Aside from the intertitles, the HOLY MOUNTAIN disc is basically identical to the MoC. I think it's an interlaced transfer which-- I think, I may be wrong-- the MoC was as well (I know the first string of MoC silents like SUNRISE were interlaced).
I'm not sure about these technical things as always, but the Kino dvd of Holy Mountain had some of the worst instances of ghosting I've ever seen (probably from PAL/NTSC-conversion). I mean, every time Luis or Leni climbs up a mountain there's a shining halo around the mountain's side.... and this is absolutely NOT there on the MoC disk. And apart from the intertitles they also changed some written parts IN the images themselves (like they did with the letters in Dreyer's "Michael").
Otherwise I do see your points, and I am grateful that they DID bring out dvds of rare films like Tarkovsky or Paradjanov. You say that there's no or little market for these films. Perhaps this is true, at least for the states. But here in Europe almost every country now has their own more or less complete edition of Tarkovsky's films, and although there are very few that are really of high standard, they are surely almost all better than Kino's "Mirror" (even the much-criticized Ruscico version looks pristine; I haven't got "Rublev" from CC). Go to www.nostalghia.com
for comparisons, and these guys seem to be even more critical than I usually am...
As to Paradjanov, yes: they probably did have only bad prints available, and if there was no possibility to restore them at a reasonable price, okay, no complaint. But that does not excuse the burnt-in, yellow and unreasonably big subtitles (and no, I don't speak Russian or Armenian, but from time to time I simply want to enjoy the images and then want to turn them off). Your explanation that these were prints made for theatre exposition is indeed a good reason for this, but still: I do not find it is acceptable any longer, and if CC can redo their dvds, why not Kino? What makes me so sad is that by poor standard dvds you do not make the market for rare or unusual films bigger. I have bought dvds from BFI or Criterion blindly without knowing the respective film before, simply because I was assured that at least I would get a decent home-cinematic experience. And on the other hand I have not bought films only available from Kino because I would not want to watch "Jeanne Ney" (for example) without German titles... and my GOD, what shall I DO concerning "Warning Shadows"??!
I think Kino could sell much more of their dvds if they retained the original titles or generally had a higher standard. It would not be necessary to order from Hongkong or Korea just because the Beaver convinced me that even in the case of a new film like "Untold Scandal" the Korean version is superior to Kino's American edition.....
Simply put, old DVD's suck versus todays'.
In general, true. But how come that some old CC's like "The Red Shoes" still look pretty wonderful, and even the old "Seven Samurai" is not THAT bad? Agreedly, their "Autumn Sonata" does not look good at all, but it only goes to show that it was a matter of effort even then....
It's easy to beat up on these dudes, and Krim (I saw him yesterday & felt like pulling him aside & begging him on the intertitles at least... but I'm sure he's heard it a million times)
PLEEAASE do it again, at least this problem could be solved easily. Almost every other company has been able to do it right.
The stillers, Warning Shadows, Edison, the Epstein, the Kirsanoff, the KEislowski box, these guys have for my money proven over the past year or so they still have the absolute best taste in the biz.
Yes, and this is exactly what annoys me so much. They could simply be the greatest dvd company in the world...
I try to look on the bright side when it comes to the starvation budget territory, which scares the shit out of even CC, of silent films.
Interestingly enough (and coming back to another discussion), I have just a few days ago read an interesting article about Transit/Murnau-Stiftung's German dvd releases (or the absence thereof). The article said that there was just no market for these films here in Germany, and that was the reason why there are so few silent film releases over here. For example, only 1400 copies of Murnau's "Der letzte Mann" were sold in Germany, whereas in the US there were much more copies of Murnau and Lang films sold. Although the difference could be due to the fact that of course nobody waits for Transit after Eureka or divisared have published their versions, I was really shocked that there is THAT little interest in silents in Germany even now....
Don't know if you can read German, but the article may be found here