Bikey's right to be excited - I've just watched the first ten minutes of the master, and it's an even more marked improvement on the Facets equivalent than Daisies
The source print appears to be in flawless condition (so a definite step up from Marketa Lazarová
), the transfer is anamorphic and progressive, the subtitles white, optional and properly synchronised, the framing is the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio (there was a brief heart-in-mouth moment when it started in 16:9, but that turned out to be the menu), and the picture runs the gamut from deep, rich blacks to brilliant whites with a nice tonal range in the middle - so an improvement on Marketa
's excessive contrast. In short, it really was everything I could possibly have hoped for.
It's overwhelmingly likely that this is the same source master used by Bonton - framegrabs here
- which DVDFreak describes as follows:
According to the info posted on zona.bloudil.cz, Bonton planned to produce this DVD from exactly the same master they provided Facets with last year. Fortunately, a group of enthusiasts at BrickBox authoring studios took matters into their hands, and cleaned the print up a treat, as you can see in the examples below. I'm convinced this is the best the film's gonna look, short of transfer from the original negative, and kudos belongs to Patrik Velek, Petr Sudek & Petr Menčík!
I'll watch it properly when I get my hands on a big plasma screen, but even a quick spin on my MacBook makes it clear that this is now the best English-friendly František Vláčil DVD, and by some distance.UPDATE:
I've since found out that this is indeed the Czech DVD master, but that Second Run have cleaned it up further - there's a lot
of chain mail in this film, which was presenting encoding challenges!