Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Rant Against...

...whoever owns the rights to Satyajit Ray's films.

So.

I was looking for a box set, or even a individual DVDs of the auteur's work. Partly because I wanted to see the films I've liked, and to catch up on the few I've missed out watching. And partly because I wanted to introduce the spouse to his stuff. She'd never seen any.

But.

Across a good number of large format stores across Chennai and Bangalore, I couldn't find a single half-decent box-set of DVDs. There are only four films I saw on the DVD format, including one three-DVD boxset which had Ghaire Baire, Agantuk and Ganoshotru (which is not really anywhere near his good movies). None of the Apu, Goopy-Bagha or Feluda movies on DVD. Or even classics like Jalsaghar, Charulata or Teen Kanya. A few of them were available on VCD, though.

I find this extremely annoying. The only way I can buy a good quality DVD version of (only some of) his movies is on Amazon, in the US or UK, by paying top dollar (or pound). I wonder why they haven't been released on DVDs (individual or sets) in his own land? It's not as if there is a small market - I'm sure they will sell steadily and continously. Moser Baer has a pretty good set of a large of number of Hitchcock releases on remastered DVD - why don't they do Ray? If rights are a barrier, why doesn't his estate or the owner of the rights do something? After all, these have been remastered and released abroad.

There's also the possibility that these are widely available in the country, except not in Chennai or Bangalore - hard to believe, but possible. The next time I'm in Kolkata...

And I'm yet to bitch about the fact that the Agantuk DVD doesn't even play on the computer. As for the picture quality - it's worse than illegal handheld camera videos of theatrical releases.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://thepiratebay.org/search/Satyajit%20Ray/0/7/200

Amit said...

Ask kau to scout in CP in Delhi. Last visit, I saw at least two stores which had a "Ray" collection being advertised on the front door....

Mr. D said...

Yeah, downloading or picking stuff from the shady shops is always there, i was just trying to buy original!