Sunrise (1927)
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 07:58:45 -0700 (PDT)

In a message dated 10/27/99 9:02:02 AM, writes:

<< Oh dear,
I went back and looked at the actual videotape we own of "Sunrise,"
and, yes, we purchased it in the apparently bootlegged version
from Critics Choice, not Kino as I had erroneously posted earlier.
Once again, I must ask: who will be handcuffing me?

your freaky videophile colleague,

-Margaret D. >>

Dear Margaret,

No one will handcuff you or want to, for that matter, though I think someone
should do it to the companies who do the bootlegging. (In this case, World
Vision/Killiam) Simply put, it damages the small honest companies (Kino and
Milestone specifically) who are striving to legally release silent films that
only a few hundred to a thousand want to buy. (Though, I would feel the same
way about those bootlegging Gone with the Wind, because...)

More importantly, poor quality copies (in this case, softly focused and badly
mastered) damage the perception of classic films to the point where students
and audiences don't want to see them and it's a consumer rip-off (especially
those students paying $20,000+ a year to get a good education). Compare it to
a bootleg publisher who takes Thomas Pynchon's "V" and brings it out loaded
with misspellings and gramatical errors. I don't think librarians would want
that for their library and the same standards should be held for films. To
me, films are as sacred as books and have that same ability to influence
people and change lives and librarians (and theaters and distributors) should
hold them to the same standards. For example, there are hundreds of versions
of Shakespeare, but we should strive to find the best for the students.

Margaret, please don't take offense, because a) Critics Choice is a mostly
respectable company and who can blame you for believing you're getting a good
and legal copy, and b) bootleggers don't put warnings on their tapes such as
"Beware: Illegal bad copy."

Videolib is just the place, however, to discuss these matters and I'm
especially glad when people bring up the subject of classic films and which
are the best versions. Okay, Jessica, you're next on the subject!

Milestone Film & Video