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Truffaut and Criterion vs. Fox-Lorber

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Truffaut and Criterion vs. Fox-Lorber

Old 03-08-01, 02:28 PM
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I just recently bought a slew of Truffauts on Fox-Lorber. The transfers, compression, and prints aren't perfect by a long shot, but I'm happy these films are even in print. And they look a hell of a lot better than say, Hen's Tooth's edition of DIVORCE ITALIAN STYLE, which is absolutely horrid. Some of the Fox-Lorbers even have new translations, which seem much better than previous ones if my weak French is any indication. The extras are minimal and pretty crappy, although I haven't listened to the commentaries by Glenn Kinney yet.

Perhaps I'm being naive. A lot of people have been trashing the Fox-Lorber releases as inferior to Criterion releases, and rightly so, although Criterion isn't perfect--see the lack of restoration done on Fuller's SHOCK CORRIDOR for example. I realize that one of the reasons that Criterion's 400 BLOWS is out of print is because Fox-Lorber bought up the rights. However, Criterion couldn't release all of these Truffaut films anyway.

What I'm getting at is that I don't exactly feel that Fox-Lorber has done a real disservice to Truffaut fans by releasing all these films on DVD. Sure, I'd like every film restored with new translations and a sack of extras, but I don't think this is financially realistic. And a mono soundtrack on DVD is always going to be slightly better than VHS, even if nothing is done to the transfer or the soundtrack, right?

In short, I think Criterion has spoiled a lot of people. But perhaps I just don't know what it costs to restore a film and create a digital transfer for DVD? Maybe it's not that expensive, thus I should feel contempt for Fox-Lorber's releases and the fact that they're preventing other companies from doing better restoration work on these films? Anybody have opinions on this?
Old 03-11-01, 12:04 AM
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I got Jules & Jim and think it looks great. I'm proud to have it in my collection.

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