Criterion and Sony

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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jaredsap
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:24 am
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#26 Post by jaredsap » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:31 am

Jeff wrote:Does Sony actually own [REPULSION] [and DRIVE, HE SAID]?
Yep to both.

Also, you and david hare are correct that we do not currently own Losey's M. But we do own THE GO-BETWEEN and THESE ARE THE DAMNED.

Great thread.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Criterion and Sony

#27 Post by Gregory » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:06 am

How about Wilder's Fedora? Sayles's City of Hope? Berri's Germinal?

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Tommaso
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#28 Post by Tommaso » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:42 am

justeleblanc wrote:Argument against Va Savoir:

I doubt they would release this unless they got their hands on the director's cut, which is pretty rare.
True, but I can't see any reason why they shouldn't be able to contact Rivette to help them locate that director's cut. I assume Rivette himself should have it or at least know where it is?

Sadly, your other argument (Rivette vs G. Criterion Bush) sounds only too convincing to me.

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Buttery Jeb
Just in it for the game.
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#29 Post by Buttery Jeb » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:09 am

Jeff and Jared, here's a few more for you to consider:

"The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T"
"Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion"
"Macbeth" (Polanski)
"To Die For"
"Tommy"
"Watermelon Man"

-BJ

Props55
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#30 Post by Props55 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:32 pm

I could see a Criterion set of the complete BBS Films. The fly in the ointment being the name recognition (and current DVDs) of LAST PICTURE SHOW and, most especially, EASY RIDER. Of course Sony could go in house with these as a Collectors Choice set. Similarly either could make a noir set out of just Phil Karlson titles. Capra was Columbia and there are enough of his films for another two exclusive sets.

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Jeff
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#31 Post by Jeff » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:55 pm

I've tentatively added The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Macbeth (1971), To Die For, Tommy, Watermelon Man, City of Hope, Germinal, and Mickey One. I'm not positive that Sony owns Investigation, City of Hope, or Mickey One though.

I haven't added the following, because we need some more information:

Fedora - Nothing would please me more. I've been trying to figure out who owns this for years, but I've never heard Sony mentioned as a possible rights-holder. My best guesses are United Artists, the producer, or some random German bank. Gregory, do you have a source for this?

Beat the Devil - I thought of putting this on my initial list but decided against it. It's supposedly one of those films that everybody treats like it's in the public domain, but it's really not. I'm not sure if Sony or United Artists own the elements. Jared? If Sony is the proper owner and has good elements, I agree it would be a no-brainer for Criterion.

Porgy and Bess - I think this film has all sorts of issues. Primarily I've heard that the Gershwin estate is preventing release. It's also possible that Goldwyn owns it, or there is a rights dispute. I've also heard that the elements are in terrible (unreleasable?) condition.

ianungstad
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#32 Post by ianungstad » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:33 pm

Jeff wrote:I've tentatively added The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Macbeth (1971), To Die For, Tommy, Watermelon Man, City of Hope, Germinal, and Mickey One. I'm not positive that Sony owns Investigation, City of Hope, or Mickey One though.
Sony owns Mickey One. Here is the blurb from the MoMA site that was posted for the screenings of the restored print in April, 2008.
Mickey One. 1965. USA. Directed by Arthur Penn. Screenplay by Alan M. Surgal. Music by Eddie Sauter, Stan Getz. With Warren Beatty, Alexandra Stewart. Mickey One—presented in a print gorgeously restored by Sony Pictures Entertainment—cries out for rediscovery as one of the most aesthetically daring and deeply personal Hollywood films of the 1960s. Filmmaker Arthur Penn made the transition from The Miracle Worker (1962) to Bonnie and Clyde (1967) with this allegorical Purgatorio, for which he enjoyed complete directorial freedom and employed an experimental style inspired by the French New Wave. Warren Beatty portrays a nightclub comedian who hurtles through a Kafkaesque netherworld of vengeful mobsters, street evangelists, and sneering lounge lizards, only to come face to face with his own demons on a dark, empty stage. The film's kaleidoscopic narrative is held together by Eddie Sauter's wildly ambitious score, with its freewheeling allusions to bossa nova, polka, Béla Bartók, and beyond, and by tenor saxophonist Stan Getz's soaring, plaintive multitrack improvisations—a fascinating follow-up to Sauter and Getz's legendary 1961 album Focus. 93 min.
I would also add Vérité, La by Henri-Georges Clouzot which has been playing the revival houses over the last few years with a Columbia logo in front of it.

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Jeff
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#33 Post by Jeff » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:17 pm

Thanks, Ian. Mickey One indeed seems like a sure bet then. I'll add La Vérité as well.

A couple of notes on Sony's new-found awesomeness:

All this may have largely resulted from firing some dude who didn't like black and white films and bringing Mike Schlesinger in as a consultant on kicking ass. It sounds like he and Grover Crisp have lots of great stuff planned. See this thread at Dave Kehr's blog and these notes at Barrie Maxwell's Digital Bits column for more details.

The juicy bits:
Mike Schlesinger (at [url=http://www.davekehr.com/?p=47]Kehr's blog[/url]) wrote:The version of MAN’S CASTLE that currently exists is the edited post-Code reissue, and Grover is still searching for the cut footage. In any event, do not miss Borzage’s other Columbia from this period, NO GREATER GLORY, which for my money is the greatest anti-war allegory ever made.

...

Both MAD BALL and LANDLADY will be part of a Jack Lemmon box coming in the next few months, and there will be a major film noir box next year, which will likely include TIGHT SPOT.
The Collector's Choice series is a partnership between Scorsese's "The Film Foundation" and Sony. Besides the previously released sets, we can look forward to "Rita Hayworth, Frank Capra, William Castle and film noir collections" among many others, I'm sure.

I'll bet that The Bitter Tea of General Yen shows up in that Capra box, but I'll leave it in our list for now. I won't be including any more noir in the list, nor any Rita Hayworth, Jack Lemmon, or William Castle films as Sony apparently has plans of their own.

I'll add the two Borzages, though I expect Sony will release them themselves.

On an unrelated note, perhaps the new Sony-Criterion glasnost will lead to Criterion's Taxi Driver commentary finally appearing on Sony's upcoming Blu-ray.

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Gregory
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#34 Post by Gregory » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:34 pm

Jeff wrote:Fedora... I've never heard Sony mentioned as a possible rights-holder. My best guesses are United Artists, the producer, or some random German bank. Gregory, do you have a source for this?
I think it is UA, so that's probably why I was thinking about it in relation to Sony, but that deal ended, so I guess Fox would be the one distributing it? Criterion should get hold of it somehow.
Thanks for adding City of Hope and Germinal. If those are no longer with Sony for some reason, maybe Jared would be so kind as to point out the error.

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Dylan
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#35 Post by Dylan » Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:38 pm

You guys should add your thoughts on Fedora in the Billy Wilder thread. I've been wanting to read opinions on this film from fellow members.

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Jeff
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#36 Post by Jeff » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:04 pm

Dylan wrote:You guys should add your thoughts on Fedora in the Billy Wilder thread. I've been wanting to read opinions on this film from fellow members.
It's been 15-20 years since I've seen it, Dylan. I have only fuzzy memories of seeing it as a teenager. I don't think I could speak about it with any authority. In the last five years or so, I've become something of a Billy WIlder freak though. I've read so much about it that I can't wait for another crack at it.

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Person
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#37 Post by Person » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:24 pm

Columbia fillums via Criterion? Good times, good times!

Five Easy Pieces - current SD transfer is poop; no extras
In Cold Blood - current transfer is okay, but no extras
Night of the Demon (1957) - would love a nice, foolishly lavish SE
The Victors (1963, Carl Foreman) - 175-minute version; was there ever even a VHS of this lavish, labour-of-love WWII epic production?
Rarely on TV, never heard of a 2.35:1 presentation (shot in black and white CinemaScope by Christopher Challis).
Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973, Alan J. Pakula) - almost-impossible-to-see "April-August romance" drama with Maggie Smith and Timothy Bottoms.

And y'all better stop teasing me with the idea of a Criterion Blu-Ray SE of Polanski's, The Tragedy of Macbeth. ;)

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dx23
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#38 Post by dx23 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:07 pm

Jeff wrote:The Spanish Prisoner
Arugments For: Currently out of print. Previous dvd had no supplements. Criterion seems like they want to continue their relationship with Mamet.
Arugments Against: In October 2007, Tamara told me, "to the best of my knowledge we don't have plans for "The Spanish Prisoner" at this time."
For some reason, Sony put The Spanish Prisoner back in print last year. Still, I would like to see Criterion get their hands on this.

Other films that Sony discontinued but that I would love for Criterion to release are Carandiru, Monsieur Ibrahim, Beijing Bicycle, The Loss of Sexual Innocence and Good Bye, Lenin. All the ones mentioned had lackluster releases except Lenin, and it would be nice if Criterion releases another Babenco film, Pixote.

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Highway 61
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#39 Post by Highway 61 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:23 pm

Sweet and Lowdown. Out of print, but very unlikely since Allen doesn't do supplements. Besides, Sony might rerelease it now that they picked up Whatever Works.

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domino harvey
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#40 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:51 pm

dx23 wrote: For some reason, Sony put The Spanish Prisoner back in print last year. Still, I would like to see Criterion get their hands on this.
I'm pretty sure that they didn't really bring it back into print as much as they discovered a large stockpile of the old discs, at least going by the ten year old security tape on all of the newly available copies

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kaujot
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#41 Post by kaujot » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:45 am

David Mamet was at UT on Thursday, and I was going to ask him about any upcoming DVDs of his work, but the moderator didn't call on me.

The print they screened of The Spanish Prisoner was in HORRIBLE shape. I have no idea of where they would have gotten it. I mean, if the university got it from Sony, surely they have a better print than the one they supplied us. Horrible scratches, some audio problems, and a really weird loop.

Perkins Cobb
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#42 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:26 pm

Schlesinger also said somewhere (probably Dave Kehr's blog) that Husbands was an upcoming Sony title.

But I wouldn't assume that stale Schlesinger teases haven't shifted to Criterion if that relationship is gaining steam.

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pauling
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#43 Post by pauling » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:37 pm

Although I have the bare-bones disc, I would love to see Criterion release an extras-laden edition of Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without a Past. If their Proletariat Trilogy has been selling well, it might be a possibility.

jaredsap
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#44 Post by jaredsap » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:54 pm

Sony does not currently own FEDORA, GERMINAL or PORGY AND BESS.

We do own BEAT THE DEVIL, MICKEY ONE, CITY OF HOPE, LA VERITE and INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION.

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souvenir
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#45 Post by souvenir » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:06 pm

What about Melville's Two Men in Manhattan? I think it was originally released by Columbia, but I don't know what's happened to the rights in the interim.

jaredsap
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#46 Post by jaredsap » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:15 pm

souvenir wrote:What about Melville's Two Men in Manhattan? I think it was originally released by Columbia, but I don't know what's happened to the rights in the interim.
Nope, I wish. Columbia might have distributed in France, but not in America. We don't own this.

Can anyone confirm it ever got US distribution? Might be a job for Rialto.

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Napier
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#47 Post by Napier » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:23 pm

Sorry if this is in the wrong thread, jaredsap, does Sony own the rights for The Quiet Man, it desperately need a restoration. Thanks

jaredsap
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#48 Post by jaredsap » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:41 pm

Napier wrote:Sorry if this is in the wrong thread, jaredsap, does Sony own the rights for The Quiet Man, it desperately need a restoration. Thanks
Nope. The Ford films we own are THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING (Ford's attempt at screwball!), THE LAST HURRAH, THE LONG GRAY LINE, GIDEON'S DAY (aka GIDEON OF SCOTLAND YARD) and TWO RODE TOGETHER.

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Gregory
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#49 Post by Gregory » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:19 pm

jaredsap wrote:We do own ... INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION.
What about The Working Class Goes to Heaven?

ianungstad
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Re: Criterion and Sony

#50 Post by ianungstad » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:47 pm

Well, I would be very surprised if Criterion didn't pick up Beat the Devil then...

I recieved an email from Michael Schlesinger at Sony. You can take off both The Bitter Tea of General Yen and Mickey One. He said that Sony has plans for both titles. Bitter Tea will be part of an upcoming Stanwyck/Capra box and that they are waiting on Warren Beatty who is dragging his feet, to participate in the features for Mickey One...

However, regarding Repulsion (Polanski) he said to stay tuned...so I think Repulsion is one of the titles. I don't know if Jared will confirm or deny...heh. Anyways, Michael is really cool guy, sort of like if Mulvaney was a "real" person.

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