Criterion U.K.

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Pepsi
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Re: Criterion UK

#401 Post by Pepsi » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:23 pm

Based on what just happened with A Matter of Life and Death, I would still be surprised to see Andrei Rublev. It apparently hasn't been re-classified yet, the last time being for Artificial Eye in 2016, and I doubt Sony or Criterion know the master needs to be cut, which would, I think, also involve cutting the selected-scene commentary track. I expect if it does come out, it will be uncut and eventually withdrawn when someone discovers the error.
From Bbfc: CUT This work was passed uncut. (4/3 2016)

Has Artificial Eye cut the film themselves before submitting it to bbfc, or why do they say "uncut".

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Finch
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Re: Criterion UK

#402 Post by Finch » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:36 pm

Yay to Rublev making it across the pond, even if they end up charging a RRP of £25 for it.

eerik
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Re: Criterion UK

#403 Post by eerik » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:58 pm

Finch wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:36 pm
Yay to Rublev making it across the pond, even if they end up charging a RRP of £25 for it.
RRP is £38.99.

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McCrutchy
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Re: Criterion UK

#404 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:47 pm

Pepsi wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:23 pm
From Bbfc: CUT This work was passed uncut. (4/3 2016)

Has Artificial Eye cut the film themselves before submitting it to bbfc, or why do they say "uncut".
No, the film has been cut in the UK for decades because of well-intentioned 80-year-old animal cruelty laws, that mean footage of animal cruelty needs to be removed if it was staged for the production. Tarkovsky staged a scene where, if I recall correctly, a horse is pushed down a flight of stairs and then killed, and in the UK, this footage has to be removed or the release becomes illegal to sell. Usually, the animal cruelty laws affect Asian films and sleazy Euro horror films where people were callous enough to put animals in danger for the purposes of entertainment (as Tarksovsky pretty much did, although apparently the horse was to be slaughtered, for what it's worth), but there are also several old Hollywood productions that are cut, largely because tripwires were used to make horses fall on cue. Such behavior is obviously appalling, but nevertheless, the UK is fairly unique in its silly nanny-state approach to insisting that offending footage be disappeared as though it never occurred.

Note that there are also grey areas, most infamously, the graphic cow killing in Apocalypse Now, which is a-okay because it was supposedly done not "for the film" but by the native people and they all ate it later. However, apparently Fox and James Cameron could not convince the BBFC that the mouse pushed into the oxygenated fluid in The Abyss wasn't animal cruelty, so any release of that film in the UK is also cut, too.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Criterion UK

#405 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:47 am

It should be pointed out that the shots of the horse being killed are only in the initial 205 min. version, not the primary 183 min. final cut.

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McCrutchy
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Re: Criterion UK

#406 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:02 am

If that's the case (I thought not, but it's been years since I've watched the film), maybe they'll just drop the 205-minute version, which from the extras description, isn't likely to be restored and possibly not even HD, anyway. I know the price is £38.99, but then, so was Mishima when it went up on Amazon.

EDIT: Strangely, both Amazon sites mention a "new 2K digital transfer" of the longer cut, but Criterion's site does not. However, their press release does mention it as well, so I guess they were able to find materials for a new HD master.

dda1996a
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Re: Criterion UK

#407 Post by dda1996a » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:36 am

McCrutchy wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:02 am
If that's the case (I thought not, but it's been years since I've watched the film), maybe they'll just drop the 205-minute version, which from the extras description, isn't likely to be restored and possibly not even HD, anyway. I know the price is £38.99, but then, so was Mishima when it went up on Amazon.

EDIT: Strangely, both Amazon sites mention a "new 2K digital transfer" of the longer cut, but Criterion's site does not. However, their press release does mention it as well, so I guess they were able to find materials for a new HD master.
if they drop it, so will sales of this version. If they can branch it like they did with Suzuki will be fine. Getting both versions is the main reason of why I'm excited about this relt

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McCrutchy
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Re: Criterion UK

#408 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:43 am

No reason to branch it, because it's not being sold outside of the UK and my understanding is that the discs sold in the US are A locked while the UK ones are B locked, unlike Arrow who use the same AB locked discs in both regions.

dda1996a
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Re: Criterion UK

#409 Post by dda1996a » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:34 pm

I'm not going into those "I won't watch it" arguments that were thrown around here in the past, but I'll probably end up getting the US version if it is so

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dwk
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Re: Criterion UK

#410 Post by dwk » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:03 pm

A poster at the blu-ray.com forum pointed out that Criterion's Zatoichi extras have been rated by the BBFC.

Apperson
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Re: Criterion UK

#411 Post by Apperson » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:58 pm

Hey! you'll never guess what's happened to the UK listings for Andrei Rublev...
(Work out the goddam rights to the films you're releasing before you start listing them!)

phoenix474
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Re: Criterion UK

#412 Post by phoenix474 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:42 pm

Apperson wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:58 pm
Hey! you'll never guess what's happened to the UK listings for Andrei Rublev...
(Work out the goddam rights to the films you're releasing before you start listing them!)
Ugh. Disappointed but not surprised. I'm ok cause I'm region-free but it'd just be a less of a hassle importing it from the UK (like I did with Solaris and Stalker)

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rapta
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Re: Criterion UK

#413 Post by rapta » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:07 am

Yup, saw this one coming. So cringeworthy to (soft-)announce titles like this then realise a few weeks later that it's not possible and just sheepishly delete listings. This is probably even more embarrassing than A Matter of Life and Death, because this is likely not to do with securing rights and actually due to BBFC insisting cuts that would have to be made due to animal cruelty in certain scenes of Andrei Rublev. If Criterion really knew their market, they'd have known immediately before announcing it, and would have a plan in place to resolve it - either resubmitting the film with no cuts and hoping BBFC would reconsider their position, or make the required cuts and encode such a disc separately for the UK market.

I wonder if we'll get a replacement title for October or we're back to two a month?

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tenia
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Re: Criterion UK

#414 Post by tenia » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:49 am

I'm starting to think it's actually a good thing they announce so softly the UK titles since they can't even release them in the end.
But they really need someone to handle this properly. This is getting a bit ridiculous : Criterion is a very serious label, and missing this kind of things like rightholdings or possible cuts seem like a basic thing no UK label would miss.

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L.A.
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Re: Criterion UK

#415 Post by L.A. » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:03 am

Artificial Eye still has the UK rights?

Apperson
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Re: Criterion UK

#416 Post by Apperson » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:07 am

This is a Mosfilm restoration which Criterion can release here; the problem this time is a scene of a horse being killed in the extended cut that, because all their releases are and xact duplication of Region-A discs, they won't manually cut and therefore it's not allowed to be sold in the U.K.

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L.A.
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Re: Criterion UK

#417 Post by L.A. » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:13 am

Ah, okay. No problem, I’ll take the US disc then.

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dwk
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Re: Criterion UK

#418 Post by dwk » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:39 pm

Rushmore is now coming out in October.

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McCrutchy
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Re: Criterion UK

#419 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:16 pm

tenia wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:49 am
But they really need someone to handle this properly. This is getting a bit ridiculous : Criterion is a very serious label, and missing this kind of things like rightholdings or possible cuts seem like a basic thing no UK label would miss.
Unfortunately, they don't, and that's the trouble. I've said before and I continue to strongly suspect that Criterion UK is not really a label, but something of an anti-label, which is there to buy up UK licenses other labels were or are interested in. Entering the UK market may have been on the backburner for a couple of years, but I don't think it's a coincidence that Criterion actually did it about a year after Arrow Video started up in the USA. I'm sure they view Arrow Video US as a threat to their dominance of the US independent and art house video circuit, and Criterion UK is probably little more than a blatant response (and power play) in regards to that threat.

Consider that in the DVD era, Criterion were protected by different regions and TV standards, but in the Blu-ray era, those protections have largely melted away because 1080p is a universal standard, and the market has also become more international as a result. There was never really any reason for Criterion UK to exist at the DVD level (and indeed, they only release Blu-rays in the UK even now), because it would have required careful NTSC-->PAL conversion of many film masters and most extras, as well as adherence to a still somewhat strict BBFC. But at the Blu-ray level, they can simply port everything, pay the now more lenient BBFC to classify it, and pay Sony to do everything else, including locking the discs to Region B. In return for this investment, Criterion get UK physical (and possibly streaming) rights to titles that Arrow, Artificial Eye, BFI, and many other UK labels would have released. And they don't need to worry about brand recognition, because most people in the UK who buy these films already know who they are thanks to their reputation at home in the US. If all of that wasn't enough, the larger Blu-ray regions mean that they can also use Criterion UK releases to entice people in the rest of Europe (as well as Australia and South Africa) to buy a fully-compatible Region B Criterion Blu-ray, as long as they are fluent in English, or can understand the language(s) of the film(s) they want to watch--that is the gravy on top.

Granted, losing this or any title isn't doing them any favors, but the reality is that, rights issues aside, in 2018 there should be very few films Criterion can't release in the UK that aren't already licensed to another label, so they can easily replace affected titles with "new" ones.

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tenia
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Re: Criterion UK

#420 Post by tenia » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:52 am

This looks like a logical reasoning, but aren't import/export of BD releases somewhat limited in quantities anyway ? I remember Nick saying that nothing replaces a domestic release anyway, so you'd think Criterion don't have anything really to protect outside of the States because the utmost majority of the US market buys US releases anyway. I'd also suppose that because of how the market plunged, it might be even less interesting to venture into something like this now, even if it's logistically simpler, that just doing NTSC DVDs 10 years ago that fits both the UK and and the US.
I also suspect regarding some power play with Arrow that technically speaking, their line-ups are so different that I'd have a hard time thinking Criterion can feel threatened by Arrow. Arrow US are currently mostly Video releases, thus titles Criterion would never have released, with only a few titles playing as overlap (Distant Voices Still Lives, Black Venus or A Fish Called Wanda). Maybe they prefer to act now than letting Arrow take more market and grow furthermore, but I doubt they would overlap more, simply because Arrow's customers want Arrow to do Arrow stuff, not Criterion.

Regions ? Technically, most of Europe was Region 2 for DVD, just like they're Region B now. Criterion could just have pored through France, Germany, and a few other markets with a DVD R2 release already at the time.

Now however, what bothers me more are the purely technicalities of these silly drawbacks.
For instance, how Criterion choose which title they want to "protect" ? We've seen in the recent past they were able to select a title that ended up un-releasable and it took them no time to find another one to replace it.
Why bothering doing all this if it's to miss the simpler thing like : who has the rights for this movie there ? You'd suppose anybody they subcontracted to handle this thing in the UK know this stuff, but seemingly, they hired the persons who actually don't.

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McCrutchy
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Re: Criterion UK

#421 Post by McCrutchy » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:55 pm

tenia wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:52 am
This looks like a logical reasoning, but aren't import/export of BD releases somewhat limited in quantities anyway ? I remember Nick saying that nothing replaces a domestic release anyway, so you'd think Criterion don't have anything really to protect outside of the States because the utmost majority of the US market buys US releases anyway. I'd also suppose that because of how the market plunged, it might be even less interesting to venture into something like this now, even if it's logistically simpler, that just doing NTSC DVDs 10 years ago that fits both the UK and and the US.
Right, so it's not so much about importing or exporting as it is about expanding territory. I think you (and Nick) are likely right that most people do not import, and I think there were and are several reasons for Criterion to expand into the UK, but the fact is that Arrow expanded into the US in 2015, and based on their UK catalog, Criterion knows that Arrow would have an interest in many Criterion titles. That's why I don't think it's just coincidence that Criterion came into Arrow's home territory of the UK a year after Arrow came into Criterion's territory of the US. As I said, it's entirely possible that Criterion may have been considering entering the UK for several years, but I think Arrow's move into the US probably caused Criterion to fast-track any plans they may have had.
tenia wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:52 am
I also suspect regarding some power play with Arrow that technically speaking, their line-ups are so different that I'd have a hard time thinking Criterion can feel threatened by Arrow. Arrow US are currently mostly Video releases, thus titles Criterion would never have released, with only a few titles playing as overlap (Distant Voices Still Lives, Black Venus or A Fish Called Wanda). Maybe they prefer to act now than letting Arrow take more market and grow furthermore, but I doubt they would overlap more, simply because Arrow's customers want Arrow to do Arrow stuff, not Criterion.
I would have to disagree. It's pretty clear that Criterion don't feel threatened enough by Arrow (or anyone else in the UK) enough to start up a fully-fledged UK division and acquire UK-only titles, but I think they view Arrow as a growing concern regardless of the fact that Arrow's Arrow Video horror titles are their most popular ones. So far, I think the response to Arrow Video US has been pretty positive, and they seem to have grown quite a bit since 2015, and they added Arrow Academy to the US in 2017, which is a pretty obvious threat to Criterion. Just look at the list of Arrow Academy US releases in 2017 and 2018--most of those titles would probably fit well with Criterion, and I'm sure they probably specifically wanted at least a few of them. Certainly, almost all the directors represented by the US Arrow Academy line have also been in the Criterion Collection. But, the most concerning issue for Criterion is probably that Arrow have many more overlapping titles in the UK that they could potentially outbid Criterion for in the US in the future, like the Fassbinder films, for example. Also, other labels are obviously watching what is going on, so another concern for Criterion would be that not "answering" Arrow's move in to the US might embolden other labels from the UK, Australia or even other territories to stake out a claim in the US video market. Remember, Carlotta in France appears to have tried this (with distribution assistance from Kino), and I think they pretty much failed, but as Arrow succeeds, other companies may try, too.
tenia wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:52 am
Regions ? Technically, most of Europe was Region 2 for DVD, just like they're Region B now. Criterion could just have pored through France, Germany, and a few other markets with a DVD R2 release already at the time.
But again, tenia, producing a DVD to a different picture standard is probably more work than simply porting an the contents of an entire Blu-ray Disc. The point of Criterion UK seems to be that the work has already been finished for the US release, and all Criterion need do is pay Sony for UK distribution, and simply as a side-effect of the larger Blu-ray regions, Criterion could potentially reach more customers (mainly in Australia, I suppose) than they could with R2 PAL DVD anyway. I very much doubt that Criterion care about expanding beyond the UK, but just having fully-compatible Region B discs means more people in that region will import those discs, anyway, as a sort of bonus.
tenia wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:52 am
Now however, what bothers me more are the purely technicalities of these silly drawbacks.
For instance, how Criterion choose which title they want to "protect" ? We've seen in the recent past they were able to select a title that ended up un-releasable and it took them no time to find another one to replace it.
Why bothering doing all this if it's to miss the simpler thing like : who has the rights for this movie there ? You'd suppose anybody they subcontracted to handle this thing in the UK know this stuff, but seemingly, they hired the persons who actually don't.
These are questions I also have, and it's why I feel like Criterion UK is really only meant to buy up UK licenses of films Criterion has already released on Blu-ray in the US. It makes little sense to enter the UK with barely (if any?) physical presence. Do they even have an office in the UK? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if they don't and everything really goes through Sony UK. It makes even less sense to enter the UK without releasing DVDs, and certainly, it makes no sense to announce titles and then pull them after they are already available for pre-order, but that's happened twice in two months now.
Last edited by McCrutchy on Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Criterion UK

#422 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:00 pm

McCrutchy wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:55 pm
But again, tenia, producing a DVD to a different picture standard is probably more work than simply porting an the contents of an entire Blu-ray Disc. The point of Criterion UK seems to be that the work has already been finished for the US release, and all Criterion need do is pay Sony for UK distribution, and simply as a side-effect of the larger Blu-ray regions, Criterion could potentially reach more customers (mainly in Australia, I suppose) than they could with R2 PAL DVD anyway. I very much doubt that Criterion care about expanding beyond the UK, but just having fully-compatible Region B discs means more people in that region will import those discs, anyway, as a sort of bonus.
As Eureka has regularly demonstrated for over a decade now, you don't need to remaster a DVD in PAL to make it viable for the UK market.

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McCrutchy
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Re: Criterion UK

#423 Post by McCrutchy » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:23 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:00 pm
As Eureka has regularly demonstrated for over a decade now, you don't need to remaster a DVD in PAL to make it viable for the UK market.
I generally no longer buy DVDs, but to be honest, I don't understand why all the majors don't just release NTSC DVDs in PAL territories now, the way most music / performing arts companies do, but from looking at run times and back covers, most feature film companies do not, and the NTSC DVDs produced by Eureka and others seem(ed) to be an exception to the rule. You will have to comment on why NTSC is not used more often and exclusively (at least for 24 fps content), but I assume it factors into why Criterion UK is a Blu-ray only lineup. I thought I read that older PAL-region players and TVs struggle with NTSC, but maybe that's incorrect.

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MichaelB
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Re: Criterion UK

#424 Post by MichaelB » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:47 pm

Nick Wrigley once told me that in the first few years since going NTSC Eureka had had just one complaint, and that was from someone whose television was practically Logie Baird vintage. Any current European setup should be able to play them with no problems.

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tenia
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Re: Criterion UK

#425 Post by tenia » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:34 am

McCrutchy, as a whole, I don't really disagree with you, it's just different shades of buying into your theories, which are all logical and pretty likely with the reality maybe only slightly different from that.
However, regarding the BD vs DVD point, as Michael wrote, Eureka did sell NTSC DVDs in the UK for years, and that was fine. If Criterion really wanted to venture in Europe, they thus could have easily done that during the DVD era, and that wouldn't have been so different that just porting the BD over.
I do however understand your point about wanting to both extend the territory and blocking other labels's expansion and growth, but I still do wonder if Criterion eally would have released on BD some Hong Sang-soo movies, the Buddhist trilogy, L'assassino, 3 Brothers, or upgraded some of their Eclipse sets (Grémillon, Guitry). Within those, while it seems fitting to imagine Criterion wanting some Visconti, Fellini or Altman, their current pace and priorities settings strongly make me doubt they'd have released anytime soon Voice of the Moon, Orchestra Rehearsal, and others. I mean, let's face it : these are mostly not-first-tier movies from these directors (without wanting to belittle these movies or their fans). Within these, there only are a handful of titles I can picture getting released by Criterion : the Rivettes, The Big Knife, The Legend of the Holy Drinker, The Apartment and Images. Out of 18 months' worth, that's not so much.

But I understand your commercial theory, which makes sense in a way of a shrinking market with many "specialist" customers left increasing the worldwide competition.
McCrutchy wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:55 pm
Remember, Carlotta in France appears to have tried this (with distribution assistance from Kino), and I think they pretty much failed, but as Arrow succeeds, other companies may try, too.
That's very true. They only did a couple of releases : Out 1, the 2 Carax and Sidewalk Stories (which they restored themselves). That's not much, and you'd think they would at least try and push Y aura-t'il de la neige à Noël, since they also got the restoration work commissionned for it too.
McCrutchy wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:55 pm
Do they even have an office in the UK?
I don't believe so myself.

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