War & peace

War & peace

DVD - 2013 | Russian
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Based on the book by Leo Tolstoy. Two main story-lines are complex and intertwined. One is the love story of young Countess Natasha Rostova and Count Pierre Bezukhov, who is unhappy in his marriage. Another is the 'Great Patriotic War' of 1812 against the invading Napoleon's Armies. The Russian people from all classes of society stand up united against the enemy culminating in the battle of Borodino. Both sides suffer tremendous losses in the war, and Russian society is left irrevocably changed.
Publisher: Moscow : Intense Publishing, [2013]
Branch Call Number: WAR & PEACE RUSSIAN
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (401 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,rda
video file,DVD video,rda
Uniform Title: War and peace

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EvanSchoenfeld
Aug 03, 2018

Didn’t I read that all 70 mm copies were lost, and only poor quality copies from 16 mm exist? Only the Soviets could make one of the greatest movies ever, and the most expensive, and lose every one. But I come not to bury the copy but praise the film. It’s incredible that a piece so long, varied and ambitious remains such a high caliber throughout. There are even keen insights into human nature. (The French execute a young fellow during the occupation of Moscow. Wasn’t that the same actor who played the Bell Maker in 'Andrei Rublev'?)

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hesselugano
Dec 27, 2017

Having watched the original cinema release, I was disappointed in the technical quality of this DVD transfer from the original 1966 film stock; color and sharpness are poor and cropping is painfully evident when viewing the opening titles or the occasional triptychs Bondarchuk used; now only the center frame is fully visible and just the inner halves of the left and right frames appear. The real budget of this movie may never be known since almost all of the many thousands of extras who appear in the three armies of the battle scenes at Austerlitz, Borodino etc. were Red Army regulars, paid by the Soviet Government to play the French, Austrian and Russian armies respectively. Since army regulars would already be well drilled in marching, keeping formations and handling their weapons, this must have shrunk the film's budget considerably. Nevertheless the wardrobe costs for those many thousands of elaborate uniforms must have been colossal. Today's computer technology could have cut the cost of this six-hour epic to a relatively modest budget - a small batallion of real actors could today be digitally multiplexed into a regiment, then a brigade, then a division and finally into an entire army. It is unusual that Sergei Bondarchuk himself should have taken on the additional task of acting in the role of Pierre Bezukhov. His demanding performances as both actor and director are superb.

t
TomasInce
Mar 21, 2016

I saw this masterpiece by Sergei Bondarchuck on the big screen at SIFF several years ago and was blown away by the majesty of it all.

This version by Kultor is an insult to anyone who loves movies. It's not widescreen (it's pan and scanned or cropped) and the image quality is unforgivable. For a comparison between Kultor and RusCiCo (the version that's meant to be viewed) go to:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare/warandpeace.htm

I suggest going to Scarecrow Video in Seattle and renting the Russian release.

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