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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:30 pm 
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I can only imagine how conflicted the posters on Blu-ray.com must be given that this came with a cardboard slipcover but the case wasn't Blu-ray sized


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:39 am 
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Completely serious question: Though it says 16mm, was My Baby sourced from a fucking YouTube video? Not that it's that big a loss as the film itself is embarrassingly amateurish. Did we all really just fund a set of not ready for primetime filmmakers? Hopefully this one film isn't indicative of the quality either PQ-wise or film-wise, because it could go down as one of the greatest swindles in indie releasing history


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:11 am 
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I guess it is DVD-sized packaging because it is a dual format DVD and Blu-ray edition. All of Third Window's other Blu-rays are just in that format and in the usual smaller case.

I haven't opened my set up yet, but I was mostly supporting this release to show support to an enterprising DVD label championing the work of new filmmakers (with all of the attendant risks that implies) that I would not have seen at all otherwise, and since I only pledged the cost of a usual release from them, just doing it earlier than buying it through the usual channels on release, I'm not going to be too upset.

But, yes, that still doesn't mean that the quality of the films or transfers, picture quality etc shouldn't be critqued since it is a commercially available product.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:09 am 

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I was lucky to get the set early from the Kickstarter , I enjoyed all the films especially in conjunction with the accompanying interviews .
Having said that, I also didn't expect masterpieces given these were new directors and it is probably easy to pick holes in all the films as the directors are clearly still learning their craft and working on low budgets. My Baby is the worst quality of the set but it explains in the interview it was a student project with almost no budget , I assume it was included to show the progression made to the second film included by the same director (which is much better in both image quality and acting etc. ) I think I appreciated the films more after watching the interviews and realising how short a time frame most of them were made in and the corners that were cut to fit the low budgets.
Maybe any one film seen in isolation from the set might make any flaws more noticeable but as a package at a very reasonable price I really enjoyed it all , for me it gave a valuable insight into how film makers in Japan start out , what subject matter they attempt and who they mention as their influences in the interviews.
The extra exposure , feedback etc. these new directors get from this set existing may just give one of them the inspiration they need to make something great in the future.
I should point out I'm just a film fan and have never worked in the film or home cinema industry in any capacity so some of the other people who post here and are involved in the industry may notice more faults than me .


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:53 am 

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 3:03 pm
domino harvey wrote:
Got my copy from Amazon and while it looks nice, DVD-sized packaging?! Bush-league, Third Window


If you don't mind, i'd just like to reply to your remarks personally to see if I can clear up some things.

Regarding the DVD packaging, to be quite honest I'm not 100% sure what the uproar on this is? 'bush-league' seems a little strong?
The reason it was used, was first off it's a DVD & Blu-ray set, but mainly because there was so much information to put on the back of the package, synopsis of 4 films and images, that I needed the extra space a DVD size could give in order to fit it all in. Also, I have created Third Window Films catalogues only in a DVD size so wouldn't have been able to include them if using a blu-ray box, and I wanted to include them on this release.
Though I'm still a little puzzled as to why that's such a problem. If we're talking LPs and CDs there a huge size difference regarding space on shelves, but we're talking a very minimal difference between a DVD and Blu in terms of physical size, so what's the major problem? I'm assuming that you don't have shelves which can ONLY fit blu-rays as people here must have both DVDs and Blurays as I'm assuming people here are FILM-lovers and not FORMAT-lovers. There are tens of thousands of films which have and will never make it to blu-ray, so what will you do if you want to see a film not on blu-ray? Throw it away? Same goes to VHS, there are many out of print titles which never made it to DVD, so by dismissing them you could really be dismissing some amazing films which will be forgotten otherwise. Same goes for 35mm and the fact that the loss of so many 35mm projectors in the UK means that films which never made it digitally can never be shown and therefore will be forgotten...

Regarding the other post for quality on My Baby. My Baby was a student film made as a school project from a tiny school, so therefore couldn't really be considered more than a home movie, though as another person in this post pointed out, it's there to show the difference in quality between her sophmore effort, The Lust of Angels. My Baby, as a student film, had no decent materials to work with, as this is not exactly something from Hollywood's most prestigious Universities which use Red cameras and have very high technological standards for materials. I'm sure that you'll find many now famous directors though whose old student films were made poorly and have poor materials, but are interesting additions on DVDs to show the difference in ability over the years. Even Tarantino's early works are terrible and look even worse if you can find a copy, but would you rather not see them at all if they're not brilliant technical quality and on blu-ray?
And in fact, before calling the project "could go down as one of the greatest swindles in indie releasing history" did you watch the other films or at least check the quality on them?? Maybe you should try that beforehand and also take into consideration budgets, levels of ability and age of directors too. And the Mud Ship Sails Away was made for less than $5,000 as a feature, but it's important to sometimes have a look at these sort of works, and anyways, the quality on that is very nice.

In fact, I did take a lot of things into consideration for the release. The point was to show different young directors who made different films and also not focus on the usual award-winning or dramatic titles, just entertaining films made by very young talent on no budget. In order to keep customers pleased I made the set of an incredible value, so that even if the 3 different directors films weren't loved at all (and with the variety I hoped that if 1 or 2 weren't liked then maybe the other would) that it would still be worthwhile in its collect-ability and the huge amount of work that went into making it.
Think about it, we're talking 3 disc dvd and blu-ray in a case signed by all 3 directors (I had to travel all across Japan to get them signed) and only 250 copies made with signatures and 1000 in total overall, and all that for just £16 with the kickstarter which included free worldwide shipping! Since most of the customers were from outside the UK it cost a fortune for shipping with many packages to America and Australia at more than £5 each plus the majority to Europe at nearly £4. Considering the amount of stuff being crowd-funded where people are paying hundreds of $ to have 'thanks' on a film credit (for a film which could also be shit) then £16 for a 3 disc signed collectable set with free worldwide shipping is pretty decent value is it not??

Please read through all this and feel free to respond as much as you'd like

thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:38 am 
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thirdwindowfilms wrote:
Though I'm still a little puzzled as to why that's such a problem. If we're talking LPs and CDs there a huge size difference regarding space on shelves, but we're talking a very minimal difference between a DVD and Blu in terms of physical size, so what's the major problem? I'm assuming that you don't have shelves which can ONLY fit blu-rays as people here must have both DVDs and Blurays as I'm assuming people here are FILM-lovers and not FORMAT-lovers. There are tens of thousands of films which have and will never make it to blu-ray, so what will you do if you want to see a film not on blu-ray? Throw it away? Same goes to VHS, there are many out of print titles which never made it to DVD, so by dismissing them you could really be dismissing some amazing films which will be forgotten otherwise. Same goes for 35mm and the fact that the loss of so many 35mm projectors in the UK means that films which never made it digitally can never be shown and therefore will be forgotten...


Sadly, there are plenty of maniacs out there who profess to (and I'm sure genuinely do) only buy films on Blu-ray. Which is baffling to me: as you say, there's loads of stuff which for all sorts of reasons will never make it to an HD upgrade - in my own area of specialist interest, central-eastern European cinema, the number of "classic" (pre-2000) titles available on Blu-ray only just scrapes into double figures, and that's across Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary combined, so I'd barely scratch the surface if I'd imposed such technical limitations on me from the start.

On the subject of the catalogue, when Distribpix put out The Opening of Misty Beethoven via a very similar crowdfunding scheme, they did package it in Blu-ray size packaging, but as a result they had to send out the booklet separately, as it had been created for what was originally intended to be a DVD-only release. Given its substantial page count, I suspect it was too expensive to reformat, reauthor and reprint, especially for such a limited edition - but I'd honestly have preferred it if they'd packaged the disc in DVD-sized packaging instead, just so the booklet could have fitted in the case instead of having to be stored separately.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:29 am 
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I was kidding about the "bush-league" comment (when was the last time anyone used that expression sincerely?), as evidenced by the excessive punctuation. It was an odd choice, but I'm hardly one of the packaging-obsessed mouth-breathers. As for My Baby, the problem arises from how it was included in the package. A student film's inclusion is no great sin and a fine bonus, but I question why it was listed as one of the central features and not a supplement, where it's lesser quality both technically and as a film could be more easily forgiven. When selling this set as featuring this film as one of the advertised central attracrions, it's not fair to claim "It's just a student film" when pressed on its relative quality. This is further confused by listing "16mm" alongside the title in the packaging and all website info, which implies this is receiving a transfer from the film stock and not a low grade digital video file transfered to Blu-ray. The film is embarrassing and is being highlighted as one of the four main attractions in this set, so yes, it's fair for me to question how it is being sold to an audience without being made out a villain of the innocent lambs known as small labels


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:59 am 

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 3:03 pm
domino harvey wrote:
I was kidding about the "bush-league" comment (when was the last time anyone used that expression sincerely?), as evidenced by the excessive punctuation. It was an odd choice, but I'm hardly one of the packaging-obsessed mouth-breathers. As for My Baby, the problem arises from how it was included in the package. A student film's inclusion is no great sin and a fine bonus, but I question why it was listed as one of the central features and not a supplement, where it's lesser quality both technically and as a film could be more easily forgiven. When selling this set as featuring this film as one of the advertised central attracrions, it's not fair to claim "It's just a student film" when pressed on its relative quality. This is further confused by listing "16mm" alongside the title in the packaging and all website info, which implies this is receiving a transfer from the film stock and not a low grade digital video file transfered to Blu-ray. The film is embarrassing and is being highlighted as one of the four main attractions in this set, so yes, it's fair for me to question how it is being sold to an audience without being made out a villain of the innocent lambs known as small labels


whether it's as an extra or not, as a 15 minute part of a 170 minute set (which doesn't include extras) it's not something which is detracting from the overall set and making more and more menus within menus to have sub-features is just a waste. Having a menu for each director which has their features is perfectly normal and there is an assumption that whomever watches My Baby will immediately watch The Lust of Angels as it's in the same menu, in fact they're in the same menu as a reason to show the difference. A 15 minute low-quality short against 3 other high quality & much longer features isn't something which i'd imagine would detract most audiences, and putting it on a separate disc would take away from the point of the project.

There was no attempt to 'con' or 'sell' to an audience. In fact I did my very best to make this a great piece of value at its price, even to the point where in fact I didn't actually make a penny on it all, so i'm not out to con anyone with this, just show a director's progression and therefore allow others to decide if this director has moved on at all. Interviews are there to give further insight into them as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:08 pm 
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A Snake of June on BD in Summer 2015 confirmed by Adam Torel on twitter.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Finch wrote:
A Snake of June on BD in Summer 2015 confirmed by Adam Torel on twitter.

Wonderful news! It is an extremely visual, wonderfully tinted film (I hesitate to call it a 'blue movie' but the trailer shows it might be an appropriate term!) and while I'm a bit ambivalent about the third act crazy digressive stuff between the husband and the stalker/admirer which re-covers ground that Tsukamoto's earlier Tokyo Fist covered more forcefully, it certainly builds to a powerful climax! Pun intended!


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:12 pm 
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"Greatful Dead" blu-ray review at Rewind DVDCompare


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:54 pm 
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lineup for 2015 as per twitch:

Han Gong-ju BD April 13.
Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats DVD May 11
Be My Baby DVD May 25
World of Kanako June 22 (format TBC)

and three Kitano films:

Hana-bi (September), Kikujiro (October) & Dolls (November) (all three will be BDs from 2K masters)


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:54 pm 
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Plus A Snake of June, that makes for a pretty nice lineup for the year. I hope the Kitano releases help TWF stick around that much longer. There's not really another label like them.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:19 pm 
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Great to hear about the Kitanos. I've been wondering for ages when Hana-bi in particular would happen. I wonder what will be done in regard to the color grading - will they opt for the cooler color seen on a minority of the DVDs (see comparisons here)? My first exposure to the film came via an HBO broadcast in the late 90s, and it left a strong impression, not the smallest component of which was the look of the film, which in my memory included a noticeable blue bias. This led me to favor the cooler (and perhaps less naturally) toned version seen on the Japanese and Korean discs. Looking at a VHS recording of that broadcast I've kept all these years just now the bias doesn't seem as strong, though that's probably the fault of my aging CRT.

Also glad to hear they're releasing Han Gong-ju. I've been eyeing the Korean BD, but a UK blind buy will of course sting less. Here's a review in case anyone else is curious.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:21 am 

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Finch wrote:
...
World of Kanako June 22 (format TBC)

Amazon UK lists a blu.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Kickstarter by Third Window Films to fund new film by Eiji Uchida, director of Greatful Dead.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:07 am 
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And it's already over the line, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:53 pm 
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In case anyone happened to be curious about this, Third Window said on twitter that Ando's 0.5mm is not in the cards for them because it would be near impossible to recoup the BBFC fees on a 200 min. indie drama, meaning if you want it the (English subtitled) release from Japan next month is probably going to be your only option (It's not exactly cheap, but cheaper than the over $50 limited edition).


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:56 pm 
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Third Window Films has provided more details for A Snake of June (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2002) to be released September 28th.

Special Features:
    New high definition transfer of the 'blue' version restored from original negatives by Shinya Tsukamoto
    Collectable case with slip-case cover
    New interview with the Shinya Tsukamoto
    New audio commentary by Tom Mes, author of Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto
    New UK Trailer

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Last edited by pointless on Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:11 am 
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Rewind reviews A Snake of June


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:36 am 
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Hana-bi (Fireworks) (Takeshi Kitano, 1997) - January 11, 2016

Special Features and Specs:
    New 2K restoration
    30-minute documentary from the film's original release
    Interview with Takeshi Kitano
    Audio commentary by film critic Mark Schilling
    New trailer
    5.1 Surround Sound
    Removable subtitles
    Cardboard slipcase with new illustrated design (limited to 1000 units only)

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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:36 am 
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Well that's one way to inspire me to finally purchase those older titles that I've been eyeing.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:02 pm 
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I’m very fond of Hana-bi. To me this is one of a series of very good Japanese films about police and criminals travelling to various regions of japan, usually with the police hunting the criminals. The other films with this theme would be Vengeance Is Mine (Imamura), High and Low (Kurosawa), The Castle of Sand (Nomura) and Shonen (Oshima). Am I making up a tradition when it’s really just a few films made over a long time? Or is Kitano using a well-known theme in Japanese film and twisting it a bit?


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:32 pm 
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I don't think you have to look that far back to find the elements Kitano was drawing from. The roaming gangster/roaming cop motif is there in a lot of Japanese movies of the 90s. There was Aoyama's Helpless the previous year, the Rokuro Mochizuki yakuza pictures, and Kitano's own Boiling Point and Sonatine. All those pictures feature characters roaming from place to place, hunting one another or escaping some pursuit. The idea of roaming free was hugely prevalent in Japanese films of that decade. Shunji Iwai's Picnic follows escaped mental patients as they trek aimlessly across a suburban landscape. The relationship between movement and pursuit is there in so many of these films. There's even a pursuit motif hidden in the later film Aoyama film Eureka, the one film in this group that is most pronouncedly an existential road movie.

But I would link it more closely to Kanto Wanderer than to Castle of Sand or High and Low, or even Vengeance is Mine. All those somewhat procedural films present a focused search and a careful, deliberate evasion. Hana–bi, and the other films of the 90s that emphasize its sort of roaming narrative, link the notion of aimless travel to existential pursuit. In that same way, Kanto Wanderer is a film in which characters try to create meaning or read meaning into their lives by traveling in an aimless, vaguely searching way. Hana–bi belongs, I think, more in that tradition of existential searchers than it does in the more solidly socially–grounded High and Low, Castle of Sand, or Vengeance is Mine.

There was probably also some kind of economic motivation in Japan in the 90s to make these road movies, as there were so many of them. There were very few studio–set films being produced at that time. Perhaps it was cheaper to make these films on the road than it would have been in a studio? Also, a lot of them were independent productions, or productions made for smaller studios with likely very few soundstage facilities. It might be such an environment contributed to the move towards road movies in that decade. But I think it also must have been the existential appeal of the premise to a lot of these independent–minded filmmakers. The value structure of the social order in Japan was beginning to seem less substantial in a way––the value of making money, following the rules and staying within the lines was beginning to be suspect, and a lot of these films address that. Hana–bi does as well, though admittedly offering a more orthodox form of existentialism than a film like Helpless suggests. The cop at the center of Hana–bi resembles a feudal ronin or wandering yakuza of that bygone era more than the off-balance losers of Aoyama's films. The free–roamers in Aoyama films are violently thrust out from the flow of society, and they react by wandering in pursuit of vague meanings and connections. The climax and conclusion of an Aoyama picture comes generally when some idea or solution crystallizes in the wanderer's mind. By contrast, the wandering ex-cop in Hana–bi faces his existential drift by constructing traditional meanings. He goes on a trip like a tourist, dutifully seeing sights and visiting "special" places. The journey leads to an end that is a very orthodox validation of the drifter's way of life, a traditional way of reclaiming honor, completing a circuit of life in an aesthetically pleasing trajectory. That viewpoint is challenged a bit by the film's narrative, which introduces characters who pursue considerably different existential values, but the hero of the film is unquestionably the ex-cop played by Kitano, and the ending, in spite of some ambiguity, is his quirky sort of valedictory.


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 Post subject: Re: Third Window Films
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:13 am 
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Very interesting. The only film I have seen by Aoyama is Eureka. I should try to see more of his films.

I agree that the ex-cop in Hana-bi resembles a ronin. But it’s the orthodox, touristy way he visits special places that make me think of the procedural cop films, more than road-movies. He picks up painting and does a journey that resembles a pilgrimage. I hadn't thought of the traditional values in the film before, but I can see them now.


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