Kino's 2002 catalog & other silent film DVDs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Roderick Gauci, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    Quote:
    “I received a copy of the 2002 Kino printed catalogue this afternoon, and here are the listed "Coming Soon" films in the catalogue:
    Films
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene) - extras TBA
    Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau - extras TBA
    Spies (Fritz Lang)
    Siegfried (Fritz Lang)
    Liliom (Fritz Lang)
    Kriemhild's Revenge (Fritz Lang)
    Down to the Sea in Ships (Elmer Clifton)
    Queen Kelly (Erich von Stroheim) - includes commentary by biographer Richard Koszarski
    Blind Husbands/The Man You Love to Hate (Erich von Stroheim)
    Foolish Wives (Erich von Stroheim) - includes commentary by biographer Richard Koszarski
    The Love of Sunya (Albert Parker)
    Manslaughter (Cecil B. DeMille)
    The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith)
    Intolerance (D.W. Griffith)
    The Thief of Baghdad (Raoul Walsh)
    The Mark of Zorro/Don Q, Son of Zorro (Fred Nibio/Donald Crisp)
    Assunta Spina (Francesca Bertini/Gustavo Serena)
    Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian)
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Wallace Worsley)
    A Fool There Was (Frank Powell)
    The Movies Begin (more than 120 early film works 1894-1914)"
    I have imported this quote from another fine online forum for film enthusiasts (www.criteriondvd.com) of which I am also a member. Ever since I have read this post, back in 12/14/01, I have regularly checked the Kino On Video website for any additional information (release dates, possible supplements, etc.) but they seem to take ages to update their “New Releases” section, so I decided to write to Kino’s President, Mr. Donald Krim, about this, but he simply stated than any information required can be found in their printed 2002 catalog, which I subsequently ordered a copy of, but as yet, I have received nothing. The last Kino DVDs I purchased were the marvelous (and massive) THE ART OF BUSTER KEATON 11-DVD Box Set. It would have been nice if they had included their 2002 catalog as an insert, as is customary with other DVD companies (Criterion, Image, VCI, All Day, etc.) and I hope that they adopt this policy in the future.
    I had known for some time that the 5-Disc Set THE MOVIES BEGIN (which has already been released), the Theda Bara vehicle A FOOL THERE WAS (1914), a Cecil B. DeMille double-feature MANSLAUGHTER (1922)/THE CHEAT (1915) and a Clara Bow double-feature PARISIAN LOVE (1925)/DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS (1922) (which are all slated for a 04/02/02 release) would be the first to be issued and, sure enough, today just as I started writing this post, I checked into their site, and, funnily enough, all these discs were featured in their “New Releases” section!
    This in itself should defeat the purpose of my post but I am still anxious to learn about some of their proposed future releases. Of the upcoming discs in April, the one I will most likely purchase is the Cecil B. DeMille double-feature. I have always passed on the previously available Image disc of THE CHEAT since it was accompanied by DeMille’s CARMEN and Chaplin’s A BURLESQUE ON CHAPLIN (both of which I have taped off the TV). Now that it has been paired with MANSLAUGHTER (another fine DeMille melodrama), I can finally acquire a copy of this highly regarded silent classic. THE CHEAT impressed several French film-makers at the time of its release, including Rene’ Clair, Abel Gance, Marcel L`Herbier and Jean Epstein!
    The DVDs I am most anxious to know more about are: THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915) and INTOLERANCE (1916); BLIND HUSBANDS (1918)/THE MAN YOU LOVED TO HATE (1979, a documentary on Erich von Stroheim), FOOLISH WIVES (1922) and QUEEN KELLY (1928); THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919); THE MARK OF ZORRO (1920)/DON Q, SON OF ZORRO (1925) and THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD (1924); NOSFERATU (1922); THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1923) and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925); SIEGFRIED (1924), KRIEMHELD’S REVENGE (1924), SPIES (1928) and LILIOM (1933).
    Personally, the ones I am most looking forward to are the three Erich von Stroheim titles and the quartet of Fritz Lang films, none of which I have ever seen. I have been assured by David Kalat, All Day Entertainment’s President, who has had the opportunity to take a look at the print of THE NIEBELUNGEN films, that they will be worth the wait.
    Quote:
    “I recommend highly Kino's upcoming Lang films. They are mastered from the full-length archival restorations prepared by the Murnau Stiftung in Munich. I presented theatrical screenings of the same 35mm prints at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC last month--absolutely beautiful. Pay any price.”
    As some of you know, several of these titles have already been released on DVD by Image Entertainment. CALIGARI and NOSFERATU were even accorded (deservedly) “Special Edition” status in this previous incarnation (audio commentaries, featurettes, etc.), so Kino better have something worthwhile in store for those who already own the Image discs if they are to break even. I have not bought these discs myself for two reasons only: I already own them on PAL VHS and the print quality of CALIGARI is flawed by a recurring line at the top of the frame (not to mention that it was one of the earliest DVD releases in 1997). INTOLERANCE and FOOLISH WIVES were also possible candidates for purchase for a time, but I own a 24fps version of INTOLERANCE on PAL VHS and FOOLISH WIVES’ running time is given as 107 minutes in some sources and 141 in others, so I had to let them go. The latter, in the upcoming Kino version, sounds promising at least, boasting a full-length (sic) audio commentary. THE THIEF OF BAGHDAD was one of the earliest DVDs I purchased. Although I enjoyed it, now I regret my haste in buying it because besides being 139 minutes long (instead of the official 155), there are no supplements at all and the print suffers from severe deterioration in some instances. Incidentally, it was released on Region 2 a couple of weeks ago by Eureka Video, accompanied by a “full-length” (139 minutes!) audio essay by a film historian. Let’s hope that, at least, Kino manages to find a better print and include supplements which make it superior to the Region 2 disc. For those of us who have multiregion players, deciding between good versions in different Regions can be a headache sometimes!
    To illuminate my argument, I will consider the case of the John Barrymore version of DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE (1920), released on February 1999 by Image with skimpy extras, which was superseded by the Kino version (both in terms of print quality and supplements included) issued last October. However, it has been noted by some online reviewers that each version features footage unique to that particular edition. In fact, while the Image version runs for 79 minutes, Kino’s clocks in at only 73. To complicate matters further, the Region 2 DVD released by Dark Vision also runs for 79 minutes, while the PAL VHS copy I own is a mere 60 minutes in length! An identical case of footage appearing in one DVD version and not in another (despite their “Special Collector’s Edition” and “Magnificent Restoration” tag respectively) is to be found in the Slingshot and Image’s editions of THE LOST WORLD (1925). While the Image version is apparently superior on every count, it is still incomplete! Again I have had to regretfully pass up the chance of acquiring these engaging discs, unless some of you would care to convince me otherwise. But you must concede that all this is very frustrating and confusing for us consumers who would want to buy the “definitive” version of any film from the outset rather than have to upgrade a disc every couple of years!
    Thankfully, there are several silent films on DVD nowadays and I intend to go through review sites with the aim of securing myself some of these treasures. Any suggestions for the most worthwhile or the best value for money will be greatly appreciated. Most of them offer just the film and little else, but hopefully, Kino’s recent releases - like their superbly packaged DVD of Lon Chaney’s splendid gangster melodrama THE PENALTY (1920) – and upcoming titles will usher in a new way of presenting silent films in the home video format.
     
  2. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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    Holy moly! Awesome. I'm speechless... really, I gotta process this, and I'll get back to ya a little later.

    Fritz Lang - WOO HOO!

    Now, why can't we get the Fredric March Jekyll and Hyde?
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The Fredrich March Jekyll and Hyde (1931) possibly could need a bit of work done.

    It was originally made by Paramount, but later purchased by MGM in 1941 when they made their own remake starring Spencer Tracy.

    There's some censorship issues that WB has to fix (much of the film was censored in later releases, but I think they have an uncut print.)

    I'd surely like a DVD with both adaptations in WB's ownership.
     
  4. Randall Dorr

    Randall Dorr Second Unit

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  5. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Are you sure those titles are coming soon on DVD, Rockerick, or are you just assuming? Kino still has quite a few VHS-only releases. I got disappointed on that with their release of Jean Renoir's La Chienne and A Day in the Country.
     
  6. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    Quote:
    "Now, why can't we get the Fredric March Jekyll and Hyde?"
    I totally agree with you on this, Ben. This is one of my most favorite horror films and one I want very much to have on DVD! It's a pity that Warners are so lazy with their older catalog titles. Here's hoping that the long wait will be worth it!
    Quote:
    "Are you sure those titles are coming soon on DVD, Rockerick, or are you just assuming?"
    As I explained in my post, I did not actually receive this piece of news myself. I read it on another forum (see http://www.criteriondvd.com/forum/to...s+and+Bargains), but this seems to be confirmed by the fact that the three DVDs that will be released by Kino in April were all mentioned in the list. Besides, the separate replies I received from both Donald Krim (Kino's President) and David Kalat (All Day Entertainment's President and long-time Fritz Lang fan) also seem to be pointing in this direction. I just hope they don't take too long about it, and that some interesting supplements will be included on the discs!
     
  7. Pascal A

    Pascal A Second Unit

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