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Ruscico and R1 licensing (1 Viewer)

Jeff Ulmer

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For those looking for the films the Russian Film Council has been releasing, I have now seen two different companies licensing the masters. Image has Vij, which looks like a carbon copy, and I recevied a review copy of Moscow Does Not believe in Tears from Kino, a two disc set with half a million subtitles and three languages, extras etc. Even says Ruscico right on it. So for those wondering about legit copies over here, they are coming. I only wonder what Criterion's Solaris will end up like, though it will be a long wait to find out.
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Kevin Coleman

Second Unit
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Jul 3, 1999
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495
Jeff,
I guess I don't see what the big fuss about these Russico DVD's being imported to the US is. I imported Solaris and it is an excellent disc. I don't understand why the forum has apolicy against discussing them on here. It is no different than people in the regional DVD section with region free players discussing importing various other releases from other regions. I don't think we should have to wait on what might be an inferior release. Maybe you can enlighten me?
Kevin C.
 

Mark W

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Oct 10, 2000
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Yes, writing that we are finally getting "legit copies" over here is a bit misleading, since they've always been legit. Image is simply sub-licensing the distribution rights for the Ruscico discs from the NYC-based retailer and distribution company St. Petersberg Publishing. You could always get these discs legally in the U.S. They just have wider distribution now. And to avoid any further confusion, they aren't remasters or repressings, they are slightly repackaged versions of the original Ruscico discs. Kino will also be releasing Ruscico's COME AND SEE at the end of the year.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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I guess the legitimateness depends on whether you hold domestic distribution rights or not. There was never an issue with importing them, but there was some issues with them being sold in North America. All I'm saying is that R1 licensed copies are now showing up through Image and Kino.
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Mark W

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Oct 10, 2000
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Right, but the question about U.S. distribution rights only pertained to SOLARIS, which has since been announced as a Criterion title. There was never an issue with selling these other titles within the U.S. In fact, St. Petersberg (who claimed the sole distribution rights for the States) has been selling them from their New York store all along. Image has simply struck a wider distribution deal with them (you can find St. Pete's address on the packaging). They have been licensed for R1 from the start, but now that Image is part of the deal, they will become easier to find.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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My assumption was that St. Petersberg did not in fact have domestic rights to these titles (specifically Solaris, but also Andre Rublev, Stalker and a few others), and that is what Criterion's beef was with having them discussed here and being sold in the US from the US.
Of course having Criterion claim that St. Petersberg were known to traffic in bootlegs and were under investigation by the FBI didn't help make them sound all too legit either.
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Rich Malloy

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Apr 9, 2000
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There was never an issue with importing them, but there was some issues with them being sold in North America. All I'm saying is that R1 licensed copies are now showing up through Image and Kino.
There were no issues with the titles you mention, however. The issues pertained to SOLARIS, ANDREI RUBLEV, and STALKER (although Criterion has since stated that they don't have DVD rights for STALKER, after all). If those start turning up under the Image or Kino banner, then it should get interesting.
 

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