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directed by Kent MacKenzie
USA 1961

Originally completed in 1961 but never released theatrically, THE EXILES is a rediscovered masterpiece that lay dormant in the archives for over 45 years. MILESTONE CINEMATHEQUE is pleased to announce the deluxe DVD release of this stunning film, gorgeously restored, and painstakingly re-mastered.

Presented by Sherman Alexie (acclaimed author/director) and Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep). THE EXILES chronicles one night in the lives of young Native American men and women living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles. A formally wealthy neighborhood of decayed Victorian mansions and skid-row apartment buildings. Gritty, realistic and far ahead of its time made in a period when Hollywood films featured Native Americans as noble savages. Using a script created exclusively from recorded interviews with the participants and their friends, the film follows a group of exiles transplants from Southwest reservations as they flirt, drink, party, fight, and dance.

Theatrical Release: July 13th, 1961

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DVD Comparison:

Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque (2-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. BFI (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Gary W. Tooze for the Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque Screen Caps!

(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:12:42 1:10:03 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.50 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Oscilloscope /Milestone Cinematheque

 

Bitrate:

 

BFI

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

English (LPCM 2.0)

Subtitles None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Four short films directed by Kent Mackenzie including Bunker Hill 1956 (17:25)
• Clips from Thom Andersen's masterpiece Los Angeles Plays Itself (2:57)
• Commentary track with best-selling author Sherman Alexie and critic Sean Axmaker

• Opening night panel discussion at UCLA (audio)
• A Skill For Molina (15:35)
• Story of a Rodeo Cowboy (25:46)
• Last Day of Angels Flight, a short film by Robert Kirste.
• Bunker Hill: A Tale of Urban Renewal, a short film by Greg Kimble

• White Fawn's Devotion- thought to be the first film directed by a Native American
• WNYC s Leonard Lopate Show with Sherman Alexie and filmmaker Charles Burnett

• DVD-Rom (press kit for the re-release scripts for The Exiles, Bunker Hill 1956, etc.)

DVD Release Date: November 17th, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 12
 

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Four shorts directed by Kent Mackenzie including Bunker Hill, A Skill for Molina, The Story of a Rod
• Commentary featuring Sherman Alexie and Sean Axmaker
• 2008 theatrical trailer
• Los Angeles Plays Itself, extracts from Thom Anderson's film
• Opening night panel discussion at UCLA (audio)
• Last Days of Angels Flight - short film by Robert Kirste
• Bunker Hill: A Tale of Urban Renewal - short film by Greg Kimble
• White Fawn's Devotion- thought to be the first film directed by a Native American
• Charles Burnett and Sherman Alexie on the Leonard Lopate Show (audio)
• Sherman Alexie interviewed by Sean Axmaker (audio)
• Stills Gallery
• Downloadable PDF files of Kent Mackenzie scripts and film notes.

DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

ADDITION: BFI - Region 2 - PAL - February 2010: Although the booklet included in this release states that the print used is identical to the Milestone release - the transfers show a few differences. There seems to some movement within the frame - although I wouldn't consider it 'cropping' as much as slight deviations. Other than that the images look almost identical to me with the Milestone having a slight edge in clarity and detail with the higher bitrate. Second, the audio on the BFI release is presented in linear PCM 2.0 channel instead of Milestone's Dolby Digital 2.0. While I consider this to be a slight upgrade, most may not be aware of any superiority. The UK disc does offer optional English subtitles where the NTSC edition has none.

Finally, the BFI edition retains all of the extras from the previous release (see below) and adds on to an already stacked Milestone disc with a Stills Gallery, and a short booklet with essays on the film and filmmaker. Either release is certainly recommended - choice dependant on your preferences for the noted differences. At the writing of this review the UK package is about $6 cheaper not counting shipping to your geographic location.

 - Brian Montgomery and Gary Tooze

ON THE MILESTONE RELEASE: Aside form this being an interlaced transfer (see combing example at bottom) - the quality looks exceptionally strong on this dual-layered first disc. The presentation is very clean with excellent black levels and detail is far better than I expected. Contrast borders on showing some moiring but never seems to reach that level - and the visuals certainly don't look like an, almost, 50-year old film. On my system the, 1 hour 13-minute, film looked surprisingly impressive taking into consideration its pragmatic roots.  

The 2.0 channel audio is consistent and dialogue is all clear but this production had post-dubbing at not state-of-the-art equipment and it is sometimes noticeable. There are no subtitles offered and the transfer is region free in the NTSC standard.

Milestone have really stacked this release with extras - on the feature disc we get an enthusiastic commentary track with best-selling author Sherman Alexie and critic Sean Axmaker. Alexie shares many opinions including his reflections of his first viewing of the film about 20 years ago. he can be a bit irritating at times but the information exported has wonderful value. We also get a theatrical trailer and the Mackenzie short entitled Bunker Hill from 1956 running shy of 18-minutes and Thom Andersen's masterpiece Los Angeles Plays Itself (2:57) in pretty rough shape.

Disc 2 includes more Mackenzie shorts including A Skill For Molina (15:35) and Story of a Rodeo Cowboy (25:46) as well as Last Day of Angels Flight, a short film by Robert Kirste and Bunker Hill: A Tale of Urban Renewal, a short film by Greg Kimble. There are also two audio discussion segments, the first with Sherman Alexie and Sean Axmaker, and the second on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show with Alexie and esteemed director Charles Burnett.

There is more than enough here to give this a strong recommendation. The feature is a fascinating window inside a less remembered culture - and for it's time was demonstratively groundbreaking.  I'm really glad I watched it. With the commentary and the plentiful extras it seems Milestone have again put a lot of effort into a clandestine work that deserves a larger audience. We encourage those keen to indulge.    

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus
(
Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. BFI - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Milestone

Sound:

BFI


 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Oscilloscope/Milestone Cinematheque

Region 0 - NTSC

BFI
Region 2 - PAL


 




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