Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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rapta
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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#51 Post by rapta » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:39 pm

Sold out at HMV.com as well. Doubt the remaining 40% would've sold out within 24 hours, so reckon this'll pop up again soon (either via retailers, Arrow direct, or both).

After all, I noticed The Taisho Trilogy, Four Film Noir Classics, The Apartment and Carrie have been 'sold out' and then appeared back in stock a week or two after at various retailers (and even Arrow's own store in a couple of cases).

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#52 Post by Ribs » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:49 pm

...it's also possible that somehow the memo that it's no longer a run of 3,000 didn't get to the newsletter person when checking stock levels?

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#53 Post by dda1996a » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:25 pm

I hope this ain't so. Every time I bought an Arrow boxset fearing it'll go OOP it ended up getting stuck on 95% and ended up on sale a month later, which was my plan for this and Diamond Guys vol 2. I really do hope this won't sell out completely this quickly

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#54 Post by Ashirg » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:38 am

My pre-order from Deep Discount just got cancelled. I guess Cat preorder at Amazon will get cancelled next.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#55 Post by AidanKing » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:36 am

It does seem a shame that Arrow's strategy is now to plan for releases only to be available for a short time before going out of print. I understand it's a business, but there is often a cultural element too, and it would be good to see films being available for as long as possible so that potential future viewers can discover them. For example, I think the status of Mizoguchi in the UK at least could be affected by the fact that it isn't so easy to access the films that made his reputation outside of Japan now that the films released by MoC are no longer available.

One would hope that Arrow can consider keeping sets that have sold out in print in some way, even if it has to be in cut-down versions with less lavish packaging.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#56 Post by tenia » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:52 am

It actually hasn't changed. When you look at how many days it takes for Arrow's LE to be sold out from the day it's announced / pre-orders are open, things haven't changed much over the past years.

Except for a few expectedly quick (The Thing, Carrie, HGL Deluxe set because of its very low batch size) or slow (Nikkatsu Vol 1, Audition steel, B&BL steel, LGF/ML boxset), the average selling out time is 135 days from announcement day, the median time is 126 days.

Here are the most recent selling out times (the exceptions like The Thing aside) : Taisho Trilogy 275 days, Shock Treatment 213 days, The Apartment 111 days, Cat O' Nine Tails 104 days, Suzuki Vol. 1 174 days.
Here is a sample from 2014-15 releases : Nekromantik 79 days, Society 155 days, Videodrome 109 days, Hellraiser Scarlet Box 97 days, Battles Without Honor or Humanity 172 days, Nekromantik 2 155 days.

The Suzuki vol. 1 set took about 174 days to sell out, which is actually relatively slow to sell out for Arrow (29th out of 44 sold out titles I've monitored).
And that's taking into account the batch size has been cut from 3000 to 2000 copies.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#57 Post by AidanKing » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:52 am

My concern is just that it's becoming a general policy (not just with Arrow but other labels too) to expect that releases will go out of print quickly, which I understand makes sense for business reasons but has unfortunate side effects culturally in terms of the availability of what it could be argued (and probably would be by most users of this forum) are works of art.

Maybe if the economics of BluRay are such that only limited editions are financially viable, the best model would be a limited BluRay (or dual format) release and an unlimited separate DVD release. An example would be the BFI Alan Clarke set, which I think was only a limited edition in the BluRay version. At least that would keep the films available.
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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#58 Post by swo17 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:57 am

Pretty much all of these limited editions end up subsequently getting non-limited versions though. It's just a nice treat for some of the biggest fans to be able to have special packaging or whatever.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#59 Post by AidanKing » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:02 pm

I hope you are right, but I'm not sure that The Human Condition, for example, will be reprinted when the current edition sells out. I know they were MoC not Arrow, but the Mizoguchi and Imamura releases have gone in the UK, probably for good. (Maybe it's a particular problem with licensing Japanese films?)

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#60 Post by Ribs » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:04 pm

See this post from the Taisho thread:
TonyleStephanois wrote:Stocks of The Taisho Trilogy are very low, it's not looking likely we'll re-issue this one, we're looking to make it available digitally only I am afraid. Our sales of standard editions of even major films following boxes just aren't selling unfortunately. This will be going for our Early Suzuki, Godard + Gorin, Sacha Guitry, Diamond Guys and Gangster VIP sets. We'll assess feedback and see if there is the right demand rather than just put them through the standard process so this isn't a guarantee that they will never come out but be warned it's unlikely as of writing.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#61 Post by tenia » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:13 pm

AidanKing wrote:My concern is just that it's becoming a general policy (not just with Arrow but other labels too) to expect that releases will go out of print quickly.
Limited editions have been more and more recurring on the market VS non-limited ones, but at least for Arrow's LEs, they don't go out of print quickly, nor more quickly than in the past.
There have been a couple of extreme exceptions with The Thing and Carrie, but otherwise, it takes several months for them to sell out... and that's only when they do sell out.
In average, it was taking 199 days in 2016 for an Arrow LE to sell out : it took 218 days in 2017.

But again, that's only when they do sell out : in 2014, 83% of Arrow LEs sold out (5 out of 6). In 2015, this % was 84% (11 out of 13), down to 61% in 2016 (14 out 23) and down again to 56% in 2017 (13 out of 23) (though this last figure will probably have changed in roughly 4 months).

Arrow Academy releases are even worse in this regard because they seem, except for a handful of releases, to be selling very slowly (much slower than most Arrow Video LEs) as a whole, to the point they're not even included in the Stock Updates. The Taisho set sold out but it took 9 months to do so.

There's also an interesting sales dynamic to look at which is that many non sold out titles are selling quite well before and around the release date, but basically stops afterwards. The Phantasm set sold 7000 copies in its first 6 months, but then only 1000 during the next 7. And there are many other cases like this, with high selling pace to being with, and then not much a few months later.
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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#62 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:54 pm

AidanKing wrote:My concern is just that it's becoming a general policy (not just with Arrow but other labels too) to expect that releases will go out of print quickly, which I understand makes sense for business reasons but has unfortunate side effects culturally in terms of the availability of what it could be argued (and probably would be by most users of this forum) are works of art.
None of this is new. When I worked in repertory cinemas in the 1990s, films would disappear all the time, because there was usually just one 35mm print in commercial circulation, and if it got damaged, the chances are it wouldn't be replaced. You can play the "but it's a work of art!" card all you like, but the bottom line is that this costs money, and the £2K-4K cost of a new print most likely wouldn't be recouped by a single-figure number of rep bookings generating well under a grand over the print's expected lifespan. That's just the way things are.

Same with rights expiring. Typically, a licence lasts five to seven years. The distributor usually gets first dibs on whether or not to renew, but renewing costs money, and in the case of the MoC Mizoguchi discs they took a long hard look at the numbers (bolstered by actual sales figures of the DVD editions) and decided that it wasn't worth it. Very very few boutique releases are genuine cash cows on the order of the Jacques Tati discs (to cite a rare instance of the BFI losing the rights very much against their will), and in most cases they probably won't be renewed.

This is why streaming shouldn't be a dirty word, because it's one of the most convincing methods of creating a truly "unlimited edition", at least for the lifespan of the licence. But expecting physical manufacturers to keep comparatively unpopular discs in circulation indefinitely is, I'm afraid, a hopeless pipe dream and getting more hopeless the more the market shrinks.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#63 Post by AidanKing » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:35 pm

I can't objectively disagree with any of that and I suppose other questions are raised anyway, such as who gets to decide what is art and what isn't. I may be prepared to argue that Sansho Dayu, for example, is as good as some of the works of Shakespeare, but it doesn't get me anywhere in current economics if not enough people are prepared to buy the BluRay and there isn't adequate state funding for preservation, which obviously won't happen while the works are privately owned and there are other, clearly more pressing priorities.

There's also the issue of film being probably the most expensive art form to produce, which results in all the effects we know so well, mainly to do with compromising what is actually made. Most of the other arts have had to rely on some form of patronage as well. Only literature is relatively inexpensive to produce, I suppose, so long as you are talented enough to do it!

I still can't help feeling sad when films become unavailable despite understanding why this is the case. I suppose I will have to accept that this has always happened, in all forms of art.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#64 Post by swo17 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:17 pm

Weird, I got a cancellation notice from DVD Planet yesterday, but then a shipment notice today.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#65 Post by Ribs » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:18 pm

Did you get refunded?

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#66 Post by swo17 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:30 pm

My Paypal account shows that I have been issued a refund.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#67 Post by tenia » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:35 am

After the Jia Zhang-ke book, this is another "thicker" booklet with an actual very low content of written material. With all the pictures and credits pages, the one article starts at the 25th page :shock: and is a bit longer than 12 pages, making the total of reading material 22% of the book. By the page the essay starts, there are already been more illustrated pages than the total length of the essay. Another much quicker read than expected. :|

To compare, 12 pages of written material is what you can find in the 36 pages booklet from Ronin, the 32 pages booklet of To Live and Die in LA, or even the 28 pages booklet of Branded To Kill.

I really really hope that Arrow will very soon stop padding the booklets / books by either reduce their overall length or by including more written material. Their booklets have always been a definitive part of their editorial work, but with so little written material in them now, they feel more and more like a way to buff up higher selling prices, making the sets "premium" while the content isn't really there. At this pace, we'll soon have 60 pages books with only 4 pages of written material. :|


NB : I know it can read as being overly disappointed by this, but while I used to watch video extras a lot, I don't anymore and instead have turned to all these booklets that are notoriously being a non-negligible part of the editorial effort of independant UK labels, and it's really frustrating to see those shrinking in content. They just feel more and more like an articifical way to make these sets or releases look premium enough, but the content simply doesn't follow anymore.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#68 Post by mostly asia » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:44 am

i have received a mail from amazon.uk that my Suzuki Box has been dispatched :)

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#69 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:52 pm

Amazon.com has initiated a charge on my card equal to the cost of my Seijun Suzuki box, so here's hoping.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#70 Post by R0lf » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:55 pm

Wait. So this is actually legit sold out and the announcement wasn't a mix up with their other Suzuki set?

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#71 Post by fdm » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:51 am

Just got around to ordering it a few days ago from Amazon.com, and got a shipping notice a few hours ago. Had quite a few reward points to put towards it as well, so less than 10 bucks. Now to see how it shows up on Tuesday... 8-[

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#72 Post by tenia » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:19 am

R0lf wrote:Wait. So this is actually legit sold out and the announcement wasn't a mix up with their other Suzuki set?
Initially, it was a mix up and the Taisho set was the one selling out.
However, in the meantime, the Early Years vol. 1 set also seemed to have sold well and is now selling out.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#73 Post by Ribs » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:23 pm

It appears there was a rather substantial print-size reduction decided on in build-up to release, for some reason, which looks very foolish if this has truly sold out (especially given they've opted for 1500 UK + 1500 US instead of 2000 each, considering that the Taisho set sold briskly with that run size). Makes me wonder if they'll consider upping the order for the second set (and call the baffling decision for no disc release for Detective Bureau 2-3 into question).

And, just a point of order, but there's no reason to assume that the 95% sold out we saw was for the Taisho trilogy: it was probably just a copy/paste error from the set immediately below it, that was also at 95%.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#74 Post by swo17 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:08 pm

It's hard to say how foolish it is. Speaking for myself, I was in no rush to pick this up until learning that I might otherwise miss out.

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Re: Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years

#75 Post by R0lf » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:26 pm

That explains a lot.

I had not read the press release thoroughly and thought it was a regular 3000US/3000UK edition!

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