RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

Milestone, Flicker Alley, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild...they're all here.
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solaris72
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#101 Post by solaris72 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:26 am

Heard back from Ruscico this morning. Pilot Pirx does not have subtitles; they do plan on releasing a subtitled version but don't have a date yet.

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Kirkinson
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#102 Post by Kirkinson » Sat May 02, 2009 12:23 am

jsteffe wrote:"KA" stands for "Kartuli," or Georgian. It's one of the standard DVD language track abbreviations. I just received the disc, and it indeed has the original Georgian language track. (Yay!) The transfer looks OK, if perhaps a little contrasty. (I haven't seen it in 35mm in years, so I really can't judge.) But the film is one of THE masterpieces of Georgian cinema.
Thanks for the confirmation, jsteffe! In the past this has always been the most high-profile Georgian film I've been unsuccessful in locating, so it'll be wonderful to finally see it.

Oddly enough, Shengelaia showed up in my news alerts today:
A legendary Georgian filmmaker said Friday he was founding a political "Party of Wine" to extol the virtues of the Caucasus republic's wine-making traditions and historic national values.

Giorgi Shengelaia, who also owns his own wine-making company, told AFP that the party would be aimed at developing the country's wine industry and supporting Georgian traditions.

"Wine is a symbol of Georgia and a pillar of the Georgian economy," he said, adding that the party would also seek to highlight "the times of our history when morality and chivalry were in favour."

Shengelaia said the party would be in opposition to President Mikheil Saakashvili, who he called "immoral".
Solaris72, that's unfortunate news about Pilot Pirx, but I'm glad to hear there'll be an English-friendly version eventually. After you pointed that out initially, I noticed that in fact the majority of the Tallinnfilm releases are unsubtitled. Ruscico has actually done this several times before -- e.g., there was a listing at Ozon for a Russian-only edition of Pirosmani long before the version that was just released -- so it makes sense. If those past instances are any indication, it'll probably be several months before English-friendly editions of these films come out, but they'll make it eventually. I hope the Armenfilm titles are in a similar situation.

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#103 Post by jsteffe » Mon May 18, 2009 11:56 am

Ashirg wrote:In Russia, they also released a boxset of Armenian films as The Best Movies of Armenfilm Volume 1. No English subtitles, but at least 3* films include Armenian soundtrack.
I just received that box set, which has a couple of Armenian films I've been looking for. The transfers are mostly OK, but the set does not include English subtitles at all. I don't mind this personally, but that will put it out of consideration for some. One of the films, The Star of Hope (1978, dir. Edmond Keosayan), has the same production designer as The Color of Pomegranates (Stepan Andranikyan) and was shot partly at the Haghpat monastery, as was Paradjanov's film. I'm looking forward to watching that one all the way through.

This brings me to the transfer of The Color of Pomegranates in that set. It is indeed a new transfer from the Yutkevich cut, but that doesn't mean it's a good transfer of the Yutkevich cut. Some shots are missing from the scene with St. George on the white horse, with the result that the soundtrack goes completely out of sync for half an hour or longer. (!!!) This problem exists on all three soundtracks. (Original mono, Armenian 5.1 and Russian dub.) I've never seen anything like this, not even in the worst public domain videos. Not that it even matters at this point, but to my eyes it also suffers from color and contrast manipulation. I see an awful lot of cyan in the midtones and highlights, perhaps to compensate for color fading? The reds are also too hot and look "off." I'd be curious to see whether they use the exact same transfer and soundtracks for the subtitled DVD that is part of their Paradjanov box set, but I'm not going to buy it and find out. Someone else will have to do that. At any rate, the disc in this particular box set is not at all on the level of their other three Paradjanov titles (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, The Legend of Suram Fortress and Ashik Kerib).

Update 5/19/09:
I've posted screen caps from all four versions for comparison in the screen caps thread. When, oh when will we see a DVD of The Color of Pomegranates that truly does justice to it? For now I'm sticking with the Kino for the Armenian release version and the Japanese disc for the Yutkevich cut.
Last edited by jsteffe on Tue May 19, 2009 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ashirg
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#104 Post by Ashirg » Tue May 19, 2009 12:28 am

Here's some screen captures from Ruscico disc (compared to Kino disc)

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#105 Post by jsteffe » Tue May 19, 2009 10:56 am

Ashirg wrote:Here's some screen captures from Ruscico disc (compared to Kino disc)
Thanks for bringing that website (http://www.vobzor.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) to our attention! It's really useful for those of us who collect Russian/Soviet films.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#106 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue May 19, 2009 5:26 pm

Ashirg wrote:Here's some screen captures from Ruscico disc (compared to Kino disc)
Good lord don't they know about (never mind upscaling or deinterlacing), if not comparing the same frame between scenes, at least comparing similar frames within a scene so a user can judge color differences?

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#107 Post by jsteffe » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:57 pm

RUSCICO has at last released their DVD of Eisenstein's October, with optional English subtitles.

I wondered whether they were ever going to get to the Eisensteins on their list. I have to say, though, after Kino's marvelous edition of the restored Potemkin it would be difficult for me to justify picking up that one if it ever gets released. I'd much rather see a subtitled DVD of The General Line or Pudovkin's Mother.

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Tommaso
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#108 Post by Tommaso » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:06 am

Yes, the fact that it has still the Shostakovitch soundtrack makes me assume that "October" hasn't undergone any restoration and that they just used the old Mosfilm print from the 70s; if you want to see that version with English subs, it's available dead cheap and in good quality in Spain (more or less a straight clone of the French disc).

videozor
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#109 Post by videozor » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:30 pm

jsteffe wrote:RUSCICO has at last released their DVD of Eisenstein's October, with optional English subtitles.
Russian version of their site includes some info on extras:

- historical footage on Lenin;
- behind the scenes;
- filmographies;
- photo galleries.

Not too much.

I believe their Kino-Shkola series is sort a low line.

By the way, could anybody comment on Gorky Trilogy, also from Kino-Shkola series. Are there any extras?

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#110 Post by jsteffe » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:33 pm

I didn't pick up the "Kino-Shkola" set of the Donskoi's Gorky trilogy, mainly because it's not subtitled. There's already a very nice subtitled DVD of The Childhood of Maxim Gorky produced by David Shepard for Image Entertainment. The other two films in the trilogy are not available anywhere with subtitles, so I'll probably get the set eventually.

I did, however, pick up Ptushko's The Stone Flower/Kamennyi tsvetok and Donskoi's The Village Schoolteacher/Sel'skaia uchitel'nitsa in the same series, and they look great. I think the "Kino-Shkola" series doesn't necessarily indicate second-tier, but rather that the films are "classics."

I'm not sure why RUSCICO didn't subtitle the Gorky trilogy, because it would probably sell better internationally than some of the other titles they've released. There's a new Sergei Gerasimov box set in the same line that doesn't appear to be subtitled, either.

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#111 Post by jsteffe » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:57 am

The Czech website DVDFreak has posted a comparison of the new, subtitled RUSCICO edition of Danelia's cult science fiction comedy Kin-dza-dza. Looks pretty good! Apparently they're using the new Mosfilm restoration that is also available in an unsubtitled version from Krupnyi Plan.

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L.A.
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#112 Post by L.A. » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:21 am

Kirkinson wrote:Grigory Kromanov's The Last Relic.
There's also a restored special edition DVD of Viimne reliikvia / The Last Relic available in Estonia. The film and if I recall even the nice extras are subtitled in English.

This was the first Estonian film I ever saw. Beautiful classic!

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MichaelB
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#113 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:50 am

jsteffe wrote:I'm not sure why RUSCICO didn't subtitle the Gorky trilogy, because it would probably sell better internationally than some of the other titles they've released.
It most certainly would - I suspect I'd have very little difficulty persuading Sight & Sound to run a piece on a half-decent DVD edition of those. But I'm afraid English subtitles are pretty much mandatory.

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#114 Post by jsteffe » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:55 am

L.A. wrote:There's also a restored special edition DVD of Viimne reliikvia / The Last Relic available in Estonia. The film and if I recall even the nice extras are subtitled in English.

This was the first Estonian film I ever saw. Beautiful classic!
Thanks, L.A.! I definitely need to track this one down. You are correct: subtiitrid: eesti, inglise, soome, läti, saksa, vene.

What a shame RUSCICO didn't provide English subtitles for their edition, but maybe there's some way I can get the Estonian version.

By the way, is there a good online store for *Finnish* films that will ship overseas?

eerik
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#115 Post by eerik » Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:15 pm

I have an old picture of the Tallinnfilm's DVD packaging that I took. It comes in nice cardboard case with booklet (in Estonian and English) and slipcase.

Image

It was restored in 2002 and after a big delay the DVD was released in 2004.

Special features:
Gallery
Original theatrical trailer from 1969
Footage from 2002 rerelease and interviews with main cast
Documentary about the movie, made in 2003
Test shots with commentary by assistant director

Everything is subtitled in: Estonian, English, Finnish, Latvian, German and Russian

The only other classic that Tallinnfilm has released on DVD is "Kevade" (1969), restored in 2006. Few years ago Estonian movie journalists voted it to be the best Estonian movie. It comes in cardboard case similar to "Viimne reliikvia" but the material is thicker and stronger. Booklet is in Estonian but main details about the movie are also in English.

Image
Special features:
Gallery
Trailers (original and rerelease)
Documentary about the movie, made in 2006

Movie is subtitled in: Estonian, English, Finnish, Russian, German, Swedish
Documentary subtitled in: Estonian, English, Russian

Tallinnfilm has also released a DVD with three restored short puppet animations: Sõda, Kevadine kärbes and Kapsapea. Regular plastic case, no booklet, no special features. Subtitles: Estonian, English, Russian, German, French.

Tallinnfilm has also restored "Ideaalmaastik", "Nipernaadi", many documentaries and animations but they have not been released on DVD.

Unfortunately, I don't know where you can order them... But be aware that there also is another release of "Kevade" that has awful transfer, bad subtitles and packaging and no special features.

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Ashirg
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#116 Post by Ashirg » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:26 am

I found this store that has English friendly interface, but I'm not sure if they ship outside Estonia.

eerik
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#117 Post by eerik » Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:23 pm

You can also try contacting CDMarket.eu. They ship worldwide but they are not selling "Kevade" nor "Viimne reliikvia" at the moment.

By the way, "Hukkunud alpinisti hotell" (1979) is currently in restoration process and will be rereleased later this year. Probably in October when Tallinnfilm opens their brand new (art house) cinema in Solaris centre, Tallinn.

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L.A.
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#118 Post by L.A. » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:55 am


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Person
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#119 Post by Person » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:11 pm

eerik wrote:"Hukkunud alpinisti hotell" (1979) is currently in restoration process and will be rereleased later this year. Probably in October when Tallinnfilm opens their brand new (art house) cinema in Solaris centre, Tallinn.
Excellent news. I recently acquired a DVD-R of this film. Pan and scan. Brilliant film.

eerik
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#120 Post by eerik » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:23 pm

The bad news is that Tallinnfilm hasn't released any DVDs for few years. They have restored many movies, documentaries, animations and promised to release them on DVD but we are still waiting.

Spider

Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#121 Post by Spider » Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:37 pm

I just discovered this thread and thought I'd add some words on Estonian films.

The Last Relic (Viimne reliikvia) is a movie almost every Estonian knows by heart. It may not seem so special to people from other countries, as it is quite typical swashbuckler movie and even in that genre there are quite a few better movies made elsewhere. However, it is often quoted in Estonia and many catchphrases have entered popular culture. The soundtrack also contains several catchy songs in Estonian which are also notable for their (thinly veiled) contempt against oppressors of any kind. That these songs managed to pass Soviet censorship is a miracle in its own. This is a movie that should most certainly be watched in Estonian although most of the actors are not from Estonia and their parts are dubbed. For example, brother Johannes is played by Rolan Bykov and dubbed by Jüri Järvet, both great actors in their own. So, it may not be the greatest movie ever made but it's a must-see if you want to understand Estonians better.

Spring (Kevade), also mentioned earlier, is basically a coming-of-age movie. It describes one year in the life of pupils in a small school at the end of the 19th century. As with The Last Relic, many phrases have entered popular culture. Like quite a few other movies of the era, it was shot in black-and-white. It is a great movie containing many laughs which I hope are not limited to Estonian audience. This movie should also be watched in Estonian.

Pilot Pirx's Test (Navigaator Pirx) is an Estonian-Polish co-production and I have absolutely no idea in what language it should be watched because of that. It does have an Estonian soundtrack but it is a dub and most actors are (again) non-Estonian. I can't even remember whether it was shown in Estonian or in Russian in television. However, in this case the Estonian dub is not so great anyway so Russian may even be a better option. Having seen only Estonian dub recently I cannot offer a definitive opinion on that part. The movie itself is quite naive by today's standards and consists mostly of talk but it does have it's moments. The special effects are also laughable. Still, it is quite unique in the history of Estonian movies because some parts of the movie were filmed in Paris, behind the iron curtain (you can even spot a McDonalds). I'm not sure I would recommend owning it though, it's probably only worth renting at most (if you actually somehow managed to do that).

Arabella, the Pirate’s Daughter (Arabella, mereröövli tütar) is a children's movie about a young girl on a pirate ship and a mysterious passenger that arrives there. It it based on a book but most of the story except title, names of the characters and a few key events is original. It is quite good but as the cast is all-Estonian this time there's no point in watching it in Russian. The title character's part is still dubbed by another actress though.

The Dead Mountaineer Hotel (Hukkunud alpinisti hotell) is widely regarded as a great movie and it probably is but since I haven't seen it since I was a child I cannot comment on that. I didn't understand what was happening and thought it was boring at the time. I was probably just too young to watch that and should really revisit it in the near future. If it will actually be re-released soon it might be a good opportunity to do just that.

Other Ruscico's Tallinnfilm movies didn't spark any recollection in my mind. I might've seen them many, many years ago. Then again, I might've not.

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#122 Post by jsteffe » Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:55 pm

I'm willing to bet that's the 70s version with step printing and the Shostakovich symphony excerpts on the soundtrack. I'll stick with the wonderful Kino DVD unless I hear something absolutely incredible about this one.

They've also released October (1927), probably the same edit that Corinth/Image released in the U.S. Again, I'm curious to see how it looks, and the documentary footage sounds enticing.

eerik
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#123 Post by eerik » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:45 pm

Tallinnfilm reports that re-release of newly restored "'Hukunud alpinisti' hotell" has been scheduled for November. DVD in 2010 I hope.

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jsteffe
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#124 Post by jsteffe » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:56 pm

Ruscico is finally offering subtitled DVDs of Mark Donskoy's Gorky Trilogy: The Childhood of Maxim Gorky, My Apprenticeship, and My Universities.

Now this is really wishful thinking, but someday I'd like to see a subtitled DVD of Donskoy's The Rainbow.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: RUSCICO (Russian Cinema Council)

#125 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:01 am

Still wondering what in hell happened to that new restoration of Bondarchuk's War & Peace that Kino had promised for release by Xmas 2008... owing to their deal w RusCiCo I assumed it was coming from them, though I could be wrong.

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