These three screens chart the madness of a film collector, going back not quite twenty years, to 2005 when I was able to pick up these gorgeously packaged and designed cardboard book style Keaton DVDs issued by then rights holder MK2 (above).
I picked these four up in one hit at the now long gone Bastille fnac store in Paris, sadly missing several more from the same edition, in similarly beautifully designed covers. These are literally the only DVDs I have retained with their original packaging, as the whole product was and is so beautiful. For the remaining 3000 or so DVD titles on the shelves in the house of Hare the covers of all my DVDs were discarded years ago and the discs are stored for space saving in double sided archive quality PVC sleeves.
The second screen (above) shows most (not all) of the 2012 Kino first reissues of the Keaton features in Blu-ray.
The third screen shows all so far of the new Cohen/Ritrovato 4K restorations of the Keaton features now gradually coming out on MoC Blu-ray (and Cohen in the USA). There are three more to come before the set is completed: Three Ages, Go West and College. These superbly restored titles have had début screening at Bologna each year starting back in 2015. They are always screened at one of the twilight Piazza Maggiore outdoor cinema events with a live orchestra usually conducted by Timothy Brock. The experience of watching these masterpieces, even from the sidelines of Bologna’s magnificent collonades was and is for me one of the greatest audience viewings of my film going life.
We will all miss this year’s Keaton in the Piazza, thanks to lockdowns and plague, which I hope means we get a double dollop of Buster next year.