Denis Seguin looks at a selection of company players in the high-end DVD sector. Click on bolded compnay name for more information.
UK-based Artificial Eye, along with its Curzon Cinemas circuit, is a stalwart of the art cinema scene. Its video division has kept pace with a vast catalogue of European and world cinema artists including Robert Bresson, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrei Tarkovsky, Eric Rohmer and Denys Arcand. Last month it released a three-disc collection of the work of French enfant terrible Leos Carax.
Tartan Video UK
Tartan has expanded the range and depth of its output over recent years with the acquisition of such titles as Secretary, Belleville Rendez-vous, Super Size Me and more recently Black Book and Fast Food Nation, while remaining dedicated to the films that have been its core business: from Ingmar Bergman to Pier Paolo Pasolini to Alejandro Jodorowsky. Although the company released Heimat, as yet it has not set its sights on TV product.
Optimum Home Entertainment
The UK's Optimum Releasing launched its Home Entertainment catalogue in 2004, releasing more than 60 titles in its first year. The company has tapped a wide range of film-making styles and regions. Classic titles in the Optimum catalogue include The Third Man, Breathless, Whisky Galore and This Is Spinal Tap. Its Optimum World catalogue brims over with international titles, including three versions of Mathieu Kassovitz's 1995 sensation La Haine.
New York-based arthouse theatrical distributor Kino International launched its video business in 1987 in an attempt to fill the void in niche films in the video distribution business. Its first release was a documentary on Carl Jung. The company is credited with bringing restored versions of canonical silent titles to the home cinema market: Erich von Stroheim's Queen Kelly, The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari and The Phantom Of The Opera. It has released more than 130 silent films since then, many in co-operation with Film Preservation Associates. The company moved into DVD and now has 250 titles available.
Milestone Film And Video
Launched in 1990, New Jersey-based Milestone was founded by Amy Heller and Dennis Doros, both of whom have a background in film restoration. Milestone is focused on finding 'lost' classics, including such titles as I Am Cuba, which it is releasing in a three-disc box set 'ultimate edition', and Charles Burnett's Killer Of Sheep, part of a five-disc Burnett box set.
New Yorker Films
A specialist theatrical distributor founded in 1965, New Yorker moved into the video market in 1990. It releases an average of 30 new titles per year, representing a broad selection of classic, foreign and independent titles, including cause celebres such as Adrian Lyne's suppressed adaptation of Lolita.
Founded in 1988, Zeitgeist has differentiated itself by focusing on the still more marginal realm beyond traditional 'arthouse' fare. For example, its video catalogue includes Peter Greenaway's more obscure titles such as The Falls as well as the four-disc Essential Egoyan Box-Set.
Founded in 1974, Paris-based MK2 has distributed more than 300 films from around 30 different countries. It claims to be one of the first distributors to release foreign films in France. Titles in the catalogue include works by Wim Wenders, Nanni Moretti, Ken Loach and Gus Van Sant's debut Mala Noche. Classics include titles from DW Griffith, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Buster Keaton and Francois Truffaut. The company was also involved in the restoration and re-release of a trove of Chaplin titles.