1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

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

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    328
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Now that the dust has settled guys, how do you rate the PQ and SQ.?
    I won't be able to see mine for a few weeks and for me this should be the release of the year.
     
  2. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,210
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Real Name:
    Angelo
    I am on the second disc and while watching it I am reminded of films like Napoleon, The Leopard, and Parajanov’s Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors. Very good film with some of the best war scenes I have ever seen. Like the scene in one of the documentaries where the director is holding one big roll of the 70mm film.
     
    PMF and john a hunter like this.
  3. Cranston37

    Cranston37 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    953
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    .
    War and Peace is now streaming on the Criterion Channel if anyone is unsure about a purchase...
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    53,029
    Likes Received:
    8,910
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    THANK YOU for this information. I will probably start streaming this today and watch it over the next few days. I really didn't want to spend the money on the 2-disc set.
     
  5. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    3,108
    Likes Received:
    2,735
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Hamilton Ontario
    Real Name:
    Terry Carroll
    I am watching the first disc now, and am getting into the first “war” section. I saw this movie theatrically in the North American cut 100 years ago. I can see why it was cut. Some sequences here are slooooow indeed. I am pressing through with a strong cup of coffee at my side.
     
    PMF likes this.
  6. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,210
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Real Name:
    Angelo
    There were some slow parts of the movie but liked seeing the outfits and the set decorations which were very lavish.
     
    PMF likes this.
  7. richardburton84

    richardburton84 Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    300
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I just finished watching the film a few days ago after receiving the Blu-ray as a birthday present, and while there are definitely a few slow parts, I managed to get through it just fine, probably because I was too blown away by the production aspects, especially the cinematography, to let them bother me.
     
    atcolomb likes this.
  8. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    750
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    mark gross
    What I liked most about the film (which is also the reason I've watched it twice since getting it) is how Tolstoy's ideas about human destiny and nature is expressed through the visual and sound design, which is also embedded within the character arcs. And of course, the characters themselves! I hesitate to say performances as it doesn't seem like acting, but simply being.
     
    donniecasali, atcolomb and PMF like this.
  9. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    459
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    David
    I read War and Peace a few years ago. I had read it in high school, but it was a horribly abridged version. The most recent one I read was the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation. I had been watching the Image DVD version of the film one day, and thought it odd that the story just sort of sneaks up, without a pronounced "our story begins" type of start (unlike the American version from the 50s). I wondered if the book was that way. It was actually more so. Characters are introduced right away, and some appear to be major characters and turn out not to be.

    One thing I do think is that anyone thinking of reading the book should see the Russian film version first. Unless one is extraordinarily familiar with the period, it will be difficult to know what you are supposed to be seeing in the novel's descriptions. The design and execution of the Russian War and Peace is jaw-dropping in almost every scene. The battle scenes are obviously impressive. There are shots of the armies that stretch for at least half a mile or more. But there are tons of details elsewhere that one can overlook while getting caught up in the story. Look at the breath vapor when the horses are snorting during Nikolai's sleigh journey home and during Pierre's duel, the entrance in the freezing cold of the Rostov family at the ball, and their progression up the stairs and into the ballroom. Look at the hair styles of Prince Andrei and Anatole, in which they brush the hair forward and sort of pile it on top of their heads. These are all details that could be missed while reading the novel.

    For those who are interested, I recommend watching the movie, then reading the unabridged novel, then seeing the movie again to appreciate how well they translated the written page to the screen. There are many fascinating details in the novel that are not onscreen. Princess Maria gets pretty short shrift in all movie versions, and she was one of the more interesting characters in the novel. It also would not hurt for one to read at least a Wikipedia article on the Austerlitz and 1812 campaigns. A dramatic moment in the film is when the Austrian General Mack presents himself to General Kutuzov as "the unfortunate General Mack". This refers to Napoleon's famous Maneuver of Ulm, in which his army surrounded and trapped an entire Austrian army under Mack. It would have struck the Russians like a thunderbolt to learn that an allied army was lost to the campaign.

    The only part of the film (and novel) that are kind of slow to me is after the fire of Moscow when the French begin their retreat and Pierre is one of the prisoners. However, I would not cut anything from the film. I don't think its length is a problem, and I usually watch it as four films as originally released. It kind of reminds me of Barry Lyndon in that the recreation of an entire world down to minute details occupies my eye and mind throughout its length.
     
  10. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,210
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    Real Name:
    Angelo
    After I saw the film I viewed my dvd of the PBS broadcast Napoleon (2000) narrated by David McCullough which talked about his time in Russia.
     
    PMF likes this.
  11. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    750
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Real Name:
    mark gross
    It's interesting you should mention Kubrick, as this time through (I first saw the film in 70mm at the DeMille in 68 or 69, going for the all day option with a dinner break) what the film made me think of more than anything else is a stylistic amalgam of 2001 & BARRY LYNDON. I mention 2001 in particular, as a lot of WAR AND PEACE is really trippy (for instance the opening credits with the camera floating upward from the roots of grasses and trees, or the scene at the Opera from Natasha's POV when one isn't certain if this is dream or a memory) but all these weird experiments in sight and sound are allied to a rigorously moving camera, magisterial and God-like, which appears to be the representation of Tolstoy's authorial voice. So yes, very detailed in terms of period and character/class based fashion while at the same time the technical & aesthetic aspect of the images transcending all this human frailty that one is witnessing. Now I'm not suggesting Kubrick copied WAR AND PEACE, but I find it interesting how the two directors chose similar approaches. And yes, the Princess Maria is a fascinating and very important character in the novel, and in the film, one only gets brief glimpses of her inner turmoil through facial expressions. I think this is the one of the few cases where one can fault the film in terms of the adaption from novel to film.
     
  12. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    192
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Mark McSherry
    But if you follow Princess Mary, you need to spend more time with Natasha's brother, Nicholas. Which I wish they had. I could easily watch an additional hour of the movie, if this would have been done. Then we would have gotten that hilarious bit from the novel---

    Nicholas had helped Princess Mary escape the French prior to the Battle of Borodino. Later, Nicholas Rostov is sent to Voronezh (300 miles south of Moscow) to requisition horses for the army. Arriving, Nicholas is invited to the local governor's house that first night to attend the weekly social gathering. And Nicholas is in the highest of spirits.

    From Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace (Maude Translation), Kindle Edition.
    Nicholas sat leaning slightly forward in an armchair, bending closely over the blonde lady and paying her mythological compliments with a smile that never left his face.

    Jauntily shifting the position of his legs in their tight riding breeches, diffusing an odor of perfume, and admiring his partner, himself, and the fine outlines of his legs in their well-fitting Hessian boots, Nicholas told the blonde lady that he wished to run away with a certain lady here in Voronezh.

    "Which lady?"

    "A charming lady, a divine one. Her eyes" (Nicholas looked at his partner) "are blue, her mouth coral and ivory; her figure" (he glanced at her shoulders) "like Diana's… ."

    The husband came up and sullenly asked his wife what she was talking about.

    "Ah, Nikita Ivanych!" cried Nicholas, rising politely, and as if wishing Nikita Ivanych to share his joke, he began to tell him of his intention to elope with a blonde lady.

    The husband smiled gloomily, the wife gaily. The governor's good-natured wife came up with a look of disapproval.

    "Anna Ignatyevna wants to see you, Nicholas," said she, pronouncing the name so that Nicholas at once understood that Anna Ignatyevna was a very important person. "Come, Nicholas! You know you let me call you so?"

    "Oh, yes, Aunt. Who is she?"

    "Anna Ignatyevna Malvintseva. She has heard from her niece how you rescued her… Can you guess?"

    "I rescued such a lot of them!" said Nicholas.

     
    lark144 likes this.

Share This Page