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Why Are Criterions STILL Overpriced?
70 replies to this topic
Posted April 07 2009 - 11:20 AM
What do you get off on saying true film fans who watch TCM and IFC are in their 40's? I just turned 30 and I love older and more obscure films and I still watch alot of mainstream stuff. I only own three Criterion titles at the moment: RAN The Rock Silence of the Lambs (OOP for $5!) I'm also a huge fan of Kurosawa and purposefully aced the film history class way back earlier this decade which was about him that one semester. I even have a major complaint at Warner Bros. and that's about I want more Errol Flynn movies on DVD to purchase! Yes, me, a younger person can actually be a fan of film and have a diverse taste in them. Yeah, I certainly did enjoy Michael Bays TRANSFORMERS and I certainly also enjoy North by Northwest alongwith alot of other Hitchcock films I've seen. There're still many titles I'm eager to purchase and alot of those are even Criterion and from other companies. I even import alot of the times due to an Oppo player I own. Alot of DVD's I'm still keeping even when I upgrade to HDDVD or Blu-ray since there are several titles I'm highly fond of which I'm still keeping the versions I hunted down for.
Posted April 10 2009 - 07:20 AM
People in their 40s grew up watching a lot of classic and obscure films, younger generations generally didn't, and so tend not to respond as positively to that sort of material.
Posted April 10 2009 - 11:01 AM
Yep, everything was better in the old days. I doubt the number of people that were in their twenties in the 1980's that were interested in classic movies is any less than today. If anything, the easy availability of titles on DVD has probably made more people interested in classic film than 20 or 30 years ago.
Posted April 10 2009 - 05:22 PM
Why are you taking this as some sort of generational slam, Travis? I don't think it was intended as one. In fact I don't think you're going back far enough--you make the comparison with people in their twenties, I think MichaelEl means much younger. I'm not even 40, but growing up in New York, broadcast television--all seven(!!) channels (CBS, NBC, WNEW, ABC, WOR, WPIX, WNET)--constantly ran classic films to fill up their programming. On a weekend afternoon, you might find THE AFRICAN QUEEN on Ch.5, KING KONG on Ch.9, and THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD on Ch. 11. There had to be more kids watching those movies in the 70's/80's than watching them today, strictly based on opportunity. That's what was on, so that's what you watched. And it's easier, surely, to get that person into those films for life than it is to introduce those same films to a 25-year-old today and get the same reaction. Each successive generation's viewing became more compartmentalized with more channels and options available and the disappearance of classics from free tv led to less exposure. The point is not which generation was/is more likely to embrace classic films, but that the age in which people are exposed to them in general is later and later. Thus whenever the audience is measured, whether it be for TCM or the demographic for who's buying classic dvds, I imagine it skews slightly older than say, anything on Adult Swim or Spike or MTV. Certainly a 10-year-old today with such an inclination, and parents with a Netflix account, has it made over his 'partner' from the 70's/80's in some ways, but there are less of them--their interest blooms at a later age. Heck, thanks to the Million Dollar Movie I knew the theme from GONE WITH THE WIND when I was 5! And then they would show something like MAGIC TOWN or THE KING AND FOUR QUEENS or INVADERS FROM MARS or THE TALES OF HOFFMAN. You know there were movies shown on tv that have never been on home video. So the statement that 'people in their forties grew up on films that succeeding generations didn't' is likely on its face, true.
Posted April 10 2009 - 10:18 PM
I grew up watching those channels, too. Not only were old movies always on, but there was hardly anything else to watch! I must have seen dozens of John Wayne movies as a kid in the early 70s. AND I remember the week WOR ran King Kong every night of the week (this was in prime time!).
Posted April 10 2009 - 10:41 PM
I turned 27 last week and I am more than happy to pay Criterion prices. This is my current status. Owned: The Lady Vanishes The 39 Steps Vampyr 49th Parallel Ace in the Hole Brute Force A Canterbury Tale Carnival of Souls Fiend without a Face The Furies Shock Corridor The Virgin Spring M Night and Fog The Naked Prey The Small Back Room Eyes without a Face On order via the DVDPacific Criterion sale Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages Pickup on South Street The Naked City Night and The City The Night Porter Wishlist And God Created Woman Army of Shadows Berlin Alexanderplatz Day of Wrath Diabolique Equinox The Fallen Idol Forbidden Games House of Games The Killers : 1946 Version The Last Wave The Long Good Friday The Passion of Joan of Arc Peeping Tom The Rules of the Game Sisters The Spy Who Came in From the Cold Thieves Highway The Third Man Through a Glass Darkly The Tin Drum Overlord The White Dog Unfaithfully Yours Monsters and Madmen I would also love to purchase Salo, but it is banned in Australia.
Posted April 11 2009 - 12:36 PM
To this day I still only own one Criterion: the now OOP The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
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Posted April 11 2009 - 12:46 PM
Before cable the only thing on TV late night was old movies. Most of the time they were the best thing on but often they were the only thing on. No computer, no video games, no choice. Kids were rejecting their parents world more violently than ever and were not interested in the music, The War or The Depression but The Marx Brothers, The Wolfman and James Dean were iconic images. Today's kids are more clever and educated in many ways than we were, it's just that with all their options they aren't forced to watch old movies and unless someone in their life introduces them to Fred and Ginger they won't be much inclined to.
Posted April 11 2009 - 12:51 PM
I don't think there's ever been a studio who's maintained such consistent quality over the years in relation to production costs; It's totally justifiable. Especially when considering that Criterion don't own any catalog titles and all of their film acquisitions are licensed out at higher cost than what it takes for the major studios to release their films. Yet the quality of restorations, transfers, supplements and content not to mention packaging and presentation is entirely representative of the price consumers pay and entirely worth it in my opinion! I'd sooner pay $27 for Anthony Mann's classic The Furies in beautiful packaging with extra features than I would put up the same cost for one of WHV's dreadful burned "Archive" dvd-r discs of many much lesser films...
Posted April 12 2009 - 01:49 PM
As a New York kid of the 1970s, I remember it well : those channels were my film education. Channel 5 used to often run a whole week of late night movies devoted to a particular star, like Cagney or Bette Davis, while nobody of that time could forget that Thanksgiving meant "King Kong" and it's sequels. In that pre-VCR era, you often had to forego sleep to catch a rarely shown classic . I remeber my mother actually let me play hookey from school one time only to catch a 1AM showing of "The Heiress" on Channel 5 the night before.
Posted April 15 2009 - 04:23 AM
They have to pay for the licensing of these films unlike the studios who have a library in place. You pay more to have the priviledge of having great films on DVD and Blu ray that you may not have otherwise.
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