Criterion Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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Ribs
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1601 Post by Ribs » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:29 am

I think there's a path forward that involves Eclipse moving to BDs, and it's be similar to the Arrow Nikkatsu sets - basically no extras, three films to a BD, budgeted a little higher than most other single discs (or 5 films on 2 BDs for $90 MSRP or something). But either way I doubt Eclipse has ever been a huge money-maker so any move could really cut into the margin enough to make the entire thing unsustainable.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1602 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:40 am

Ribs wrote:I think there's a path forward that involves Eclipse moving to BDs
Filmstruck is 100% the path forward for Eclipse

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theflirtydozen
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1603 Post by theflirtydozen » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:57 pm

SSF wrote:Hoping for some Svankmejer in this agreement.
I believe most of his feature films will be exclusively available (according to indiegogo) in the blu-ray set issued as a donation incentive for his upcoming film Insects and so wouldn't expect any to be up for grabs in this deal. Only other title I can think of that's not included in that blu-ray set and isn't in print from another North American label is Faust, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that one. Also, I'm not even sure the NFA controls any of his features, since the Czech DVDs seem to be in-print through him on his website.

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Buttery Jeb
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1604 Post by Buttery Jeb » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:46 pm

It's official: according to the new Film Forum repertory schedule, Night of the Living Dead is now a Janus Films release.

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kcota17
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1605 Post by kcota17 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:53 pm

Any news of an extended running time?

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Buttery Jeb
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1606 Post by Buttery Jeb » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:02 pm

Not that I can tell from the calendar. They do refer to it as the film's first major restoration ever.

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movielocke
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1607 Post by movielocke » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:31 pm

Ribs wrote:I think there's a path forward that involves Eclipse moving to BDs, and it's be similar to the Arrow Nikkatsu sets - basically no extras, three films to a BD, budgeted a little higher than most other single discs (or 5 films on 2 BDs for $90 MSRP or something). But either way I doubt Eclipse has ever been a huge money-maker so any move could really cut into the margin enough to make the entire thing unsustainable.
As said just below your post, Filmstruck seems to have killed eclipse in its current format.

Eclipse stayed DVD only, allegedly, because there sometimes were not better tape masters available, and no one was interested in investing capital in making new masters, so something like Tokyo Twilight is from an interlaced source, for example, or the aspect ratios are random oddities chosen by drunk telecine operators in the late 80s (rather than standard ratios) in the Shochiku set. Whatever was on the best tape that criterion received was passed on to the consumer as is.

But by 2015, a lot of this was not true anymore, every new element that had been struck for the last eight years was always mastered to at least HD, if not better. So films like Uncle Yanco are amongst the best looking titles in the eclipse series (rather than being sourced from a seventh generation Beta SP that's migrated four formats before winding up on eclipse (as might have happened a few years earlier)).

this means, to a certain extent that the purpose of eclipse (release problematic titles in sets to generate revenue without investing capital on a relatively low volume ventures) no longer made sense as many of the candidates for release now were no longer problematic titles. by 2015 a lot of titles were now available in elements that are as good or better than elements that were used for mainline releases in 2007.

So the line as a DVD only catch-all no longer makes sense, so what about making eclipse bluray then? The failure of dual format likely killed any transition of eclipse to bluray, because these titles move few enough units that it makes no sense to put them out on DVD and bluray both, the market likely isn't capable of bearing two release formats, and clearly the market dislikes Dual format releases. Additionally, two release formats double your overhead costs in terms of cases, disc production, inserts etc, with no real likely increase in sales from releasing two formats.

And there still are titles (like the remaining silent ozus) that don't have HD masters available. So you can upscale but you risk hurting your brand if people feel like they're getting ripped off by upscales.

But as the DVD format ages it becomes less attractive to consumers, hence, they have killed the eclipse line.

If they wanted to save eclipse they probably have to release two formats, but they should probably try a more contemporary approach, leveraging the "limited edition!" fetishism that is so popular right now (and seems to be a fiscally sound release model).

How does that work?

Do the regular DVD releases, these are in stores and continue the line as it is.

Issue a bluray release available only on criterion.com that is a numbered, limited edition (maybe even make them steelbooks to really irritate the forum and also stoke the ardor of the sillier format fanatics that buy packaging rather than films). But this does likely increase the total overall combined sales volume of each release because people do love their steelbooks and their limited editions and bluray format.

Allow people to subscribe to the bluray eclipse collection pre-launch, so that if they get number 0123 for their first bluray eclipse release, they will always get number 0123 of each subsequent entry in the eclipse release. Now you have a stable subscriber base who are committed collectors/format fetishists who are financially devoted to purchasing every release no matter what. Even better increase to total overall sales volume / release.

In terms of the "available masters" problem, make a public announcement when launching the line that everything available 1080 or better will always be presented in 1080 on bluray, and most titles will have at least two titles per disc, space permitting. If titles are only available in standard definition, state up front that those will be upscaled to 720 for the bluray release. You could design releases that have more titles or at least a mix of HD ready titles (like Putney Swope, for example), so that you're never issuing a release that is only upscales.

But all this is, of course, moot, since streaming is basically good enough and carries no capital or overhead risks that releases entail... so long as it sticks around.

(sometime in the future someone makes a sequel to the Z channel documentary called "filmstruck, a magnificent obsession" about the glorious two year existence of filmstruck after which classic/foreign film streaming all but disappeared from the world).

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Luke M
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1608 Post by Luke M » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:45 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
Minkin wrote:I like how we get great news about 30+ films from an archive confirmed, and we complain that every other country's archive isn't part of a publicly announced deal!
I don't see it as complaining. I see it as folks hoping this opens the door to some of the other Eastern European countries' films. Nothing wrong with that. As for me, I selfishly said Hungary because I would love to see Bela Tarr get his works' right to be controlled by Janus.
Maybe some of that John Hughes money can go towards Tarr.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1609 Post by Minkin » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:28 pm

Here's the Film Forum page with all the info we know (thanks dwk) or you can just look at the last page of the schedule for better quality:
Image

So we can call the New Years tombstone a double clue then? :P

Fantastic news! Glad all of the slow drips of rumors /speculation turned out to not have just been a big tease. I was somewhat convinced that the Romero phantom page was just going to be for his small role in Silence of the Lambs.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1610 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:53 pm

Lowry_Sam wrote:
domino harvey wrote:Kafka will come out on Criterion whenever Soderbergh is done tinkering with it. It's been "forthcoming" for many years
I think we're at the point where we can substitute "decades" for "years".
Soderbergh claims in his Reddit AMA that he's still editing this and hopes to be done by year's end

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1611 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:07 pm

I want to proudly take responsibility for this development, having just bought the South Korean DVD in desperation.

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Minkin
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1612 Post by Minkin » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:44 am

I stumbled upon this today:

Image

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1613 Post by Big Ben » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:15 pm

Oh goodness Jodorowsky in the collection. I'd love to see some of that insanity on a proper Blu-Ray. I recall reading they attempted to remove all the film grain from the previous Blu-Ray releases? That's obviously The Holy Mountain but I'd love to see El Topo too!

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1614 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:31 pm

This doesn't make sense to me. I thought the previous controversy with these films was that Allen Klein and ABKCO owned all rights to the early Jodorowsky films. I don't know why, but I think it is a typo (but prove me wrong).

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1615 Post by Yaanu » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:37 pm

The Houston Press write-up that advertises the Holy Mountain screening and attributes the screencap to Janus leads to Drafthouse in Houston, which unfortunately has no indication of the film being presented by Janus.

But if anybody's in the area, there's a screening tonight at 10PM if you want to see if the logo pops up.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1616 Post by jwd5275 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:52 pm

The recent May 7th showing at PFA in Berkeley was credited ABKCO, not Janus

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1617 Post by dwk » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:04 am

According to The Criterion Cast, these are the 30 titles are in the deal between Janus and the Czech NFA (I've noted the titles already released by Criterion with a C, followed by format, for mainline releases and an E for Eclipse titles):
All My Good Countrymen
Black Peter
A Boring Afternoon
Capricious Summer (E)
The Cassandra Cat (When the Cat Comes)
Closely Watched Trains (C DVD)
Courage for Every Day
The Cremator
Daisies (E)
Diamonds of the Night
Distant Journey
The Ear
The Firemen’s Ball (C DVD)
Footprints (C Blu-ray - extra on Valerie and Her Week of Wonders)
From Saturday to Sunday
The Hall of Lost Steps (C Blu-ray - extra on Valerie and Her Week of Wonders)
Ikarie XB 1
Intimate Lighting
The Joke (E)
Loves of a Blonde (C DVD)
Marketa Lazarová (C Blu-ray)
Pearls of the Deep (E)
A Report on the Party and the Guests (E)
Return of the Prodigal Son (E)
Shop on Main Street (C DVD)
Something Different
Three Wishes for Cinderella
Transport From Paradise
Uncle (C Blu-ray - extra on Valerie and Her Week of Wonders)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (C Blu-ray)

Half of these have already been released by Criterion.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1618 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:55 pm

With Stalker days away from release, hopefully Mirror gets it's turn sooner than later.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1619 Post by Minkin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:13 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:With Stalker days away from release, hopefully Mirror gets it's turn sooner than later.
I'm wondering what they'll do with the trove of Russian films they must've picked up at the same time.

Perhaps we'll finally get that Eisenstein box (is this the longest delayed release that they teased/announced)?

For those who don't follow along with Filmstruck updates, here's the Russian titles that we know they have:

BONDARCHUK, Sergei - War and Peace - 1966 - USSR

EISENSTEIN, Sergei - The Battleship Potemkin - 1925 - USSR
EISENSTEIN, Sergei - Strike - 1925 - USSR
EISENSTEIN, Sergei - The Old and the New - 1929 - USSR

KLIMOV, Elem - Welcome, or No Trespassing - 1964 - USSR
KLIMOV, Elem - Come and See - 1985 - USSR

ROMM, Mikhail - Nine Days of One Year - 1962 - USSR

TARKOVSKY, Andrei - The Steamroller and the Violin - 1961 - USSR
TARKOVSKY, Andrei - The Mirror - 1975 - USSR
-----------
I know that Image released October on DVD - but wouldn't that be part of the same MOS Film holdings as Strike/etc?

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1620 Post by Ribs » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:29 pm

Don't we have some kind of confirmation they're currently restoring War and Peace, or did I imagine this? I expect they'll slowly appear as they're given fancy restos one-by-one.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1621 Post by onedimension » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:14 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:With Stalker days away from release, hopefully Mirror gets it's turn sooner than later.
Word years ago was that Bret Wood was working on a restoration/transfer for Kino, but it never panned out.

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1622 Post by miless » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Minkin wrote: TARKOVSKY, Andrei - The Steamroller and the Violin - 1961 - USSR
TARKOVSKY, Andrei - The Mirror - 1975 - USSR
You can add Andrei Rublev (the final shorter edit) to that list

I hope they do release The Steamroller and the Violin, but it really seems like it should be an extra on another release, possibly for Mirror(?), or a re-release of Ivan's Childhood (which seems pretty unlikely)

now someone just needs to release Tempo di viaggio (i mean, ideally it would be an extra for Nostalghia, but that already has an American blu-ray)

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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1623 Post by Graphist » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:40 pm

^ And Sacrifice

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miless
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Re: Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1624 Post by miless » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:57 pm

Graphist wrote:^ And Sacrifice
yeah, but Sacrifice is not licensed from RUSCICO (or whatever the Soviet Mosfilm archive is going by these days)...

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Forthcoming: Discussion and Random Speculation Volume 7

#1625 Post by Graphist » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:07 pm

miless wrote: yeah, but Sacrifice is not licensed from RUSCICO (or whatever the Soviet Mosfilm archive is going by these days)...
Yes, as far as I know The Sacrifice, Nostalgia and the Voyage in Time documentary are owned by some Italian company. I could be wrong, but I know for sure Mosfilm doesn’t own them.

As for Andrei Rublev, aren't they working on rereleasing it on Blu? There are rumors it would be similar to The New World, where they would include a few (at least 2) cuts of the film. Cannot wait!

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