IFC Films has struck an agreement with the Criterion Collection for the release of select titles from IFC's library. The first Blu-ray in the deal was 'Gomorrah', which is slated for a November 24 release, but IFC confirmed Tuesday a larger partnership between the two companies, encompassing twelve titles on Blu-ray and/or DVD. The next title in the deal is Steven Soderbergh's two-part biopic 'Che' in December.
The new-release titles slated for a 2010 release include: 'Everlasting Moments' (Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick, Jan Troell, Sweden, 2008), 'Summer Hours' (L'heure d'été, Olivier Assayas, France, 2008), 'The Secret of the Grain' (La graine et le mulet, Abdellatif Kechiche, France, 2007), 'Hunger' (Steve McQueen, UK, 2007), and 'Still Walking' (Aruitemo aruitemo, Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Japan, 2008). Note that some of them may be released in standard definition only, as it just happened with Arnaud Desplechin's 'A Christmas Tale'. We shall have to wait for the individual announcements to know for sure.
Upcoming library titles include Alfonso Cuarón's 'Y tu mamá también' and Christopher Nolan's debut feature film 'Following'.
“From the inception of IFC Films, we modelled our acquisition strategy on Criterion's but with the intent on focusing on the auteurs of today,” IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring said. “It's a great honor and thrill for us to embark on this partnership with them. They are the golden seal of approval.”
Criterion's Peter Becker added: “IFC Films has been on an incredible roll, hunting down daring international films and spotting film-makers whose work will stand the test of time. Criterion has always presented a mix of international classics and director-approved editions of important contemporary films, so this new slate of releases fits our mission perfectly.”
Variety notes that IFC also has a partnership from this summer with MPI Media Group to release genre titles in bare-bones DVD editions, while reserving the right to select prestigious titles for the full “collector's edition” treatment with Criterion.
“The Criterion name provides a tremendous amount of credibility and prestige, and knowing IFC has a working relationship with Criterion could give us an edge in negotiations,” said Lisa Schwartz, IFC's exec VP of sales and business development.
Does this include Canada, or is it just the States? The only reason I ask is because Che has already been released here in Canada on DVD, and I was wondering if there may be some rights issues involved as far as distributors are concerned...
I certainly hope that ALL of these films receive a Blu-ray edition.
Masters should be easy enough to procure, and Criterion's recent gripe that (quoting from memory) 30-50% of their buyers switched to Blu-ray in releases that featured it, but that the new format did not bring new buyers, is moot.
MORE than moot. How exactly is BD supposed to increase the number of cinephiles anywhere? Existing cinephiles have been buying the DVD, now more and more of them buy Blu-ray. Yes, it's pricier for them to produce, for now, and yes, that tends to shrink the profit margin since they match the DVD and BD pricing, but then that should have been the gripe.
Anyway. We were shortchanged for a lot of good releases this year which never materialized on Blu, including "A Christmas Tale", as Juan notes. That's one trend I'd like to see go away in 2010, and having a deal to release excellent recent films with readily available 1080p masters should help to that end.
Been looking forward to finally watching Che. Funny but is it me or was that movie not even promoted at all in the U.S.? I found out about it by accident and I've had it on my netflix queue for about 5 months.
The Che haters need to chill. No one freaks out when a movie about Hitler, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Stalin, Charlemagne, Cromwell, Atilla the Hun, Caesar, etc., is released, but make a movie about Ernesto Guevara and everyone starts trying to teach the rest of us fools about the "real" history. Yeah, we all just listen to Rage Against the Machine and worship the ground he walked on. He did many good things. He did many bad things. He at least had the courage to follow through on his convictions and not be just another armchair idealist and I think that's why people still give a flip about him 50 years later.