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New NYT Article on DVD Box Sets

New NYT Article on DVD Box Sets

Old 05-09-03, 07:08 AM
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New NYT Article on DVD Box Sets

Movies, Performing Arts/Weekend Desk; Section E; Part 1

Almost Any Set But 'Star Wars'

By Peter M. Nichols
549 words
9 May 2003
The New York Times
Page 30, Column 4
c. 2003 New York Times Company

DVD sets, and news about them, have been the focus this week and last. Paramount announced that on Nov. 4 ''Raiders of the Lost Ark,'' ''Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'' and ''Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'' will be released for the first time on DVD. The trilogy will make a four-disc set, with George Lucas, an executive producer of the films, Steven Spielberg, their director, and Harrison Ford, their star, adding comments to the extra features on the fourth disc.

Renowned as a filmmaker, Mr. Lucas is downright famous among DVD aficionados for the long time it has taken to prepare and issue the Indiana Jones series. There is still the matter of Lucasfilms's original ''Star Wars'' trilogy, which remains the No. 1 series unavailable on DVD. Nothing has been announced, but distributors say the three films -- ''Star Wars,'' ''The Empire Strikes Back'' and ''Return of the Jedi'' -- might be shuffled in with Mr. Lucas's three newer ''Star Wars'' movies and released as part of his planned six-film series.

Meanwhile, a set of five Francois Truffaut films, ''The Adventures of Antoine Doinel,'' was released last week by Criterion. Truffaut described the eccentric Doinel as the synthesis of himself and Jean-Pierre Leaud, who plays the character as boy and young man over 20 years in four feature films -- ''The 400 Blows'' (1959), ''Stolen Kisses'' (1968), ''Bed and Board'' (1970) and ''Love on the Run'' (1979) -- and one short, ''Antoine and Colette'' (1962).

Truffaut, his character and his star make a mercurial trio, and they are well served in a five-disc set ($99.95) brimming with audio commentaries by film scholars, parts of various interviews with Truffaut and colleagues, clips from auditions and newsreels, and a 72-page booklet of Truffaut's notes, film treatments and the like. If refined is a word to use with DVD, it can be applied to the slender, simply designed packaging.

Another DVD set of note, released last week by Facets, includes five multilingual films about the Jewish experience by the prolific Israeli director and social critic Amos Gitai: ''Esther'' (1985), ''Berlin Jerusalem'' (1989), ''Birth of a Golem'' (1990), ''Golem: The Spirit of Exile'' (1991) and ''Golem: The Petrified Garden'' (1993).

The set, ''Amos Gitai: Exile'' ($99.95), is a typical release from Facets, a Chicago distributor and mail-order company with titles like Hector Babenco's ''Pixote,'' Jacques Tati's ''Mon Oncle'' and Zacharias Kunuk's ''Fast Runner'' on its best-seller list and films from about 70 countries in its enormous new catalog. Information: (800) 331-6197.

Extra features on the Gitai set include interviews and various stories about a director who makes the most of every moment. ''Golem: The Petrified Garden'' is about an art dealer (Jerome Koenig) who travels to Siberia. Mr. Koenig tells about arriving in Russia to make the film. Mr. Gitai had cameras in the hotel lobby to film him checking in, and he used the scene in the movie.

Photo: Jerome Koenig in ''Golem: The Petrified Garden,'' released last week as part of a DVD set of five films by the Israeli director Amos Gitai. (Facets Video)
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Old 05-09-03, 01:30 PM
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What is it with the New York Times and all the DVD articles they've run in the last 6 months? As usual they're last to the party yet act like DVD was their discovery.

Not only that, but they list Mon Oncle as being a title released by Facets. Maybe they mean Mon Oncle Antoine?
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Old 05-09-03, 01:56 PM
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I think box sets are the next big thing!
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Old 05-09-03, 02:41 PM
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I hear The Osbournes was a big seller.

I'll bet that TV Box sets will be the next big thing.

Also, could this be the end of 8-track?
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