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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 6:17 pm
Posts: 798
Location: USA
Hi all

I have been out of the DVD world for a while and not come to Zulm for a long time. But saw this and thought of all of you! :-)

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts ... -bimal-roy

I haven't viewed any of these but will subscribe to the channel to support these streaming prints. I don't know if this means that Criterion collection will actually release these movies. I really hope so!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:13 pm
Posts: 1448
Hi, muz. It is wonderful to see you on zulm after such a long time.

Thank you for the post. Criterion has been stepping into the realms of culturally diverse film communities, and their streaming service offers great treats for so many aficionados. Earlier this year, they began to stream Raj Kapoor films. Awaara, Shree 420 and Sangam were the movies. This was a great step albeit not a revolutionary one. The prints of all these movies were mediocre. Shree 420 was the only improved print among these, which too was a waxy disaster in terms of video quality.
https://twitter.com/criterion/status/13 ... 26?lang=en
Here is a snippet that should be representative of the streaming quality. Furthermore, Sangam was a heavily cut version on there.

Bimal Roy films seemed to have been taken from slightly better sources. Besides Bandini, all of those films seem to be somewhat more complete than the Indian counterparts/prints. Snippet of Bimal Roy films: https://twitter.com/criterion/status/13 ... 0150738945

This Instagram post lists run times for Bimal Roy movies: https://www.instagram.com/p/CL5DwEmFuVq/
They are:

Sujata- 2:32:05
Bandini- 2:18:53
Devdas: 2:41:49
Do Bigha Zamin- 2:04:52
Madhumati- 2:50:50


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2001 6:17 pm
Posts: 798
Location: USA
Hey there Ragz!

Thanks for the info!!!

I signed up for the Criterion Channel to check these out (there is a 14 day free trial in case anyone wanted to test the waters). I saw quick clips of the movies and I agree with you - the quality was not what I was expecting from Criterion. Very unfortunate. Sangam looks pretty bad (the worst of the lot) and it was a shame to see that Do Bigha Zameen was from a cropped print. My guess is that they have been sourced from the masters that were already out there for YouTube streaming without the general Shemaroo magic of making things look a lot worse and of course YouTube compression.

I will keep the Criterion Channel though - I saw plenty of non-Indian movies on there that I would like to watch when I have time.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 7:27 pm
Posts: 6100
Nice to hear from you Muz.

I'll wait for your comments on quality of Criterion versions. Criterion's DVDs, Blu Rays sure are excellent prints but looks like their streaming of Bimal Roy's films is not at par ?? Perhaps that's why they are not releasing it on DVD/ Blu Rays ?? Or, may be they are just jumping on the streaming bandwagon as DVD demand diminishes ??

As far as streaming, TV broadcast and Youtube prints of Indian films are concerned, they are not always the best available. Many a TV broadcasts are lot better than previously available DVDs but many of these broadcasts are worst than their available best DVDs. Must admit, many of the newly made broadcasts are better than the DVDs of those films that we ever knew of. They broadcast, whatever they can get their hands on.


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:22 pm 
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For anyone who is interested, the Criterion Channel is streaming a lot of Satyajit Ray film; and retrospective features to celebrate his centenary.


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