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vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Dr. Klahn posted:

It's definitely worth watching and is almost certainly the best film of his later period. I don't know the details about what DVD's are available, though, sorry.

I really like Ivan as well (particularly part one), although given the cost of the box-set I would recommend renting the Image version through netflix first if you can. The video and sound quality aren't as good as the Criterion, and it uses the "Americanized" credit titles, but you still get the full film. I'm less enthusiastic about Nevsky, which is also included in the set.

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vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

The Monsters and Madmen cover art is AWESOME! I'm not very enthusiastic about the other releases for January though.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

The monsters and madman set has apparently been split into four discs rather than two double-features. The individual cover art for each release is also now on Criterion's website, and drat, are those some cool looking covers.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Macrame_God posted:

I've been contemplating hitting Barnes & Noble for the Criterion Collection edition of "Equinox". Can anyone here attest to its awesomeness?

I really like it, but it's not something that everyone will enjoy. Here's the trailer to satisfy your curiosity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE1UlPPId-o

edit - as much as a I love the movie, the trailer is so much better. "A story that defies logic!"

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

SubG posted:


Your avatar is amazing.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Two box sets in two months? That seems a bit odd. Neither looks like it would be a big seller either, so I guess they're just releasing everything from the back catalogue while waiting out the HiDef debate. I assume that's why they've been doing so many rereleases lately as well.

49th Parallel is very good. It's not typical of Powell and Pressburger (either as fantasists or propogandists). Most of their other propoganda films deal exclusively with building Anglo-American alliances, but that one actually features the big E enemy. Very exciting and weird.

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs is okay. The Naruse hype is going to die down fast once people actually see his films. I've heard is prewar stuff is interesting, but chances are we'll never see them on DVD (and I missed the Shochiku retrospective). Oh well, at least they're releasing a Japanese film that isn't Kurosawa.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

cryme posted:

Or possibly the elitists on criterionforum.

Yeah, it was probably just that one guy on cf (Michael Kerpan I think?). He's really obnoxious about his presumed expertise in all things Japanese cinema, which basically amounts to turning every conversation into one about Ozu or Naruse. The problem is, Criterion is working very closely with Donald Ritchie, so basically all we're going to get from them are postwar films of the "golden age" of the 1950s and early 60s, thereby perpetuating the "golden age" and "big three" perspectives of approaching Japanese cinema. The fact that titles like Crazed Fruit haven't sold at all isn't encouraging them to branch out either.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

I don’t think the cf people are elitist so much as they just have very particular tastes. A few of them seem more interest in Ozu, Naruse et al as “connoisseurs of Japaneseness” than as actual film fans. I have a pretty big problem with type of mentality, but I don't think it's elitist. I guess in the case of Naruse, where his films have only been shown in the country twice (once in the early eighties and again last year at a touring retrospective), there's a certain amount of smugness that goes with "oh, it's too bad you haven't seen Floating Cloads, but I assure you it's sublime."

SubG posted:

(`Yeah, I'm really into obscure Japanese cinema, like Kurosawa and Ozu').

This is basically my life, every single day of the week. Whenever I'm at a social event, sooner or later someone aks me "so what do you do?" and I tell them I'm a student studying Japanese film. "OH YOU MEAN LIKE KUROSAWA?!"

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

SubG posted:

Really? Have prints been available for university/film festival showings? I would've sworn that I saw it in a theatre, but it would've been mid to late '80s, not early '80s. It's the one with the dutiful but addlepated woman chasing the unsympathetic rear end in a top hat for six or seven reels of unrequited love, yes? I also seem to remember a sequence on a boat.

It could have been the mid/late eighties. I'm pretty bad with dates, so I might just be mixing things up. I'm pretty sure his films have only been exhibited once or twice in the states though, barring a film like Woman which is generally well known. There was an interview on NPR (or maybe NYT online) with one of the producers from Criterion awhile back, and they talked about the disconnect between Naruse's position in the canon and the near complete lack of exhibition of his films.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

SubG posted:

But does that mean that there aren't any prints floating around anywhere? Back in the '80s and early '90s you used to be able to find a lot of films via university inter-library loan if they weren't in commercial release. That's how I first saw Chimes at Midnight (1965) and Suna No Onna (1964) (Woman in the Dunes), and Cassavetes' Faces (1968) for example.

IMDB says that the US release of Ukigumo (1955) was in 1980, and I'm pretty sure that was before I would've been hanging out in arthouse theatres.

Yeah, I guess you're right. The Wisconsin archive probably has prints of a few Naruse films (or at least access to them through Japan). I wouldn't be surprised if Harvard or UCLA did as well. I think Faces and the Teshigahara films has non-theatrical distributors, although I don't know about the Welles.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

It looks like The Third Man is out of print. Are the planning a reissue of this, or did they just lose the rights?

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

I've seen all but the last ten minutes of Robinson Crusoe on Mars. It's actually pretty good, and the title does describe it pretty well. It would be cool if they released it in a rocketship film box-set with Ikarie XB 1 and Queen of Blood. I think the R1 release of Planet of the Vampires is out of print as well, so that would also fit if they could get the rights. I doubt they would ever do that, but it would be cool if they did.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

There's a new blog entry that gives some information on the new Eclipse imprint.

http://www.criterionco.com/blog/index.html

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Os Furoris posted:

Is it just me or is their a severe lack of Latin American and African films in the Collection? Latin America in particular has some classics that have never been released on DVD, yet Criterion keeps pumping out European, American, and Japanese stuff by the same predictable directors. I realize my pet interests have nothing to do with their buisness model but drat, they're really letting me down on some great stuff that has no US release.

Robert Stam has been pushing them to release some Brazilian films. I don't know if they have anything specific planned, but he's worked with them in the past, so maybe he can twist their arm on it.

I think the reason why they've settled into the standard names is because the DVD market has stagnated a bit and they're still sitting on the fence about HiDef formats. It's actually kind of strange that they're using Eclipse to saturate the market even more, because in the past they've claimed that there were fears that the DVD market could barely sustain their own release schedule as far as "art cinema" goes.

2006 did bring their first Spanish and Mandarin language releases on DVD though, so there's some hope for the future. Personally I want to see a lot more Chinese cinema from them.

vertov fucked around with this message at 18:24 on Dec 18, 2006

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

FitFortDanga posted:

Overlord: I know nothing about this or its director.

It was featured in the Z-Channel documentary. It's about D-Day, and it mixes documentary footage of the actual event with fictionalized material. I'm not a WW2 addict, but I think it sounds really cool.

edit - Tower Records is having a sale on some Criterion titles right now.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

FitFortDanga posted:

I haven't heard anything, but An Actor's Revenge would be extremely welcome. There is a region 2 DVD of it, I think.

I have the R2 DVD by BFI. It's okay. The image has some compression artifacts, but the subtitles are nice.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Criterion offered me an interview for a position today, but I had to turn it down. Stupid graduate school :( Anyway, I tried begging them to release some Oshima and Yoshida. No, I don't have any shame.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

zeroordie posted:

This may be slightly personal, but where do you live and how did all of this come about?

I live in Chicago and I have "connections"

Also, Criterion is doing another "Ask Jarmusch" bit, this time for 'Night on Earth'. NE might want to get in on this, but I don't know if he reads this thread.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

These movies are all piss-yourself-good, but as someone who isn't region locked I feel a little disappointed that they're essentially all rereleases of available films (which exist in excellent editions to boot). Only 'Sansho dayu' isn't out yet, but that's been a known future MoC release for awhile, and it's coming in a box-set with four other Mizoguchi films.

'If....' is, of course, wonderful news. It's hard to believe such an important film has never been released on DVD anywhere. I kind of wish it had stayed with Paramount, since they've been doing great work lately and it would cost less than half of what I expect the Criterion will go for.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

3 gets you 2 posted:

Is it wrong that I know nothing about Vengeance is Mine but still want it just for the cover?

Not at all. But for anyone else who needs convincing, the trailer for this film is available online.

http://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/moc/catalogue/vengeance-is-mine/

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Yet another newsletter, this one about eclipse. The third set will be more of Ozu's post-'Banshun' films, with five titles in all. To the best of my knowledge all are already available with English subtitles, either from England, Hong Kong or Australia.

http://www.criterion.com/newsletters/eclipsefeb07/newsletter_eclipse.html

They also seem to be asking for submissions for other eclipse titles. Is anyone planning on emailing them anything? I have a few ideas, although I doubt that they would be interested in any of them.

edit - also,

quote:

three films by Raymond Bernard, an unknown master of 1930s French cinema, whose Les misérables is considered by many to be the finest screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, and whose Wooden Crosses is one of cinema’s strongest antiwar films. Rest assured that in the coming months Eclipse will offer some of the most sought-after titles from the world’s greatest filmmakers, as well as eye-opening discoveries from around the world.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

FitFortDanga posted:

I'd kill for any decent presentation of Satyajit Ray (they have ZERO Indian films in the collection), but mostly I'd like to be exposed to more new stuff, like the Raymond Bernard.

They (Criterion) are apparently in talks with UCSC over some Ray titles. I actually didn't know that UCSC was the North American rights holder, but I think the MoC edition of 'Abhijan' also used elements from their library, so maybe that is the case. Sony had released some of Ray's films in the past (both on VHS and DVD), which I think were from the Merchant Ivory restorations.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

DeepDiscountDVD is having a 40% off sale on Criterion titles. Say goodbye to your money!

http://www.deepdiscount.com/Criterion-Collection_stcVVcatId476504VVviewcat.htm

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

The word on the street is that they're releasing it in June, so the actual announcement should happen next week. There's also going to be a R2 PAL release from Paramount, which I think will be available this month.

It is a great movie. I have it in my top ten for the ymdb thread.

edit - The UK version will also be out in June.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

I think both of the Makavejev covers are pushing what could appear in a DVD store bin, but more power to them I guess. They're both appropriate for the films they represent, although I think that the one for 'Mysteries of the Organism' looks little choppy at the moment. Hopefully they'll clean up the image before it's released. Still, looks like a great month for Criterion. I'm not too keen on 'The Two of Us', but I'll watch all of the rest. And thank god 'If....' is finally going to be available.

edit - The "reconstructed" commentary on 'Mysteries' sounds interesting. I really like Durgnat as far as critics go, although I don't think I've read his monograph on the film.

vertov fucked around with this message at 18:13 on Mar 16, 2007

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

caiman posted:

I've found a person offering Hard Boiled used for $40. The movie aside, and focusing just on the rarity/desirability of the DVD, do you guys think this is a good deal? I may even be able to talk him down a bit lower.

There's a new version coming out in a few months, and chances are it will have a better transfer. I would just wait for that one.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

slayn666 posted:

Do you have a link for this information? I always try to check up on Criterion rereleases before getting OOP discs (got burned with Seven Samurai a few months before it was rereleased) and haven't found anything mentioning a reissue of John Woo's movies.

It's not another Criterion, it's from Dragon Dynasty. I made a post about it in the "Upcoming DVDs" thread.

http://www.dragondynasty.com/news/show/5

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

SubG posted:

Any idea if the Dragon Dynasty release will have new subtitles, or if they're going to use the same translation of the English dub that the old R1 discs (Criterion and Fox) used? The remastered Mei Ah disc is currently my favourite transfer of Lashou Shentan (1992), and is only edition I know of with English subtitles of the original dialogue. Even if we do lose the classic, `Give him one gun, he's Superman. Give him two, he's God!'

And, for whatever it's worth, both the Hong Kong Legends and the Fortune Star Dip Hyut Shueng Hung (1989) (a.k.a. The Killer) are in the worth-owning group of Woo transfers.

I'm not sure. I only have the Pox Lorber version of 'Lashou Shetan', but I'm pretty sure that for 'Dip Hyut Shueng Hung' the subs on the Criterion were different than the FL. FL used the "Mickey Mouse" and "Donald Duck" substition for "dickhead" and "butthead" if I remember correctly. Or was that only for the VHS?

However, I am a little worried that the DD discs will have ugly yellow subtitles, since that is what Mirimax typically used. Here's hoping that things change though. Has anyone gotten any of the existing DD releases? I think 'Tom yum goong' might be the only one available at the moment. I wouldn't mind picking that one up, but frankly I can't afford to keep up with DVD anymore (aside from stocking the university film library).

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

cryme posted:

The picture quality, however, is much better than the Criterion (and anamorphic, too).

Wrong aspect ratio though. Another mixed-bag rerelease is the MGM version of 'Robocop', which has a sharper image than the Criterion (and is anamorphic), but it fucks up the colors quite a bit. Also, it comes packaged with 'Robocop 3'.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

To be honest I'm not impressed at all. Another rerelease of a film that's already available? And another trip to the well for a "grand old master"? The Spanish film could be good, but I think Criterion is really dragging their feet with August's line-up. The June series looks great, but they've been getting into a really boring pattern of rereleases lately (and if the news about 'A bout de souffle' is true, we have another rerelease to not look forward to).

I'd be interested to see the data on what sells for them. My guess is that rereleases of familiar stuff sells really well, as does the stable of establishes directors that they're committed to promoting, but I'm thinking that everything else falls flat. Given that they have access to so many films through Image, MGM (via Fox) and Paramount, it seems likely that they will keep chugging out familiar titles that have proven to sell. Oh well.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Grapefruit Pulp posted:

mgm released a bare bones version of straw dogs that was one minute longer. i don't know what was different about it but it always felt like they were trying to get one up on criterion.

It's the same transfer, so the extra minute must just be company logos at the beginning and maybe the authoring/copy protection stuff at the end.

Also, someone at cf.org is claiming that the Eclipse box for August is going to be three of Sam Fuller's films. That pretty much redeems the month for me.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

I'm selling some Criterion DVDs along with a ton of other stuff in SA Mart.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2608658

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

New month's titles: Pierrot le fou, The Last Emperor and Walker. The Eclipse box is Lubitsch Musicals and contains The Love Parade, Monte Carlo, The Smiling Lieutenant and One Hour With You.

Looks like a great month.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Peaceful Anarchy posted:

The current Vampyr DVD is terrible so a new realease is welcome but since this one says it comes from a 1998 restoration I wonder if the other DVD was from that as well.

The Image disc used a non-HD restoration made by David Shepard while the Criterion and MoC DVDs will use a HD restoration by Martin Koerber. I'm not sure if the film elements will be drastically different, but the quality of the image should be a lot better and it won't have the annoying boxes around the subtitles.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

It's interesting that they were able to get two titles for blu ray that they were never able to get for standard DVD. Maybe the math has changed since then, but do you think that blu ray will be a more welcoming format to third party DVD companies since it's still sort of a niche market? It would be cool if we saw a scenario closer to the days of laserdisc when companies like Criterion could license pretty much anything they wanted.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

LaptopGun posted:

1. Is the original (OoP and expensive on Ebay) Salo anamorphic or just letterbox widescreen?

It's letterbox, not anamorphic.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Egbert Souse posted:

Masters of Cinema is releasing House "early 2010" on DVD and BluRay. So, I guess the Criterion will be around the same time. MoC also has M coming in February (DVD/Blu).

There's something odd about that film becoming part of the "institutionalized" realm of film appreciation that Criterion and MoC (and the accompanying internet discourse) have been cultivating.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

Mike_V posted:

I think as much as we want to hoist up Criterion as paragons of cinematic taste (whatever that means), at the end of the day, they are still a commercial entity and it appears that the mythologizing the film has received is going to lead to a lot of sales.

I actually think they have rather dull, predictable taste (particularly in regard to Japan), which is one of the reasons why I'm surprised they're planning on releasing something like House. That kind of film would have made more sense for them four or more years ago (if there is a "logic" to the kinds of films they select), but lately they seem more interested in refining the "canon" than expanding it. One of the results of that practice is that what is financially viable becomes incredibly limited (i.e. no audience for non-humanist, non-auteur films), so they've basically painted themselves into a corner. The ever-shrinking list of films that they have access to on DVD only compounds that issue, and is one of the reasons why there are so many re-releases and re-packagings. I do feel that Criterion is treated as "taste makers" though, and I think they contribute to the continued emphasis on prestigious, auteur-driven cinema that haunts internet film culture.

vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

FitFortDanga posted:

Ozu is considered old hat now, but how many people were really familiar with him 10 years ago?

I haven't visited the site in years, but I can't believe for a second that the cf.org people aren't still fanatically obsessed with Ozu. They practically have Ozu-appreciation police on that site. One of the reasons why I stopped visiting that site was because of the lack of tolerance for anything but the "party line" and the constant bickering over petty poo poo.

Although I do generally agree with what you're saying. Criterion does still releases some interesting stuff, and they generally make the best English-friendly editions available. However, at the same time I have to say I haven't bought one of their DVDs since If...., which I think was two, maybe even three years ago.

SubG posted:

Once upon a time it felt like you could drive in a hundred mile radius and hit a dozen arthouses with a dozen different biases/editorial positions/whatever you want to call it. Nowadays it feels like arthouses are nearly as homogenous amongst themselves as your average shoebox gigaplexes are.

I feel the same way. I wonder if it's because the art-film circuit has adopted the same model as Hollywood (that of everything being owned by the same group of people), but on a smaller scale. For example, Criterion and Janus, while always having a strong relationship, have become practically indistinct now. Is Janus just there to promote the eventual DVD of film X? They also seem to have relationships with particular venues in each major metro-area, so these films always play at the same place. It seems like it's become more deliberate and targeted than it was in the past.

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vertov
Jun 14, 2003

hello

zandert33 posted:

What's odd most of all is that it's not a very good movie. I know a lot of people seem pretty hyped about it (or are hyping it) in the thread, but while it's goofy, and has some very interesting parts, for the whole I thought the movie was a mess... in a bad way. Criterion is releasing "Hausu" and yet the work of Naruse hasn't made any appearance whatsoever. In my eyes there's something wrong with that.

I actually don't expect to see any more Naruse films on DVD. The critical chatter surrounding his films during the retrospective and the way his films were introduced on DVD seemed to kill interest off very quickly. Almost every review or summary of his films tried to promote his work as "equal to Ozu or Mizoguchi" or that of "another grand master of Japanese cinema." The problem with that rhetoric was that it relied too heavily on comparisons to more formally rigorous directors, and Naruse's films don't really deliver that kind of experience; there was an implicit acknowledgment that Naruse was (by that standard) an inferior director. The critics failed to discern what was interesting about those films, so they never found the right audience.

Similarly, the overlap between the films being released by different companies (Criterion, MoC, BFI) was too similar, and given how region-free the market for non-American films has become, that kind of redundancy stifled interest before it could really develop. Criterion really should have picked a film other than Woman for their first release, or at least done two films simultaneously as they have in the past when introducing a filmmaker in order to introduce some incentive or variety. The way it was handled just felt too obligatory. Katie Russell's book was also delayed way too long.

Mike_V posted:

You talk about institutionalized film classes and using these DVDs, but aren't we seeing an expansion of film education and film culture into the home with the extra material included on the DVDs (especially things like Criterion?). I think that is one benefit of Criterion (regardless of what you think about their influence on the canon) and there's a pretty good essay by Alison Trope in "Inventing Film Studies" about the role DVDs and home entertainment have played in re-situating film culture back into non-academic society, where it was before the shuffling of film studies into the cloistered realm of academia by the increasing focus on huge and comprehensive books in the early 1980s. And I don't mean to imply that the content included on these DVDs is sufficient to replace institutionalized study, just that it is a democratizing agent.

This is an interesting point, although I wonder if DVD has produced a more serious engagement with films and their history or if it has just provided another outlet for collecting things. Do people really watch the special features on DVDs? I don't know if there's anyway to research this in a productive way, but I have always heard that the interest in special editions was motivated more by a compulsion for completeness than an interest in knowing more about the film (hence the "double dipping" for new editions that really don't offer anything new). However, non-academic film culture does seem to have found a sense of uniformity within the past few years, which is probably due to a combination of DVD availability and the internet as an outlet for discussion.

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