CineSavant Column

Tuesday August 17, 2021



We’re experiencing a 4K Ultra HD avalanche of desirable titles: in addition to The Criterion Collection’s announcement last week of Citizen Kane, The Red Shoes, Mulholland Dr. and A Hard Day’s Night, new promotional material has arrived from several companies for 4K Ultra HD features of interest. Universal has Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (October 12) and a new 4K Icons of Horror Collection with Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man (October 5). Paramount Pictures is sneaking up on us with a 25th Anniversary 4K of Scream (October 19), which it so happens I’ve never seen, and the Barry Sonnenfeld The Addams Family (November 9). Add those to the just-around-the-corner Arrow 4K Ultra HD disc of Lynch’s Dune, and it’s time to make sure my 4K player is running well.



I thought it might be just a recap of a home video executive’s career, but Tim Millard’s hour-long podcast George Feltenstein: A Career in Classic Film Marketing covers material that I have almost forgotten myself, even though I shared a few years of it working for MGM/UA Home Video. Like the YouTube lecture I linked to last week, this talk with George Feltenstein also covers all the dates and companies for the main developments in home video, from $70 meant-for-rental VHS tapes in 1979 all the way to today’s high-performance 5″ video discs. It’s quite detailed, and all from an executive who entered the field just in time for laserdiscs, special added-value items, the production of ‘Ultimate Editions’ and the invention of branded lines, like “Forbidden Hollywood” disc sets. George credits Criterion and Fox for the first letterboxed home video releases, and names the titles that helped each new format take off.

A little help here please — in the photo above, is George Feltenstein on the left, or the right?

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson