Criterion/MoC Overlaps

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foggy eyes
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#26 Post by foggy eyes » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:44 pm

These overlaps may have one overlooked positive side-effect: Criterion's announcement for Vengeance is Mine reminded me that I'd been meaning to pick up a personal copy of the MoC for far too long, and I promptly ordered it (it's difficult to see how the Criterion will offer an improvement). Perhaps Criterion can be seen as offering a modicum of free publicity for MoC by introducing these films into their canon (and providing a staunch reminder for those who haven't yet purchased the MoC release). Or, much more likely, my experience presents an isolated case.

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125100
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#27 Post by 125100 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:19 pm

SncDthMnky wrote:Bought unless Criterion announces it before release date.
We can but dream... I guess this is better than nothing though :D

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ellipsis7
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#28 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:59 pm

125100 wrote:
SncDthMnky wrote:Bought unless Criterion announces it before release date.
We can but dream... I guess this is better than nothing though
Welcome, philistines and unbelievers!... This is altogether and undeniably superb news... And the fact that MoC are releasing VAMPYR means at the very least it will in quality terms be at the very least second only to Criterion, if not better!.... The vital thing is that this hugely regarded title is reaching DVD in a top notch edition at last...

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jt
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#29 Post by jt » Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:48 am

125100 wrote:
SncDthMnky wrote:Bought unless Criterion announces it before release date.
We can but dream... I guess this is better than nothing though :D
Not wanting to be too pedantic but why would anyone prefer a CC release over an MoC? When you compare the overlaps between the two, there's little to choose between them.
Where MoC does definitely come out on top though is for silents. They currently have 10 pre-1930 releases (out of a total catalogue of 40). Criterion, with a catalogue approaching 400 have, I think, only 6 silents?

I understand why someone would rather own, for example, the CC Teshigahara set than the MoC because of the extra material but I fail to see why anyone would prefer to get a silent from a company who, Pandora's Box aside, have never shown silents the respect they deserve, over one that has dedicated a quarter of it's output to such films.

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Tommaso
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#30 Post by Tommaso » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:28 am

jt wrote:
125100 wrote:
SncDthMnky wrote:Bought unless Criterion announces it before release date.
We can but dream... I guess this is better than nothing though :D
Not wanting to be too pedantic but why would anyone prefer a CC release over an MoC? When you compare the overlaps between the two, there's little to choose between them.
Exactly, and you can trust MoC more for getting the colours right (not important for "Vampyr", of course). Also, I tend to think that MoC discs tend to look a little bit more 'cinematic' in most cases. This might be my imagination rather than something that could be verified technically, though.

And don't forget that MoC almost certainly will provide a huge booklet for this one again (their booklets tend to get thicker with every release currently... Pabst got 40, Melville even 56 pages...).

More interesting would be to know how far the preparation for this release has really gotten by now. The cover for "Die Nibelungen" is up on the site for a few months now, but nothing has been heard about a release date or even specs. So I fear that despite the sleeve design being up, we will still have to wait for a while before we get to see "Vampyr" released.

I only hope it will get an audio commentary...

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125100
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#31 Post by 125100 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:06 pm

jt wrote:
125100 wrote:
SncDthMnky wrote:Bought unless Criterion announces it before release date.
We can but dream... I guess this is better than nothing though :D
Not wanting to be too pedantic but why would anyone prefer a CC release over an MoC? When you compare the overlaps between the two, there's little to choose between them.
It's just a preference, I'm from the UK so in the early days I was a Masters of Cinema fanboy, and while admittedly there's little difference when it comes to actual disc content I feel there's a certain prestige with a Criterion release that you don't get with Masters of Cinema anymore.

I don't want to start an argument, I have nothing against MoC, infact I bought every MoC release upto and including the 2 Kurosawa films but since then I've just been turned off to them. The website doesn't inform you of upcoming releases like the Criterion one does and I have meant to pick up a few MoC releases but while work send me to Seattle and I'll pick up 10 - 20 Criterions, with the exception of Faust, I just don't find MoC releases an attractive package on the shelf. The Naruse and Keaton boxsets are good examples, both had me counting down the days, especially the Naruse set as I adore Japanese films of that era, however they both came out and IN MY OPINION they just look dull so instead I picked up a French Keaton set and live in hope Criterion (or Eclipse) pick up the Naruse films.

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Michael Kerpan
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#32 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:27 pm

125100 --

It is rare that Criterion produces a set as fine as MOC's Naruse one. If you want to boycott the release because you think the wonderful packaging is dull, it's your loss. (FWIW -- I doubt that Criterion will release the three films in this set any time within the next four or fie years).

Tomas
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#33 Post by Tomas » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:49 pm

The Naruse box set a let down? I don't know what are you talking about. The box set includes: 3 films, one with the commentary and one amazing booklet. For me this is the best box-set this year (till now - I got high hopes for Mizo box sets and I can't wait for Naruse vol.2.).

I wish that MoC could release Ozu silent films, but alas they can't (film rights owned by CC?).

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Tommaso
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#34 Post by Tommaso » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:33 pm

125100 wrote: I feel there's a certain prestige with a Criterion release that you don't get with Masters of Cinema anymore.
Anymore? Whilst their releases get more and more accomplished? In my view, the packaging design of especially the latest MoC releases looks extremely 'prestigy" (including the Naruse and Keaton sets,and not to speak of the forthcoming "Nibelungen" and "Silence", and also this "Vampyr" disc), whilst there are really only a few CC releases that I find look great packagingwise. And what could be more prestigious than to release "Vampyr"?! Well, perhaps only Barney's "Cremaster" films, but they won't come from CC either. And I don't think that "Vampyr" will come from CC, too. Looking at the last years of dvd releases from that time period, I predict a nice wonderful Kino edition, barebones and with glorious instances of jaggies and ghosting (well, fits the film in a way...)
125100 wrote:The website doesn't inform you of upcoming releases like the Criterion one does
Okay, I'm with you there, the slow updating is rather annoying, and especially if they just water our mouth with the sleeve designs, as with "Nibelungen" and "Vampyr" and nothing more is heard even in months.

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zedz
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#35 Post by zedz » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:32 pm

jt wrote:Not wanting to be too pedantic but why would anyone prefer a CC release over an MoC? When you compare the overlaps between the two, there's little to choose between them.

Where MoC does definitely come out on top though is for silents. They currently have 10 pre-1930 releases (out of a total catalogue of 40). Criterion, with a catalogue approaching 400 have, I think, only 6 silents?

I understand why someone would rather own, for example, the CC Teshigahara set than the MoC because of the extra material but I fail to see why anyone would prefer to get a silent from a company who, Pandora's Box aside, have never shown silents the respect they deserve, over one that has dedicated a quarter of it's output to such films.
I completely agree with you re MoC vs Criterion in terms of silent releases, but let's not forget that Vampyr is not a silent film!

This has no bearing on the relative merits of this release, however. Holding out for an imaginary Criterion release in this instance seems ludicrously masochistic.

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cgray
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#36 Post by cgray » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:02 pm

And I completely agree with you that I have enjoyed the physical packaging on most Criterion box sets more than the Nause set.

However, I have to agree that
zedz wrote:[h]olding out for an imaginary Criterion release in this instance seems ludicrously masochistic.

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triodelover
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#37 Post by triodelover » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:50 pm

cgray wrote:And I completely agree with you that I have enjoyed the physical packaging on most Criterion box sets more than the Nause set.
Are you aware that the individual keep case covers on MoC's Naruse set are reversible and that the original Japanese poster art is on those reverse sides? Nice touch that.

kekid
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#38 Post by kekid » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:09 pm

I have great respect for what MoC has been doing, and hope that people buy what it puts out rather than wait for better editions. Small companies fail if consumers do not support them.

I think MoC has a pioneer spirit. Criterion often follow. Of course they follow with often superior editions, but MoC has given us the first opportunity to see many great films in excellent editions.

I do not wish to take anything away from Crterion, and their contributions. But I would discourage distructive competition between these two fine companies. As a consumer with a region-free player I would selfishly like them to minimize overlaps, but I understand that they serve different markets, so this is not likely to happen.

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Awesome Welles
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#39 Post by Awesome Welles » Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:52 pm

kekid wrote:I have great respect for what MoC has been doing, and hope that people buy what it puts out rather than wait for better editions. Small companies fail if consumers do not support them.

I think MoC has a pioneer spirit. Criterion often follow. Of course they follow with often superior editions, but MoC has given us the first opportunity to see many great films in excellent editions.

I do not wish to take anything away from Crterion, and their contributions. But I would discourage distructive competition between these two fine companies. As a consumer with a region-free player I would selfishly like them to minimize overlaps, but I understand that they serve different markets, so this is not likely to happen.
I couldn't agree more. I too would like to see less overlaps but the company's main market is the domestic market and if there isn't a sufficient release it can't ignore that. I try and support MoC as much as I can taking chances on films like Fantastic Planet, which I had never heard of and I am grateful, I sold my Italian disc of Bellissima the disc I had was fine, nice extras, great transfer but I know that if I buy the MoC it will give them the support they need for future releases. I think MoC are doing a great job and I want to see them thrive. The same applies to Criterion I want to support them too, but choices with Criterion are much more niche as they are a much larger company, Francesco Rosi, Hiroshi Teshigahara and many Italian and Japanese releases are first day purchases because I want to see more from that area. But let us not forget MoC is a specially commissioned sub label of Eureka there's no stopping Eureka pulling the plug at 100 releases (I'm sure it won't happen) but we've all got to give our support where we can, and the fact that the releases are so great it doesn't exactly make it hard (and for my money they look great on the shelf).

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denti alligator
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#40 Post by denti alligator » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:45 pm

I can't decide on whether to get the Criterion or MoC of Salesman and Grey Gardens.

Picture seems to be identical, from Gary's review.
How are the commentaries? Are they essential? I'm more likely to watch a video interview than listen to a commentary.

redbill
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#41 Post by redbill » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:37 am

The commentary on Grey Gardens is quite good. I'm not one to listen to commentaries or watch many extras more than once though. If you're in the US, buy MoC and rent the CC for the extras...

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What A Disgrace
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#42 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:40 am

If you're an American, I would go ahead and get the MoC's...since, I presume, you can rent the R1 discs for their special features if you do that sort of thing.

I don't own the Grey Gardens CC, so I can't say regarding its quality...but I remember getting more out of the MoC interview, than the CC commentary, regarding Salesman. And the MoC booklets are *priceless*.

OliverB
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#43 Post by OliverB » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:45 am

Can somebody compile a list of all the MOC/CC crossovers so far?

I'd like to see a definitive list of them...

As a somewhat compulsive, completist, cinephile, collector, etc. I find it somewhat bothersome as I've been building my library of both studios for the most part, with few exception on certain titles. There are a VAST selection of yet unreleased films in any region or in any decent shape to date that would make for much better choices than a rehash of already issued Criterion titles to the Masters Of Cinema series. MOC is usually pretty good at exploring the lesser obvious compared to high profile art house and foreign flicks and it would be nice to see an effort made to sway from touching material that already exists on dvd in top form. Those hip to the label are generally ones that would be candidates for multi-region anyways, and at similar prices, would be just as likely to import an existing dvd of equal quality whereas MOC would likely see more potential in exploring a completely unmarked territory on home video, without competing regional markets. That's just my opinion. I'd rather see them stick to the road less traveled and offer up exclusives on dvd that will warrant my continued support and consumerism. If their releases get to a point where they exist simply as an alternative to the Criterion Collection in the UK, than I would see no reason to continue importing their products. And for the record, I do own all versions of the Maysles releases and I'm sure I have at least one or two other crossovers (Onibaba), etc. But it's not something I want or can afford to make a regular habit out of. I'd rather build an eclectic library of new (to my collection) releases.

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Awesome Welles
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#44 Post by Awesome Welles » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:51 am

Grey Gardens
Salesman
General Idi Amin Dada
F for Fake
Kwaidan
Vengeance is Mine
Scandal (Eclipse)
The Idiot (Eclipse)
Onibaba
Pitfall
The Face of Another

Crossovers are just something that is going to happen, both companies have to think about their domestic markets. Although Grey Gardens came out via CC first I bought the MoC as it was cheaper for me, something that CC customers in the US are going to find. Both companies have money to make and if this happens to be via a crossover they're not going to turn it down. They're hardly going to turn down a great film so someone else can release it.
Last edited by Awesome Welles on Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#45 Post by eez28 » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:54 am

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daniel p
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#46 Post by daniel p » Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:58 pm

Considering the collection is still relatively small (about 40-50 titles) from MoC, it is a shame for region free dvd collectors that about 25% of the collection is also available from Criterion.

OliverB
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#47 Post by OliverB » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:22 am

daniel p wrote:Considering the collection is still relatively small (about 40-50 titles) from MoC, it is a shame for region free dvd collectors that about 25% of the collection is also available from Criterion.
Exactly, I just think it's something to consider for the MOC folks.

It's great that the UK has a quality boutique label of such high standard like we have with Criterion in the States, but it'd be a shame to neglect the region-free collector market at the same time. The MOC line does not sell exclusively to UK collectors. If they're not careful with their selections in keeping this sort of thing to a minimum, they could essentially be cutting off a good percent of their international buyers like myself who import their releases. Like I said before, there is a VAST selection of as of yet unreleased cinema in any home video format. It's nice to see so many silents getting the proper treatment and I love how MOC is expanding to animated releases as well (which Criterion has yet to touch upon) - in fact I'd love to see some classic animation released! I understand what everyone is saying but at the same time, I just don't see the need for multiple versions of a certain film when most of Criterions releases are region-free anyways and most cinephiles are likely not restrained by such issues. I'd just like to see it kept to a minimum. Perhaps peerpee could chime in here...

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Darth Lavender
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#48 Post by Darth Lavender » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:49 am

Actually, I seem to recall a thread some time ago about best and worst selling MoC titles, and a lot of the 'disappointing' choices (the already available from Criterion in a superior edition "F for Fake" comes to mind) were on the list of best-selling.

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Tommaso
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#49 Post by Tommaso » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:50 am

daniel p wrote:Considering the collection is still relatively small (about 40-50 titles) from MoC, it is a shame for region free dvd collectors that about 25% of the collection is also available from Criterion.
Let's be fair, though. Much as I'm annoyed with "General Idi Amin", the Maysles films or "F for Fake", it must be pointed out that the double-releasing also works the other way round. MoC's Teshigaharas, the Kurosawas, and "Vengeance is mine" came out long BEFORE Criterion released their versions, so it should be Criterion who is to blame here. Same goes for "Sansho", almost. Although here Criterion was first to actually release it, MoC had announced theirs much earlier.
And "Kwaidan" is so much improved over the CC version (it's the longer Japanese cut, and has MUCH better colours and image in general) that this release is a must have, even if you already own the CC.
One might much more complain about such well-known silents like "Tartuffe", "Metropolis", "Der letzte Mann" or "Sunrise" getting another release from MoC after already being available elsewhere, but even these are better than the US versions at least. And in some cases I actually YEARN for a release from MoC, even though the film is already out someplace else: "Vampyr" (most obviously we need that in correct 1.19), but also Robison's "Schatten" (not on the schedule, apparently) or Murnau's "Phantom" (coming soon).

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Darth Lavender
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#50 Post by Darth Lavender » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:55 am

"Kwaidan" I think is a most excellent example of were an overlap is a good thing. Criterion are reluctant to revisit any of their earlier releases (or even revise the prices to something more realistic) so in the case of films like Andrei Rublev other labels could be very useful in perhaps finally releasing the kind of quality DVD that the film merits.

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