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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:44 pm 
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Jean-Luc Garbo wrote:
What was the Nostalghia Koch-Lorber disaster?

did I say Koch-Lorber (or, Cock-Lorber)... I meant Fox-Lorber
well, first off... the disc was terrible.
and then second, Fox-Lorber went out of business. This left the rights to many films up in the air (such as Clean, Shaven, Shoot the Piano Player, Breathless and Funny Games) and where Nostalghia's rights have landed... nobody really knows (I emailed Criterion about it and they said that they do not own the rights)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:30 am 
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In defense of the Fox-Lorber disaster, at least its not the AE disaster.

While I'd jump at a superior release without question, I don't regret spending $14 for the Korean port to finally see and own the film. It's not a great disc, but it's still a Tarkovsky film and its still watchable, and more importantly, it is superior to any version out there.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:26 am 
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The R4 caps (thanks, Daze!) confirm my fears: actually good-looking, but way too colourful. Nostalghia.com has a nice little essay about this problem, if anyone is interested.
The news about a new "Rublev" restoration is fabulous, although it means that a new CC version will not be released any time soon, as I'm sure they will wait for this new version to be completed. But in this case, I'll be happy to wait indeed.

The Korean port of the Fox-Lorber is actually the best version of "Nostalghia" available at the moment, but at least my copy (if we're talking about the same release) of it has two serious problems: first, the subs increasingly run out of synch in the course of the film. At the end of the film they may be up to 10-15 sec. later (or earlier, can't recall at the moment) than where they belong. Secondly, there's an authoring error. The first chapter is not the beginning of the film, but the trailer. That wouldn't be a problem, but the disc reverts back to the menu before the last chapter, i.e. before the end of the film, and you have to go back from the menu to watch the end. I was able to fix it by re-burning the disc without the menu, but it was annoying anyway.
There have been quite a few rumours of some company doing a new version of "Nostalghia", but apparently the original magnetic soundtrack couldn't be found yet, and the one that exists is extremely crackly. Still I think if that is the problem it could easily be helped with audio restoration tools. So, at the moment there seems to be no acceptable version of "Nostalghia" out there, and if you want to be picky, I'd say only three of the seven films are available in good versions: "Ivan" (CC), "Solaris" (CC), "Sacrifice" (SFI). All the other films are plagued with problems of various sorts. And that is a true shame considering the importance and greatness of these films.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:19 am 

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Tommaso, thanks for the info about the Korean release of 'Nostalghia'. I was thinking about getting that one but decided to go for the Fox Lorber release and luckily I found one brand new and still sealed about 2 weeks ago. It's not perfect but far from terrible and the best version to date with very little chance of a superior release in the near future. And reading your comments on the Korean release it seems I made the right choice.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:57 am 

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Quote:
I'd say only three of the seven films are available in good versions: "Ivan" (CC), "Solaris" (CC), "Sacrifice" (SFI). All the other films are plagued with problems of various sorts. And that is a true shame considering the importance and greatness of these films.

true. it's a sad sad thing. i do have high hopes for a couple Criterions next year.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:58 am 

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The Fox Lorber "Nostalghia" disc is not exactly a disaster - it's an interlaced, non-anamorphic port of the old Criterion laserdisc, as I understand it. Despite those transfer issues, the color correction looks good, as do the contrast levels. The sound quality isn't anything to write home about, but it sure doesn't sound like it was derived from any "extremely crackly" element. The dynamic range is fairly wide too, with the distant "plop plops" of water drops coming through nicely, as does the sudden, shreiking, tape-stretching emergence of the choral "Ode to Joy" movement from the Ninth during the penultimate scene. Of course, if this is in fact a port of the CC-LD, then that audio track was authored many, many years ago. I certainly prefer Fox Lorber's ancient DVD to any of the Ruscicos.

Interesting news about a new "definitive" cut of "RUBLEV", but it strikes me as utterly out-of-the-blue. I'm no expert, but I've reviewed alot of Tarkovsky's comments, notes, and writings on "Rublev", and have found little mention of an additional cut, or note for an additional cut, or any post-hoc comments from Tarkovsky on what he would have done differently. There's that curious comment where he places his imprimatur on the Mosfilm edit, and cites to an initial "3 hours and 20 minutes" cut and a "three hours and 15 minutes" cut, both of which would shorter than the Criterion "Scorsese print" and longer than the Mosfilm edit:
Quote:
"Nobody has ever cut anything from Andrei Rublov. Nobody except me. I made some cuts myself. In the first version the film was 3 hours 20 minutes long. In the second - 3 hours 15 minutes. I shortened the final version to 3 hours 6 minutes. I am convinced the latest version is the best, the most successful. And I only cut certain overly long scenes. The viewer doesn't even notice their absence. The cuts have in no way changed neither the subject matter nor what was for us important in the film. In other words, we removed overly long scenes which had no significance.

We shortened certain scenes of brutality in order to induce psychological shock in viewers rather than mere unpleasant impression which would only destroy our intent. All my friends and colleagues who during long discussions were advising me to make those cuts turned out right in the end. It took me some time to understand it. At first I got the impression they were attempting to pressure my creative individuality. Later I understood that this final version of the film more than fulfils my requirements for it. And I do not regret at all that the film has been shortened to its present length..."

But as this comment essentially authorizes the Mosfilm edit - which contains cuts that could in no way be attributable to Tarkovsky working in total freedom - I put very little value in it. The ultimate statement we have thusfar, so far as I'm concerned, is the 205 minute cut. The Mosfilm edit is easily shown to be a compromised cut, a conclusion many of us came to in that old "RusCiCo ANDREI RUBLEV... anyone???" thread on the defunct CriterionDVD forum way back in August 2001. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but I believe peerpee, Donald Brown, and possibly Jan also agreed. And I think I could make a strong case to anyone who still doubts that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:32 pm 
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Tommaso wrote:
The Korean port of the Fox-Lorber is actually the best version of "Nostalghia" available at the moment, but at least my copy (if we're talking about the same release) of it has two serious problems: first, the subs increasingly run out of synch in the course of the film. At the end of the film they may be up to 10-15 sec. later (or earlier, can't recall at the moment) than where they belong. Secondly, there's an authoring error. The first chapter is not the beginning of the film, but the trailer. That wouldn't be a problem, but the disc reverts back to the menu before the last chapter, i.e. before the end of the film, and you have to go back from the menu to watch the end. I was able to fix it by re-burning the disc without the menu, but it was annoying anyway.

Interesting... I never had such problems with my disc. The subs were fine and I certainly never had the authoring error with the trailer. Sounds like you just got a bad disc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:32 am 
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Cold Bishop wrote:
The subs were fine and I certainly never had the authoring error with the trailer. Sounds like you just got a bad disc.

Or maybe they corrected it in subsequent pressings? Or perhaps I have a bootleg of a bootleg (I don't think that Korean disc is an official licence, but I may be wrong).

@ Rich Malloy: my reference to the extremely crackly soundtrack was not to the Fox-Lorber/Criterion laserdisc, but to the current state of things according to what nostalghia.com tells us (and apparently how it is on the AE disc). Of course they could simply use the Fox-Lorber disc and rip the soundtrack from there, but there might be rights issues again.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:59 pm 
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Tarkovsky's "Between Two Films" is one of the best textual supplements Criterion's ever put in one of their booklets. Absolutely fascinating.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:56 pm 
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very nice lower tier package. This use to be a film I considered to be mostly alienated from the rest of his ouvre, but seeing it again changed that. The supplements are pretty good about establishing a link between this film and the later ones but I didn't find any of the supplements overwhelmingly informative.

That shot drifting down from the treetops to the hanging corpses to the boat is well-orchestrated, breathtaking. And the third dream sequence, particularly the one shot with the horses and spilt apples seemed close to immaculate. The beautiful shades of the flooded forest, the sky and water contrasted, that all seems like a fabulous charcoal drawing. I think more than anything in film, I am attracted to these shots or movements that seem so potent.

There is something I find soothing about watching, no matter how anguished the characters might seem, pehaps this could be attributed to the dream-like quality of his style. I was very happy to find that feeling in this film despite its faster pacing and subject material.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:38 pm 
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I watched this last night and was blown away. This has to be the most beautiful film I've ever seen. The cinematography was simply breathtaking.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:54 pm 
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Luke M wrote:
I watched this last night and was blown away. This has to be the most beautiful film I've ever seen. The cinematography was simply breathtaking.

have you seen any other Tarkovsky films?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Yes, I've seen Solaris, The Mirror, Stalker, and The Sacrifice. Granted it may have been because the quality of the DVD was better than the rest of them. But this movie really stood out for me.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:47 pm 
Bringing Out El Duende
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This film doesn't resemble any other of the "Soviet Realist" pictures to my mind. The narrative is certainly not as straightforward as many of the films coming out of that period.

One of the most amazing things that I admire about this film is the way in which Tarkovsky weaves dreams and nightmares, fears and hopes, fantasy and function, even sanity and delusion together in such a tight almost imperceptible manner. Editing, obviously, is key here, though he was to rely less on this narrative technique in subsequent films.

Sometimes, I must admit, I'm not always sure of the narrative's point of view. Ivan is not always present (he's absent altogether in he love triangle sequences). This is the chief weakness (if it can be called that) of the film. For example: Other than the professional association of Ivan and the soldiers involved in the love triangle, what links Ivan to this? How does the triangle permeate Ivan's actual childhood? Does he just imagine the triangle? Does he have intimations of it? What is the relationship of the triangle to Ivan's childhood?

Tarkovsky did admit that Ivan's Childhood shows the signs of a young filmmaker not sure with his craft and I see now (in many instances) what he meant. Still, not many films that I've seen from this era of Soviet filmmaking (which would have been apropos to the realist credo) involve this level of visual poetry. The great irony with Tarkovsky is that his imagery is starkly, even disturbingly realistic.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:07 am 
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ando wrote:
One of the most amazing things that I admire about this film is the way in which Tarkovsky weaves dreams and nightmares, fears and hopes, fantasy and function, even sanity and delusion together in such a tight almost imperceptible manner. Editing, obviously, is key here, though he was to rely less on this narrative technique in subsequent films.

This was my primary observation watching the film for the first time yesterday. I'm a Tarkovsky novice, so forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, but I was struck by Tarkovsky's facility at transitioning between the vastly different landscapes and atmospheres of the dreams and the war. I normally hate movies that flirt with dreams, flashbacks, fantasies, etc. because their incorporation into the main narrative is often awkward and cumbersome. But where lesser filmmakers fail, Tarkovsky succeeds, I think, because of the abruptness of his cuts. Instead of relying on overdone dissolves or wistful music to transition us into a dream, Tarkosky cuts cleanly from one immaculate composition to the next, and the viewer is so struck by the beauty of the images that there isn't time to notice the director's hand guiding us from dream to reality.

Anyway, the film was exceptional, far superior to The Cranes Are Flying, I thought, and now I'm aching for a proper release of Andrei Rublev.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Highway 61 wrote:
Anyway, the film was exceptional, far superior to The Cranes Are Flying, I thought, and now I'm aching for a proper release of Andrei Rublev.

Why even bother nosing your mind in such a direction? Cranes has to be one of the very finest melodramas ever made. Why even compare the two films? That's like trying to figure out which is 'better'-- La Regle de jeu or Gueule D'amour.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:07 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Highway 61 wrote:
Anyway, the film was exceptional, far superior to The Cranes Are Flying, I thought, and now I'm aching for a proper release of Andrei Rublev.

Why even bother nosing your mind in such a direction? Cranes has to be one of the very finest melodramas ever made. Why even compare the two films? That's like trying to figure out which is 'better'-- La Regle de jeu or Gueule D'amour.

They're both Russian......or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:12 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Highway 61 wrote:
Anyway, the film was exceptional, far superior to The Cranes Are Flying, I thought, and now I'm aching for a proper release of Andrei Rublev.

Why even bother nosing your mind in such a direction? Cranes has to be one of the very finest melodramas ever made. Why even compare the two films? That's like trying to figure out which is 'better'-- La Regle de jeu or Gueule D'amour.

The Tarkovsky scholar interviewed on the disc, Vida T. Johnson, compared the two. Whether or not she's full of shit I have no idea. Like I said, I'm a novice with regards to Tarkovsky and Russian cinema.


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 Post subject: Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:21 pm 
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Ah.. I never upgraded my (I know, I know) old AEye to the CC, so I didn't catch that piece.

The way you say "Whether or not she's full of shit I have no idea," it almost sounds like you havent seen Cranes yet..


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 Post subject: Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:31 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Ah.. I never upgraded my (I know, I know) old AEye to the CC, so I didn't catch that piece.

The way you say "Whether or not she's full of shit I have no idea," it almost sounds like you havent seen Cranes yet..

Ha ha! No, I've seen the film. Never on disc though, on TCM. The full of shit remark was simply a means to cover my ass in case you came storming in here to tell me that her book on Tarkovsky is worthless and that I need to know such-and-such's book instead. :oops:

Seriously though, I saw Cranes before I ever read your many inspiring pieces on the film, so I really should see it again.


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 Post subject: Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:42 am 
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Gawd this DVD is frikkin gorgeous. So much better than the MK2.

I'm hoping to Jebus that when they eventually put out Rublev again it'll look this rockin rollin good. Lawdie say yum!


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 Post subject: Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:49 pm 
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How lovely this would be on Blu-ray (and other Tarkovsky too...)


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 Post subject: Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Consolation prize for Andrei Rublev upgrade not being ready yet


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:10 pm 
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Perkins Cobb wrote:
Sweet, I actually had the DVD of Ivan's Childhood out from the library last month but didn't get to it; now I'll see it for the first time on Blu.

It's such a beautifully pictorial film, as one would expect from Tarkovsky. I envy your getting to experience it for the first time on Blu. It's such an assured film, and so original a war movie (I can't think of any war movie like it), that it's hard to believe it was his first feature film (leaving aside his student film, The Steamroller and the Violin). I've only seen it once, many years ago, but so many of its images are burnt into my memory, still vivid: the horses, the apples, the final charge toward the tree, the man holding the woman above the ditch, the forest of bare stalks, the swamp at night. Really an astonishing movie.


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 Post subject: Re: 397 Ivan's Childhood
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:21 pm 
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For me it's the last shot of him rolling that strikes me strongest. It doesn't look quite like how I think it is supposed to from a script point, but the effect is shocking.


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