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January 1996, Week 4


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Jan 1996 09:08:05 -0600
text/plain (51 lines)
On 17 Jan 96 at 10:34, Dennis Doros commented on "Re: film rental
reference book":
> Then of course, it helps to know which companies own which rights, who they
> sold them to, and who bought out who over the years.
And speaking of this, please permit me to gripe for a moment...
I recently called Films, Inc., to book a 16mm classroom-use rental
of Welles's LADY FROM SHANGHAI, which is listed in their 1992-93
catalogue for
US$ 80
Whereupon I was informed that the rental is now
US$ 150
Yep, it's nearly *doubled* in just three years time.  The problem is
that this film and several others owned by Columbia (?) are now under
*exclusive* contract to Films, Inc.--which gives them free reign to
increase the rentals across the board.
Many of us at colleges with small film programs (and virtually no
film library upon which to rely) are struggling against
administrative pressure to move to the quasi-legal use of videotape
screenings instead of 16mm film.  Pricing jumps like this one are
going to put 16mm rentals beyond our budget--which, incidentally,
has been cut 5% this year by a legislature hostile to higher
We're in a dangerous spiral right now where 16mm distributors are
getting fewer rentals and thus are hiking up their prices, which
leads to fewer colleges being able to afford 16mm rentals...
I see dark days ahead.
P.S.  Thank goodness for Murray Glass and the always moderately
priced Em Gee Films!  Go rent his SO THIS IS PARIS (Lubitsch, 1926)--
a very, very funny film.
Jeremy Butler
mailto:[log in to unmask]
Telecommunication & Film/University of Alabama/Tuscaloosa
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