Shout Factory and Werner Herzog Film GMBH announced today an exclusive, multi-picture alliance to bring a coveted library of classic films by legendary writer/director/producer Werner Herzog, currently being re-mastered in high-definition for new edition releases in North America. The announcement was made by Shout Factory's founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos, and filmmaker Werner Herzog.
The new partnership gives Shout Factory access to 16 feature-films and documentaries: FITZCARRALDO, AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD, NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE, THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER, WOYZECK, HEART OF GLASS, COBRA VERDE, STROSZEK, FATA MORGANA, LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY, LESSONS OF DARKNESS, BALLAD OF THE LITTLE SOLDIER, LAND OF SILENCE AND DARKNESS, as well as several other acclaimed titles.
"Werner Herzog is a filmmaking icon and a celebrated master storyteller. He holds an incredibly rich legacy in cinematic history worldwide. Many of his memorable classics have been long-out-of print in the North American home entertainment marketplace. We are honored with this opportunity to bring these iconic films to movie collectors and legions of fans on digital entertainment platforms and at retail", stated Shout Factory's founders in a joint statement.
"I am very proud to start this new collaboration with Shout Factory and, given the outstanding reputation of Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos, I am confident that our joint efforts to bring my films to the North American public again in brand new HD quality will be hugely satisfying and rewarding", said Werner Herzog.
Shout Factory plans an aggressive rollout of these cinema classics through physical home entertainment releases and a variety of digital entertainment distribution platforms. As excitement builds for these new home entertainment releases, Shout Factory and Werner Herzog Film will announce additional news later this year.
I agree. Their perplexingly ill-founded duel-release strategy with The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec aside, Shout Factory, like Criterion, is one of the few production companies that really show a sincere love and respect for the movies they license. They seem to get it's about the films, not the marketing.
I'm cautiously optimistic here. I hope Criterion didn't pass on this because the transfers are inferior and knew that new HD scans needed to be done, which the rights holder was unwilling to do. If this turns out to be another Bruce Lee fiasco, then all the celebrating here is for nothing.
anthonyls' comment got me worried. was so stoked. was reassured reading "currently being newly remastered" until reading his comment there could be a problem with the scans. Hope we get more info soon, on this and BFI's plans.
Well, in a worst case scenario, these should still be better than what's out there, unless BFI gets new scans and Shout doesnt.
Great news indeed. Shout, and Arrow in the U.K., are really on the ball as of late. They kind of remind me of Roger Corman's production outfit, New World Pictures. They release cult exploitation films, but they also release some of the best of world cinema (Arrow did when they launched their sadly brief Arrow Academy label, glad its coming back in 2014)
Also, did Criterion seriously pass on distributing these films? They say yes to Frances Ha, but no to Herzog films, ridiculous?
Don't be dissing Criterion, they are still da Man!(Have you seen the pics of the Upcoming Zatoichi Box!) But seriously, bravo to Shout for once again and up and comer! This is only good news for all, thus preventing the bigger studios giving us bare bones dvd or Blu on demand, and if done right will only make Criterion Step up their game even more! In the end its all good for the consumers.
Now i wish Shout would complete Season 1-3, of SCTV which they released the Network90's oh so many moons ago.
Burden of Dreams would be a nice bonus, but Criterion still has that one as far as I know. The article mentions that they've licensed 16 films and only 13 are listed, so that leaves us 3 more. I'm going to assume and hope they're Even Dwarfs Started Small, My Best Fiend and Signs of Life.
Good grief, I'm so excited for these releases! Some of my excitement has been tempered by you folks reminding me of the Bruce Lee set and the fact that some HD releases of Herzog films elsewhere have been crap, but overall I've got a good feeling about this.
Shout! really is to blu ray what Anchor Bay was to DVD in the early days of DVD. I used to LOVE Anchor Bay passionately back when they were doing Criterion-grade DVD's and box sets for everything from Italian/world horror from the 70s and 80s, to cult films, to high art films like Herzog, Wim Wenders, etc. . Anchor Bay unfortunately sucks, now. Once they were taken over in 2007 by Starz!, they started releasing lots of CURRENT direct-to-video crap, and abandoned doing older films. The ONLY thing AB has going for them now is their recent distribution of Weinstein Company stuff (Django Unchained, The Master, Silver Linings Playbook,etc.). But, man, Shout! and Scream! are doing more interesting titles now than ANYONE else, and that includes Criterion.