17 Marketa Lazarová

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solent

#151 Post by solent » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:32 pm

The actor who plays the one-armed character also plays the unfortunate pig herder in Petrovic's IT RAINS ON OUR VILLAGE (1968) a film which also stars the French actress Annie Giradot dubbed into Serbian.

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#152 Post by bearcuborg » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:05 am

Did we ever get an update on the MOC version?

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#153 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:45 am

bearcuborg wrote:Did we ever get an update on the MOC version?
What MoC version?

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#154 Post by bearcuborg » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:56 am

What A Disgrace wrote:Marketa Lazarova

From Mastersofcinema.org...
Second Run plans to release Marketa Lazarova (FrantiÅ¡ek Vlácil, 1967) on DVD by "mid-summer". Says Mehelli Modi of Second Run, "Plans for our Marketa are going very well. So much extra material to look at that [we] don't want to rush the release. [We] want our release, as much as possible, to be fully respectful of this wonderful film and the Czech community for whom this is very important. At the moment, we are in the midst of doing the all-new subtitles." Based on Second Run's stellar track-record, we have full confidence that this will be a first-class release indeed. The film has repeatedly been voted best Czech film of all time by critics, and Mark Le Fanu recently (see our June 27, 2005 news update) called it "...as remarkable in its own way as Tarkovsky's Andrei Roublev. In short: long overdue on DVD". - T.T.
Bikey wrote:We can confirm that Marketa Lazarova is being readied for release. More details when we have them.

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#155 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:33 am

I think you've got confused between an announcement on the MoC website (which highlights interesting DVDs from a wide range of distributors) and the MoC DVD line-up itself. And Bikey is Second Run's spokesperson on these forums.

Unless Second Run has a very strange contract with the rightsholder, no other British label will be able to release Marketa Lazarová for several years.

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#156 Post by skuhn8 » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:09 am

Second Run plans to release Marketa Lazarova (FrantiÅ¡ek Vlácil, 1967) on DVD by "mid-summer". Says Mehelli Modi of Second Run, "Plans for our Marketa are going very well. So much extra material to look at that [we] don't want to rush the release. [We] want our release, as much as possible, to be fully respectful of this wonderful film and the Czech community for whom this is very important. At the moment, we are in the midst of doing the all-new subtitles." Based on Second Run's stellar track-record, we have full confidence that this will be a first-class release indeed. The film has repeatedly been voted best Czech film of all time by critics, and Mark Le Fanu recently (see our June 27, 2005 news update) called it "...as remarkable in its own way as Tarkovsky's Andrei Roublev. In short: long overdue on DVD". - T.T.
:roll:

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#157 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:32 am

Mehelli Modi of [b]Second Run[/b] wrote:"Plans for our Marketa are going very well. So much extra material to look at that [we] don't want to rush the release.
Sadly, the two planned extras turned out not to be available (one because the filmmaker wanted his feature-length Vláčil documentary released separately, the other because it had footage of Vláčil practically at death's door, and his family vetoed its release) - which is a real shame, as they'd have been genuinely heavyweight additions.

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#158 Post by bearcuborg » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:58 am

michael, skuhn...my mistake. :oops:

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#159 Post by Tommaso » Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:20 am

I'm a latecomer to this discussion, but I only even HEARD about "Marketa" when it got such high marks in the recent "Best-Non-CC-release-2007" poll. So I thought I'd better check this out, and absolutely have to agree. If I had seen this in December, it would surely have made a top place in my list, too.

In other words: I'm totally blown away with it, and can't understand that this film isn't often discussed generally in film histories et al, or even only shown on TV (at least here in Germany). I was particularly intrigued by Vlacil's combination of historical epic with a filmmaking style that can only be described as truely avantgardistic. The ellipses in the narrative made it hard for me to sort out the actual plot in places, but this is one of the films where you just don't care cause you're totally captivated by the images themselves. I almost liked the way that the post-dubbing was out-of-synch in places, because this together with the echo effects on the voices and the fact that so much of the dialogue occurs off-screen even increases the hallucinatory effect. We're so much put into the subjective situation of the characters who inhabit a world that they do not properly understand anymore. There's always this feeling of impending doom and complete hopelessness that comes from nature itself...all the animal shots interspersed, for instance. This is a film that all those must watch that tend to romanticize the middle ages, it would cure them.

I wonder where Vlacil comes from cinematically. There's the Kurosawa and Eisenstein comparison, of course, and while I see why that would come up, he uses a far more advanced and dreamy, nauseating way of filming the story. I was also reminded of Bergman, but not of "Virgin Spring" or "Seventh seal", but rather of the films that he did at around the same time, "Persona", "Hour of the Wolf", "Shame". And, in its poetry, of "Shadows of Our forgotten ancestors".

Anyway, enough of my ramblings which are only an attempt to come to terms with an almost unique kind of filmic experience. I was quite happy with the disc itself, btw, no complaints about the print and the transfer, although I also find the contrast too steep and the compression is occasionally very visible. But it generally looks very good. This is a film that cries out for an audiocommentary and the full CC treatment, but it's also a film that - like the Paradjanovs - they'd never dare to tackle for commercial reasons. All the more praise to Second Run, then, for doing this in a reasonable edition and with a great booklet essay.

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#160 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:18 am

Glenn Kenny also recommends the film.

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#161 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:41 pm

Tommaso wrote: This is a film that all those must watch that tend to romanticize the middle ages, it would cure them.
I finally got around to watching this great film and these were my thoughts exactly. This is a world of brutish violence and constant unease, with every character's action a product of their deep unease and joylessness. The peculiar, at times non-linear, structure of the film only helps to blur the line between the barbarians and the Christians. The little button on the film with the journeyman is quite a nice moment, with her attempting to force back a smile-- the only smile in the film(?), though I do wish the film had ended without the voice over. Marketa walking off into parts unknown is far more profound than what the pat v.o. offers, especially after that tremendous finale of her exiting the convent.

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#162 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:00 am

A letter in the current Sight & Sound, that I thought I'd flag up here for discussion:

Dark ages

Thank you for Michael Brooke's informative article on Frantisek Vlacil's Marketa Lazarova (S&S January). Unlike Brooke, however, I think this film is interesting but ultimately unsatisfying.

The visual design creates an eerily convincing depiction of the medieval era; the high-contrast lighting is harsh and direct; the rural setting is authentically wild and threatening; the costumes are believably primitive and unclean. And the musical score intelligently underlines the central theme of the clash between Paganism and Christianity, with composer Zdenek Liska effortlessly blending simple, repetitive drum-beats with sudden bursts of choral vocals.

But the action and the characters have no significance outside the development of the film's story. Vlacil's main concern is clearly the creation of a particular atmosphere rather than the expression of a moral, philosophical or social idea. Moreover, his story is uninvolving and he narrates the events obscurely, often cutting suddenly and inexplicably from one location or moment to another.

Richard Capes
Hull

(I'm assuming this is the author of The Films of Samuel Fuller, unless there are two film buffs by that name in that particular part of the world!)

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#163 Post by Tommaso » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:30 am

Thanks for sharing this, Michael. It's a curious take on the film, although I can somehow understand where the author comes from.
But the action and the characters have no significance outside the development of the film's story. Vlacil's main concern is clearly the creation of a particular atmosphere rather than the expression of a moral, philosophical or social idea.
Well, you could rephrase that by saying Vlacil has no positive moral, philosophical or social idea, as I think the film is deeply nihilistic, though not in a cynical, but rather in a melancholic way. It's just that Vlacil clearly shows us a world where every social or religious 'institution' is deeply corrupt and everyone just follows their own violent instincts. That's why Marketa in the end cannot believe in a better life together with the shepherd and has to go her own way into the void.
As I said above, the unusual way of handling the narrative is a very fitting expression of the confusion and the chaos of this world. In this respect, the Kurosawa comparison may not be so far off as I inititally thought. But the reference point wouldn't be "Seven Samurai", but rather "Kagemusha" or "Ran".

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#164 Post by rs98762001 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:45 pm

You know, I don't think Sam Fuller would have dug Marketa either.

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#165 Post by PimpPanda » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:54 pm

I didn't think that this film was anything special. I loved the first half, but the second half seemed very contrived and simple-minded to me. Sure it was visually stunning, but near the end I found it frustrating and annoying. Did anyone have a similar experience?

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#166 Post by MichaelB » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:16 am

PimpPanda wrote:I didn't think that this film was anything special. I loved the first half, but the second half seemed very contrived and simple-minded to me. Sure it was visually stunning, but near the end I found it frustrating and annoying. Did anyone have a similar experience?
Well, it's ten days on, and no reply, so... :lol:

Anyway, here's a heads up - anyone in or near London on April 20 might want to keep the afternoon free...

(I understand this will be a 35mm screening, but I'd check with the cinema first)

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#167 Post by foggy eyes » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:32 am

MichaelB wrote:(I understand this will be a 35mm screening, but I'd check with the cinema first)
Apparently so - one of the Second Run guys assured me that it would definitely be 35mm after The Round-Up last night.

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#168 Post by Skritek » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:14 am

Supposedly there is a scene from the original print missing on the Second Run transfer. On the other hand there is one added, that doesn't exist.

It's in the scene after Alexandra and Adam make love. Adam kills the snake, which is supposedly visible in the original version, but was cut from the SR one. They on the other hand added a scene, because the music keeps on going, for that they just took some static pictures of the "pagan tree".

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#169 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:35 am

"They"? I think it's safe to assume this was in the print that Second Run was given, not concocted in the pressing plant by the label

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#170 Post by Skritek » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:51 am

domino harvey wrote:"They"? I think it's safe to assume this was in the print that Second Run was given, not concocted in the pressing plant by the label
I wrote "they" because I couldn't think of another word to use. I don't know where SR got the print from, but it seems that the changes were made because of the British law.

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#171 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:53 am

Skritek wrote:I wrote "they" because I couldn't think of another word to use. I don't know where SR got the print from, but it seems that the changes were made because of the British law.
Have Second Run confirmed this, or is this speculation?

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#172 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:56 am

Skritek wrote:
domino harvey wrote:"They"? I think it's safe to assume this was in the print that Second Run was given, not concocted in the pressing plant by the label
I wrote "they" because I couldn't think of another word to use. I don't know where SR got the print from, but it seems that the changes were made because of the British law.
You make a good point, that is certainly plausible, so I suppose it isn't safe to assume SR wasn't involved after all-- though SR should have just blacked out the screen rather than add the still if true.

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#173 Post by Skritek » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:19 am

MichaelB wrote:
Skritek wrote:I wrote "they" because I couldn't think of another word to use. I don't know where SR got the print from, but it seems that the changes were made because of the British law.
Have Second Run confirmed this, or is this speculation?
Speculation on my side. Over at nostalghia.cz it just says "the left out space of a couple of seconds, which originally showed how the knife cuts through the snake, has been replaced by some scenes, because accompanying the picture the music never stops playing,..."

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#174 Post by rs98762001 » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:28 pm

If the missing footage involves a snake being killed, I'd wager this was a BBFC classification problem. Wasn't there another SR title not long ago that was delayed because of some sort of animal rights issue with the censors? Knights of the Teutonic Order perhaps?

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#175 Post by Nimbydimby » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:04 pm

Yes. So was the case. This is a response I got from the BBFC to my query about that particular scene and depiction of violence on animals in film in general.
The BBFC has a statutory obligation under the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937 to ensure that no scene "was organised or directed in such a way as to involve the cruel infliction of pain or terror on any animal or the cruel goading of any animal to fury" in regards to works intended for cinema release in the UK. The same consideration is also given to works released on video and DVD.

The BBFC takes its legal obligations very seriously. If the examiners have any doubts or concerns over the treatment of animals in the works they view, assurances of well-being are sought from the distributors and/or film-makers. Expert veterinary advice has also been taken on a number of occasions to determine whether cruelty towards animals has been involved during the making of a film. Cuts will be made to films or DVDs where there is clear evidence of on-screen cruelty, or the makers are unable to provide convincing assurances.

In the case of MARKETA LAZAROVA, the examining team noted that the snake looked and reacted both terrified and furious when attacked with a knife. The scene was also clearly "organised or directed" for the sole purpose of being filmed. In these circumstances, it was judged that this represented an illegal act of animal cruelty under the tests and therefore
subject to intervention.

However, it should be noted that the killing of animals on screen does not always denote that cruelty to them has occurred. In the UK, for instance, the hunting methods of a number of species is currently legal practice, and therefore, by legal definition, not deemed to be a cruel activity. Likewise, the 'clean kill' of an animal by recognised methods, where the
animal is killed quickly and painlessly, without undue suffering, is also deemed as not being cruel.

Yours sincerely,

J L Green
Chief Assistant (Policy)

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