New Yorker Films -- future DVDs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Todorov, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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    I was just checking out New Yorker Films website, and these guys have the most amazing library this side of Criterion, indeed more so than Criterion when it comes to foreign films after 1960.

    Unfortunately, they are very, very stingy with their DVD releases. The vast majority of their films are VHS only... which is just awful, considering what they are sitting on. (FWIW, the one DVD of theirs I have, Loulou has a fine anamorphic transfer, but is bare bones, as are all their DVD, as AFAIK.)

    Does anyone know of what their future DVD release schedule is? Do we know someone there to ask them, why, when DVD has made a fortune for Hollywood, New Yorker seems to have decided that they don't need that revenue stream? Can we prod someone who works for New Yorker to start releasing stuff, pronto? Or to license it to someone who will?

    I am specifically dying for the following: Celine and Julie Go Boating (dir. Jacques Rivette), Underground (Dir. Emir Kusturica -- there is a R4 DVD with a plain awful transfer), The Mother and the Whore (Dir. Jean Eustache), Mina Tannenbaum (Dir. Martine Dugowson) Masculin, Feminin (Jean-Luc Godard), Men (Doris Dorrie), etc., etc. etc...

    For more info (or total lack thereof), visit New Yorker's web site.

    Thanks for any and all help on this subject,
    Ted
     
  2. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Well, I'd be happy with La Belle Noiseuse. [​IMG]
     
  3. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    and Two Or Three Things I Know About Her, L'Atalante & Four Adventures Of Reinette & Mirabelle

    They are a mystery. They seem to only release around 10 DVD's a year if that.

    I own 2. Kitano's Fireworks is ok, kind of washed out and speckled. Chunhyang though, is excellent, very nice looking anamorphic transfer.
     
  4. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    I believe some of the problem lies in the usual rights issues. New Yorker started out as a theater that specialized in foreign and art films and then became a distributor, in large part because of the insistence of one filmmaker's (I'm forgetting the film and filmmaker in question). I think they are still primarily a theatrical distributor and probably do need to explore a licensing agreement if they are unable to expand their home video department. I also hazard to guess that many of their agreement cover only theatrical engagements.

    Another side of the equation is the fact that most of NYer's films are foreign and they are most certainly not in possession of the best and original elements of said films. Obtaining the elements required for an acceptable and worthwhile DVD is probably out of their realm in most cases. Unless NYer is really some kind of cash cow, sitting on titles for no apparent reason. [​IMG]

    I programmed films throughout college and if you could see the vast collection of films that New Yorker has available only in 35mm and 16mm, you'd be salivating that much more for DVD releases from them. It's frustrating to see how many excellent films and directors in New Yorker's theatrical catalog are under-represented on any form of video from them.

    Some of my most desired New Yorker titles include:
    The films of Alain Tanner especially In The White City.

    Knife in the Head

    Erick Zonca's Alone/The Little Thief double feature.


    Jon
     
  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I've been waiting for "L'Atalante" forever! Are they really working on this title?
     
  6. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

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    Number 1 on my wish list from New Yorker is Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Le Samourai'. Any other Melville titles would be nice, too, particularly 'Les Doulos'.
     
  7. James Roberts

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    L'Atalante is supposed to be out this year (they said it was on their 2003 schedule). It's been included on their 'coming soon' flyer for 2 years! Also, they have two Bresson discs rumored to be out by the end of 2003- 'A Man Escaped' and 'Lancelot of the Lake'.
     
  8. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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  9. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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    Regarding newer New Yorker properties, I've heard that the company follows a two-year window between theatrical and video releases, which seems to be borne out by the delayed releases of Beau Travail, Taboo, The Wind Will Carry Us, and other assorted titles that opened domestically a few years back but have only recently found their way on VHS or DVD from the company.

    As for the older properties, it seems to me that there are a lot of rights issues with them, previous VHS releases notwithstanding. They've obviously lost the video rights to their Herzog and Fassbinder titles and apparently their Ozu titles as well (it seems they don't even have the theatrical rights to their Ozu titles anymore). Two or Three Things I Know About Her, which has been mentioned previously on this thread, is being re-released by Rialto, as will Masculine-Feminine (another old New Yorker theatrical and VHS property), suggesting they no longer have the rights to those, either. (The upside: Criterion editions of both of these titles are quite likely within the next year or two.) Of course all of New Yorker's Herzog, Fassbinder, Ozu and Godard titles put together only constitute a small number of the films they've distributed over the years but they could be indicative of a broader rights situation.
     
  10. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    ...I once called them in '95 to inquire of plans on getting some of their library onto LD, and got the impression that the new technology was sort of a hazy concept to them, or that they were just not interested. (at that time anyway-DVD was not on the radar)
     
  11. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    You guys have mentioned some great titles:

    Le Samourai - Never seen but would love to.
    In the White City - Love to see it again.
    L'Atalante - What else needs to be said?
     
  12. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Producer

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