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LawrenceA

Odds on a reissue

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I recently set out to compile a dvd or blu-ray copy of each of my personal top ten lists for each year from 1930 to the present. I'm about 85% complete, and most of what I'm missing will slowly be acquired, just a question of budgeting, with most remaining titles more expensive Criterion titles or sets.

 

The purpose of this topic is to inquire, amongst the learned folk of this board, the likelihood of some of the out-of-print titles getting a reissue. Some of you seem to be privy to news about disc releases I am not. The main title in question is the FANNY trilogy from the 30's. I know Kino had a nice dvd set years ago, it's how I saw the films to begin with. But they've been OOP for a while, and used copies are way overpriced at the moment.

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Obviously, I'm not speaking about any specific company,  just in general. There are a number of factors that they need to  consider when thinkng of a reissue. First, does the company that originally released it still have the rights? Outfits like Kino and Criterion often contract the distribution rights for a specific number of years. Another is how well did the original release sell? That's a major reason a why a lot of films that were released on VHS never got a Blu-Ray release. They simply didn't sell enough copies.

 

Then too, a major consideration now is whether or not there's a more affective  "platform" to release them like streaming on Netflix, or Hulu, or Amazon Prime. I was reading just today that there are more people watching movies via streaming than are watching on discs.

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Yes, I am aware of the various rights issues, profitability, etc., factors that enter into the decision to reissue. In the dark ages, I worked in a video store for many years, and read the various trade papers we were sent. I still remember when dvds were first on the market, the trades swore they would never catch on in the rental market because customers would scratch them up too quickly and we would have to replace them too often! Same with the first Redbox type standalone rental kiosks back in the mid-to-late 90's; they would never succeed because no one would return the discs. Shows what the pundits know!

 

Anyway, I thought I would start this thread with the hopes some poster may have industry knowledge in regards to the future of the FANNY trilogy. It's not the most widely remembered series of films amongst the general populace, but it has a strong cult following that I thought would merit a blu ray release at some point. Perhaps that window has closed, and it'll be streaming only. I hope not, but that is the future, so...c'est la vie.

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Obviously, I'm not speaking about any specific company,  just in general. There are a number of factors that they need to  consider when thinkng of a reissue. First, does the company that originally released it still have the rights? Outfits like Kino and Criterion often contract the distribution rights for a specific number of years. Another is how well did the original release sell? That's a major reason a why a lot of films that were released on VHS never got a Blu-Ray release. They simply didn't sell enough copies.

 

Then too, a major consideration now is whether or not there's a more affective  "platform" to release them like streaming on Netflix, or Hulu, or Amazon Prime. I was reading just today that there are more people watching movies via streaming than are watching on discs.

This doesn't surprise me, mark. In fact, I would think streaming has been more popular than discs for at least a year or two, and that will only increase in the years ahead. But like people kept their VHS tapes and VCRs for years after they became outmoded, people will hang on to DVDs/Blu-Rays for as long as they can. 

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This doesn't surprise me, mark. In fact, I would think streaming has been more popular than discs for at least a year or two, and that will only increase in the years ahead. But like people kept their VHS tapes and VCRs for years after they became outmoded, people will hang on to DVDs/Blu-Rays for as long as they can.

 

I still use vhs and have three functioning vcrs, as well as dvd and blu ray. I still find uses for them all. I use streaming rarely at this point, but I'm sure that will change in time. At the moment I find streaming to be the least convenient choice for me, both in terms of what's legally available and the quality of the sound and image. With equipment upgrades and bandwidth usage changing, streaming may eventually become more attractive to me.

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I still use vhs and have three functioning vcrs, as well as dvd and blu ray. I still find uses for them all. I use streaming rarely at this point, but I'm sure that will change in time. At the moment I find streaming to be the least convenient choice for me, both in terms of what's legally available and the quality of the sound and image. With equipment upgrades and bandwidth usage changing, streaming may eventually become more attractive to me.

I think there is much more product now available with streaming than ever before. Every three or four days, there are a handful of new classic films being added to Amazon Prime. It surprises me how quickly they are beefing up their catalogue. Some titles are temporarily discontinued but a month or two later they come back. Currently I have over 500 golden age classics on my queue with Amazon Prime. 

 

Also, I watch TCM on Sling and at the end of November they started adding on-demand. At first it was just one title, which I figured was introductory. I checked it again tonight, and there are about 25 titles-- classic films that aired on TCM in the past few days and as recent as this morning, that I can watch streaming on my Smart TV. I really love this feature, because I had missed SUN VALLEY SERENADE, and there it was-- and I can replay it. I have it on disc, but this saves me the trouble of having to go hunt for it in my collection of discs. Plus, these on-demand streaming titles on TCM/Sling are presented in the best technology available, which means they often are better than the quality of the discs I recorded that may have been in standard definition.

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I think there is much more product now available with streaming than ever before. Every three or four days, there are a handful of new classic films being added to Amazon Prime. It surprises me how quickly they are beefing up their catalogue. Some titles are temporarily discontinued but a month or two later they come back. Currently I have over 500 golden age classics on my queue with Amazon Prime. 

 

Also, I watch TCM on Sling and at the end of November they started adding on-demand. At first it was just one title, which I figured was introductory. I checked it again tonight, and there are about 25 titles-- classic films that aired on TCM in the past few days and as recent as this morning, that I can watch streaming on my Smart TV. I really love this feature, because I had missed SUN VALLEY SERENADE, and there it was-- and I can replay it. I have it on disc, but this saves me the trouble of having to go hunt for it in my collection of discs. Plus, these on-demand streaming titles on TCM/Sling are presented in the best technology available, which means they often are better than the quality of the discs I recorded that may have been in standard definition.

I have Amazon Prime as well. I've enjoyed the classic films available there. I used to belong to Netflix, but haven't for awhile. I haven't joined Hulu...do you recommend them? And on occasion, I've watched some titles on YouTube, but the quality varies so greatly there.

 

Like I said, I need to improve my ability to stream high quality content with ease, and then I'm sure I'll be watching much more content that way. Btw, I appreciate your posts about what's available on the different channels and services. Keep up the good work!

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I have Amazon Prime as well. I've enjoyed the classic films available there. I used to belong to Netflix, but haven't for awhile. I haven't joined Hulu...do you recommend them? And on occasion, I've watched some titles on YouTube, but the quality varies so greatly there.

 

Like I said, I need to improve my ability to stream high quality content with ease, and then I'm sure I'll be watching much more content that way. Btw, I appreciate your posts about what's available on the different channels and services. Keep up the good work!

Thanks Lawrence. It is always nice to have the discs (and VHS tapes) as back-ups. 

 

I do recommend Hulu, because it has all those beautifully restored Criterion releases. This is a benefit if you love foreign films by Ingmar Bergman or Akira Kurosawa, since most of their titles have been given the Criterion treatment. And there are a lot of London Films too by Alexander Korda.

 

I agree about the often spotty nature of YouTube videos. Depends on who uploaded them and what sort of print was uploaded. 

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A little off-topic, but hopefully not too far off!  After reading through some of LawrenceA's reviews of various 1979 films I ran across 'THE SHARK HUNTER' and it reminded me at one point I'd seen it before on video.  I went over to Amazon shortly thereafter and found a seller ('Southern Maine Indoor Flea Market') who had it listed for a reasonable price, bought it and received it this afternoon.  Pretty speedy shipping from Scarborough, ME.  I felt rather fortunate the insert artwork was still bright and colorful inside the PRISM clamshell case.  After 30+ years I expect a lil' fading (I noted Prism released it in 1984), but I didn't detect any sunfade.  I reckon whatever video store(s) had this tape kept the box out of the storefront window!    

 

      LawrenceA:  Too bad you had to watch it via a murky copy on disc with Norwegian subtitles that wouldn't go away!  That's a rough way to watch a movie, to be sure.

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A little off-topic, but hopefully not too far off!  After reading through some of LawrenceA's reviews of various 1979 films I ran across 'THE SHARK HUNTER' and it reminded me at one point I'd seen it before on video.  I went over to Amazon shortly thereafter and found a seller ('Southern Maine Indoor Flea Market') who had it listed for a reasonable price, bought it and received it this afternoon.  Pretty speedy shipping from Scarborough, ME.  I felt rather fortunate the insert artwork was still bright and colorful inside the PRISM clamshell case.  After 30+ years I expect a lil' fading (I noted Prism released it in 1984), but I didn't detect any sunfade.  I reckon whatever video store(s) had this tape kept the box out of the storefront window!    

 

      LawrenceA:  Too bad you had to watch it via a murky copy on disc with Norwegian subtitles that wouldn't go away!  That's a rough way to watch a movie, to be sure.

The version I have is on a four dvd set entitled "Grindhouse Experience Vol. 2". It has twenty movies on it, but the quality is universally terrible. All of the films were pulled from terrible old vhs copies, some taped directly off of European tv, with the channel logo on screen throughout the movie, and at least twice a commercial break will start. Videotape static and rolling tracking lines are visible frequently. At least four of them have the embedded subtitles, but not all the same language; one is in Turkish. Avoid this set at all costs!

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The version I have is on a four dvd set entitled "Grindhouse Experience Vol. 2". It has twenty movies on it, but the quality is universally terrible. All of the films were pulled from terrible old vhs copies, some taped directly off of European tv, with the channel logo on screen throughout the movie, and at least twice a commercial break will start. Videotape static and rolling tracking lines are visible frequently. At least four of them have the embedded subtitles, but not all the same language; one is in Turkish. Avoid this set at all costs!

A buddy of mine bought taht set and said it was a mess I didn't believe him till he showed me some of it. Wish I'd seen your comments before Lawrence he sent for it.

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The version I have is on a four dvd set entitled "Grindhouse Experience Vol. 2". It has twenty movies on it, but the quality is universally terrible. All of the films were pulled from terrible old vhs copies, some taped directly off of European tv, with the channel logo on screen throughout the movie, and at least twice a commercial break will start. Videotape static and rolling tracking lines are visible frequently. At least four of them have the embedded subtitles, but not all the same language; one is in Turkish. Avoid this set at all costs!

This reminds me of a dvd I bought on EBay a few months back. THE LADY PAYS OFF (1951), a romantic comedy with Linda Darnell I had purchased previously, a rather poor copy from ioffer. This one was much better, but it had some titles and subtitles in Italian. And now, it's on youtube, and it's from the same source, with Italian titles here and there. Oh well, I was happy to get a decent copy of this rare Universal release directed by Douglas Sirk.

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It was hinted at in the New year's cartoon that Criterion released, but it has been everything but officially announced that Criterion will be releasing a box-set of the Fanny trilogy sometime this year. Today they have posted an article about the trilogy having undergone a recent 4k restoration for a limited theatrical run. Here's the link, and a trailer for the re-issue. I'm very happy to see this will be available.

 

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/4374-marcel-pagnol-s-marseille-trilogy-returns-to-theaters

 

 

 

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