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Satantango DVD news

Old 11-28-05, 01:00 PM
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Satantango DVD news

The good news: I'm starting to see reports that a R1 release of Satantango will hit the shelves by the end of 2006.

The bad news: Facets is the company that will release it.

If you go to www.facets.org and type 'satantango' in the search box you'll get confirmation:

Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr's 7-hour, black-and-white epic based on the novel by Laszlo Karsznahorkai took two years to film. The complex story follows a group of people living in a dilapidated village in post-communist Hungary. Tarr examines their standstill lives through a series of episodes told from each person's point-of-view. Winner of the Caligari Film Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize Special Mention at the 1994 Berlin International Film Festival. In Hungarian with English subtitles.

ITEM NO.


PRICE
QTY
DVD-DV86935 - Multi-disc boxed set.
NOT YET RELEASED: - Release date to be announced, Order Now! $79.95
Bela Tarr Hungary 1994 450 mins.
I can only hope Artificial Eye also release it.
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Old 11-28-05, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
The bad news: Facets is the company that will release it.
That is just terrible news!! These folks somehow have the rights for a number of Eastern European/Central European titles I am interested in and with the poor quality they offer I am left scratching my head!

Either Artificial Eye or MK2 would be best!!

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Pro-B
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Old 11-28-05, 02:48 PM
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While I respect Facets for their devotion to foreign and arthouse films, as a DVD producer they leave a lot to be desired. Many of their transfers look like ports from worn VHS tapes (for examples, look no further than their recent releases of two early Béla Tarr films: The Pre-Fab People and Family Nest).

I will never, ever blind-buy one of their releases again. And I will certainly wait for a comparison of their final product with Artificial Eye's expected release (R2 PAL/UK) before ordering.

As with New Yorker (and, to a degree, Kino), I keep hoping Facets will pull it together and begin releasing better authored DVDs but, until that time, I will avoid their products like the plague. Given a choice between owning a crappy DVD derived from decent film elements and not having a beloved film in my collection at all, I'll choose the latter. As consumers, we deserve better.
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Old 11-28-05, 02:57 PM
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The sad thing, of course, is that none of us would hesitate dropping eighty bucks on a release of this if we knew it to be of decent quality. But since we likely won't buy it, Facets and other companies take that to be a rejection of the film itself, and not their treatment of it, and see it as justification to not release other obscure films.
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Old 11-28-05, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
The sad thing, of course, is that none of us would hesitate dropping eighty bucks on a release of this if we knew it to be of decent quality. But since we likely won't buy it, Facets and other companies take that to be a rejection of the film itself, and not their treatment of it, and see it as justification to not release other obscure films.
That's why I write the companies in question when I choose not to buy a long-anticipated release that--in the end--they f*ck up. And I encourage others to do the same. In New Yorker's case, such a strategy hasn't resulted in significantly improved releases (though they are making some incremental progress: occasional use of DVD-9s, a few impressive extra features). And, in the case of Sátántangó, I'll write Facets ahead of time, to let them know I won't be buying if it's up (down?) to their "usual standards".

[email protected]rg
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Old 11-29-05, 04:41 PM
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I sent facets a "plea" email, and encourage y'all to do the same. They need to get it together, and hopefully it will be in time for this release.
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Old 11-29-05, 05:18 PM
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<-- a desperate plea has been sent via email.
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Old 11-30-05, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmFanSea
My email to them:
To whom it may concern:

It has come to my attention that your company is planning to release a DVD of Bela Tarr's film Satantango in 2006. I should not have to tell you how important this film is; in a poll conducted by the Cinematheque Ontario it was voted one of the ten best films of the Nineties by a panel of internationally respected film scholars and curators, and is considered something of the "holy grail" of DVD releases by nearly every film aficionado I know. Given your company's spotty (to put it kindly) record in the past when it comes to DVD quality, I feel the need to impress upon you the tremendous responsibility you have in releasing this film. It is of vital importance that you do it well. Your target audience will be among the most discriminating DVD buyers in the world - we know a lemon when we see one! If you do a good job with the DVD of Satantango you will have a group of purchasers guaranteed to spend the rather sizable amount that you will no doubt charge for this film transfer, and in addition, you will have earned the thanks of a dedicated, nay, obsessive group of DVD buyers. If you do a poor job then you will have earned the enmity of, once again, a large group of very vocal DVD buyers.

I understand there will be problems finding high quality, well-preserved film elements. There are surely scant few prints of this film extant, and the amount of time and energy that must be devoted to a project of this size is no doubt daunting. All we ask is that you treat this masterpiece with the care and respect it deserves. I hope and pray that you do so.
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Old 11-30-05, 04:08 PM
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Beautifully composed! Nice job.
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Old 11-30-05, 04:31 PM
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wenders - you rock, great letter. I'll follow it up with one in a couple days to keep the heat on (I don't want them to get "deluged" with three or four in one day and never hear about it again...).

I'd be ecstatic to replace my VHS copy of this film with a digital copy. I saw a print at the MOMA a couple years ago which looked great, so Facets shouldn't have to look TOO far to find a serviceable copy. I think the MOMA owns prints of most Tarr films, although maybe they wouldn't lend their copy to a for-profit company...
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Old 12-14-05, 01:03 PM
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Latest news is that Artificial Eye has announced (via a private email that was forwarded to me via a listserv) that they are releasing it in the first falf of 2006.

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Old 01-13-06, 10:37 AM
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Of course this has little to do with the upcoming DVD release, but Satantango is being screened two times this weekend at the MOMA (New York City) for anyone close enough to make the trip. January 14 at 3 PM and January 16 at 1 PM. It's also showing today at 4:30, but this is kind of short notice for that... It's 7.5 hours long - check out this link. Happy viewing for those who make it!
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