20 The Party and the Guests

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Second Run and the films on them.
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Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

20 The Party and the Guests

#1 Post by Bikey » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:15 am

Party and the Guests

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Distinguished by being 'banned forever' in its native Czechoslovakia, Němec's film is a masterpiece of barbed, darkly sinister wit. As a biting satire of authoritarianism and conformity and with its astute observations of human nature, the film's universal relevance continues to this day.

Considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of Czech cinema in the 1960's, this is its first-ever release on DVD.

Special Features

• Newly filmed appreciation by author/film programmer Peter Hames.
• New digital transfer with restored image and sound.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Booklet featuring a new Essay by writer/DVD producer Michael Brooke.
• Image Gallery.



....
Party and the Guests
(O Slavnosti a hostech)
A film by Jan Nemec
Czech Republic / 1966

Jan Nemec is one of the key figures in his country's new wave movement and is best known for his daring, intense journeys into the psychological processes of his characters that also served to give provocative insight into political oppression and family life.

Party and the Guests has been described as ' a controversial, unflinching satire of communist ideals versus brutal reality' and was voted as one of the best films of the 1960's by critics on The New York Times.

voiceofanactress
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#2 Post by voiceofanactress » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:20 am

Ah, now we're talking!
An excellent choice in what I hope is the start of a Jan Nemec series from you guys. Hint hint.

Are you considering using his documentary 'Oratario for Prague' as a possible extra on this? I think it would compliment this film well, plus I think it's only been released on vhs (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

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MichaelB
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#3 Post by MichaelB » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:27 pm

As far as I can see, this is what's currently available on the Jan Nemec front:

1964 - Diamonds of the Night (Czech DVD - DiViDi label)
1965 - Pearls of the Deep (US DVD - Facets)
1966 - The Party and the Guests (NTSC VHS - Facets)
1968 - Oratorio for Prague (NTSC VHS - Facets)
1996 - Code Name Ruby (NTSC VHS - Facets)
2001 - Late Night Talks with Mother (US DVD - Facets)

solent

#4 Post by solent » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:26 pm

It is good to see a neglected director from the 'New Wave' bunch getting DVD attention at last. Hopefully the last to be featured director from this group, Evald Schorm, will be next with his much praised films COURAGE FOR EVERYDAY (1964) & RETURN OF THE PRIDIGAL SON (1966) being put out by whoever (SR hopefully).

I can't wait to see an improved version of REPORT as opposed to the abysmal Facets version. Despite this bad print I can still sense that part of the charm of the film is to be found on the natural soundtrack, featuring the summer sounds of the forest. This is all lost under a haze of continous white noise courtesy of Facets.

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Gropius
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#5 Post by Gropius » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:03 pm

voiceofanactress wrote:Are you considering using his documentary 'Oratario for Prague' as a possible extra on this? I think it would compliment this film well, plus I think it's only been released on vhs (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
I second this, having just read about Oratorio for Prague while responding to Denti Alligator's request for 1968 docs. Sounds like it would be an excellent inclusion for an extra, or maybe it could be combined with some other Eastern European documentaries/shorts in a miscellany.

anton_es
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#6 Post by anton_es » Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:22 pm

when is it coming out ?
you can already preorder "long weekend" on play.com but no sign
of "party and guests"....

=D>

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Bikey
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#7 Post by Bikey » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:30 pm

We are aiming for the end of January '07 for a release for this title.

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orlik
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#8 Post by orlik » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:07 am

Great news! Though I'd love to see a release of the ultra-rare Martyrs of Love from 1967 as well.
Diamonds of the Night (Demanty noci) is also available from the Czech Republic (see www.dvdr.cz) as a double bill with Forman's first quasi-feature Konkurs. If you want to see Diamonds - Nemec's finest film - get this version, not the $60, bad quality rip-off from Facets.

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pro-bassoonist
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#9 Post by pro-bassoonist » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:30 am

Bikey wrote:We are aiming for the end of January '07 for a release for this title.
Bikey:

I just wanted to say thanks again for bringing this title out! Your other Eastern European titles have been the ONE AND ONLY reason I now buy EVERY European film you put on the market (pre-ordered each of the new titles as well).

The more you go East the more I will be buying (Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia...there are some jewels there).

Ciao,
Pro-B

solent

#10 Post by solent » Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:05 pm

Pro-B you are singing my tune. Are you trying to see hard-to-find films like Petrovic's HAPPY GYPSIES as well? I'm hoping for some Schorm classics to get released and the release of REPORT gives me hope in that direction too.

MY WAY HOME will be a first for me. It's years since I saw the ROUND-UP but I vaguely remember it as being a remarkable film. Keep up the good work Bikey.

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pro-bassoonist
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#11 Post by pro-bassoonist » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:04 am

solent wrote:Pro-B you are singing my tune. Are you trying to see hard-to-find films like Petrovic's HAPPY GYPSIES as well?
Yes!! There are hardly ANY quality releases of Eastern European cinema on the English-friendly markets (UK/AUS/US). Second Run has been outstanding so far with what they have released and to be honest...I am a bit unhappy that they try to tap into Asian cinema as well. There are plenty of other labels that are doing it: stay with the European titles and expand.

Can't wait for the Zulawski disc!!

Ciao,
Pro-B

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Bikey
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#12 Post by Bikey » Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:14 pm

Thanks very much for the kind words of support. It is our intention to release films from every continent - we will continue to put out films from both Eastern Europe and Asia.

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Bikey
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#13 Post by Bikey » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

The Party and the Guests
(O slavnosti a hostech)
A film by Jan Němec
Czechoslovakia / 1966
Second Run DVD 020


"An acute piece of historical foresight, and a marvellous idea" Time Out

Voted as one of the best films of the 1960's by the New York Times critics.

Distinguished by being 'banned forever' in its native Czechoslovakia, Němec's film is a masterpiece of barbed, darkly sinister wit. As a biting satire of authoritarianism and conformity and with its astute observations of human nature, the film's universal relevance continues to this day.

Considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of Czech cinema in the 1960's, this is its first-ever release on DVD.


Special features:


- Newly filmed appreciation by author/film programmer Peter Hames.


- New digital transfer with restored image and sound.


- New and improved English subtitle translation.


- Booklet featuring a new Essay by writer/DVD producer Michael Brooke.


Length / Main feature: 67 minutes


Length / Special feature: 12 minutes


Original aspect ratio: 1:33 full frame


Aiming for a Feb 19th release.


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MichaelB
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#14 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:44 pm

Amazon has just posted a sneak preview of the final cover art...

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MichaelB
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#15 Post by MichaelB » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:03 am

...and I'm delighted to confirm that the disc itself looks terrific.

Granted, anything would have been an improvement on my old long-play VHS copy, taped off a BBC2 broadcast in 1990 at a time when (judging from the appalling ghosting) I was using an unamplified indoor aerial, but on the Second Run quality scale, it's far closer to Intimate Lighting than Passenger. In all seriousness, Criterion could easily have released the same transfer as part of their own Czech New Wave collection and no-one would have batted an eyelid (in fact, Criterion's source print of Closely Watched Trains was in rather worse nick).

A few age-related dust specks aside, the print is commendably sharp and clean with a pleasing contrast range, and the aspect ratio is the original 4:3, so there are no anamorphic/cropping issues. Even better, the subtitles are clear, removable, and translate more of the dialogue than either the BBC or 35mm versions.

The main extra is an engaging 12-minute appreciation by Peter Hames, intercut with illustrative clips. There's also a stills gallery that plays by itself with the film's main title music as a backdrop.

(CAVEAT: I'm connected with this release, so hardly unbiased - but I had nothing to do with the transfer or authoring: I merely wrote the booklet text)

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meanwhile
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#16 Post by meanwhile » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:50 am

Just seen a preview of the disc and can second MichaelB's comments. It's a fascinating film that blurs intentional incomprehensibiity with biting satire. Anyone who liked Kachyna's The Ear will certainly appreciate it - similar subject but a very different approach.

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MichaelB
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#17 Post by MichaelB » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:48 am

Having looked at it in more detail, I should stress that the subtitle improvements make a huge difference.

The problem for a translator is that the dialogue is intentionally banal and offhand (co-writer Ester Krumbachova confirmed that part of the film's satirical point is that the characters talk in cliches and don't really listen to one another) - and the BBC therefore left some pretty hefty chunks unsubtitled, presumably because they thought that it was irrelevant to the main narrative.

Fortunately, this hasn't significantly altered my impression of the film (which would be a tad embarrassing under the circumstances), but it certainly makes this new DVD the most satisfying version I've seen to date.

solent

#18 Post by solent » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:27 pm

The only version I have is the 1968 US theatrical one [released by Facets]with subs that seem to make sense. Now in the light of what you are saying here I am looking forward to as close a real experience - for a non-Czech speaker - as possible. [The audio & visual of the Facets version are better left uncommented upon since they are the worst I've ever seen on a commercially released video.]

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MichaelB
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#19 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:18 pm

The Second Run site now includes full coverage of this film.

solent

#20 Post by solent » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:40 pm

Despite SR having Feb 19 on their website Amazon & others now have the release date listed as March 5.

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Bikey
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#21 Post by Bikey » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:30 am

Yes - I'm afraid there was a hold up securing certification which has meant the release has gone back to 5 March.

solent

#22 Post by solent » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:13 pm

The date may have been moved to March 19. Moviemail have this date and Amazon have a "no stock" status.

rs98762001
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:04 pm

#23 Post by rs98762001 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:01 pm

Second Run's latest newsletter confirms a March 19th release.

solent

#24 Post by solent » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:10 pm

Amazon are shipping my copy today so it must be in stock earlier than expected.

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colinr0380
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#25 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:36 pm

DVD Beaver review.

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