Criterion and Paramount

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

#26 Post by souvenir » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:46 am

I don't know if it speaks to a possible DVD release by Criterion or Paramount, but the "new" 35mm print of White Dog shown at Film Forum was pretty spectacular looking. What a strange film though and I can't understand how anyone could classify it as racist after watching it. Studios can be quite cowardly sometimes.

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chaddoli
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#27 Post by chaddoli » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:16 am

I saw White Dog tonight as well. I thought it was fucking fantastic. Can't wait for the release.

portnoy
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#28 Post by portnoy » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:51 am

Yeah, I was pretty bowled over by the film, and the print was pretty spectacular.

Mental Mike
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#29 Post by Mental Mike » Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:46 pm

I disagree, Schreck. The Paramount release of The Conformist is basically a straight transfer from video to DVD...it had no evidence of being recently restored as was indeed performed recently. Criterion's version of La Commare Secca was a beautiful transfer and this film is a lot older than The Conformist (and less popular)...it is a shame that La Commare Secca looks a lot better than Paramount's release of The Conformist which deserves a re-do...

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Derek Estes
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#30 Post by Derek Estes » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:16 pm

I don't know what you are talking about. I've seen The Conformist on video for years, and the recent Paramount Release was amazing.

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pro-bassoonist
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:26 am

#31 Post by pro-bassoonist » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:18 am

Mental Mike wrote:The Paramount release of The Conformist is basically a straight transfer from video to DVD...
Says Who???

I can put you in touch with a direct industry source that will have the pleasure of providing you with quite a different piece of info.

The disc is of top-notch quality and it also happens to be the best available version on the market.

Ciao,
Pro-B

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Jeff
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#32 Post by Jeff » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:05 am

Some dude at HTF wrote:I can't say too much except that an annoucement on Ace in the Hole/The Big Carnival, similar to the one regarding If..., should be forthcoming...

Cinesimilitude
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#33 Post by Cinesimilitude » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:33 am

Mental Mike, don't be throwing around stuff like that on this most educated of forums. I'm surprised you haven't gotten a lashing from Schreck or David yet. The new conformist is most certainly not from a video source, unless paramount spent all the time they should have been producing excellent dvds on building a time machine to go check out a video format in the next century and bring it back for their transfers.I'm a fan of a lot of things paramount has been doing, especially the fact that more and more of their releases are missing the massive banner that used to go out on each and every one.

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david hare
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#34 Post by david hare » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:39 am

Mental Mike wrote:The Paramount release of The Conformist is basically a straight transfer from video to DVD...it had no evidence of being recently restored as was indeed performed recently. Criterion's version of La Commare Secca was a beautiful transfer and this film is a lot older than The Conformist (and less popular)...it is a shame that La Commare Secca looks a lot better than Paramount's release of The Conformist which deserves a re-do...
I see BLING and TROLLING!

The Paramount Conformist is one of the best HD sourced prog transfers I've ever seen of a Technicolor source.

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Jeff
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#35 Post by Jeff » Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:40 am

So far, the titles that we know for sure (Robinson Crusoe on Mars, If..., Ace in the Hole) and the titles that we suspect (White Dog, Face to Face) are films that Paramount has not already released themselves. This leads me to believe that, like Fox, they don't want Criterion releasing discs that will compete with their own product.

What unreleased Paramount (or CBS, or Viacom) properties seem like legitimate candidates for Criterion?

I'm thinking...

White Dog
Face to Face
Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
The Mattei Affair
Hearts of Darkness: A Flimmaker's Apocalypse

...plus any number of silents.

It seems premature to speculate on Johnny Guitar and the rest of the Republic library, since most of those films supposedly went to Lionsgate. So far the only title they have licensed to Criterion is Kicking and Screaming.

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Derek Estes
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#36 Post by Derek Estes » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:58 am

So do you think Nashville is out of the question? I really can't imagine Criterion not trying to get their hands on Altman's opus. Not to mention the fact that it just needs to happen.

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pauling
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#37 Post by pauling » Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:08 pm

I emailed Criterion about Johnny Guitar a couple weeks ago and, sadly, Kim Hendrickson wrote back that they have no plans to release the film.

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Jeff
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#38 Post by Jeff » Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:43 pm

Derek Estes wrote:So do you think Nashville is out of the question? I really can't imagine Criterion not trying to get their hands on Altman's opus. Not to mention the fact that it just needs to happen.
I do not think that Nashville is likely. There is no bigger Altman fan than I, but I just can't see it happening. For one thing, I'm just not sure what Criterion can add. The existing disc has an Altman commentary. If Criterion had the rights to any extant Altman retrospective docs, they would have already used them on another disc. I can't imagine that they would spend the money to license a film like that and create a new documentary. They just wouldn't be able to justify it with sales.

Moreover though, this deal looks a lot more like the Fox one than the Universal one to me. When Universal first entered the DVD market they licensed to everyone. A big chunk of their library went to Image, some more to Goodtimes, some to Anchor Bay, and finally some to Criterion. The Criterion license is the only one that has persisted (likely because it is the most profitable), and they have no problem licensing films that they've already released themselves or plan to release, and keeping both versions on the market simultaneously.

Fox, on the other hand, licensed only about a dozen titles to Criterion. They did them all in one fell swoop. All of them were titles that they had not released themselves. As with Paramount, they were mostly neglected classics, cult favorites, and films that had been unavailable on video - probably situations where they hadn't created a video master in years and had no desire to do so. The Paramount and Fox deals look virtually identical to me.

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exte
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#39 Post by exte » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:43 pm

Jeff wrote:I do not think that Nashville is likely. There is no bigger Altman fan than I, but I just can't see it happening. For one thing, I'm just not sure what Criterion can add.
How about a stunning transfer? I'm all about crazy extras and multi-disc packages, but Nashville needs an HD transfer first just to get off the ground...

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Derek Estes
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#40 Post by Derek Estes » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:41 pm

Even the use of Music alone would warrant a documentary. There are plenty of the actors involved who could be interviewed for this release, even a second commentary, where everyone talks over each other. A new transfer, a book of essays. I hardly think it would be difficult to put out a stunning release of this film. The existing Paramount is decent, but this film if far too important to be ignored.

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Jeff
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#41 Post by Jeff » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:56 pm

Derek Estes wrote:Even the use of Music alone would warrant a documentary. There are plenty of the actors involved who could be interviewed for this release, even a second commentary, where everyone talks over each other. A new transfer, a book of essays. I hardly think it would be difficult to put out a stunning release of this film. The existing Paramount is decent, but this film if far too important to be ignored.
I certainly hope that you're right, and I would buy the disc in a heartbeat, but I just don't see it happening.

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foggy eyes
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#42 Post by foggy eyes » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:56 pm

Jeff wrote:I would buy the disc in a heartbeat
With a spanking new transfer, I think we would all bin Paramount's existing release to snap up a Criterion. It would be a pretty safe bet. If only...

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domino harvey
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#43 Post by domino harvey » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:40 am

I hope Criterion releases a pony!!

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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#44 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:05 pm

Now that's a wacky animal newsletter idea there, sir!

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LightBulbFilm
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#45 Post by LightBulbFilm » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:21 pm

Just for the hell of it, for shits and giggles, I'd like to see the All American B-movie classic Sons of the Legion get Criterion treatment. There's a car chase that endangers the lives of children! And a kid gets shot! It's funerific.

BrightEyes23
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#46 Post by BrightEyes23 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:41 am

Jeff wrote:The Mattei Affair
oh PLEASE let this happen.

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HerrSchreck
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#47 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:53 am

Mental Mike wrote:I disagree, Schreck. The Paramount release of The Conformist is basically a straight transfer from video to DVD...it had no evidence of being recently restored as was indeed performed recently. Criterion's version of La Commare Secca was a beautiful transfer and this film is a lot older than The Conformist (and less popular)...it is a shame that La Commare Secca looks a lot better than Paramount's release of The Conformist which deserves a re-do...
How did I miss this lunacy?

Since Mike is clearly Mental and needs glasses -- and has already been beaten back -- I'll not beat a poor dead mouse.

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Buttery Jeb
Just in it for the game.
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#48 Post by Buttery Jeb » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:46 am

A couple other thought:

- Marlon Brando's "One-Eyed Jacks" is a contender, based on the fact that Criterion was working on the Maysles' "Meet Marlon Brando" a year or so ago. Technically it's PD, but Paramount produced the film and so probably owns the original elements.

- Apart from "Wings" and the silent "Ten Commandments," how many silent films do Paramount still control? I thought most of them would have been sold to MCA/Universal with the other classics.

- Pietro Germi's "Alfredo, Alfredo" is a Paramount title. Criterion loves them some Germi.

- I'd pick up a Criterion "Nashville" in a heartbeat; but the one I'd really like them to revisit is "Harold and Maude." That would be something special.

-BJ

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Ashirg
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#49 Post by Ashirg » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:23 am

All silents are still controlled by Paramount since only sound pictures were sold to Universal. Silent films were not big on TV in the early 1950's and that was the main reason why Paramount pre-1949 library was sold to Universal.

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Gordon
Waster of Cinema
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#50 Post by Gordon » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:16 pm

I love to see a Polanski box or an SE of the following:

Rosemary's Baby
Chinatown
The Tenant


Commenaries and/or extensive interviews with Polanski would be amazing, as would the inclusion of Clive James meets Roman Polanski from 1984 and/or Mark Cousins', Scene by Scene with Roman Polanski from 2002.

I'd also love to see SEs of Hud and Harold and Maude.

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