adjustment.

1 comment:

Mark Lascelles said...

I can tell you exactly what happened here. The music section of the film has one channel of the stereo soundtrack played across both speakers, effectively stripping some of the soundtrack out. The difference is huge - the music of 'Poor White Hound Dog' and 'Memo From Turner' sounds less punchy. The moment when Turner plugs an electrical sound cable into some peice of equipment produces a throbbing buzz in the original film - but that too is missing from the DVD reissue. Warner have fudged this reissue very badly indeed!