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Where are the Russian classics on Blu-ray? (1 Viewer)

Dick

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Rick
Specifically, of course, where is WAR AND PEACE (1968)? This epic is just so-o superior to the 1956 Paramount thing with Audrey Hepburn that it's like a completely different story, based on a completely different novel. Yet, for whatever reason, no effort seems to have gone into its restoration, even in Russia (that I can find).

Also, less well-known but at the time (1956) the most expensive Russian production ever was ILYA MUROMETS or, as known to us Million Dollar Movie viewers in the NYC suburbs, SWORD AND THE DRAGON, which was a badly dubbed version of the original. I own an imported DVD copy of the Russian-language edition, and you can see where the production money went. It's a delightful folk tale with elaborate special effects and a wonderful musical score. But the DVD looks terrible -- out of focus and non-anamorphic.

Ruscico released these DVD's in Europe, but has anyone in the U.S. the rights to these films and, if so, where the hell are they?
 

t1g3r5fan

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Mychal Bowden
I've heard rumblings about Criterion having a new deal with Mosfilm, so that may be our best bet on a few of these Russian films. While we're on the subject, here's a few titles I'd like to see get the Blu treatment:

The Red Tent
While Paramount has released a quality DVD of the International version, I would like to see the original version - which runs just under an hour longer with a different score - released as well. If Criterion can manage to license both versions for release, I'd be one happy camper

And Quiet Flows the Don
Kino has released this film - something like "Gone with the Wind" for Russia - on DVD, but I don't know if they still have the rights to this for Blu-ray release.

Que Viva Mexico!
Like the previous title, Kino has released this on DVD, but unknown whether or not they still have the rights.

Tchaikovsky
Another Kino DVD title which rights/availability is unknown

Storm Over Asia
Earth
 

moviepas

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Specifically, of course, where is WAR AND PEACE (1968)? Is this like Russia's The Alamo?

I have mentioned this film in the past. I never saw it but a number of years ago a Melbourne/Australia suburban restored theater showed this complete with a long meal break around the middle of this epic of around 8 hours. He took his then wife and later, as they left the theater, she told him to never do that to her again. I guess he never did. He told me the film started a guy exclaimed loudly that they had given the film a passive new beginning of farm field(ala O What a Beautiful Morning type scene) insteaf of the original violent opening with cannon fire etc. Why would they do that is anyone's guess.

Kino did have Come and See available and if memory serves me right this long film used Russico imported discs packaged by Kino.

One I have on laserdisc is the film from the 1950s, The Cranes Are Flying which has a nice jazz score.

There are a lot of Russian films on YT of which many are recent vintage and not often with subtitles and a good number have sex themes.

Russia did have a lot of films in their archives that came from thefts from Germany after 1945 and older US films, often edited for Russian consumption. A lot of rare prints have returned to Germany and we read about hard drives of US films being sent to the LOC but I can't see any information on that material being released on DVD etc to date. Maybe some has but..
 

B-ROLL

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Specifically, of course, where is WAR AND PEACE (1968)? Is this like Russia's The Alamo?

I have mentioned this film in the past. I never saw it but a number of years ago a Melbourne/Australia suburban restored theater showed this complete with a long meal break around the middle of this epic of around 8 hours. He took his then wife and later, as they left the theater, she told him to never do that to her again. I guess he never did. He told me the film started a guy exclaimed loudly that they had given the film a passive new beginning of farm field(ala O What a Beautiful Morning type scene) insteaf of the original violent opening with cannon fire etc. Why would they do that is anyone's guess.

Kino did have Come and See available and if memory serves me right this long film used Russico imported discs packaged by Kino.

One I have on laserdisc is the film from the 1950s, The Cranes Are Flying which has a nice jazz score.

There are a lot of Russian films on YT of which many are recent vintage and not often with subtitles and a good number have sex themes.

Russia did have a lot of films in their archives that came from thefts from Germany after 1945 and older US films, often edited for Russian consumption. A lot of rare prints have returned to Germany and we read about hard drives of US films being sent to the LOC but I can't see any information on that material being released on DVD etc to date. Maybe some has but..
I believe some of the restored footage for Fritz Lang's Metropolis came from that archive ...
 

Angelo Colombus

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Like to see Sergei Parajanov's Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors (1964) on Blu-ray. One of my favorite Russian films of all time and first saw this on my local PBS station when I was 15 years old.
 

cinemiracle

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Peter
Specifically, of course, where is WAR AND PEACE (1968)? Is this like Russia's The Alamo?

I have mentioned this film in the past. I never saw it but a number of years ago a Melbourne/Australia suburban restored theater showed this complete with a long meal break around the middle of this epic of around 8 hours. He took his then wife and later, as they left the theater, she told him to never do that to her again. I guess he never did. He told me the film started a guy exclaimed loudly that they had given the film a passive new beginning of farm field(ala O What a Beautiful Morning type scene) insteaf of the original violent opening with cannon fire etc. Why would they do that is anyone's guess.

Kino did have Come and See available and if memory serves me right this long film used Russico imported discs packaged by Kino.

One I have on laserdisc is the film from the 1950s, The Cranes Are Flying which has a nice jazz score.

There are a lot of Russian films on YT of which many are recent vintage and not often with subtitles and a good number have sex themes.

Russia did have a lot of films in their archives that came from thefts from Germany after 1945 and older US films, often edited for Russian consumption. A lot of rare prints have returned to Germany and we read about hard drives of US films being sent to the LOC but I can't see any information on that material being released on DVD etc to date. Maybe some has but..


Unfortunately WAR AND PEACE was not shown in Australia in 70mm - only in 35mm.
 

cinemiracle

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Peter
Like to see Sergei Parajanov's Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors (1964) on Blu-ray. One of my favorite Russian films of all time and first saw this on my local PBS station when I was 15 years old.

My favourite Russian films are : QUIET FLOWS THE DON ; COME AND SEE ; STALINGRAD (the original -not the recent remake); BALLAD OF A SOLDIER ; LADY WITH A DOG and BATTLESHIP POTEMPKIN. I only have POTEMPKIN on bluray- the rest are on dvd. Luckily many of these films were screened at the cinema where I was working so I got to see them many times. They are sorely missed on bluray. I can't even find them available in Russia. BALLAD OF A SOLDIER is my favourite Russian film. Extremely moving no matter how many times I have seen it . No country could make anti-war films as they did in Russia.
 

Patrick McCart

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Like to see Sergei Parajanov's Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors (1964) on Blu-ray. One of my favorite Russian films of all time and first saw this on my local PBS station when I was 15 years old.

It was the first "Russian" film I saw (technically, it's a Ukrainian film, I think) and it was a revelation. One of the most beautiful films ever made. I'd buy Blu editions of it and The Color of Pomegranates as soon as they went up for pre-order.
 

Dick

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Rick
I just received a reply from Ruscico with regards to my inquiry about Blu-ray releases:

Dear Rick,

No, I`m afraid blu-rays are not in our plans at the moment.



my best regards,

Irina Kalashnikova

Head Of International Department

---------------------------------------------------------------------
RUSCICO - Russian Cinema Council

And my response to this was:

I thank you for your honesty and fast response. But you do realize what a wealth of movie history you are sitting on, don't you?


R


I would suggest that any of you who value the Russian film catalog send a message to Ruscico. They have a web site.

http://www.ruscico.com/catalog/cataloguedvd/catalogue_162.html?lang=1
 

Ed Lachmann

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Edmund Lachmann
Dick, so glad you brought up Ilya Muromets, it's a personal favorite and, yes, I remember it fondly as a kid when I first saw it as The Sword and the Dragon. Great soundtrack score, too, Let's hope we see many of these listed someday soon. I'd love a blu-ray of the recent Bogdan Stupka Taras Bulba with English subs, as well.
 

cinemiracle

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Peter
I just received a reply from Ruscico with regards to my inquiry about Blu-ray releases:

Dear Rick,

No, I`m afraid blu-rays are not in our plans at the moment.



my best regards,

Irina Kalashnikova

Head Of International Department

---------------------------------------------------------------------
RUSCICO - Russian Cinema Council

And my response to this was:

I thank you for your honesty and fast response. But you do realize what a wealth of movie history you are sitting on, don't you?


R


I would suggest that any of you who value the Russian film catalog send a message to Ruscico. They have a web site.

http://www.ruscico.com/catalog/cataloguedvd/catalogue_162.html?lang=1


I have bought dvds from Ruscico many times over the years and they are a great company to deal with. I recently bought THE DAWNS HERE ARE QUIET - a famous Russian film from 1972. A Chinese friend of mine recommended it as it is a favourite of his.
 

Allansfirebird

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Sean
I seem to remember that the original elements of Bondarchuk's War and Peace were locked up in legal limbo following his death, and they're in a warehouse somewhere in Ukraine.
 

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