Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Criterion Collection is Losing Some Rights!

Criterion, the makers and distributors of arguably the finest DVD collections of noteworthy films [usually chock-a-block with extras, and always with the best transfer of the print you'll find on DVD] has informed its fanatics that

it will soon be losing the rights to a number of titles.

They're discounting the titles to encourage folks to snap them up. I don't know if the titles will be lost to us for a while, or re-emerge better than ever, but here's the letter issued by Criterion:

Our three least favorite initials: OOP. Since we launched the Criterion Collection more than twenty-five years ago, we’ve endeavored to keep everything we’ve published in print. But despite our efforts to renew rights, we are losing a large group of titles from StudioCanal at the end of March, and we wanted to give you advance notice that our editions will be going out of print. Until we’re out of stock, we will be offering these titles at an additional $5 off on our website.The titles are going to Lionsgate, and we don’t know when they may be rereleased.As ever, we will continue to try to relicense the films so that they can rejoin the collection sometime in the future.

Here are the titles that will soon be out of print:

Carlos Saura’s Flamenco Trilogy(Eclipse Series 6)
Le corbeau
Coup de torchon
Diary of a Country Priest
The Fallen Idol
Forbidden Games(Criterion and Essential Art House editions)
Gervaise(Essential Art House edition)
Grand Illusion(Criterion and Essential Art House editions)
Le jour se lève(Essential Art House edition)
Last Holiday(Essential Art House edition)
Mayerling(Essential Art House edition)
The Orphic Trilogy
Peeping Tom
Pierrot le fou (DVD and Blu-ray editions)
Port of Shadows
Quai des Orfèvres
The Small Back Room
The Tales of Hoffmann (Criterion and Essential Art House editions)
Le trou
Variety Lights(Essential Art House edition)
The White Sheik

Take note: this may be your last chance to pick up spine number 1from the collection.

Happy viewing!
The Criterion Collection

In case you wanna skip the fine print, I'll note that they offer Fellini's first flick, Variety Lights, as well as Michael Powell's Peeping Tom and Coup de Torchon, starring Philippe Noiret and a young Isabelle Huppert.

For those unfamiliar with Coup de Torchon: imagine a paperback. A smart potboiler, kind of a creepy potboiler, about a good-old-boy, kinda lame, kinda antisocial Texas sheriff who ignores what's going on under his feet -- and then brings the hammer down for his own evil, vengeful design.

Then put the book in the hands of French filmmaker, let him move the setting to French-Colonial Africa, and make it a French noir comedy with the creepiness occasionally intact.

It's a winner. . . . !

PS If Torchon sounds confusing, it ain't -- it sums up the colonial experience damned well, at least from my limited experience in the political and cultural climes of Southeast Asia and South America

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