Second Run General Chitchat

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Second Run and the films on them.
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Lazertron
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:26 pm
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#101 Post by Lazertron » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:32 pm

I visited Second Run's website but couldn't find the info if the plan to release films on Blu-ray. Anyone here has a clue?

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Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#102 Post by Bikey » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:06 am

Lazertron wrote:I visited Second Run's website but couldn't find the info if the plan to release films on Blu-ray. Anyone here has a clue?
No BD release in the immediate future, Lazertron, but, of course, we are considering the possibilities and will definitely inform our database and members of the Criterion Forum as soon as any decision is made.

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Lazertron
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#103 Post by Lazertron » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:26 am

Bikey wrote:No BD release in the immediate future, Lazertron, but, of course, we are considering the possibilities and will definitely inform our database and members of the Criterion Forum as soon as any decision is made.

Thanks for the heads up, Bikey. Looking forward to a possible release on the Blu-ray format.

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FerdinandGriffon
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:16 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#104 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:37 am

This may be an extremely naive question destined to incite anger and dismissal from all sides, but if so, please put it down to youthful indiscretion. Anyhow, in light of recent events, namely the Criterion's label's recent tendency towards more mainstream releases and the jacking up in price of their blu-ray offerings, I was wondering just how on earth it's possible for an outfit like Second Run to survive. In comparison to Criterion, their output is generally far more obscure, cheaper priced, and primarily sold in a far less populous country, whilst still maintaining very high standards in the realm of picture quality and supplementary materials. If the wacky C (C for Criterion, not Charity, as we are continually being reminded) has had to cut so many corners to get by, then why hasn't SR? Is there a reasonable, uncynical answer to this question, one that will leave my admiration for the Collection intact?

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peerpee
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#105 Post by peerpee » Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:11 am

Criterion have something like 50 staff and lovely offices in prime NY real estate location.

Second Run (and MoC) have staff that can be counted on the hand of a one-armed man with missing fingers, and operate primarily out of their homes.

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MichaelB
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#106 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:31 am

peerpee wrote:Criterion have something like 50 staff and lovely offices in prime NY real estate location.

Second Run (and MoC) have staff that can be counted on the hand of a one-armed man with missing fingers, and operate primarily out of their homes.
The extras are often filmed there too - this is certainly true in the case of Valerie and her Week of Wonders and the Marc Isaacs interview, which were shot in the same flat, albeit from slightly different angles to create variety.

Basically, Second Run has a very tightly-run business model whereby production costs are kept to an absolute minimum - they've vetoed suggestions of mine for extras that many other labels would consider entirely affordable, but I think each individual project has an absolute upper budgetary limit that they never, ever exceed unless it's completely unavoidable.

Also, while Criterion generally does their own telecine and restoration, Second Run transfers are usually pre-existing (for instance, Valerie and Daisies clearly come from the same Digibeta source as the recent Czech editions, albeit transferred at a higher bitrate and with added English subtitles), and I'd guess that rights clearance costs a lot less for an obscure Czech or Hungarian film or British documentary than it would for, say, Benjamin Button or even The Third Man.

And while my lips are sealed as to how much Second Run pays their contributors, let's just say I'm unlikely to go into tax exile on the back of my work for them any time soon and leave it discreetly at that.

rs98762001
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:04 pm

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#107 Post by rs98762001 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:18 pm

peerpee wrote:Criterion have something like 50 staff and lovely offices in prime NY real estate location.

Second Run (and MoC) have staff that can be counted on the hand of a one-armed man with missing fingers, and operate primarily out of their homes.
...which makes the job that people like you and Mehelli are doing all the more incredible. In the last few years, MoC and SR have far surpassed Criterion as my favorite DVD company and the ones for which I am most likely to plonk down my hard-earned cash.

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reno dakota
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#108 Post by reno dakota » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:15 pm

From the latest Second Run newsletter:
Coming in September 2009

(A clue only, until details are finalised)

Few filmmakers can boast a body of work as outstanding, as beautiful or as challenging, and his films have established him as one of the most singular and important talents working in cinema today.

This auspicious debut feature film is a lushly stylised romantic fable and demonstrates a love and knowledge of both classical Hollywood and European art cinema. Shot in startling monochrome, it explores the plight of two brothers as they attempt to come to terms with the death of their father and the legacy of violence and debt he has left behind.

Second Run are delighted to be able to present the first-ever DVD release in the UK of this important filmmaker’s work. Full DVD details will be announced as soon as finalised.
Any ideas?

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souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#109 Post by souvenir » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:27 pm

Sounds a lot like Pedro Costa's O Sangue to me. I've not seen the film, but those clues seem to match it perfectly.

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Wu.Qinghua
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#110 Post by Wu.Qinghua » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:53 am

Well, dont wont to bother you, Bikey, but:

Any news on those Xie Fei discs? Are they still to be released in 2009?

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Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#111 Post by Bikey » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:13 am

Wu.Qinghua wrote:Well, dont wont to bother you, Bikey, but:

Any news on those Xie Fei discs? Are they still to be released in 2009?
They will be ready, Wu, for release around end-2009 but it may make more sense to hold off a bit until the new year; otherwise there's a possibility that these very special films get lost in the 'blockbuster' autumn season. Sorry to make you wait and we'll let everyone know as soon as a date is confirmed.

doc mccoy
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:07 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#112 Post by doc mccoy » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:33 am

Bikey,

Whats the ETA on Valley of the Bees and Adelheid? Are there any new releases planned for October/November?

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Ben Cheshire
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:01 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#113 Post by Ben Cheshire » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:30 am

Just a little note to say I've just discovered Second Run thanks to this board and I was looking for a movie as surreal as The Saragossa Manuscript and I came up with Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, which has sent me off to buy my first three Second Run DVDs ever.

I got Daisies and The Cremator as well.

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MichaelB
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#114 Post by MichaelB » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:40 am

I'm admittedly far from an unbiased source, but if you're into eastern European surrealism, I suspect you'll get a fair bit out of this.

(I'm linking to MovieMail because they're currently offering a 43% discount).

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Ben Cheshire
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:01 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#115 Post by Ben Cheshire » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:08 am

MichaelB wrote:I'm admittedly far from an unbiased source, but if you're into eastern European surrealism, I suspect you'll get a fair bit out of this.

(I'm linking to MovieMail because they're currently offering a 43% discount).
I'd never accuse you of being unbiased, but maybe try and leave BFI out of this little corner of the forum. However, I'm more into surreal features at the moment, so perhaps PM me if there's any of those that aren't Second Run that you want to recommend me.

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MichaelB
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#116 Post by MichaelB » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:20 am

Well, Švankmajer's features are an obvious recommendation too, but aside from Conspirators of Pleasure (now OOP, and I wish someone would pick it up for a reissue) I don't think they come close to his best shorts - and that's very far from a minority opinion. But in all seriousness, if you're even vaguely interested in eastern European Surrealism, Švankmajer is as essential an artist as Buñuel .

Other entries in the Second Run catalogue include Andrzej Żuławski 's The Third Part of the Night and Jan Němec's The Party and the Guests - the latter in particular is squarely in Buñuel territory, with a strong thematic affinity with The Exterminating Angel and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, despite the fact that Němec claims not to have seen the former beforehand and obviously couldn't have seen the latter as it wouldn't be made for another six years.

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tajmahal
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#117 Post by tajmahal » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:29 pm

Well, Švankmajer's features are an obvious recommendation too, but aside from Conspirators of Pleasure (now OOP, and I wish someone would pick it up for a reissue) I don't think they come close to his best shorts - and that's very far from a minority opinion.
Conspirators of Pleasure is his feature-length masterpiece. Alice is extraordinary, but Conspirators is simply perfect, and very, very funny. I refuse to spring for the English-dubbed editions of Alice and Faust. I'm surprised subbed editions are not avialable in Australia, as his films have been shown with subtitles on SBS.

I recently had the pleasure of watching Jean Epstein's Fall of the House of Usher, followed by Svankmajer's version. Now there is a lesson in the possibilities of adapting an original source.

Which reminds me, I have to sit down for a few hours and rip the music from Svankmajer's shorts, because, as Michael has noted, there is bugger all chance of of some of that music ever getting an official release.

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MichaelB
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#118 Post by MichaelB » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:34 am

tajmahal wrote:I refuse to spring for the English-dubbed editions of Alice and Faust.
I grant you the English Alice has glaring lip-sync problems, but I really don't think there's anything to choose between the English and Czech versions of Faust - they're both obviously post-synced (I believe both tracks were created at more or less the same time, since the film was a UK co-production), and the English version contains explicit quotations from writers like Christopher Marlowe.

I've seen the Czech version too, and to be honest you actually need to understand the language and have some familiarity with the source literature to get more out of it than the English version. Granted, a perfect DVD should include both soundtracks, but there's no sign of one on the horizon.

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zedz
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#119 Post by zedz » Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:47 pm

MichaelB wrote:Well, Švankmajer's features are an obvious recommendation too, but aside from Conspirators of Pleasure (now OOP, and I wish someone would pick it up for a reissue) I don't think they come close to his best shorts - and that's very far from a minority opinion. But in all seriousness, if you're even vaguely interested in eastern European Surrealism, Švankmajer is as essential an artist as Buñuel .
Absolutely seconded, though Alice is my favourite Svankmajer feature. Exploring European surrealism and avoiding Svankmajer's shorts would be like exploring swing and avoiding Duke Ellington.
Jan Němec's The Party and the Guests - the latter in particular is squarely in Buñuel territory, with a strong thematic affinity with The Exterminating Angel and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
With the proviso that The Party and the Guests is terrifying (at least for me) - Nemec perfectly gets the atmosphere of a nightmare in which normal details are just 'off' enough to be skin-crawlingly sinister. Third Part of the Night is great, but skin-crawling in a much more obvious way. I'd also add into the mix The Ear, a great paranoia film which attains its air of surrealism by documenting a reality that's come horribly adrift.

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Ben Cheshire
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:01 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#120 Post by Ben Cheshire » Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:59 pm

I've been reading everyone's recommendations and looking them up, keep em coming!

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Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#121 Post by Bikey » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:04 am

With the new year almost upon us, we'd like to wish everyone at the Forum a happy and healthy and peaceful 2010. And thank you for all the support you have shown us and the kindness with which you speak about the wonderful films and filmmakers that we are privileged to release.

2009 was an excellent year for DVDs with Labels around the world presenting films which we were delighted to see being released again; and we will do our bit to keep that continuing in 2010.

Our very best wishes to you all. =D>

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Awesome Welles
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#122 Post by Awesome Welles » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:29 am

Hungarian Masters Boxset £18.69 released June 21. Bargain! Will there be more boxsets like this? Hell of a way to pick up the stragglers!

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MichaelB
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#123 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:04 am

Going from the cast, I'd say this looks like Love, My Way Home and Diary For My Children, which are three of Second Run's best Hungarian DVDs.

I'm not 100% certain about My Way Home as Andras Kozak and Sergei Nikonyenko are in The Red and the White as well, but they're not the leads.

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Awesome Welles
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#124 Post by Awesome Welles » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:52 am

Fortunately I don't own any of the possible films so it's a winner for me. Impossibly cheap, I hope this is the start of a trend, I'd love to get more of the films from the SR catalogue.

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MichaelB
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Re: Second Run General Chitchat

#125 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:07 am

The Red and the White is a better film than My Way Home but a worse DVD, so it's swings and roundabouts. That said, I don't think The Red and the White would work very well on the small screen regardless of source - it's in 2.35:1 and much of it is in extreme long shot: it was clearly designed for the biggest screen possible.

But I suspect you'll be very happy with the box however it pans out - the other two films are flat-out masterpieces.

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