25 Diary for My Children

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Bikey
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25 Diary for My Children

#1 Post by Bikey » Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:01 pm

Diary for my Children



From one of the world's most accomplished women directors, Mészáros' film connects the personal with the political, portraying the impact of individuals upon history and of historical forces upon individual lives. Autobiographical, and the first in her trilogy of renowned 'Diary' films which Second Run will be releasing in 2007/08.

For a director who has amassed such a large body of work(over 60 films we believe) Meszaros is poorly represented on DVD. This will be the first in her renowned trilogy of 'Diary' films which Second Run will be releasing in 2007/2008.

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#2 Post by tavernier » Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:45 pm

Bikey wrote:This will be the first in her renowned trilogy of 'Diary' films which Second Run will be releasing in 2007/2008.
Sweet!

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#3 Post by Felix » Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:45 pm

I joined this forum instead of just reading it, as I have been for over a year now, just to celebrate this news, especially the fact that we are getting the whole trilogy.
Wonderful film which I never thought I would see on DVD, apart from maybe FACETS (mixed blessings...) This film does really need some sort of help for the viewer though, a good booklet at the least, in order to pick their way through the dense and complex story. Anyone who makes the effort will be well rewarded though, especially if they have an interest in Hungarian history.

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#4 Post by Bikey » Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:45 am

Indeed, Felix. I couldn't agree more. Through circumstances beyond their control the person who was going to write an essay about the film in its political/historical context has had to bow out.

So, if there is anyone out there who has previous writing experience and a deep knowledge of this area and would like to provide us with an essay please PM me.

Thanks,

Bikey

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#5 Post by skuhn8 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:33 am

Fascinating film by a most fascinating and prolific director. This and the other Diary films will certainly stand as milestones in the collection. To learn more about her and her films...and her marriage to Jancso check out this insightful interview with Andrew James Horton
Budapest, June 15, 1987

You turn to me with the request that I apply for the rehabiliation of my father, Imre Nagy, that I consent to the exhumation of his remains and his worthy reburial. I cannot meet your request. I shall explain why. The Hungarian revolution was crushed by a vastly superior force. The years of revenge followed by illegal trials and mass executions. Then silence...deadly silence...for over thirty years.
These are the words of Elizabeth Nagy, the daughter of former Prime Minister Imre Nagy, in the beginning voice over of Marta Meszaros' most recent film, The Unburied Dead. It is the story of Imre Nagy during the fateful years of '56-'58, the revolution, his exile, imprisonment, trial and ultimate execution. It is the story that Meszaros could tell only now when the silence can be broken. This deadly silence that she talks about loomed over her films and those of her former husband, Miklos Jancso, for thirty years (one of the first images in this latest film is a truckload of celluloid, film from Nagy's trial, being burned). It's the blank pause in a political discussion, the absence in a roster of names (no exact count of the executed exists), the blank space.

I remember twelve years ago, not long after the regime change, when my host at dinner perused the wine list and recounted that the one vintage always absent from any list, no matter the prestige of the restaurant, was 1956. But stories abounded about back rooms where known guests could order a '56 Tokay on October 23 and raise a teary-eyed toast. Stories also circulated of Party appartcheks ordering a '56 vintage in a crowded restaurant in order to mock that same revolution. Apocryphal? Perhaps it happened only once, in some isolated village? The mere existance of such stories stand as testimony to the crushing silence that followed this revolution, the great white elephant in the room that cast a dejected glance over subsequent literature, poems, song and of course cinema. Peter Timar in his 1997 film Csinibaba which is set in 1961 depicts the dilemma of a radio announcer reading off the lottery numbers: "...12..." and unable to read the next number: '56', we see the perspiration collect on his brow, the panic.

Strangely, this silence was essentially domestic. Films that broke the two rules: do not portray the Soviet way of life as anything but utopian and do not approach the (counter-) revolution of '56, were able to be shown abroad, while domestic prints were usually impounded but viewed by select circles of censors (many of them genuine film buffs).

The Unburied Dead is the film that Marta Meszaros had been building up to, containing the frustration and animosity that has collected in her over those many years, awaiting the freedom to express, the budget and an audience who can finally view those events not only for its national significance but as a legitimate historical event. Nagy's successor, Janos Kadar, who would hold power almost up until the very end of the socialist regime, is portrayed as a hypocrite using real film footage. This is a fairly bold move as Kadar has been largely forgiven for his role, the many years of 'goulash socialism' having lulled the populace. Many of the events depicted, when not drawn from primary sources, are based on presumption, at times her ambitions seem to exceed her ability to grasp such a massive undertaking, but throughout we can see the poignant portrayal of an idealist suffering for his beliefs building up and ultimately finding release in the final documentary ending: footage of Nagy's actual exhumation. The early VO continues:

My father and the other martyrs remain lying in unmarked graves because the holders of power are the same as those who sent them to their death, removed all traces and burnt the films and documents of the trials. I'd like to quote my father's last words:

"The only thing I'm frightened of is being rehabilitated by those who betrayed me."


I can't wait for these Diary films!

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What A Disgrace
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#6 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:50 am

According to Play.com, the release date is now June 25 (as of 3/24/07)

According to HMV, this and Diary for my Children are now January 7 releases.

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#7 Post by jbeall » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:10 pm

What A Disgrace wrote:According to HMV, this and Diary for my Children are now January 7 releases.
By "this," do you mean Round-Up?

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#8 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:37 am

Whoops! Actually, I meant this and Rat Trap.

You know...since Second Run is planning to release all of Mezsaros's trilogy (or so I assume), wouldn't it be a good opportunity to do a multi-film boxed set? Is it still too early; or against the company's general release plan?

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#9 Post by jbeall » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:45 am

What A Disgrace wrote:Whoops! Actually, I meant this and Rat Trap.

You know...since Second Run is planning to release all of Mezsaros's trilogy (or so I assume), wouldn't it be a good opportunity to do a multi-film boxed set? Is it still too early; or against the company's general release plan?
My guess it that it's a little too early. This isn't intended as a criticism of Second Run, but they have lots of delays just getting one movie out; as you know, these threads are full of "release date moved back to ..." posts, evidence of a company that's still learning the ropes.

And frankly, I think Second Run's cover art is generally cool enough that I'd rather see three separate releases!

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#10 Post by Gropius » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:16 am

jbeall wrote:evidence of a company that's still learning the ropes.
I think it's more a question of shoestrings than ropes.

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#11 Post by Bikey » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:30 am

Thanks for your comments and also your concerns regarding release dates.

There are a number of factors involved with many of our releases, some of which I am able to discuss here.

We want to share, as much as we can with you, information about our projected releases. In doing so, we attempt to aim for a specific date. However, even with the largest labels, these dates can slip.

Our concern is to remain faithful to the wishes of the directors whose films we are releasing. If we are unable to find the best print within a certain time limit, but know that one exists, we may delay the release in order to ensure that what you eventually see is what the director originally intended the film to look like. We may also wish to work closely with the director, which involves more time, but pays dividends when we release the film, as PALMS and the illuminating interview with Artur that accompanied it recently demonstrated.

There is also that window of opportunity - the chance to release a film that was not originally slated within our plans for the year. ROMEO, JULIET AND DARKNESS and PARTITION were both opportunities that we couldn't ignore and whose release on Second Run we are very proud of.

Finally, we know that anticipation is always a good thing.

So, you will see MARKETA LAZAROVA this year. You will also see a remarkable film by Gary Tarn, BLACK SUN.

The other films we have promised you will be released soon. Honest!

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#12 Post by jbeall » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:08 pm

Just so you know, Bikey, I wasn't trying to be critical, just analytical.

Like many on this forum, I'm on a limited budget, so I have to be picky about the dvds I purchase. We all realize that you're a relatively new company on a relatively tight budget as well, dealing with a UK dvd market that occasionally makes life difficult (the horse scene from Knights..., for example), and most importantly, putting out risky films that are not only relatively unknown, but whose source prints are often in less-than-ideal condition.

And you guys release films that almost nobody outside of the film's country of origin--and sometimes not even there--is willing to release. So I think I speak for all the cinephiles when I say we're grateful for the work you do. If we appear impatient, it's only because you've whetted our appetite for more of your work, and consumers the world over are a pretty impatient lot. However, we wouldn't be buying your stuff and monitoring your activity if you didn't do justice to the films; we'd buy Facets releases instead. :-& So if we appear impatient, it's only because we care.

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#13 Post by rollotomassi » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:25 pm

Now that play.com and other sites have withdrawn Diary for My Children it may be fatal for Second Run. I myself bought the Clavis Films French release over a year ago, which may not be anamorphic but was widescreen (I'll upgrade to the Second Run if it's anamorphic, as indeed I will be doing on The Round Up), and more and more people will probably turn to this with the Second Run release now looking like it's going to be over a year late (it was originally announced for early in 2007). If more and more people buy the French release because they can't be sure of when the Second Run will come out, this will drastically reduce their sales and probably kybosh any chances of releasing the second and third films in the trilogy. I understand windows of opportunity for Romeo, Juliet and Darkness and the like were narrow and that Marketa had just been delayed too long to prevaricate further, but with still no announced date for the Meszaros, I fear the sales on this one are going to be catastrophically bad.

Much as though we applaud Bikey's intentions, I seriously think they've missed the window of opportunity for this one as a stand alone now and should probably consider a release for all three films in one.

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#14 Post by GaryC » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:19 pm

Widescreen? Diary for My Children is in Academy Ratio, or at least it was shown that way when I saw it in the cinema. (Diary for My Loves is 1.66:1 though, if I remember rightly.)

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#15 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:20 pm

rollotomassi wrote:Much as though we applaud Bikey's intentions, I seriously think they've missed the window of opportunity for this one as a stand alone now and should probably consider a release for all three films in one.
I'm agreeing with this more and more, and hoping Second Run complies. A box of these three (isn't it actually four?) films together would make for an essential set; easily SR's best and most essential...but I understand if the idea isn't realistic.

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#16 Post by rollotomassi » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:33 pm

As far as the ratio, I got out my old VHS taped off Channel 4 years ago and in 4:3 and compared it to the 1.85 DVD. There was no cropping at the top and more at the sides, which suggests 1.85 is indeed the correct ratio.

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#17 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:28 pm

Second Run's home page has changed the "2007/2008" release period to "2008/2009".

I've been eager to see Diary for My Children for a while, so I'm fairly anxious.

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#18 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue May 12, 2009 4:00 pm

Now has a July 20 2009 release, according to Amazon.

I hope the rest of the trilogy follows closely behind.

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#19 Post by rs98762001 » Wed May 13, 2009 12:17 pm

I'll believe it when I see it!

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#20 Post by jbeall » Wed May 13, 2009 1:14 pm

Not holding my breath on the rest of the trilogy, but at least the temp cover art for Diary is up on amazon; surely that's a good sign!

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#21 Post by What A Disgrace » Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:03 am

Diary of My Children seems to have disappeared from Amazon's webpage completely. It was even taken out of my cart.

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#22 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:03 am

What A Disgrace wrote:Diary of My Children seems to have disappeared from Amazon's webpage completely. It was even taken out of my cart.
Moviemail have just changed their despatch date on my order to 31/08/09.

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#23 Post by Bikey » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:51 am

What A Disgrace wrote:Diary of My Children seems to have disappeared from Amazon's webpage completely. It was even taken out of my cart.
Please don't worry, What A Disgrace; Diary for My Children is definitely being released. In fact, the new subtitles are just being proofed and the DVDs booklet will contain an essay by Catherine Portuges (who wrote a book on Marta Mészáros a few years ago).
Amazon has probably removed it from their listings at the moment because we've still to give them a final confirmed release date. We are trying to see if Marta Mészáros has the time to come to London for a screening event at some point during the autumn.
Our newsletter will keep you informed first about this.

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#24 Post by MichaelB » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:34 am

Second Run kindly gave me a sneak preview of the penultimate version of the fully-authored DVD (near-identical to the final release apart from some subtitle tweaks), so I'm very happy to confirm that it most certainly does exist!

And I don't think there'll be too many complaints - the transfer is absolutely fine bar the odd dust spot and reel change marker (definitely towards the upper end of Second Run's Eastern European quality scale, if not quite up there with Intimate Lighting or Daisies). The aspect ratio is 16:9 anamorphic, and it looks absolutely fine (compositionally as well as in technical terms), as well as sharp enough to suggest that the telecine was anamorphic from the start. I'll post framegrabs when I get a chance.

I know that Márta Mészáros has seen a work-in-progress DVD, and it's simply not credible that she wouldn't have mentioned it if things like the aspect ratio hadn't been to her satisfaction. I recently served on a festival jury with her, and... well, let's just say that she's not exactly slow to speak out when things aren't going 100% to expectations. She's delightful and endlessly fascinating company (she's had an absolutely extraordinary life), but you don't become the top female filmmaker in an overwhelmingly male industry without developing a pretty forceful personality along the way.

You'll get a very good idea of what she's like from the 25-minute interview on the DVD - lots of stuff about her background and how she became a filmmaker, much of which is also highly relevant to assist full appreciation of the film. I haven't seen the booklet yet.

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Re: 25 Diary of My Children

#25 Post by Bikey » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:55 am

DVD of the Week in this Week's Sunday Telegraph, review by Alan Stanbrook:
Image

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