Polish Cinema on DVD

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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L.A.
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#676 Post by L.A. » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:41 am

The Last Stage (Wanda Jakubowska, 1948) has been restored and will be shown at Berlinale. Fingers crossed it comes to Blu, I understand the previous DVDs are best avoided.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#677 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:59 am

The Polart DVD is such an abomination that I even ripped the .vob files to see if I could improve them even marginally - but the problems turned out to be baked in.

An incredibly important film (not least because I believe it was the first feature from anywhere to tackle the Holocaust, and was directed by a survivor), it's long overdue for a restoration, and I can't wait to see it.

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TMDaines
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#678 Post by TMDaines » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:10 am

Big up for DVDMax.pl. My Kieslowski documentary set and a handful of Blu-rays came super well packaged and shipping to the UK was less than £5. Will be using a lot in the future.


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TMDaines
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#680 Post by TMDaines » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:26 am

Nice. I will hoover up all the stuff I don't already have. Shame no, A Generation which has had a Japanese release previously.

You also missed Sprawa Gorgonowej (1977 - Janusz Majewski).

djvaso
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#681 Post by djvaso » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:39 pm


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Lowry_Sam
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#682 Post by Lowry_Sam » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:45 pm


So is the same company who put out the Wajda Antologia Filmowa dvd box set just over a year ago putting these out (and if so why didn't they do a blu-ray box)? If not, are they the same restorations that were advertised when the Scorsese box sets were about to be announced, but never materialized (particularly for Popioly, which had a restoration trailer by Rekonstrukcja 5 years ago, but which has disappeared from the web)? Did Rekonstrukcja go out of business? I really wish Criterion was releasing a Wajda box instead of Bruce Lee this year. Importing all these individually would be a bit pricey, but at least I held off on the dvd box.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#683 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:16 am

I bought the DVD box for the extras, which were both copious and 100% English-friendly.

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#684 Post by Lowry_Sam » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:55 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:16 am
I bought the DVD box for the extras, which were both copious and 100% English-friendly.
So it's true the box has 36 discs but only 26 films? Is there an English translation somewhere of what's on those 10 extra discs? I take it the book is Polish only.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#685 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:23 pm

There are indeed 36 discs, presented in groups of four.

1. A Generation (1954)
2. Kanal (1956)
3. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
4. Wróblewski According to Wajda (2015)/Jan Nowak Jeziorański, Courier from Warsaw (2004)/We Film the People! (2012)
5. Innocent Sorcerers (1960)
6. Ashes (1965)
7. Everything for Sale (1968)
8. Love at Twenty (Wajda episode, 1962)/On Set (1968)
9. The Birch Wood (1970)
10. Landscape After Battle (1970)
11. Pilate and Others (1971)
12. Roly Poly (1968)/Andrzej Wajda on The Birch Wood (2016)
13. The Wedding (1972)
14. The Promised Land (1974)
15. The Shadow Line (1976)
16. Loan and Debit: Andrzej Wajda on Himself (1999)/Conversation at the Christmas Table (2015)/Polish newsreel about The Shadow Line (1975)
17. Rough Treatment (1978)
18. The Maids of Wilko (1979)
19. The Conductor (1980)
20. May the Buoyancy of Home Be With You (1979)/Henryk Wojnarowski on The Conductor (2016)/A Close-up of Andrzej Wajda (2004)
21. Man of Marble (1976)
22. Man of Iron (1981)
23. Workers '80 (1980)
24. The Brick and Other Wajda Film Awards (2012)
25. Danton (1982)
26. A Chronicle of Amorous Incidents (1985)
27. Korczak (1990)
28. Andrzej Wajda on A Chronicle of Amorous Incidents (2007)/Agnieszka Holland on Korczak (2016)
29. Pan Tadeusz (1999)
30. The Revenge (2002)
31. Katyń (2007)
32. Dreams Are More Interesting (1999)/The Sabre of My Father (2016)
33. Sweet Rush (2009)
34. Wałęsa: Man of Hope (2013)
35. Afterimage (2016)
36. Making of Afterimage (2016)/Wajda - Lesson of Cinema (2016)

Everything bar the hefty (216 pages) and copiously illustrated book is fully bilingual in Polish and English.

Handily, the feature discs are barebones, so I've been replacing them with BDs where available (I have nine so far, and another eight on order). But looking over that list reminds me of why I ultimately decided to buy it - unlike the Kieślowski set, which has hardly anything that I didn't already have, I had virtually none of the extras (some of which are very substantial indeed), and some of the features were otherwise unavailable. Also, the sources and transfers on quite a few of the others were significantly superior to the DVDs that I already had, although they'll obviously be superseded by the BDs (which invariably came from the same restoration).

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#686 Post by Lowry_Sam » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:15 pm

Thanks for the breakdown. So both parts of Ashes is on a single disc? I would have thought they'd at least break up that one. Has anyone commented on p/q or bit rate.? Since it's a recent I would think that they are double-layered & maxed out bit rate. Did Rekonstrukcja put this out? I do remember their credit on The Ashes restoration demonstration trailer, so I would assume that that's what was used for this. Any idea on how many of the films are in fact the restorations, I am surprised there's been no English review of this set to date as its an English friendly release & super comprehensive. I might have made a greater effort to pick it up in spite of not being blu-ray had I found a good review covering the quality of the source material & presentation.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#687 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:22 pm

I'm guessing that by "Rekonstrukja" you're referring to the five BDs put out by DMMS Media Distribution a few years ago? (True, they have "Rekonstrukja cyfrowa" on the front in big letters, but that merely means "Digitally restored").

Anyway, as far as I'm aware they're all recent restorations (and the same Kino RP ones), but obviously because they're DVDs they don't show them off to their full advantage.

dws1982
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#688 Post by dws1982 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:18 am

Is there any hope for releases of A Love in Germany, The Possessed, or most of Wajda's 90's output? I was able to see a lot of his early work through (not very good) the DVDs that Vanguard Cinema put out in the early 2000's, and Pan Tadeusz and The Revenge were released by MGE (a label I'm otherwise unfamiliar with), but those films never showed up in any US release. I'm region-free now, but I'm still unaware of any English-friendly releases of those films.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#689 Post by MichaelB » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:34 am

The Possessed is out on Blu-ray in France, but only with French SDH subtitles. There are decent (and recent) English-friendly DVDs of both Pan Tadeusz and The Revenge available in Poland. The 1990s stuff between Korczak and Pan Tadeusz has always been incredibly hard to get hold of - in Poland there's an unsubtitled DVD of The Crowned-Eagle Ring, but nothing else that I'm aware of, and it's quite telling that this period of his career has been omitted from the box when all his other decades are covered pretty well.

(Although I doubt it's a coincidence that his "international" films are the most poorly represented - Siberian Lady Macbeth, Gates to Paradise, A Love in Germany and so on.)

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#690 Post by Lowry_Sam » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:10 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:22 pm
I'm guessing that by "Rekonstrukja" you're referring to the five BDs put out by DMMS Media Distribution a few years ago? (True, they have "Rekonstrukja cyfrowa" on the front in big letters, but that merely means "Digitally restored").
The REKONSTRUKJA CYFROWA appears not just on the packaging, but also in all of the restoration trailers (along with the Kino RP logo or Polish Film Institute logo) is always in the same font with the RE in white & KONSTRUKJA in blue so that it looked to me like a logo for a distributer. I also recall seeing the same logo in the restoration trailer for Ashes (which seems to have disappeared from the web) when the third MSP presents Polish Cinema boxes came out (& the restoration trailers in the box set also used this same logo), so I was assuming that all of these restoration titles were being released on disc in Poland by more or less the same company as the initial 5 blu-rays. So it was also a bit baffling to me why all the blu-rays stopped with the Scorsese boxes & a few years later a Wajda box (with Ashes in it) (from different/same? company) on dvd, despite some titles being released on blu-ray.

I got to see Pan Tadeusz & Zemsta/Revenge on 35mm (w/ English subtitles) here in California because someone was screening his films (in LA or Mill Valley, can't remember) for a retrospective or tribute in the early 2000s & someone locally had a connection that was able to get the prints for a one-off screening at my local art house. I quite liked Zemsta/Revenge & am a bit surprised by its poor reception, was always going to try to get it on disc, but the release looked like public domain/poor quality.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#691 Post by MichaelB » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:21 pm

The old Polish DVD of Revenge is terrible (non-anamorphic widescreen, for starters), but the much more recent one is a substantial improvement.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#692 Post by MichaelB » Sat May 02, 2020 8:31 am

Lowry_Sam wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:15 pm
Thanks for the breakdown. So both parts of Ashes is on a single disc? I would have thought they'd at least break up that one. Has anyone commented on p/q or bit rate.? Since it's a recent I would think that they are double-layered & maxed out bit rate.
It's certainly dual-layered, and an average bitrate of 25.2Mbps seems entirely reasonable for a black-and-white Scope film (since a fair chunk of the onscreen image is pure black). I thought it looked pretty terrific - much better than its exact contemporary The Saragossa Manuscript, which went much too heavy on the DNR.

The only drawback for some (personally, I'm not bothered, although I appreciate that this is a significant technical drawback for many non-Europeans) is that it's encoded at 50i - or effectively 25p, since there's no visible interlacing and nor would I expect there to be. This is true of all fifteen discs in Zebra's series (basically, the majority of Wajda's Polish feature output from The Ashes in 1965 to Korczak in 1990), but when I did a pitch comparison between Criterion's DVD of Danton (running 2:16:50) and the Zebra BD (running 2:10:55), I found that it was exactly the same - so there's a distinct possibility that all soundtracks have been pitch-corrected to compensate for the slight speed-up. The English subtitles on Zebra's Danton are also considerably better synchronised than the ones on Gaumont's French BD, which is a far more distracting problem.

Stefan Andersson
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#693 Post by Stefan Andersson » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:13 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 8:31 am
Lowry_Sam wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:15 pm
Thanks for the breakdown. So both parts of Ashes is on a single disc? I would have thought they'd at least break up that one. Has anyone commented on p/q or bit rate.? Since it's a recent I would think that they are double-layered & maxed out bit rate.
It's certainly dual-layered, and an average bitrate of 25.2Mbps seems entirely reasonable for a black-and-white Scope film (since a fair chunk of the onscreen image is pure black). I thought it looked pretty terrific - much better than its exact contemporary The Saragossa Manuscript, which went much too heavy on the DNR.

The only drawback for some (personally, I'm not bothered, although I appreciate that this is a significant technical drawback for many non-Europeans) is that it's encoded at 50i - or effectively 25p, since there's no visible interlacing and nor would I expect there to be. This is true of all fifteen discs in Zebra's series (basically, the majority of Wajda's Polish feature output from The Ashes in 1965 to Korczak in 1990), but when I did a pitch comparison between Criterion's DVD of Danton (running 2:16:50) and the Zebra BD (running 2:10:55), I found that it was exactly the same - so there's a distinct possibility that all soundtracks have been pitch-corrected to compensate for the slight speed-up. The English subtitles on Zebra's Danton are also considerably better synchronised than the ones on Gaumont's French BD, which is a far more distracting problem.
Thank you MichaelB for pointing out the possibility of pitch-corrected soundtracks! Very good to know.

Here are screencaps comparisons for Everything for Sale, Korczak, Promised Land, Without Anaestethic, No End and others:
https://forum.filmozercy.com/watek-reko ... 1#pid66861

Screencaps, Young Ladies of Wilko:
https://forum.filmozercy.com/watek-reko ... r”?page=27

The Filmozercy thread is 28 pages. Seems very informative.

A recent list of restored Polish films + Bluray info:
http://rekonstrukcje.eu/blu-ray.html

Piotr Szulkin´s Golem, The War of the Worlds: Next Century and O-Bi, O-Ba: The End of Civilization are digitally restored, see post 494 here:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.ph ... 70&page=25

Vabank, Vabank II and Seksmisja restored, but reframed from 4:3 to 1.85, see post 496 here:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.ph ... 70&page=25
Screencaps:
https://forum.filmozercy.com/watek-reko ... r”?page=17

Info in Polish about the restoration of Noce i dnie (1975): I understand this is the theatrical version, restored to circa 170 mins from the original of about four hours.
https://www.sfp.org.pl/wydarzenia,5,168 ... ukcji.html
Also discussed here:
https://forum.filmozercy.com/watek-reko ... r”?page=18
www.filmpolski.pl/fp/index.php?film=12196
TV version, 12 x 55 mins:
http://www.filmpolski.pl/fp/index.php?film=124203

Good Sobocinski interview; touches on his Super 35-ish work on Hourglass Sanatorium:
https://culture.pl/en/artist/witold-sobocinski

Good source of info:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=139470

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TMDaines
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#694 Post by TMDaines » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:21 am

Thanks for all that. Shame that some things could have been better.

It sounds like the Blu-ray of Noce i dnie is the longest version ever released though, and a theoretical longer cut was never released even at festivals. It was cut prior to release.

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#695 Post by Calvin » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:44 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 8:31 am
Lowry_Sam wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:15 pm
Thanks for the breakdown. So both parts of Ashes is on a single disc? I would have thought they'd at least break up that one. Has anyone commented on p/q or bit rate.? Since it's a recent I would think that they are double-layered & maxed out bit rate.
It's certainly dual-layered, and an average bitrate of 25.2Mbps seems entirely reasonable for a black-and-white Scope film (since a fair chunk of the onscreen image is pure black). I thought it looked pretty terrific - much better than its exact contemporary The Saragossa Manuscript, which went much too heavy on the DNR.

The only drawback for some (personally, I'm not bothered, although I appreciate that this is a significant technical drawback for many non-Europeans) is that it's encoded at 50i - or effectively 25p, since there's no visible interlacing and nor would I expect there to be. This is true of all fifteen discs in Zebra's series (basically, the majority of Wajda's Polish feature output from The Ashes in 1965 to Korczak in 1990), but when I did a pitch comparison between Criterion's DVD of Danton (running 2:16:50) and the Zebra BD (running 2:10:55), I found that it was exactly the same - so there's a distinct possibility that all soundtracks have been pitch-corrected to compensate for the slight speed-up. The English subtitles on Zebra's Danton are also considerably better synchronised than the ones on Gaumont's French BD, which is a far more distracting problem.
Thanks for this, Michael. I've placed an order for it, along with two other Wajdas - The Promised Land (sadly the new disc seems inferior to the old one, but it is a third of the price) and Kanal - and Stanisław Różewicz's Birth Certificate. I don't think I've seen any Wajda except for the Arrow disc of Ashes and Diamonds, but I've been hoping to see Ashes for years now, and I've heard great things about The Promised Land / Land of Promise. Any recommendations on what discs to pick up next would be appreciated! It's a shame that the big Wajda box set was DVD only, unlike the big Polanski set.

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MichaelB
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#696 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:08 pm

TMDaines wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:21 am
It sounds like the Blu-ray of Noce i dnie is the longest version ever released though, and a theoretical longer cut was never released even at festivals. It was cut prior to release.
It runs 2:50:29 at 25fps (I double-checked the framerate), so equivalent to 2:57:36 at theatrical speed. So it's a fair bit shorter than the reported 245-minute cut, but the supplementary restoration credits on the Blu-ray confirm that Jerzy Antczak himself signed off on it, so presumably this is the length he favours. (I gather there was a shorter cut prepared for international markets; this may well be it.)

There's also a twelve-part television version reputedly running ten hours. I don't think that's ever been commercially released (certainly not with English subtitles), and although it was up on YouTube once upon a time, it's since been taken down.

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TMDaines
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Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#697 Post by TMDaines » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:03 pm

This link is invaluable (http://rekonstrukcje.eu/blu-ray.html), but I'm a bit disappointed to learn that a couple of my Bareja Blu-rays are not OAR. The Rekonstrukcja Cyfrowa DVDs I previously had on my shelf unopened weren’t the original 4:3 either. Why have AlterDystrybucja or the restorers only reformatted some of the films though? For other Barejas they have respected the OAR.
MichaelB wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:08 pm
TMDaines wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:21 am
It sounds like the Blu-ray of Noce i dnie is the longest version ever released though, and a theoretical longer cut was never released even at festivals. It was cut prior to release.
It runs 2:50:29 at 25fps (I double-checked the framerate), so equivalent to 2:57:36 at theatrical speed. So it's a fair bit shorter than the reported 245-minute cut, but the supplementary restoration credits on the Blu-ray confirm that Jerzy Antczak himself signed off on it, so presumably this is the length he favours. (I gather there was a shorter cut prepared for international markets; this may well be it.)

There's also a twelve-part television version reputedly running ten hours. I don't think that's ever been commercially released (certainly not with English subtitles), and although it was up on YouTube once upon a time, it's since been taken down.
Just looking at KG, someone shared an old 2007 Polart/Facets DVD there which runs for 4 hours and 10 minutes NTSC. I'm a bit confused now, but re-reading above it seems like we got an extended version of what was shown at Berlin all those years ago.

Here's the 12 episode TV version to stream: http://www.rzeczysedno.pl/index.php?topic=3937.0

Stefan Andersson
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:02 am

Re: Polish Cinema on DVD

#698 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:13 pm

More on Noce i dnie:

Reports from the 2013 Gdynia Film Festival:
https://www.sfp.org.pl/2016/wydarzenia, ... ukcji.html (with brief info about 15 minutes newly added to the film (= a lengthening of the 3-hour Berlin Film Festival cut, reduced from four hours).
https://film.interia.pl/raporty/raport- ... Id,1814472

This seems to be a sort of commemorative album:
http://www.fn.org.pl/pl/news/info/313/n ... ictwa-bosz

This is apparently the 12-episode tv TV version on 4 DVDs:
http://www.filmydvd.pl/x_C_I__P_40521417-40510001.html

The Polart dvd:
http://polishmusic.ca/shopping/index.ph ... ts_id=2642
Library copies:
https://www.worldcat.org/title/noce-i-d ... /143660070

Also
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nights_and_Days
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noce_i_dnie_(film)
http://www.akademiapolskiegofilmu.pl/pl ... serialu/40
http://www.akademiapolskiegofilmu.pl/pl ... ewierne/39
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073460/te ... tt_ql_dt_6

A list of Polish films shot on 70mm or blown up from 35mm:
http://70mm.lh2.pl/html/w_polsce_kopie.html#tabela1

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