Where are the Documentaries on DVD?

Rodney

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Jan 12, 2001
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2,087
Who do we need to contact to get more great documentaries available on DVD?
Here are three on the top of my list that I wish I had to slip into my player:
Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow
Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius
Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right
I am sure I am missing others. Anyone know who we could contact to see if these are in the works?
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-Rodney
No MAR'ed Films, I want my OAR!
 

John Agent

Auditioning
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Jun 7, 2001
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4
I echo the sentiment. DVD should be a wonderful medium for quality programs - documentaries, operas, Shakespeare plays, etc.
I also often ask - where are the good "theme" programs - In particular, I would love to have some nice freshwater tropical fish tank program, but I've never heard of a good one.
There are so many good programs in existence that it is a tad frustrating to think that priority goes to issuing the latest theatrical dreck.
But the Theremin History may have just been announced for DVD.
 

Philip Hamm

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I'm moving this to "Studio and Manufacturer feedback".
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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
 

Matthew Kiernan

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May 13, 2001
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211
Ah, this topic warms my heart. The company I work for, First Run Features, recently put out a pair of documentaries, CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY (the Mark Lewis favorite), A LIFE APART: HASIDISM IN AMERICA and will be releasing LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE! (about attempts to start a strippers union in San Francisco) next week and Michael Apted's 42 UP will street the week after. To give a little insight to your question, the sales of these titles run the gamut. Some have not done too well, others have done pretty well and will probably continue to do so, while 42 UP (thanks to the recognition of the title and the commentary Apted recorded for the disc) will most likely go on to become our biggest seller to date. Part of the answer lies in the fact that it's difficult for a small label like us to get product into some large chains and then the reluctance on such chains to stock documentaries, foreign language films and other non-mainstream fare. Labels like us and other indies really do depend on the support of fans like you to get out there and buy, rent or just demand the product. Let the stores know you want it and it will at least get the word going to where it needs to go. It will lead to more diverse DVD product and, ultimately, happier customers like you.
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Matthew Kiernan
 

DeborahK

Supporting Actor
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Jun 13, 2000
Messages
530
I keep wondering where "Into the Arms of Strangers" is. Hell, it won an academy award last year and if it has even been announced for any video format, I certainly haven't heard of it.
So, 42 Up is on it way,eh? Any plans to realease the previous Up films on DVD?
Deborah
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GaryEA

Second Unit
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Mar 2, 2001
Messages
454
Rodney - Thank you for addressing the wonderful Keaton documentary A Hard Act to Follow. It has been one of my prizes in my library and I can only hope that someday it will make it's way to disc.
If anyone has not seen it, and is interested in Buster Keaton, I encourage you to find it.
I'd also like add another documentary; The World of Tomorrow. Narrated by the late Jason Robards, this is an amazing documentary of the 1939 World's Fair held in New York . It has so much material - newsreels, promotional films, home movies - you will become immersed in the Fair.
Amazing documentary. Absolutely amazing.
-g
 

Jason Seaver

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Deborah:
Image shows that Warner is releasing a pretty well-loaded edition of Into The Arms Of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport on 28 August. Even though I feel that this movie, and its Oscar win, are emblamatic of why the general public thinks documentaries are boring and why the Oscars are often indefensible in the smaller categories, it is good to see a documentary available, and from a major studio, no less.
Still, I wish I could purchase two movies that were passed over for last year's Oscar, for no better reason that I could see than that they didn't involve the Holocaust: Legacy and Sound And Fury. Sound And Fury may have been last year's best film, period, a fierce, emotional story whose eighty-minute running time will inspire ten times that amount of thought and discussion. Legacy is in a way equally amazing - an uplifting story of a family living in the Chicago projects that begins with the most promising member - an athlete and scholar who was to be the original subject of the movie - being killed in a drive-by shooting. Both are fascinating, "you-are-there" pieces without the good fortune of having a major studio behind them.
It's also worth noting that Fox is releasing The Life And Times Of Hank Greenberg this October. Artisan should also be releasing startup.com soon, but that one's pretty poor.
 

Dick

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Real Name
Rick
How about theatrical documentaries such as THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE or ATOMIC CAFE or HEARTS AND MINDS?
 

Matthew Kiernan

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 13, 2001
Messages
211
Deborah,
To answer your question, 42 UP streets on August 28. Rights to the rest of the UP series are tied up among various different parties, so a release of other films in the series is not up to First Run.
THE ATOMIC CAFE was also mentioned and First Run does have video rights, but it would be unfair to say anything regarding a potential DVD. I will, however, bring this post to my bosses' attention.
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Matthew Kiernan
 

DeborahK

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 13, 2000
Messages
530
Hi, Jason,
Thanks so much for letting me know about ITAoS and its 8/28 release date. I guess I am looking in the wrong places for my info, because I have not seen it any of the pre-release lists I regularly peruse.
I have not seen Into the Arms yet (one reason I was eager for the DVD release) and I, too, would love to see the other nominated documentaries that you mention. I wish that all the film nominated in these "smaller" categories would have some sort of video release as they are hard to find in the theaters. I love animation, too, and a lot of the more obscure stuff just never makes it to video.
Matthew, thanks for the info on the other Up films. Bummer -- I would love to see and perhaps own them all on DVD. It has been a long time since I have seen any of them and I missed 42 Up entirely.
Deborah
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Kirk Tsai

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 1, 2000
Messages
1,424
I've always wondered if there was a possibility of Apocalypse Now and Hearts of Darkness to be in a DVD, whether some kind of special edition (especially now with Redux out) or 2 disc set.
 

Rodney

Premium
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Jan 12, 2001
Messages
2,087
It is encouraging to see that I am not the only one wishing for more diversity in DVD. It is hard to see the posts of "When is movie X that is still in the theatres coming out", while there are tons of gems stagnating in studio vaults.
I just found out that Disney Home Video will be releasing "The Hand Behind the Mouse - The Ub Iwerks Story" on September 11,2001.
UNFORTUNATELY, only on VHS

I have emailed Disney, but I do not expect anything more than a canned reply.
If others would like to see more diversity in our format of choice, I urge you to write to the studio and kindly request that they release their product(s) in dual format, DVD and VHS.
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-Rodney
No MAR'ed Films, I want my OAR!
[Edited last by Rodney on August 18, 2001 at 10:59 AM]
 

Rodney

Premium
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Jan 12, 2001
Messages
2,087
I noticed that Atomic Cafe will be coming out soon.

What about the rest of the documentaries we listed here?

I really wish to see A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW on DVD.

And wasn't Ken Burn's THE CIVIL WAR supposed to make it this year?
 

Greg_Y

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 7, 1999
Messages
1,466
THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE
Is this really considered a documentary? With fictional characters, etc., I'm not so sure. Anyway, cool film that mesmerized me when I saw it in high school.

How about Brother's Keeper? The Paradise Lost films? Errol Morris films? Pennebaker?
 

Bill J

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Oct 27, 2001
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I would love to see Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse on DVD. In my opinion, next to Schindler's List and Raider's of the Lost Ark, it is the best film NOT on DVD.
 

Jeff_HR

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Jun 15, 2001
Messages
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Another excellent documentary is "New York". For anyone interested in the history of NYC, this is a must!
 

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