Archive for category: Industry

VHS Obsessed: ‘Adjust Your Tracking’

3 November, 2014 (16:48) | by Sean Axmaker, Horror, Industry, Technology | By: Sean Axmaker

Perhaps you need to be of a certain generation to get nostalgic over the low-fidelity, awkward, more-fragile-than-it-looks technology of movies on VHS tape. Those little plastic movie bricks storing reels of magnetic tape aren’t just outmoded twentieth-century technology, they’re downright archaic, not to mention fatally impermanent. That’s not to say that DVD is forever, but […]

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Save Scarecrow Video! The next evolution of Seattle’s home video legend

12 August, 2014 (09:46) | by Sean Axmaker, Industry | By: Editor

Seattle’s Scarecrow Video, arguably the greatest video story in the known universe, has been holding out against the changing habits of film viewing due to the onslaught of streaming video and digital distribution. Today, Scarecrow announced The Scarecrow Project, which will transition the business to a non-profit organization. It’s the next step in preserving the […]

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How Indie DVD Label Shout! Factory Has Survived the Digital Age

28 June, 2014 (17:28) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Industry | By: Sean Axmaker

If physical media is dying, as the business pundits have been telling us for years, then someone forget to send the memo to Shout! Factory. Born ten years ago out of the DNA of the original Rhino Records crew, Shout! Factory is the pop culture geek squad of home video and it has carved out […]

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Scarecrow Video – The Home Video Palace at the End of the Yellow Brick Road

7 December, 2013 (10:50) | by Sean Axmaker, Commentary, Industry | By: Sean Axmaker

On Friday, December 6, 2013, Seattle’s Scarecrow Video celebrates its 25th Anniversary. It’s been called the greatest video store in the country. Bernardo Bertolucci not only frequented the store while shooting Little Buddha in Seattle, he praised the store and its cinema treasures to a sold-out audience at the film’s Seattle premiere. Bertrand Tavernier explored […]

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Milestone Achievements

9 January, 2013 (06:37) | by Sean Axmaker, Industry, Interviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Dennis Doros and Amy Heller created Milestone Films in 1990, a company dedicated to the restoration and rediscovery of forgotten and neglected films, be they classic or contemporary. They first brought Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Mabarosi (1995) and Takeshi Kitano’s Fireworks (1997) stateside and they distribute such silent landmarks as South (1920), Beyond the Rocks (1922), and […]

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Seattle Arts: How the Grand Illusion Cinema Survives

19 September, 2012 (22:45) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Industry | By: Sean Axmaker

When Brian Alter opens The Grand Illusion Cinema, the little U District theater on the corner of 50th and University Way, for its Saturday screenings, the first thing to do is flip on the popcorn machine. As the kettle warms, he turns on the house lights, unlocks the projection booth, and pulls out the change […]

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“Breaking new ground has always been in the medium itself” – An Interview With Douglas Trumbull

11 February, 2012 (02:42) | by Sean Axmaker, Industry, Interviews, Science Fiction, Technology | By: Sean Axmaker

On Saturday, February 11, Douglas Trumbull will receive the Gordon E. Sawyer Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his contributions to the technology of the industry. Trumbull has over a dozen patents in his name, and developed or improved upon many of the filmmaking techniques that are standard in today’s […]

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Uptown Theatre to take on a new glow

7 August, 2011 (09:16) | by Richard T. Jameson, Industry | By: Richard T. Jameson

SIFF has announced the acquisition of Lower Queen Anne’s beloved Uptown Theater, which has been closed since last winter. The moviehouse will re-open Oct. 20 in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the new SIFF Film Center a couple of blocks east. SIFF will begin programming at the new SIFF Cinema—the former Uptown—which effectively replaces […]

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War of the Rings: Is the new “Lord of the Rings” Blu-ray the One True Edition?

28 June, 2011 (15:21) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Commentary, Essays, Industry, Movie Controversies | By: Sean Axmaker

Has Sauron struck again? From the furious debates playing across DVD/Blu-ray forums, where some the most passionate fans and exacting collectors can be found registering their praise and displeasures with upcoming and new releases (often in hyperbolic dimensions and a hostile tone), you might assume that there’s a new war brewing over the fate of […]

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Claude Chabrol: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly on DVD

16 June, 2011 (08:27) | by Sean Axmaker, Claude Chabrol, DVD, Industry | By: Sean Axmaker

Claude Chabrol, the most doggedly prolific of the New Wave directors all the the through the to the final months of his life, died less than a year ago. To this day it’s as if we take him for granted. Where we have deluxe, lovingly-restored and mastered editions of the films Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, […]

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SIFF 2011: Smilin’ through – Is anybody really trying?

8 June, 2011 (14:20) | by Kathleen Murphy, Essays, Film Festivals, Industry | By: Kathleen Murphy

“You know, the director will be in town on Friday. Would you like to interview him?” That’s how I was welcomed today by an eager young publicist to SIFF’s 10 a.m. screening for press and passholders of Hong-jin Na’s The Yellow Sea. “Let me check out the movie first,” I replied. But that was not […]

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Ghosts of the MGM Limited Edition Collection

8 May, 2011 (18:41) | by Sean Axmaker, Industry, Technology | By: Sean Axmaker

A batch of discs from the MGM Limited Edition Collection, a MOD (manufacture-on-demand) line of releases sold exclusively via the web, was manufactured with errors in the image. In particular scenes with dark objects or hard lines set against a bright or neutral backgrounds, a halo effect, or ghosting, can be seen in the radiating […]

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It’s Twilight Time: The Kremlin Letter and Violent Saturday debut on DVD in limited editions

5 May, 2011 (13:27) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Noir, Film Reviews, Industry | By: Sean Axmaker

The DVD debut of John Huston’s sprawling, globetrotting 1970 espionage thriller The Kremlin Letter is also the debut release of Twilight Time, a new boutique DVD label (that’s actual pressed DVDs, not DVD-R or MOD) featuring limited run releases of select titles from the 20th Century Fox library. The creation of Warner Bros. veteran Brian […]

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Dinosaurs in the Age of the Cinemobile

9 December, 2010 (09:19) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Industry | By: Richard T. Jameson

WHEN BILLY WILDER’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes opened at Christmastime 1970, no one would give it the time of day – literally. In my city, though a cozy relationship with United Artists forced the local theater circuit to book the film into one of the few remaining downtown movie palaces, they had no […]

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Memories of a moviehouse

2 December, 2010 (16:35) | by Richard T. Jameson, Industry | By: Richard T. Jameson

The Uptown Cinemas in Lower Queen Anne lie dark. The site’s 84-year history as a movie showcase came to an end Sunday evening, Nov. 28. AMC, the national chain that had operated the theater in recent years, announced a few weeks back that its “Uptown 3 has been identified as a theatre that no longer […]

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