Re: Transit Film Germany

Jessica Rosner (
Tue, 4 Jun 2002 12:51:23 -0700 (PDT)

In fairness to Transit it should be noted that they are also subject to the
whims of the film market. Alas a new restored version of NOSFERATU ( full
disclosure as Kino will be releasing this in the US) still sells ten times
more copies than rare Lubitsch films. As someone all to familiar with the
vagaries of the silent film market, I confess that I am always very, very
disappointed at how FEW copies of silent films most libraries, particularly
public libraries carry in their collections. Basically they not only carry
the same dozen titles, the majority of them often carry rotten , cheap BAD
copies of things like BIRTH OF A NATION, THE GENERAL, THE GOLD RUSH etc. I
find it terribly depressing that the library market has been so indifferent
to silent films. It was perfectly understandable that Blockbuster was not
going to carry this but with tens of thousands of Public and University
Libraries out there , you would THINK that there would be more interest in
rare and good silent films.

The cost of making high quality masters, packaging, promotion etc for videos
and DVD's is substantial. At Kino we figure that roughly 1000 copies is the
BREAK even point on an "average" silent film ( one where there were not
additionally high rights or materials costs) and sadly we can rarely justify
putting out "smaller" if better silent films. Truthfully some of our "big"
releases basically subsidize smaller ones and if we did not love this stuff,
we could make a lot more money putting out bad seventies action films.

My rant of the day


Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

> From: Oksana Dykyj <> > Reply-To: > Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 12:10:51 -0700 (PDT) > To: Multiple recipients of list <> > Subject: Re: Transit Film Germany > > Thanks for the information but looking at the silent titles in the video > series, it's always the same familiar films. Other than Asphalt I'm not at > all excited by the offerings. A great number of Lubitsch's silents have > already been restored and they are among the most interesting silent films > I have ever seen. THESE should be made available rather than Nosferatu and > Caligari etc. Shoe Salon Pinkus, When I Was Dead, The Oyster Princess, The > Doll, Romeo and Juliet in the Snow, The Wildcat, are great Lubitsch > candidates for expanding the knowledge of German silent film. Goethe > Institute co-sposored their screenings several years ago... > > Oksana > At 10:52 AM 6/4/02 -0700, you wrote: >> Dear videolibbers, >> >> concerning my last mail about Metropolis dating from the 23rd of May >> Transit-Film has contacted me and told me that my not very kind words >> about Transit are not correct. And they are right as I see now. They >> will promote a lot of german silent films during the next months. That's >> good news for german video librarians. Many important german silent will >> be restorated within the next two years and will be published also in >> foreign countries. Please take a look on their website: >> >> A package of 10 silent films will be available this year via the Goethe >> Institutes (see the bottom of this site: >> ) >> >> With kind regards >> Peter Delin/Videolektorat >> > > __________________________________________________________________________ > Oksana Dykyj voice: 514-848-3443 > Head, Visual Media Resources fax: 514-848-3441 > Faculty of Fine Arts > Concordia University > H-335, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W, > Montreal, Quebec > Canada H3G 1M8 > __________________________________________________________________________ >