12 The Ear

Discuss DVDs released by Second Run DVD and the films on them.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Matt
Posts: 6300
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#1 Post by Matt » Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:47 pm

The Ear

Image

Although made in 1970, The Ear (Ucho) was immediately banned by the Czech authorities and remained unseen for twenty years, being finally released only after the Velvet Revolution took place in Czechoslovakia .

This landmark film is an extraordinary mix of one of the most direct indictments of life under an oppressive totalitarian system and a not-so-private examination of a disintegrating marital relationship.

Special Features

• Introduction to the film by writer and critic Peter Hames.
• Digitally re-mastered with restored image and sound.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Booklet featuring Essay on the film by writer/critic Steven Jay Schneider and a biography of Karel Kachyna

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10296
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

#2 Post by zedz » Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:11 pm

Let's get the ball rolling:

This is a superb film, a paranoid classic so potent that it was banned by the Czech authorities for a couple of decades. The mid to late sixties were an incredible time for Czech cinema and it's great to see SecondRun conducting some excavations. Bring on the Schorm, Chytilova, Jires, Jakubisko and Herz!

Cinéslob
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:31 pm

#3 Post by Cinéslob » Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:33 pm

zedz wrote:Let's get the ball rolling:

This is a superb film, a paranoid classic so potent that it was banned by the Czech authorities for a couple of decades. The mid to late sixties were an incredible time for Czech cinema and it's great to see SecondRun conducting some excavations. Bring on the Schorm, Chytilova, Jires, Jakubisko and Herz!

I wonder what became of Jakubisko's vaunted 'entire filmography on DVD'. This is no thread for random speculation, but here's hoping...

As for The Ear, after having heard so much about it, I cannot wait to see whether Second Run's DVD will be up to scratch.

solent

#4 Post by solent » Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:47 am

In many ways this film is a filmed play. The main actors - playing the husband and wife - are flawless in their performances and it is their marriage, mixed with politics, that is the fascinating subject of this underrated Czech classic. I will be replacing my VHS copy with pleasure.

solent

#5 Post by solent » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:44 pm

Sendit has the pre-order date as Sept. 19

User avatar
Matt
Posts: 6300
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#6 Post by Matt » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:17 pm


kieslowski
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:26 pm
Location: Somewhere in England

#7 Post by kieslowski » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:38 am

Full specs:
- Introduction to the film by writer and critic Peter Hames.
- Digitally re-mastered with restored image and sound.
- New and improved English subtitle translation.
- Booklet featuring Essay on the film by writer/critic Steven Jay Schneider and a biography of Karel Kachyna
More info here.

Bikey
Posts: 1412
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

#8 Post by Bikey » Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:00 am


User avatar
antnield
Posts: 1974
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

#9 Post by antnield » Fri Oct 07, 2005 7:43 am

...and the review from DVD Times.

User avatar
M
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:58 pm
Location: Upper Midwest, US

#10 Post by M » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:02 pm

The Ear makes an appearance in the Staff Recommendations section of the current issue of Cineaste (Spring 2008, p. 71).

User avatar
denti alligator
Posts: 2714
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

#11 Post by denti alligator » Fri May 30, 2008 11:57 pm

This disc looks much worse than I expected. It looks like a VHS source, with those annoying 'waves' that move downward on the image. Ugh.

I guess we can count our blessings that we even have this, but couldn't a film source be found?

User avatar
bunuelian
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:49 am
Location: San Diego

Re: 12 The Ear

#12 Post by bunuelian » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:02 pm

Saw this last night. Great, tight film. I've been exploring the Czech New Wave and its surrounds and this is one of the best I've seen so far. I felt a chill of despair and anxiety at the end. It was refreshing to see a film that deals with life under totalitarianism directly rather than through allegory, as fun as the allegory can be.

Hames points out in his excellent intro that the film was never released and therefore had no opportunity to be banned. I thought that was an interesting distinction. It's pretty amazing this film survived at all.

The video source is a bit choppy in spots but I think this dvd looks fine - not great by any stretch, but watchable. I didn't notice the waves issue very often, though there were a few instances of jaggies.

j99
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:18 am

Re: 12 The Ear

#13 Post by j99 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:32 am

bunuelian wrote: It was refreshing to see a film that deals with life under totalitarianism directly rather than through allegory, as fun as the allegory can be.
You're right, it was a refreshing change. Can only echo the above, The Ear is a superb film.

User avatar
TMDaines
Posts: 3677
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Re: 12 The Ear

#14 Post by TMDaines » Sat May 18, 2013 12:48 pm

Has this gone OOP? It's fetching high prices on Amazon.

I'm presuming that there hasn't been a better version released elsewhere?

User avatar
MichaelB
Posts: 12209
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 12 The Ear

#15 Post by MichaelB » Sat May 18, 2013 1:12 pm

TMDaines wrote:I'm presuming that there hasn't been a better version released elsewhere?
There's a Czech DVD, but as far as I can make out it has no subtitles - I had to squint quite hard at this reproduction of the back cover, but it looks to me as though the 'Titulky' option is Czech HOH only.

And I have no idea what the transfer is like - I have several Bonton releases, and they're wildly variable in quality (Filmexport Home Video is much more consistent).
Last edited by MichaelB on Sat May 18, 2013 2:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
swo17
Posts: 13490
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 12 The Ear

#16 Post by swo17 » Sat May 18, 2013 1:57 pm

I wouldn't necessarily pay an exorbitant price for it though. Criterion does have the rights (it's streaming on their Hulu channel) and it's supposed to be coming eventually in the third Czech New Wave Eclipse set.

Bikey
Posts: 1412
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: 12 The Ear

#17 Post by Bikey » Sun May 19, 2013 6:34 am

The Second Run release is most definitely NOT OOP - new stock will be arriving this week.
In the meantime you can still order direct from the Second Run website.

User avatar
Stephen
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:11 pm
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Re: 12 The Ear

#18 Post by Stephen » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:37 pm

Having watched this terrific film for the first time over the weekend, I wanted to say a few words alongside some historical comment in the forum.

I agree that the film has the feel of a stage play, particularly in the home during the night where the disintegration of the marriage and the convincing paranoia are witheringly played out. What I particularly enjoyed was the repeated switchback to first person point of view recollection of the party & the sinister, blurred images of ominous figures (the men in the car, outside the gate, in the garden and furtively in the neighbour’s home). I also agree that although the film plays out in a historical totalitarian era of a communist regime; it is also very much of our time where we have willingly brought into our homes all manner of electronic equipment that provide authorities with the ability to listen in and watch our every move. Leaving the comrade dialogue aside, this film feels frighteningly real, perceptively modern & chillingly close.

charal
Posts: 176
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:36 pm
Location: ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

Re: 12 The Ear

#19 Post by charal » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:10 pm

I felt the same way when I first saw it circa 1992 on SBS TV, courtesy of the much missed David Stratton. (Those were the days when cinephiles were catered for via Australian TV) It's inreresting to remember that Stratton screened many post-communist films soon after their belated premiers in Europe.

User avatar
MichaelB
Posts: 12209
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 12 The Ear

#20 Post by MichaelB » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:45 am

BBC2 and Channel 4 did the same. The number of Czech films screened on British terrestrial television hit double figures between 1990 and 1992, an unprecedented and unrepeated record.


Post Reply