Polish Cinema on DVD

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Telstar
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#551 Post by Telstar » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:12 pm

Could any of the handful of folks who've seen both the UK DVD of Pociag and the Polish blu-ray possibly provide some feedback on how much of an upgrade in picture quality the blu-ray offers?

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GaryC
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#552 Post by GaryC » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:20 pm

MichaelB wrote:Rose (Róża, d. Wojciech Smarzowski)

Since I was already a fan of Wojciech Smarzowski's films, and I knew in advance that this was one of the most critically acclaimed Polish films of recent years, expectations were pitched accordingly high - but even then they were comfortably exceeded. Rose is a relentlessly grim, often unbearably painful film to watch, not just because of its parade of onscreen atrocities (I don't think I've ever seen a film with quite so many rape scenes) but for the light they shed on one of the most shameful periods of central European history, in which the Czechs and Poles essentially colluded with the Allies (especially the Soviets) to embark on a programme of what can only be described as ethnic cleansing on a massive scale - historian R.M. Douglas, author of Orderly and Humane, reckons that 12-14 million people were directly affected.

Rose (Agata Kulesza) is one of them, her "crime" being insufficiently Polish to secure "verification" as a legitimate resident of Masuria, a region of central Europe that passed from Germany to Poland in 1945, its new rulers expelling as many non-Poles as possible from land that they and their ancestors had blamelessly occupied for centuries. She's guarded by Tadeusz (Marcin Dorociński), a former family friend, but he's uncomfortably aware that he has a secret of his own that he's very keen to withhold from the authorities. Smarzowski combines palm-sweating set-pieces (in order to reclaim Rose's fertile farmland, Tadeusz has to sweep for mines with nothing more sophisticated than a bayonet and a length of wire) with more complex reflections on the then-current national malaise - the dialogue switches from Polish to German to Russian for reasons of survival as much as linguistic necessity. I can only assume that the complex historical background and the lack of name actors (outside Poland, anyway) are the main things that have prevented it getting UK distribution, as it's one hell of a lot stronger than plenty of other recent films that have managed it.
I saw this this morning and was impressed (and harrowed). As you say, apart from festival screenings it hasn't had a UK release on large screen or small. I wonder if this is something Second Run might be interested in?

And of sixteen recent Polish films I've seen recently or have DVDs to watch (ten DVDs bought in Warsaw, six screeners from the Kinoteka festival and Ida) Agata Kulesza is in seven of them! I wonder how big a name she is in her native country?


MichaelB wrote:And that last review reminds me that I also strongly recommend Jan Komasa’s The Suicide Room, one of the best Polish debuts in living memory - the DVD is definitely English-friendly.
That was another one I bought, from the other Central Warsaw branch of Empik. I haven't watched it yet. You probably know that there is a UK DVD of this, from the LGBT-specialist label TLA.

Calvin
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Polish Cinema on DVD

#553 Post by Calvin » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:14 am

Last edited by Calvin on Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#554 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:27 am

GaryC wrote:And of sixteen recent Polish films I've seen recently or have DVDs to watch (ten DVDs bought in Warsaw, six screeners from the Kinoteka festival and Ida) Agata Kulesza is in seven of them! I wonder how big a name she is in her native country?
The same people pop up over and over and over again - most confusingly in the case of Eryk Lubos, who played an identically-uniformed and moustached traffic cop in both Traffic Department and The Girl in the Wardrobe, and as I watched them in that order I kept assuming that the nice man in Wardrobe would turn out to be a violent racist. But he didn't.

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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#555 Post by MichaelB » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:28 am

Culture.pl has published A Foreigners Guide to Polish Cinema, which is far less patronising and much more in-depth than the title makes it sound.

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foe
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#556 Post by foe » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:23 pm

another restoration by KinoRP - this time ultracatchy Kingsajz by Juliusz Machulski - one of his poppy gems he made in the 80s.

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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#557 Post by Stefan Andersson » Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:44 am

Jerzy Hoffmann´s historical epic The Deluge (Potop, 1974) has been restored at 315 mins. and also reedited to 185 mins. ("Deluge Redivivus") under Hoffmann´s supervision.

To be shown at the Gdynia Festival:
http://www.festiwalgdynia.pl/en/festiwa ... vivus.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.screendaily.com/news/restore ... ntID=42422" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Restorations section:
http://www.festiwalgdynia.pl/en/festiwa ... ssics.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Pre-WWII section:
http://www.festiwalgdynia.pl/en/festiwa ... sures.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#558 Post by Stefan Andersson » Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:57 am

Examples of KinoRP restorations, incl. many scenes from Kieslowski´s Blind Chance, now including previously censored bits, except for one censorship cut (only sound element survived):

http://vimeo.com/88887746" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The film now runs 122 mins. as opposed to 114 mins. as per ImdB:
http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org/polishcinema" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - scroll down for info

I wonder if censorship cuts to Austeria and Man of Marble have been restored. Kawalerowicz and Wajda discussed censorship cuts in interviews in 80s issues of a Swedish film magazine.

If I remember correctly, massacre/pogrom scenes in Austeria were cut. I´ll try checking out the mag issue for details.

More on Austeria:
http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org/polishcinema" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - scroll down for info


There were cuts to scenes in Man of Iron alluding to Birkut being killed in 1970 in clashes in a Gdansk shipyard. Or perhaps these scenes were censored at script stage or never filmed?

"In making a film of the bricklayer's life, documentary director Agnieszka (Krystyna Janda) discovers that the bricklayer used his sudden fame to become involved in labor politics -- whereupon the repressive government did its best to wipe out all traces of his accomplishments. This climactic revelation was, ironically, excised by the Polish censors when Man of Marble was first released."

Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/man-of-marble-1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#559 Post by MichaelB » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:29 am

Even if the scene in question was filmed (and I'm not sure about this), there's little point restoring the major cut to Man of Marble, as Wajda effectively restored it in Man of Iron a few years later on the basis that he hadn't been able to feature the information about how Mateusz Birkut met his death in the earlier film.

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L.A.
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#560 Post by L.A. » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:37 am

PIOTR KAMLER - A la recherche du temps

Can anyone who owns the DVD confirm that is this an English-friendly release?

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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#561 Post by Ged Parsons » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:20 pm

L.A. wrote:PIOTR KAMLER - A la recherche du temps

Can anyone who owns the DVD confirm that is this an English-friendly release?


Yes, L.A. - I have it, and it is totally English-friendly.

As detailed further down the page in your link, it's actually a 3-language edition; French, English, and Polish.

Most of the features are mainly dialogue-free. Where there is dialogue, choosing the 'English' option in the 'Language' menu will provide
very well-written English subtitles.

In the case of various text pages - notes, synopses, etc. - 3 separate versions of these are given, identical in design, but in each of the 3 languages.

There are occasionally brief introductory title-notes on-screen, as part of the original features. These are sometimes translated on-screen as subtitles - if not, a translation can be found elsewhere; in notes, or in the menu.

The bonus material is also translated - the documentary is in Polish, again with very good English subtitles.

The subtitles are all optional, but you need to make the 'Language' choice accordingly - for example, the feature 'L’araignéléphant' includes a beautifully-delivered French voice-over. There are English and Polish subtitles - but choose 'French' and you get no subtitles - just the 'clean' version.

The same applies to the documentary - choosing the 'Polish' version makes it subtitle-free.

Image-wise, the picture quality is pretty good. Some of the earlier features are a little 'soft', but this doesn't really detract.
And a couple of the features are a little more 'worn' than others, with slight damage, dust, speckles, etc. - but it never approaches anything like a problematic level. It's just not absolutely pristine.

The soundtrack is fine and clear - lots of electronic hums and bleeps, and plenty of atmospheric musique concrète.

That said, a Blu-ray of these fascinating, complex works would look fabulous!

I'd certainly recommend this edition - for your money, you're getting almost 3 hours' worth of features and bonus material.

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L.A.
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#562 Post by L.A. » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:00 am

^ Ged Parsons, a huge thank you for the information. :)

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GaryC
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#563 Post by GaryC » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:51 pm

Gods (Bogowie) is getting a UK cinema release from Project London on 24 October. According to the launchingfilms site it's in 3D, or is that an error? (I know MichaelB has seen it.)

Project London tend to give their films limited releases in the Cineworld chain, in areas with strong Polish communities. I don't know if Aldershot qualifies, though it does have two Polish shops that I know of. The Aldershot Cineworld opened two years ago this month and has shown Bollywood films quite often, but so far nothing Polish.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#564 Post by MichaelB » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:00 pm

GaryC wrote:Gods (Bogowie) is getting a UK cinema release from Project London on 24 October. According to the launchingfilms site it's in 3D, or is that an error? (I know MichaelB has seen it.)
Definitely not in 3D! Although open heart surgery in 3D does have a certain appeal.

Yes, I've seen it, and I enjoyed it a lot - it's a pretty standard-issue triumph-over-adversity biopic, but it's a genuinely compelling story (how pioneering cardiac surgeon Zbigniew Religa pulled off the first successful Polish heart transplant despite having to deal with badly underequipped hospitals, Communist bureaucracy and Catholic ethical objections), has a barnstormingly charismatic lead performance by Tomasz Kot (nobody was the least bit surprised by him winning Best Actor at the Gdynia Film Festival) and more chainsmoking than I've seen in any film since the Bogart-Bacall era - which I understand is a wholly accurate depiction of what Polish medical environments were like in the 1980s.

The only caveat is that there's a lot of pretty graphic surgery footage - obviously not the least bit gratuitous and completely essential to the plot, but a squeamish friend of mine had a real problem with it.

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GaryC
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#565 Post by GaryC » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:03 pm

GaryC wrote:Gods (Bogowie) is getting a UK cinema release from Project London on 24 October. According to the launchingfilms site it's in 3D, or is that an error? (I know MichaelB has seen it.)

Project London tend to give their films limited releases in the Cineworld chain, in areas with strong Polish communities. I don't know if Aldershot qualifies, though it does have two Polish shops that I know of. The Aldershot Cineworld opened two years ago this month and has shown Bollywood films quite often, but so far nothing Polish.
An amendment to this, which the launchingfilms site has now made - the distributor is Metrodome, not Project London. The site still thinks the film is in 3D though... Passed 15 by the BBFC, which doesn't surprise me given the descriptions I've heard!

And it's apparently playing in Cineworld cinemas, but not the one in the town I live in. Nearest to me is the Cineworld Hammersmith.
Last edited by GaryC on Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#566 Post by MichaelB » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:05 pm

A 15 sounds absolutely spot on - I'd have been very surprised if it had got anything else.

As an intriguing footnote, there's a very famous National Geographic photo from the 1980s, which I remembered vividly (it gets anthologised a lot in articles about their most memorable images), but I hadn't realised until this week that it's a picture of Zbigniew Religa, the protagonist of Gods, taken after he'd performed a non-stop 24-hour transplant.

Image

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GaryC
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#567 Post by GaryC » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:32 pm

I'm hoping to see it tomorrow: given that I'll be in London anyway and have a Cineworld Unlimited Card, the only additional expenditure will be time.

I noticed that Bogowie is showing at the Kinoteka in Warsaw (ground floor of the Palace of Culture and Sciences) in an English-subtitled version. That was the cinema where I saw Ida in an English-subtitled DCP almost exactly a year ago.

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walsgrave
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#568 Post by walsgrave » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:01 pm

Can anyone confirm whether the Telewizja Kinopolska Szulkin set is actually anamorphic? I've had a look further back in this thread, but could only find specific references to the individual releases. Info on webstores, box images etc. seem to imply otherwise, but it would be good to get a definitive answer from someone who actually owns the set!

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#569 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:16 pm

Everything in the Szulkin set is letterboxed.

In general, that's my default assumption with Telewizja Kinopolska releases, as they mostly seem to be sourced from masters presumably created for Polish TV - although some of the more recent sets have been sourced from high-def restorations and get anamorphically enhanced there.

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L.A.
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#570 Post by L.A. » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:11 am

Is the only English-friendly DVD of Giuseppe w Warszawie (1964) available from Facets at the moment, or does this have a release with English subtitles in other territories as well?

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#571 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:04 pm

Not that I'm aware of. My Polish copy is definitely unsubtitled, although it looks very nice (it's the recent restoration).

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L.A.
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#572 Post by L.A. » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:17 am

Have the films of Kazimierz Kutz undergone restorations or are there plans to do so? Anyone know more?

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#573 Post by MichaelB » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:21 am

L.A. wrote:Have the films of Kazimierz Kutz undergone restorations or are there plans to do so? Anyone know more?
Silence (1963) definitely has, as I saw the end result in Gdynia about eighteen months ago.

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L.A.
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#574 Post by L.A. » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:32 am

MichaelB wrote:Silence (1963) definitely has, as I saw the end result in Gdynia about eighteen months ago.
Thank you for that.

One more; how about Edward Żebrowski?

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Lino
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#575 Post by Lino » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:59 am

I don't know if this has been addressed here before or not, but just recently I bought the polish set of Jerzy Kawalerowicz works and got a bit of a disapointment. I explain: my main reason for buying it was Faraon, his epic movie about Ramses XIII, the egytian Pharaoh. Don't get me wrong, the picture is wonderfully restored and it really shines on the DVD that is part of the boxset. But... on the back cover and inside booklet its total runnning time is advertised as 175 minutes (apparently, the full running time for this movie and another main reason for my purchase), whilst the REAL running time on the DVD is 145 minutes... What happened here? Michael Brooke? Anyone?

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