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Press Release Criterion Press Release: War and Peace (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. john a hunter

    john a hunter Screenwriter

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    As Oliver says, there is not that much info around on Soviet 70mm.
    However you can start at pages 198-199 in Michael Z Wysotsky's book "Wide screen Cinema and stereophonic sound".
    This was the first book on the subject published in the late 60's.
     
  2. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    In70mm has some information:

    https://www.in70mm.com/news/2010/sovscope/index.htm
     
  3. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Yes, found that site, too but also no real info about the process itself which is kind of strange.
    The consensus seems to be that the Sovjets copied Western 70mm but then why did they choose 70mm instead of 65mm - nobody seems to address that even on a site like in70mm.com.
     
  4. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    I think that I have at least one book that discusses the process but I would have to look it up to see into how much detail it goes.
    Oh well, it is not as if this disc would go back to a scan from the 70mm elements, just good old 35mm...
     
  5. john a hunter

    john a hunter Screenwriter

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    Quiet a lot detail Oliver as the book is from a Russian text.
    It was the first book released covering wide screen systems with the emphasis on Russian cinema.
    As Russia had to build their cameras from scratch,unlike the US who could adapt cameras from the late 20's, they could use 70 stock both for filming and projection.
    That's my guess anyway!
     
  6. owen35

    owen35 Stunt Coordinator

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    I just saw the release at The Castro Theatre and it looks and sounds amazing!! There are a few spots that are clearly the “best we can do”, but overall it looked phenomenal. I think everyone will be blown away by this release.
     
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  7. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Ah, then that's not the book that I have, mine is from a Western author.

    Yes I guess they just found it a bit more logical to have the same width for negatives and prints. It has worked very well for good old 35mm :)
     
  8. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Happy to hear that, was it all shown in one day?
     
  9. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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    I wasn't planning on purchasing this at all, but this thread has really generated a lot of interest in me on this one.
    I'll probably pick it up on the next B&N sale.
     
  10. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

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    I saw the first two chapters of the recent Mosfilm restoration at the Walter Reade theater (in a DCP from Janus) on Friday. What I was most impressed with is that they somehow managed to keep all the many double exposures dirt and wear free. Though the color quality is a bit erratic, my memory is that it was always this way, for there are all kinds of weird experimental things going on--lots of Vaseline shots and swirly psychedelia intruding into balls and battle scenes. When things are left alone, such as in the ballroom scene in the beginning of Chapter 2, the color and depth of field are spectacular. The film is way better than I remember. Not only spectacular, but deeply personal and compulsively watchable. Stylistically, it's a cross between Kubrick's 2001 & BARRY LYNDON, except unlike Kubrick, with characters one becomes deeply involved with. I wasn't going to buy the Criterion since I'm seeing the film this week, but now I want to see it again!
     
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  11. john a hunter

    john a hunter Screenwriter

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    Was there a decent audience when you saw it Mark?
     
  12. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

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    It wasn't sold out, but it was decent. I believe the Walter Reade seats 350 so there were around 150 for the first chapter, mostly little old Russian ladies munching popcorn. The second chapter had more, say 250-300, and there were a lot more young people, I think mostly Julliard students. I always go in the afternoon, when there's less people. Also I get a senior discount, which doesn't hurt. But if you see all four chapters, there's already a series discount @ $25, $20 for seniors.
     
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  13. owen35

    owen35 Stunt Coordinator

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    It was. Started at 1:00 pm and we didn't finish until 9: 15 (several 10 minutes breaks and 30 minutes for dinner). The place was packed and there was a line down the street to get into the theater 1 hour before the show even started. Big applause at the end.

    I watched the DVD several years ago and this was longer than that release. Suffice it to say, that the battle scenes have to be seen on the big screen. They are really mind-boggling epic. Thousands of people laid out across this huge canvas; words cannot do it justice. As for the film itself, there was a lot of watch glancing during the last 45 minutes. But, overall, the audience really enjoyed it, and despite its running time, the time flew by. So glad I did it. And, again, the quality of the print is stunning! It's not Lawrence of Arabia restoration quality, but far better than I could have ever imagined. The sound was sharp and robust. This will be a worthwhile purchase.
     
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  14. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Sounds like my forst time watching all of it in 70mm. I think it went from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM with breaks between the individual parts. Very happy that you felt the quality held up on a big screen and looking forward to my Criterion set!
     
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  15. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    Just received my Blu-ray today. Never saw the film but have read a lot about it and was worth a blind purchase. A big fan of Russian cinema so very excited to watch this soon.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The release looks nothing akin to large format. It also hasn’t aged well. No idea what befell the original elements, which is a pity.
     
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  17. john a hunter

    john a hunter Screenwriter

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    If this then is the best we can get, it's a great pity.
     
  18. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    I have read from other posts & websites that Mosfilm did not take great care of their film negatives?
     
  19. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    In my experience Russian 70mm unfortunately was not on the same level of detail and clarity as Western titles originating from a 65mm negative which is a shame given that many of these movies are held in high regard by film critics and film historians.

    From what I have seen across a number of Russian productions the quality did not even compare favorably with very good 35mm Blow-Ups like for example Guns for San Sebastian or The Wild Bunch to name two titles with exceptional detail in daylight scenes.
     
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  20. Message #100 of 132 Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    DP 70

    DP 70 Screenwriter

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    I remember seeing The Story Of the Flaming Years in 70mm in NFT1 on the Southbank in the late 70s
    and as Oliver says the Russian 70mm did not have the same level of detail as Western titles from 65mm.
    I am sure they called it Kinopanorama.
     

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