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Blu-ray Review A Few Words About A few words about…™ Miklos Jancso Collection – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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I remember seeing The Round Up and and The Red and the White in 16mm scope prints some time in the late 1960s, and the films blew me away for their technical attributes alone. I probably didn't fully understand the political undercurrents, which ring even more fully now than they did then - and more harshly.

But back then, it was the indescribably meticulous tracking shots, and the stark black & white cinematography, which can't hold a candle to these new Blu-rays of the restored films.

In projection, the black levels - almost charcoal here - are gorgeously produced, and leap off the screen.

I had no idea that this set was going to be released until a few weeks ago, and now I can celebrate, as Kino, working with The National Film Institute of Hungary delivers in spades.

There are five features films in the set, along with a half dozen or so short films, and audio commentaries.

The Roundup (1966), The Red and the White (1967), each on it's own disc, followed by The Confrontation (1968) and Winter Wind - in twelve long takes (1969) on the second disc, both in color.

The third disc holds films five and six, Red Psalm (1971) and Elektra, My Love (1974) twelve single-takes.

While I've only had the time to check out the four newest films, I've spent some quality time with the first two, with which I'm familiar, and have come away in awe of their beauty.

For those unaware, there's a lesson in filmmaking here, and at $34 - these street on May 10th, it's a steal, as the first two films along are worth the investment.

Huge kudos to Kino for backing this release.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Beautifully

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

Martin_Teller

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Preordered months ago, eagerly awaiting this. The first two films are masterpieces and are easily worth the price alone.
 

lark144

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I've been aware of this release for a couple months now, and have it on preorder. The first two films--"The Round-Up & "The Red and the White" were released last week by Kino as a two disc set. But for ten bucks more and three weeks wait, you can have the whole shew-bang. "The Confirmation" is a film I've been waiting to see again for fifty plus years now. I remember being blown away by it at the NYFF. It's a transition between the earlier, more narrative based film like "The Round Up"--which, by the way, I first saw on a double bill with "For a Few Dollars More" in the East Village, at the Charles on Avenue B, I think, and it fit perfectly--and the more presentational, almost Minnelli musical-like "Red Psalm" with its dancing, singing and preponderance of red, in long breathtaking crane shots. You may not understand what's going on, but you'll never forget it. The DVDs of the later color films have been especially abysmal. Grainy and dark and brownish colors. But I first saw these at the NYFF and they looked utterly amazing, their clarity and color beyond belief, and I expect them to look this way again on these Blu-Rays. In other words, don't miss this. The later films mat be wild and woolly, but they are so eye popping and unforgettable visually, you'll want to see them at least once. And the first two are among the greatest films of the 1960's. If you're a fan of the early Leone Westerns--and who isn't--you must see "The Round Up".
 

sbjork

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The last time that I watched The Red and the White was on a laserdisc that had rotted and had speckles throughout. That was maybe a quarter century ago. I've been so eager to get my hands on this set!
 

sbjork

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My copy of The Miklós Jancsó Collection hasn't shipped yet, but I did end up with a review copy of the two-disc The Round-Up/The Red and the White, and just watched the The Round-Up. It's gorgeous. Lots of distortion from the Agascope lenses, but that's not the fault of the restoration work performed by the NFI. It's been so long since I've watched them, that the stunning cinematography and camerawork by Tamás Somló had faded from memory. Anyone with even the barest of interest in the history of cinema needs to pick up the two-disc set at a bare minimum -- but the price on the full collection is sitting at $29.97 right now on Kino's website, so. . .
 

lark144

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My copy of The Miklós Jancsó Collection hasn't shipped yet, but I did end up with a review copy of the two-disc The Round-Up/The Red and the White, and just watched the The Round-Up. It's gorgeous. Lots of distortion from the Agascope lenses, but that's not the fault of the restoration work performed by the NFI. It's been so long since I've watched them, that the stunning cinematography and camerawork by Tamás Somló had faded from memory. Anyone with even the barest of interest in the history of cinema needs to pick up the two-disc set at a bare minimum -- but the price on the full collection is sitting at $29.97 right now on Kino's website, so. . .
Back when I first saw "The Round Up" in the late '60's, I thought that lens distortion was purposeful, an esthetic effect. "Wow!", I thought to myself as I sat in the dark. "This Jansco guy is really experimental. He even uses distortion to emphasize the characters' sense of alienation and despair." Then I started noticing that same distortion in other Eastern European 'scope films, and realized it was the lenses they were using.
 

Worth

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Back when I first saw "The Round Up" in the late '60's, I thought that lens distortion was purposeful, an esthetic effect. "Wow!", I thought to myself as I sat in the dark. "This Jansco guy is really experimental. He even uses distortion to emphasize the characters' sense of alienation and despair." Then I started noticing that same distortion in other Eastern European 'scope films, and realized it was the lenses they were using.
 

sbjork

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Stephen
The Red and the White is just as gorgeous as The Round-Up, with the caveat that it has a couple of flaws that I assume were on the negative, like a blemish on the top of the frame in one shot, and some shimmering in another. They don't take one iota away from the beauty of the transfers as a whole. Seriously, kids, buy these discs. Jancsó's later films can be a bit more challenging for viewers unfamiliar with his work, but at a bare minimum, buy the two-disc set -- though again, the price makes the full five-disc set hard to pass up. And no, I don't work for Kino Lorber. I'm just a Jancsó fan.
 

lark144

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The Red and the White is just as gorgeous as The Round-Up, with the caveat that it has a couple of flaws that I assume were on the negative, like a blemish on the top of the frame in one shot, and some shimmering in another. They don't take one iota away from the beauty of the transfers as a whole. Seriously, kids, buy these discs. Jancsó's later films can be a bit more challenging for viewers unfamiliar with his work, but at a bare minimum, buy the two-disc set -- though again, the price makes the full five-disc set hard to pass up. And no, I don't work for Kino Lorber. I'm just a Jancsó fan.
The later films may be more "challenging" in that they're more "presentational", as if Vincent Minnelli decided to make a musical about the communist revolution, using the ballet scene from "An American in Paris" as a template, but they're also so stunning to look at and so visually immersive and inventive--especially "Red Psalm"--that they're even more impressive, though not as emotionally involving and overwhelming as "The Round Up". But, if memory serves, and it's been 50 years since I've seen them, while the earlier films are stark, the later film are joyous, or at least. that's what I recall getting from them, in spite of the storylines.
 

sbjork

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The later films may be more "challenging" in that they're more "presentational", as if Vincent Minnelli decided to make a musical about the communist revolution, using the ballet scene from "An American in Paris" as a template, but they're also so stunning to look at and so visually immersive and inventive--especially "Red Psalm"--that they're even more impressive, though not as emotionally involving and overwhelming as "The Round Up". But, if memory serves, and it's been 50 years since I've seen them, while the earlier films are stark, the later film are joyous, or at least. that's what I recall getting from them, in spite of the storylines.
What I said was that they can be a bit more challenging for viewers unfamiliar with his work. That's all. Nothing to do with tone. It's just that The Round-up and The Red and the White don't require familiarity with his work to appreciate them, while the later films are much improved if you know more about the filmmaker.
 

sbjork

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Well, I finally burned my way through the whole set, commentaries and other extras included. It's stunning. The films are magnificent, the transfers are beautiful, and the extras are insightful. I can't possibly recommend it highly enough. It's my favorite release of the year so far, and it's been a helluva good year for releases.
 

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