18 Passenger

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Second Run and the films on them.
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Bikey
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18 Passenger

#1 Post by Bikey » Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:07 pm

Passenger

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Passenger (Pasazerka) has been called 'one of the most audacious fictions ever made about the Holocaust'. Director Munk died in a car crash, aged just 39, in the middle of filming. His friend, Witold Lesiewicz, and his colleagues decided to complete the film to what they believed were Munk's intentions and assembled it using the existing footage, Munk's still photographs and a voice-over narration.

Finally released in 1964, the film won main awards at Cannes and Venice and has been described by those who have seen it as an unfinished masterpiece. Unseen for far too long, this is the first-ever DVD release of this unique film anywhere in the world.

Special Features

- The Last Pictures - a rare 45-minute documentary about Munk and Passenger, made in 2000 by Andrzej Brzozowski who was Munk's Assistant Director on the film. Never broadcast outside of Poland, it is a fitting tribute to Munk and features contributions from directors Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski.
- New digital transfer with restored image and sound.
- New and improved English subtitle translation.
- Optimal quality dual-layer disc.
- Booklet featuring essays on the film and Munk, by film critic/writer Stuart Klawans and academic Ewa Mazierska.

Described as 'one of the most audacious fictions ever made about the Holocaust' Passenger is a classic of Polish cinema. Director Munk died in a car crash, aged just 39, in the middle of filming. His friend and colleague Witold Lesiewicz decided to complete the film to what he believed were Munk's intentions and assembled it using the existing footage, Munk's still photographs and a voice-over narration. On release the film won awards at Cannes and Venice and has been described by those who have seen it as an unfinished masterpiece.

The Harvard Film Archive give a far better summation of Andrzej Munk's career than I can:

"Andrzej Munk's tragic death at age thirty-nine might have formed the plot for one of his own darkly sardonic works: a Polish Jew and an active resistance worker during the war, he was returning home from shooting his film Passenger at the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1961 when an oncoming truck struck his car. He left behind only four feature films, but his influence was prodigious. As one of the key figures of the postwar “Polish Schoolâ€

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What A Disgrace
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#2 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:40 pm

Naturally, I'll be buying this blind...though it will be my first Munk film, and I certainly want to watch the rest before I see his final (incomplete) work. Assuming you (wonderful) folks don't have the rest of Munk's ouevre in the works...does anyone know if the currently available Facets discs are watcheable enough for a rental?

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Gregory
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#3 Post by Gregory » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:08 pm

The Facets Munks are most certainly good enough for a rental. In fact, they'd be worth buying if the prices were lower.

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What A Disgrace
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#4 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:29 pm

That's all I needed to know. Much obliged.

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zedz
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#5 Post by zedz » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:32 pm

Thank you thank you thank you. Looks like it's going to be neck and neck between Second Run and Masters of Cinema for DVD company of the year in 2006.

(Now who's going to be the first out of the gate with Oshima?)

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Gordon
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#6 Post by Gordon » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:28 pm

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Second Run! :D

I was reading about this film a few months ago, but I feared I'd never see it, what with it being an incomplete 62-minute Polish film about the Holocaust from 1963. Bravo!

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What A Disgrace
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#7 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:17 pm

I've only managed to watch Man on the Tracks and Eroica so far; both magnificent films, and Bad Luck shot to the top of my rental queue (though I'm holding my current disc until Wednesday, so I have the weekend to get started on Mr. Arkadin, and absorb your two most recent releases).

Is the disc still set for May?

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Bikey
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#8 Post by Bikey » Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:12 am

Still scheduled for the end of May. I will let you know if that changes.

stepps
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#9 Post by stepps » Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:59 pm

Bikey, when is second run going to release Jancso's Round-up, please make it soon, and ill be your slave. =D> for your choice of marketa lazarova.

solent

#10 Post by solent » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:08 pm

I'll second that emotion.

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Bikey
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#11 Post by Bikey » Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:20 am

Bikey, when is second run going to release Jancso's Round-up, please make it soon, and ill be your slave.
Stepps,

I'd go easy on the slave stuff if I were you. This office is a tip and my 'to do' list is running into a second page of A4...

So, The Round Up. Would it be disingenuous to say it would probably be a little daft of us to trail a series of Jancso releases without including it?

More news as and when.

Bikey.

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Gregory
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#12 Post by Gregory » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:41 am

What a Disgrace: Did you have a chance to see Bad Luck yet? If so, I'm interested in what you thought of it. For me, it had great potential due to its setting and its main character, who will go to any lengths to avoid taking any kind of stand for fear someone will disapprove of him. However, the zaniness that pervaded the film was really ineffective, I thought.

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tavernier
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#13 Post by tavernier » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:10 pm

Gregory wrote:What a Disgrace: Did you have a chance to see Bad Luck yet? If so, I'm interested in what you thought of it. For me, it had great potential due to its setting and its main character, who will go to any lengths to avoid taking any kind of stand for fear someone will disapprove of him. However, the zaniness that pervaded the film was really ineffective, I thought.
Why did you feel it was ineffective?

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Gregory
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#14 Post by Gregory » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:52 pm

Again, bear in mind I did like the film, just not as much as some of Munk's other work. I think he simply overplayed the zaniness a bit. It's already pretty clear that the main character is a bumbling boob who is claiming to have been a victim of circumstance throughout this entire life, so the comedic tone of his acting could have used a bit more subtlety. Munk used the undercranking and slapstick bits a little too often and to me they didn't make the film any funnier.

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What A Disgrace
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#15 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon May 01, 2006 10:23 pm

Well, I watched Bad Luck a few days ago...I don't think I was in the best mood to look at the film critically (miserable day, therefore easily susceptible to anything silly), and I regret shipping the rented disc back. For what its worth, if the film's zaniness wasn't mentioned in a negative context, I wouldn't have ever thought of it as a flaw in the film. And I was surprised at the quality of the Facets disc....certainly not Criterion quality in any way, but the picture was unusually sharp and crisp for a Facets disc. Easily more due to the nature of the print, than any technical achievement on their part.

Still eagerly awaiting this film...would it be too much of a pain to squeeze Men of the Blue Cross onto the disc? Both of these films are a mere hour in length.

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Bikey
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#16 Post by Bikey » Tue May 02, 2006 5:40 pm

Release date for this has slipped back to June 5th I'm afraid.

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What A Disgrace
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#17 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed May 10, 2006 8:56 am

According to Play.com, both June releases have been delayed until June 26.

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Bikey
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#18 Post by Bikey » Wed May 10, 2006 11:44 am

I'm afraid so. It is unlikely that they will go back any further...

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#19 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed May 10, 2006 11:54 am

That's fine. To make up for it, though, I think you should spill the beans about these two. :)

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What A Disgrace
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#20 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon May 22, 2006 9:31 am

Image

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What A Disgrace
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#21 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed May 31, 2006 11:42 pm

Play.com now has this one delayed until July 17.

Knights of the Teutonic Order is still scheduled for June 26.

rs98762001
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#22 Post by rs98762001 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:35 am

Why the continued delays, I wonder?

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Bikey
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#23 Post by Bikey » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:11 am

The reason for the delay in the release of Passenger is that very, very late in the day we managed to track down the existence of an hour-long documentary about Andrzej Munk and Passenger . It was made in 2000 by Andrzej Brzozowski who was, in fact, Munk's Assistant Director on Passenger. Brzozowski also passed away last year and, as far as we can ascertain, his doc has never been seen outside of Poland (though I'm sure someone out there will be able to tell me otherwise). It provides excellent context on the film and is a fitting tribute to Munk.

There was no question in our minds that we should include this Brzozowski documentary if we could, even if that meant holding up the release date for a while. We hope you all will think the same too. It also provides more value for money for purchasers of the disc.

That sound you can hear is deadlines rushing by...

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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#24 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:07 am

If that's the reason for the delays, keep them delays coming!

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What A Disgrace
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#25 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:07 am

Awesome. I knew you guys would come through with something.

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