Tartan Video Answers Critics (UK - DVD R2)
The studio answers criticism of their recent Wong Kar-wai discs
Tartan Video has issued a statement in response to critism of its recent Wong Kar-wai titles. Here's what they have to say:
As Wong Kar-wai fans and long-time consumers of DVD product it is most likely that you are already aware of the fact that Tartan Video’s recent releases of ‘As Tears Go By’, ‘Days of Being Wild’ and ‘Chinese Odyssey 2002’ contain Mandarin language audio tracks.
During the production phase on ‘As Tears Go By’ and ‘Days of Being Wild’, Tartan Video made many enquiries regarding the technical specifications of the materials it was delivered, but was continually advised that no Cantonese audio tracks were available and that these versions should be considered definitive. Thus the decision was taken to release the films in Mandarin.
In light of recent critical reactions to the DVDs and - of far greater significance to the company - a high rate of customer feedback Tartan Video is left in no doubt that, in the case of both of these films, the Cantonese versions are considered to be the ‘originals’, and we are now trying to obtain the films in Cantonese.
However, in the case of the Wong Kar-wai produced ‘Chinese Odyssey 2002’, there seems to be some confusion. All of Tartan Video’s pre and post-release correspondence with the agent responsible for materials, confirmed that the film was originally shot and released in Mandarin and that the any Cantonese variation is actually dubbed. More significantly, Tartan Video has received the following statement from Wong Kar-wai himself, confirming that the version it released was actually created and approved by him:
“There is minimal difference between the two versions [of A CHINESE ODYSESSY 2002] released in Greater China and the international version. The only difference is the addition of two scenes - one featuring director Jeff Lau making an appearance as a cop while the second is a scene involving characters played by Tony Leung and Faye Wong. Both scenes were not in the original script. They were added during shooting of the film to increase the festive element as A CHINESE ODYSESSY 2002 was released at the Chinese New Year time period. With the consultation of the director Jeff Lau, we decided to take out both scenes to preserve the vision of the filmmaker. I hope your consumer in UK will find this satisfactory. Best regards WKW.”
Tartan Video takes the issue of quality control very seriously indeed, and is currently in lengthy discussions about securing new and alternate source materials where appropriate. Please be assured that every effort is being made to ensure that a satisfactory resolution to this problem is reached as soon as possible.
Tartan Video would like to take this opportunity to apologise that its DVD releases of ‘As Tears Go By’ and ‘Days of Being Wild’ did not meet with the approval of all who bought them and to reassure its loyal customers that if we can obtain a Cantonese version of either film then we will operate a ‘new-for-old’ exchange scheme for those customers who would rather own the Cantonese versions. We will not, obviously, be releasing a Cantonese dubbed version of ‘Chinese Odyssey 2002’.
Please watch this space for any further news and developments.
Thank you for your attention and understanding.
News by Chris Gould
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