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June 2008, Week 3


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Scott Andrew Hutchins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 18 Jun 2008 14:23:54 -0400
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I was wondering if anyone knows the reasoning why Facets is such a great store and such a horrible DVD label?  VHS source material, usually cropped with burned-in subtitles.  Is it their fault?  Or is it a matter that Criterion or Kino is unable to get better quality copies from the copyright holders and reject them, leaving Facets to release the best that they can, that wasn't good enough for other art film labels?  That seems to be the only reason Facets should suck so bad.  They must have to pay an enormous licensing fee, since they charge ten times what similar quality DVDs often cost  (Brentwood's early releases, Westlake, Digiview, Front Row, Alpha, etc.).  I'm thinking of, for example Czech New Wave releases and for forth.  Is it the film owners' faults?  Apparently the only way to see Valerie and Her Week of Wonders better(and uncropped) is to get a flickery PAL release.  As it is, the Facets release is mastered from a PAL VHS, so it runs slightly too fast.

Even films with electonic subtitles like their Bela Tarr collection generally have the subtitles burned in, so that's a strike that can't be chalked up to the film owners.

Scott Andrew Hutchins [archive site; not currently active]

"Those who had been successful adapted themselves to the world around them, had bent their greater mental powers into the pattern of acceptable action.  And this dulled their usefulness, limited their capacity, hedged their ability with restrictions set up to fit less extraordinary people."  -- Clifford D. Simak, "Census" (1944)

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