Mr. Bongo Films

Milestone, Flicker Alley, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild...they're all here.
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knives
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#451 Post by knives » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:00 pm

As far as I know the main problems are that they're overly obscure about who they are licencing prints from and that they have consistently avoided following the law with regards to the BBFC

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swo17
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#452 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:04 pm

They've also illegally offered their UK products directly for sale on Amazon US.

kubelkind
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#453 Post by kubelkind » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:02 am

On the plus side, their music reissues are superb, the two DVDs I have are not bad (Hourglass Sanatorium and L'Avventura) and the Underdevelopment blu-ray costs a mere ten pounds. If you order direct, things are sent out quickly and efficiently. And they are actually releasing stuff like this, and not the gore/exploitation schlock which most UK labels seem transfixed by these days. Can't say I'm in tears about them defying the will of the BBFC either, if that is the case.

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swo17
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#454 Post by swo17 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:15 am

Well it directly hurts labels that play by the rules like Eureka, Arrow, BFI, Soda, New Wave, Artificial Eye, Indicator, etc.

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MichaelB
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#455 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:16 pm

It's not "defying the will of the BBFC", it's breaking the criminal law. The BBFC won't be affected either way, unless for some inexplicable reason all the majors decide to stop supporting them - the Board has always been a creation of the mainstream film industry.

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TMDaines
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Mr. Bongo Films

#456 Post by TMDaines » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:11 pm

I'll give an indifferent shrug with kubelkind on this one. There's lots of crap criminal laws that I don't agree with and breaking them is ethically fine and/or is victimless. Whether Bongo are undermining the BBFC for the right reasons or not, I don't know, but the sooner there is greater movement towards reducing their censoring influence, the better.
Last edited by TMDaines on Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#457 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:13 pm

They're not "undermining the BBFC", they're (or were) trying to get away without paying them, which is in fact undermining every other boutique label that plays by industry rules. It makes no difference to the BBFC, so what effect is it going to have?

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TMDaines
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#458 Post by TMDaines » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:20 pm

Why would we care particularly? You can make just as much of an argument that them not paying the BBFC means their releases are cheaper which means consumers have more money to spend elsewhere after buying their releases.

The BBFC are a bunch of parasitic censors and I feel for all of you who feel the need to engage with them in order to avoid leaving yourself open to criminal charges.

Publishers should be able to self-cert 18 and be done with it at the very least.

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MichaelB
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#459 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:27 pm

TMDaines wrote:Why would we care particularly? You can make just as much of an argument that them not paying the BBFC means their releases are cheaper which means consumers have more money to spend elsewhere after buying their releases.
BBFC fees are unlikely to have much impact on the RRP, unless we're talking a really extreme case like Jacques Rivette's Out 1. The most likely scenario is that it might free up enough budget for an additional extra, although when Mr Bongo wasn't paying the BBFC their typical product was utterly barebones with dodgy transfers and subtitles, so the consumer clearly wasn't benefiting.
The BBFC are a bunch of parasitic censors and I feel for all of you who feel the need to engage with them in order to avoid leaving yourself open to criminal charges.
It's not that we "feel the need to engage with them", it's that we're legally compelled to in the same way that virtually any firm in any industry is compelled to deal with certain types of regulatory legislation - were I operating in the food or pharmaceutical industry, I suspect I'd be forced to jump through far more hoops. Personally, I find the fact that Sony has to be paid a hefty licensing fee per disc for the right to use the Blu-ray logo and encryption system to be rather more irritating - at least the BBFC has a discernible point in that its legal vetting can be genuinely useful (and much cheaper than hiring a specialist lawyer).
Publishers should be able to self-cert 18 and be done with it at the very least.
I completely agree, and I've been calling for such a system for literally decades. Just as I've been calling for the abolition of the ridiculous law that prevents R18 material from being posted from one UK address to another - abolish that law, and the possibility of curated UK special editions of films by people like Radley Metzger and Stephen Sayadian becomes a commercially viable possibility instead of a complete non-starter.

But as an industry professional, I have to abide by the existing criminal law, and my colleagues and I reasonably expect other companies to do the same thing.

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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#460 Post by peerpee » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:01 am

Let's leave the BBFC issue to one side for a moment, along with the ill-informed indifferent shrugs:

i.) Multiple licensors have not been paid royalties by Mr Pongo.

ii.) Mr Pongo have released some films without properly licensing them from anyone. This makes them thieves.

iii.) Mr Pongo have no quality control and no qualms about releasing shocking quality discs – dreadful transfers of ropey prints, full of damage, burned in subtitles that are hard to read, NTSC > PAL conversions, the lot. They have been known to release discs with anamorphic menus but non-anamorphic features. Basically, all the no-nos – they just don’t give a shit.

iv.) Mr Pongo are known to reverse engineer encodes from releases in other territories. Presumably because they haven't paid a licensor for access to a proper master. There are numerous, proven examples of their DVDs and Blu-rays being repurposed illegally in this way.

--

For all the reasons above, and more, they deserve zero respect from everyone.

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tenia
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#461 Post by tenia » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:07 am

Would it be too expensive or problematic to just sue them ?

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kuzine
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#462 Post by kuzine » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:39 am

Do similar practices occur with regard to their record label?

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domino harvey
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#463 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:10 am

peerpee, you left out Mr Pongo's abominable persecution of local socialite Cruella DeVille

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hearthesilence
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#464 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:46 am

peerpee wrote:Let's leave the BBFC issue to one side for a moment, along with the ill-informed indifferent shrugs:

i.) Multiple licensors have not been paid royalties by Mr Pongo.

ii.) Mr Pongo have released some films without properly licensing them from anyone. This makes them thieves.

iii.) Mr Pongo have no quality control and no qualms about releasing shocking quality discs – dreadful transfers of ropey prints, full of damage, burned in subtitles that are hard to read, NTSC > PAL conversions, the lot. They have been known to release discs with anamorphic menus but non-anamorphic features. Basically, all the no-nos – they just don’t give a shit.

iv.) Mr Pongo are known to reverse engineer encodes from releases in other territories. Presumably because they haven't paid a licensor for access to a proper master. There are numerous, proven examples of their DVDs and Blu-rays being repurposed illegally in this way.

--

For all the reasons above, and more, they deserve zero respect from everyone.
Three out of four of those reasons would get them into massive legal trouble, at least here in the U.S. If they ever get tangled with someone with deeper pockets and a more litigious attitude, I imagine they'd be taken down pretty hard. (Or has anyone else tried yet?)

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peerpee
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#465 Post by peerpee » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:54 pm

kuzine wrote:Do similar practices occur with regard to their record label?
Worringly, they also operate a "royalties collection service" for musicians.

Calvin
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Re: Mr. Bongo Films

#466 Post by Calvin » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:14 pm

I spotted on the R3:store Studios (they’ve done recent restorations for Arrow, such as The Apartment) website that they’ve restored I Am Cuba in 4K for Mr. Bongo and say that a Blu-Ray release will be forthcoming

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