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GreenCine Movie Talk
Foreign
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

More thuggish tactics from Mirim-Ax
Topic by: Brujaria
Posted: December 8, 2003 - 6:46 PM PST
Last Reply: December 17, 2003 - 3:00 PM PST

author topic: More thuggish tactics from Mirim-Ax
Brujaria
post #1  on December 8, 2003 - 6:46 PM PST  
This is a fresh editorial from KungFuCinema.Com:

Miramax Serves Us Notice!

Left under by doormat today was a curt cease and desist order by Miramax Films in regards to the unlawful sale of import versions of Zhang Yimou's Hero. As regular readers will know, Kung Fu Cinema does not sell any films. We write about them. But apparently, linking to sites that do sell imports is an accessory to crime. Not only that, it has been made clear that, in Miramax's case, any individual caught importing a film into the U.S. that is owned by Miramax could face legal action. In other words, Miramax is actively enforcing a total ban on all Asian imports that they have purchased distribution rights to. As a result, you (as an American or Canadian resident) are not allowed to have Hero or Shaolin Soccer shipped to you or carried into the U.S. and Canada.

This is, of course absurd in my mind, but I am not foolhardy enough to challenge the might of Miramax and parent company Disney. Also, I acknowledge their legal right to protect a property they have invested in. It's simply sound business. But withholding the release of films they have purchased, heavily editing them, and not making the original versions available to Americans in any form and then expecting us to idly wait and quietly accept this is equally absurd.

All Miramax is doing is encouraging less-scrupulous people to seek illegal alternatives like file swapping and bootlegs. Take for example Shaolin Soccer. I was recently interviewed by Wired.com for an article built around the fact that Shaolin Soccer was the 10th most downloaded film in illegal file swapping communities online. This is the film that Miramax bought rights to about two years ago, fumbled with, altered, changed released dates, and still sits on today. I used to say, "well at least people can order it overseas." Now, all I can say is, "what the f--k?"

While I never appreciated what Miramax has done with their Asian film properties, I always felt that at least the imports provided an obscure, yet viable alternative for consumers. But now, Miramax is trying to take it all away with their immoral monopoly on these films. And the people who appreciate them the most and are most willing to put down their hard-earned cash are being hurt the most.

I say shame on Harvey Weinstein and shame on Miramax for their culturally inept handling of Asian films and their despotic abuse of the legal system to suppress the people's right to simply see a film the way the makers' intended it to be seen.

If this bothers you as much as it does me, there is definitely something you can do about it. Sign the online petition and send your letters to Miramax and let them know what you think of their handling of these films. Keep in mind that a well-written and respectful letter will have much more impact than an offensive rant. Visit the Appeal to Disney - Web Alliance for more information.

- Mark Pollard
kamapuaa
post #2  on December 9, 2003 - 10:32 AM PST  
Hear Hear.

The VCD market seems so miniscule in comparison to the market for a typical Miramax release, and so largely composed of people who's see it anyway, that it's hard to believe they'd make a stink about it.
sc4rf4ce
post #3  on December 11, 2003 - 3:27 AM PST  
MiramAXE Sucks Ass!
LMoore
post #4  on December 11, 2003 - 9:26 PM PST  
Ever since I realized how much Miramax butchered LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE and CINEMA PARADISO, they've not been on my most favored film studio list. Why are they buying up film properties only to sit on them? The one answer that makes any sense is the possibility of a cable network devoted to these films. Perhaps by buying them up, they're putting together a library to support this endevour...nah, I don't buy it either. They're a bunch of corrupt, pseudo-film lovers, that have been sucked into the black hole of heartless Hollywood. "Fans of Asian cinema be damned! We will sell no film until we're good and ready."
dwhudson
post #5  on December 13, 2003 - 6:41 AM PST  
Here's an overview of their recent strong-arming, by the way, plus a call to action, appropriately titled, "Miramax Hates You!"
hamano
post #6  on December 14, 2003 - 10:05 AM PST  
I do wonder if this is just Miramax, or the entire Disney Empire culture? I'm still sure that Disney sat on releasing their long-completed English version of Castle in the Sky while Atlantis ran its course of theatrical and video/DVD releases. They probably would've bought out Nadia: The Secret of the Blue Water, too, if they could've.

I think Miramax was until very recently STILL sitting on Microcosmos, which they once released on VHS, because corporate cousin PIXAR "borrowed" entire sequences from it for A Bug's Life, like the giant raindrops scenes. It's finally coming out on DVD in January, with very little fanfare, and I recommend it to everyone!
Eoliano
post #7  on December 14, 2003 - 11:54 AM PST  
No doubt many GCers have already read this Ken Auletta article on Harvey Weinstein that appeared a year ago in the New Yorker; however, it nevertheless begs our attention and cries out for a follow-up.

Although the situation at Miramax has changed since Auletta wrote his profile of Weinstein, it still gives an impression of Weinstein's undeniable cunning egotism.
kamapuaa
post #8  on December 15, 2003 - 7:56 PM PST  
Another follow up: Miramax sent a cease-and-decist to kungfucinema.com for including a review of "Hero," and a link to importers. In response, the review/link for "Hero" and "Shaolin Soccer" were both taken down.

It looks like Mirimax will never get around to releasing "Shaolin Soccer" - maybe someday my copy will be worth something!
larbeck
post #9  on December 16, 2003 - 5:04 AM PST  
This is all so like the scene in "Bananas" when the revolutionary wins the revolution and becomes a dictator just like the one he overthrow.

Poor Trotsky!
dh22
post #10  on December 16, 2003 - 5:18 AM PST  
> On December 16, 2003 - 5:04 AM PST larbeck wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> This is all so like the scene in "Bananas" when the revolutionary wins the revolution and becomes a dictator just like the one he overthrow.
>
> Poor Trotsky!
> ---------------------------------

that pretty much happens every time.
BBendall
post #11  on December 16, 2003 - 5:40 PM PST  
Well theres still a few places you can buy Hero and Shaolin Soccer unmangled:

here

and

here


and

here


and

here

underdog
post #12  on December 17, 2003 - 3:00 PM PST  
> On December 16, 2003 - 5:40 PM PST BBendall wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well theres still a few places you can buy Hero and Shaolin Soccer unmangled:

There's still a place you can rent Shaolin Soccer, too. Here!

But after you see it, you will likely want to own it. I know I do, now!

C

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