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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Movies > Blu-ray Movies - International > India

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Old 06-11-2020, 04:55 AM   #1
ravenus ravenus is online now
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Criterion Criterion plans to do a 10-film Bollywood boxset

I haven't as yet heard it but this was apparently said by Criterion's technical director Lee Kline in a podcast chat with Roger Deakins. Quoting from the Criterion thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoloswegmaster420 View Post
A link to the Roger Deakins podcast where he interviews Lee Kline.

Biggest news here is that Criterion is planning on releasing a Bollywood boxset, which will have around 10 titles. They are also planning on releasing 'The Man Who Wasn't There'.

Last edited by ravenus; 06-11-2020 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:40 PM   #2
raghuuvir raghuuvir is offline
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What are the odds? If I were to guess, they’d most probably be releasing some newer, acclaimed films that have digital masters in order.
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Old 06-12-2020, 12:09 AM   #3
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I wonder if one of these films will be Uday Shankar's Kalpana, which was restored by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation.
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:32 AM   #4
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^Me and another friend were discussing this. We thought maybe they can request Ultra for the raw scan of Pyaasa to have another go at restoration. Reliance is supposed to have done a restoration of Mrinal Sen's Khandar, never seen after being unveiled at the Cannes fest. Maybe talk to NFDC about the scans for their Cinemas of India line?
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Old 06-12-2020, 06:29 AM   #5
raghuuvir raghuuvir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragun View Post
I wonder if one of these films will be Uday Shankar's Kalpana, which was restored by Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation.
Oh, right! WCF had also restored Guru Dutt’s Kaagaz Ke Phool. Now, I even recall that Shyam Benegal’s Junoon was restored by Shashi Kapoor’s family a few years ago, whose elements currently happens to be resting in the archives.

Last edited by raghuuvir; 06-12-2020 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 06-12-2020, 06:37 AM   #6
raghuuvir raghuuvir is offline
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Originally Posted by ravenus View Post
^Me and another friend were discussing this. We thought maybe they can request Ultra for the raw scan of Pyaasa to have another go at restoration.
That sounds like a decent thing to do. That also brings the example to my mind of a lot of other mainstream Bollywood films that Shemaroo claims copyrights to. They do have those of Raj Kapoor films, Manmohan Desai films, Prakash Mehra films to list a few examples. I wonder if Criterion would have considered going through these, however I do think that this will depend on the condition of film elements that lie with Shemaroo. If Shemaroo’s YouTube videos are anything to go by, they also seem to have acquired some Sippy films such as Sholay and Seeta Aur Geeta.
I also wonder if the bastardised version of Sholay is even going to be considered!
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raghuuvir View Post
Oh, right! WCF had also restored Guru Duttís Kaagaz Ke Phool. Now, I even recall that Shyam Benegalís Junoon was restored by Shashi Kapoorís family a few years ago, whose elements currently happens to be resting in the archives.
I didn't know about KKP, that'd be great. My friend who saw the restored Junoon at a MAMI screening was not impressed. He said it looked very digital and colors were off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by raghuuvir View Post
That also brings the example to my mind of a lot of other mainstream Bollywood films that Shemaroo claims copyrights to. They do have those of Raj Kapoor films, Manmohan Desai films, Prakash Mehra films to list a few examples. I wonder if Criterion would have considered going through these.
I also wonder if the bastardised version of Sholay is even going to be considered!
The issue with a lot of the Shemaroo masters is they look like they have been made for streaming, and barely qualify as HD. They are heavily filtered and colors are majorly off. They might have stored raw scans which better reflect the source, but I'm doubtful.
Sholay would be the golden grail but if anyone is doing Sholay you can be sure it has to be a standalone release and not part of a pack. The licensing rights for Sholay will probably exceed the sum of all other films in such a compilation.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:12 AM   #8
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It seems like it will be a long way off, from what Klein says it sounds like they haven't fully decided on what titles to try and acquire (he says that everyone they spoke to suggested a different 10) and then there are all the steps that come after.
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Old 06-12-2020, 12:35 PM   #9
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Yeah listened to it the day news broke and wasn't too impressed. I would take all what Kline said with a huge grain of salt. With all those movies Criterion has licensed and just sitting on (some they have even teased in the past but never released), I don't see this happening (or even being officially announced) anytime soon.

Must admit, I quite like the sound of Criterion Bollywood boxset even if things are up in the air at the moment.

Last edited by Jafar; 06-12-2020 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 06-12-2020, 03:29 PM   #10
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Wonder what those 10 films would be....exciting
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Old 06-12-2020, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jafar View Post
Yeah listened to it the day news broke and wasn't too impressed. I would take all what Kline said with a huge grain of salt.
When I first heard the podcast I recall thinking that Lee Kline's remarks were more general than what the poster in the Criterion forum had suggested, but I didn't recall what part of the audio had the comment. After Jafar gave me the timestamp, I went back and heard that bit again. It's a speculative remark that they've been thinking of doing a Bollywood box (and I think here Bollywood is loosely used as a term for all of Indian cinema and not just the Bombay/Hindi film industry), and how everyone has their own list of 10 films they'd like to see in the box. So as of now, it doesn't even look like they have a fixed list, let alone any question of ascertaining the rights and acquiring the source elements. We're talking about something that's likely several years ahead.

Anyway, I took out that bit of the audio and uploaded it here - Lee Kline - Indian cinema.mp3, so anyone here can check it out for themselves. Unless your interest is solely in this part I'd actually suggest you hear the whole podcast because he has a lot of interesting stories to tell, including how they restored the Apu Trilogy and how it is to work with film-makers and film companies on various projects.

Last edited by ravenus; 06-12-2020 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:36 PM   #12
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Is there a chance they will be talking about an Indian cinema boxset including regional films, rather than a Bollywood box set?
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Old 06-13-2020, 04:34 AM   #13
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^I would hope so. The bulk of Indian film-makers whose work is in aesthetic line with Criterion's world cinema output are in languages other than Hindi. I doubt they want to have a boxful of films with song numbers.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:39 PM   #14
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On a similar note; now that Raj Kapoor's films have been shown on the Criterion Collection channel, it has given a chance for some film-buffs to pay reverence. Especially this reviewer, who has examined Awaara like no one else. This was a wonderful read.
https://36toesproductions.medium.com...a-a63806260018
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raghuuvir View Post
On a similar note; now that Raj Kapoor's films have been shown on the Criterion Collection channel, it has given a chance for some film-buffs to pay reverence. Especially this reviewer, who has examined Awaara like no one else. This was a wonderful read.
https://36toesproductions.medium.com...a-a63806260018
Wow, that was quite beautiful. An amazing modern take on a classic; makes me want to take out my Shame-aroo DVD and rewatch the movie. If at all, this is what the bollywood media companies missed, the ability for some of its movies to be remastered and shown to a new hungry audience that dismisses the current state of bollywood movies. Well done to Criterion for showing these movies.
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:26 AM   #16
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Cool review. The screenshots, if indicative of the quality of the (streamed) material suggest that as of now this movie is nowhere near a quality master for a blu-ray (unless you are Ultra, in which case anything goes).
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:06 PM   #17
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Another "Awaara" review =>

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Old 01-19-2021, 05:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew-Kenneth View Post
Another "Awaara" review =>
The movie was of course originally shot in the Academy ratio of 1.375:1 Shemaroo aka ShameAroo are by far the worst offenders of destroying Indian films by cropping them and presenting them in incorrect aspect ratios. The saddest part is that these criminals own the rights to a huge catalog of old Bollywood movies.
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:26 PM   #19
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The day Awaara and Shree 420 are released in 1080p/4K from proper restorations I can scratch another item from my bucket list.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:05 AM   #20
yoloswegmaster420 yoloswegmaster420 is offline
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The versions used for Awaara and Sangam on the Criterion Channel are unrestored, though it is presented in it's correct AR. Meanwhile, Shree 420 looks to be restored but it doesn't seem to be very detailed. Does anyone have any information about the restorations for these films?
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