Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Enlighten and Co.

A little over a year back, I wrote about how the DVD was slowly revolutionising viewing habits in India. The context in my mind at the time was world cinema, and I mentioned Palador and Lumiere as potential game-changers. Now its 2010, and we have what might be considered as a somewhat crowded field. Shemaroo has improbably but enthusiastically dived in with their new World Cinema division. Ultra pitched in with a couple of rare British masterpieces ('This sporting life', 'The Red Shoes') at throwaway prices. So did Enlighten, who for me may be the most exciting of the lot. They've expanded their collection to include masterpieces, celebrated and forgotten, from Hollywood and the UK. I have already bought their re-issues of Wyler's 'The best years of our lives', Renoir's masterpiece 'The rules of the game' and Buster Keaton's 'The General'. In addition, I have 'Duck Soup' by the Marx Brothers, 'The lady from Shanghai' by Orson Welles, and the seminal gangster classics 'Public Enemy' and 'Scarface' in my sights. John Ford fans should also take note - I saw half a dozen titles of his when I last checked. Their packaging has improved tremendously, their DVDs now include extras (The Marx Brother's one has 'Animal Crackers' as well) and the price is the same as when they started out. So I guess it wouldn't hurt to say thank you, and hope, in the same spirit as Neil Young singing for Conan O'Brien at the end of his too-brief tenure, long may you run.

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