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General discussion about what's out for the couch.

Dream DVDs: Special Editions and Box Sets That Could Be
Topic by: dwhudson
Posted: December 21, 2007 - 3:37 PM PST
Last Reply: December 26, 2007 - 3:58 PM PST

author topic: Dream DVDs: Special Editions and Box Sets That Could Be
post #1  on December 21, 2007 - 3:37 PM PST  
2007's been a great year for DVD releases - but let's dream on. Sean Axmaker's drawn up a dream list of a dozen special editions, plus honorable mentions, all of which really could be realized. What's actually doable that's on your wish list?
post #2  on December 21, 2007 - 4:19 PM PST  
The Touch of Evil set seems like a long time in coming, glad Sean brought that up. It's do-able - if Close Encounters (which I love, mind you) gets an "every edition ever" box set, why can't Touch of Evil? The Satyajit Ray films are definitely another that are on my personal wish list, too. Too few of his films are available, and that's a shame.

And I'll never argue against more Michael Powell... Matter of Life and Death is long overdue. Must be rights hang up somewhere but I don't know... Criterion, you listening?

Neat that Sean dreamed this idea up!
post #3  on December 23, 2007 - 12:19 AM PST  
I'm not really keeping up with the international DVD scene, but here's my list anyway.

Notes: I'm leaving off titles from Sean Axmaker's wonderful article. If I wasn't, anything by Edward Yang ranks in the top spot. Really any film by the following directors are on my wish list.

1. Anything by Nagisa Oshima (especially from 1967-1976)
2. Je t'aime, Je t'aime (Alain Resnais)
3. Anything by Alexandre Alexeieff
4. The Asthenic Syndrome (Kira Muratova)
5. India Song (Marguerite Duras)
6. Anything by King Hu
7. Make Way For Tomorrow (Leo McCarey)
8. City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
9. El Sur (Victor Erice)
10. Three Years Without God (Mario O'Hara)
11. Manila in the Claws of Neon (Lino Brocka)
12. Insiang (Lino Brocka)
13. Bless Their Little Hearts (Billy Woodberry)
14. The New Leaf (Elaine May)
15. Anything by Victor Sjostrom
16. Anything by Hollis Frampton

post #4  on December 23, 2007 - 12:05 PM PST  
I've been looking forever for a subtitled edition of Kobayashi's "Kaseki" (a modern-dress tragic but - spoiler - not fatal romance) I saw at the PFA or perhaps a commercial venue years ago. The title seems to mean "ashes" or "fossil". Virtually no one among my film acquaintances has seen it. I don't think it's played the Bay Area since then. IMDB searches yield some confusion over a 1976 200 minute black and white version. I recall color and a shorter running time. Maybe a cut for the US, or a TV to film feature re-edit? Until recently, CDJapan listed it as color 200 minutes, moderately expensive and without English subs. I felt tempted, since I know the story, but kept hoping Criterion or someone less likely would come through. Now it's gone out of print.

Any leads appreciated.

post #5  on December 23, 2007 - 12:31 PM PST  
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's last two features Loft and Retribution (Sakebi), unseen in the Bay Area. CDJapan lists both unsubbed. I heard at one point about a subbed download of one or the other but couldn't trace it and have mild scruples anyway. Film festival rep I found sitting next to me on BART maybe a year ago admitted to having tried for Retribution for his Midnight series but stumbled over distributor issues.

Both I imagine are too old for the SFIFF. Kurosawa's last seen here was Doppleganger after a 2003 Japanese release.

post #6  on December 24, 2007 - 1:48 AM PST  
blade runner final cut in hd!

I just got it yesterday...awesome!
post #7  on December 26, 2007 - 3:58 PM PST  
Sorry for being redundant if anyone has already seen a comment and question I posted a few days ago at dwhudson's blog, but I suspect they'll get more visibility here in Feedback. Sean Axmaker had provided an article 'Dream DVDs: Special Editions and Box Sets That Could Be', and my response was as follows:

Sean, that's an interesting list you've drawn up. I haven't ever really thought in terms of boxed sets (I'd happily settle for just a watchable copy of Two Women, preferably both uncut and in Italian). But as soon as you mention Sony, or Columbia, my immediate reaction is, dream on. I haven't paid much attention to who owns what movies, but I do know that Sony is sitting on by far the most extensive and important catalog of classical music performances from the entire pre-digital 20th C, and the philistine suits there refuse to release much of anything except in absurd mishmash single-disc collections. I also assume it's Sony that decided to cut the very brief but crucial scene of Lawrence's preparation for being raped by the satisfied-looking Bey in his private office following the beating on the bench. Has Sony ever actually deigned to release any important films that weren't blockbusters?

That question was posed in all seriousness -- does Sony do ANYTHING worthwhile that doesn't guarantee them a huge return on their investment?

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