war and peace criterion
Vyacheslav Tikhonov embodies the disillusioned Prince Andrei very well; Boris Zakhava makes for a memorable Field Marshal Kutuzov. Just picked this up from Amazon as my wife and I wanted something a little different to watch. Nice extras on the disc too. Understandably revered and praised in both its home country and all over the world, Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace may just be the definitive film adaptation of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel. No CGI. By this point, the French have been victorious and begin to occupy a mostly-deserted Moscow.
Cold War Classic (46:44) – Film scholar Denise J. Youngblood talks about some of the influences as well as the historical context of the movie in this brand new program. Interview with Anatoly Petritsky (14:19) – The lead cinematographer talks about some of the innovative camera techniques and the challenges involved in this brand new interview. Indeed, we shall never see its like again. All three of them are the driving force of the story, and the main reason the film continues to have a strong emotional thread running through it (thanks in no small part to the excellent performances), which is vitally important for such a grand tale that spans for seven hours. War and Peace – 1966 Documentary (48:36) – This Polish documentary takes us behind the scenes during the filming of the movie.
It took five years to make, exacting a great toll on everyone involved (Bondarchuk suffered two heart attacks during production), but the result is truly something to behold.
Making War and Peace (30:52) – This 1969 documentary, commissioned by Mosfilm, follows the movie from production to release. This was a movie that I had often heard about but never saw up until I had the chance to review it. In this sense, it feels as though there is a missing real (or at least a few scenes that would explain these gaps), and indeed there are conflicting reports about there being an eight-hour version of the film, but this being a Criterion release, one must assume that it’s the most complete version of the film available, so as to why these gaps are here remains unexplained. Split into four parts, it covers character introductions and laying the framework for the story to come, the budding romance between Andrei and Natasha (and the complications therein), Pierre’s driftings into and around the various events that unfold, and, of course, Napoleon’s invasion, capped off by the Battle of Borodino and the brief occupation of Moscow. To give a detailed synopses of what “War and Peace” is about would no doubt take at least a couple of pages, so suffice it to say that the novel and film follows three main characters: Pierre Bezukhov (Sergei Bondarchuk), Prince Andrei Bolkonsky (Vyacheslav Tikhonov), and Natasha Rostova (Lyudmila Saveleva). A few words about…™ The President’s Lady – in Blu-ray, Home Automation, Accessories, Cables, and Remotes, Coming Soon From Classic Flix: The Little Rascals Preservation & Restoration Project. Their trials and relationships form the crux of the story as Napoleon and his forces seek to conquer Russia in his quest to rule the world. Biblical-Roman-Egyptian epics not yet on Blu-ray. I rarely make a blind purchases until i have seen the film first on tv or checked out from the library but i love big epic films and i was not disappointed when i viewed the Criterion release and the movie for the first time. Fedor Bondarchuk (7 Minutes): A short interview in which Sergei Bondarchuk’s son discusses his father’s work, with a particular emphasis on the difficulties of making “War and Peace.”. Making War and Peace (30:52) – This 1969 documentary, commissioned by Mosfilm, follows the movie from production to release. At first, the film was rumored to cost about $100 million dollars, but it was later discovered to have cost only about $10 million, while another rumor claimed that the film used about 120,000 extras, though this was later debunked by Bondarchuk himself, who claims he only had 12,000. I've wanted to see this for years, but I have no interest in watching a film of this length sloppily converted from PAL and in pan and scan (as the available US editions presented it). Cold War Classic (47 Minutes): An excellent featurette in which historian Denise J. Youngblood discusses Tolstoy’s novel, the film, and their places in history. Don't expect anything resembling Lawrence of Arabia, 2001, or The Sound of Music.
Instances of crackling, popping, or hissing are very few and far in between, which makes this likely the best the movie will ever sound on home video.
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