Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Le Sacrifice" or "The Sacrifice" or "The Witch")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/tarkovsky.htm
Sweden 1986

In The Sacrifice, Alexander's (Erland Josephson) birthday party is interrupted by news that World War III has begun and mankind is hours away from annihilation. To avoid war, Alexander promises to God that he'll sacrifice all he has -- even his son.

***

Sixtyish philosopher Alexander (Erland Josephson) lives in a beautiful house on an island off Sweden’s Baltic coast, with English wife Adelaide (Susan Fleetwood), teenage daughter Julia (Valerie Maitesse) and young son, known only as Gossen, or “Little Man” (Tommy Kjellvqist). It’s Alexander’s birthday, and he’s visited by eccentric bicycling postman Otto (Allan Erdawll) and smug doctor Viktor (Sven Wollter), who is “carrying on” with Adelaide. Out of the blue, a nuclear war is announced on TV - the telephones and electricity are cut off, and the air is filled with the deafening roar of passing jets. All looks bleak - but then Alexander fervently prays, asking God to avert the impending apocalypse, in return offering to turn his back on his home and family, and take a vow of silence. Next morning, he wakes to find that, somehow, the threat of annihilation has been lifted - and now it’s up to him to keep his side of the bargain...

The Sacrifice is like a compendium of all the ideas (faith, role of artist, power of nature, virtue of childhood) and images (love as levitation, a boy standing by a tree) from his previous six films. As usual, there’s a baffling rush of philosophical debate, stitched together with some of the most astonishing shots in all cinema. Watching this long film is an intermittently dazzling experience, but also somewhat unsatisfying. Just how much of what we’re watching is real, and how much is Alexander’s hallucination - we’re given clues along the way, such a bicycle being parked in a certain way, only to reappear in a slightly different place later on - is open to question. In Tarkovsky’s films, dreams are nothing if not cinematic. But piecing together the director’s “intention” seems to be missing the point.

Excerpt from Neil Young's review at the Jigsaw Lounge located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 9th, 1986 - Sweden

Reviews            More Reviews           DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Enter One - Region 3- NTSC vs. Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL vs. IMAGICA (Japan)- Region 2- NTSC vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Artificial Eye (2 disc) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Big thanks to Andrey Diment for the Region 2 - PAL screen captures! 

  Thanks to Kimitoshi Sato for the Region 2 - NTSC screen captures.

         Swedish and Supplemental framegrabs by Trond Trondsen

 

(Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP LEFT vs. Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL TOP MIDDLE vs. Imagica - Region 2- NTSC- TOP RIGHT

vs.

(Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM MIDDLE vs. Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM RIGHT)

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Enter One (Korea)

Region 3 - NTSC

Swedish Film Institute
Region 2 - PAL

Imagica (Japan)

Region 2 - NTSC

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Kino Home Video

Region 0  - NTSC

Artificial Eye Film Company
Region 2 - PAL

Kino Home Video

Region FREE  - Blu-ray

 

  Enter One SFI Imagica Kino Artificial Eye Kino Blu-ray
Runtime 2:22:20 2:22:25 (4% PAL speedup) approx. 2:29:00 2:22:35 2:22:30 (4% PAL speedup) 2:28:53.913
Video 1.65:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.71 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.61:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.44
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.63:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.63:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.21 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.61:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.36
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,742,065,699 bytes

Feature: 35,702,009,856 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.17 Mbps

 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Enter One

 

Bitrate:

SFI

 

  

Bitrate:

Kino

 

Bitrate:

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

 

  Enter One SFI Imagica Kino Artificial Eye Kino Blu-ray
Audio Swedish (Mono 2.0) Swedish (Mono 2.0) Swedish (Mono 2.0) Swedish (Mono 2.0)

Swedish (Mono 2.0)

LPCM Audio Swedish 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, Korean and none English, Swedish and none Japanese (removable) Yellow English, (non-removable) English, and none English, and none

Features

Release Information:
Studio:
Enter One

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 1.65:1

 

Edition Details:
•20-page liner notes booklet with photos (text in Korean)

 

DVD Release Date: August 5th, 2005
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Release Information:
Studio: Swedish Film Institute

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 1.63:1

 

Edition Details:
• Slideshow, Memories of Tarkovskij, is narrated by Adam Stone

• 'Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky' documentary

• Filmographies
 

DVD Release Date: January 30th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 18

 

Release Information:
Studio: Imagica

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 1.63:1

 

Edition Details:
• It contains music, poster and trailer sections.
Note on St Matthew Passion
translation of Erbarme in Japanese
Poster section includes three items.

Two critics wrote liner notes for the disk, one made detailed biographies for main personages.
the other on music.

DVD Release Date: March 25th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Home Video

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 1.63:1

 

Edition Details:
•Double Feature: The Sacrifice (Letterboxed 1.66:1, 145 min.) and the documentary Directed By Andrei Tarkovsky (Full Frame, 101 min.) - 11 Chapters

 

DVD Release Date: March 7th, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye Film Company

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.61:1

Edition Details:
Disk 1:
• Main feature (16:9, cover incorrectly states '4:3 letterbox') - 2.22.37

Disk 2:
• 'Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky' documentary (15 chapters, fixed English subtitles where required) (4:3 fullscreen) -1.37.23
• Image Gallery
• Production Notes
• Filmographies

DVD Release Date: 28 October, 2002
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Home Video

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,742,065,699 bytes

Feature: 35,702,009,856 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.17 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
•Double Feature: The Sacrifice in 1080P and a separate DVD with the documentary Directed By Andrei Tarkovsky (Full Frame, 137:24 / 5.22 Mbps - Region FREE) - 12 Chapters

 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 5th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray  Case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 18

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Region FREE - Blu-ray - June 11': I must say this is very impressive. In comparison to all the SD-DVD versions this new Kino, dual-layered, 1080P transfer is a revelation. It is soft-palette, extremely more detailed and even showcases some depth. Tarkovsky fans may swoon at the image quality. I won't say the hi-def representation is perfect - there are some, previously unnoticed hues (pink instead of white etc.), flesh tones can, at times, be warmer but other contrast is superior and I expect that this is accurate (or rather, more accurate than even the SFI DVD.)  Unfortunately, there are edge enhancement halos and may be part of the print used!

 

 

Audio is given the lossless treatment but stays original with a 2.0 channel linear PCM track at 2304 kbps. The soundtrack with Bach's "Matthäus-Passion: Erbarme Dich" and Watazumido-Shuso performed music is crisp, lilting and sounds wonderfully clean. Dialogue has moments where I felt sync may have been off but if my memory is correct this was similar to the DVDs. There are optional English subtitles and disc is a Region FREE Blu-ray.

No extras on the feature disc but there is an included single-layered DVD with the 1 1/2 hour 'Directed By Andrei Tarkovsky' (as as an extra on the 2000 KIno DVD and 2004 Swedish Film Institute disc.) The included DVD has trailers and 2 galleries, of source, in SD.

I was out to dinner once with a friend who was choosing a bottle of wine that was too early to be enjoyed. The waiter, who was one of the owners, knew this, but simply stated "How can we resist?" in a charming French accent while sporting a broad smile. I'm sure many serious cinema devotees will feel this way about Kino's Blu-ray of Tarkovsky's last film, The Sacrifice. This is despite the edge-enhancement - if you arte sensitive to it - then you will be distracted.

***

ADDITION: (ENTER ONE - Region 3- NTSC) - October 05' - This Enter One transfer is quite good, excepting that it is not progressive and is most likely from a PAL source. It has a bit of a greenish haze, but its seems as sharp as the SFI edition. The subtitles are weak, but not fatally so - only a few instances of incorrect spelling or grammar (see below). Nothing really changes in our voting but I am not as disappointed with the Enter One as I was expecting to be, although the audio is weak not quite as flawed as in the ENTER ONE Nostalghia.

NOTE: Please excuse that this is an older comparison and some of the captures are not exact frames. It still should be fairly obvious as to the caliber of each image's release.

****

ADDITION (SFI Region 2- PAL ) - February 2004
It's great to see a new and superior transfer come along. The Swedish Film Institutes sharpness is easily the best, but where they really shine is in the contrast department. This is the first time this film has looked this theatrically accurate on DVD. I see no apparent digital manipulation, saturation or contrast boosting that is evident on all the other releases. It seems to have no significant cropping either. The Extras include the "Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky" documentary as well as a slideshow entitled "Memories of Tarkovskij". This is our choice as the definitive version on DVD at present. None of the other three releases are acceptable. The best one of the poorer lot is in my opinion the Japanese Cinefil/Imagica release, with its faithful representation of color and contrast. (See this Nostalghia.com article for a more complete discussion.)

Gary Tooze

Kino version is video sourced, that is easily spotted. There are numerous instances of analogue chroma noise: look at the tree-top on capture #1, or the table-cloth on capture #4 (to the right of the question mark), or the table-cloth on the last capture, under the back of the chair.

Andrey Diment

What Gary has said above is correct; the SFI release is the one to own. There is one big problem with the Japanese disc: it is Letterboxed.  Some will also regret the fact that it does not come with English subtitles.  Some Scandinavians among us appreciate the fact that the Japanese subtitles can be turned off, as the English subtitles on the other NTSC release (Kino) are ingrained.  The Kino release is Letterboxed as well, and suffers from the same brightness/contrast problems that mar the Artificial Eye release.  The Artificial Eye disc is the only anamorphic presentation of the film currently available on DVD.  Its video encoding is however seriously flawed, resulting in a blurry image. Compare for example the caption beneath the icon painting of Saint Paraskeva Pjatnitsa shown below.  Neither caption is actually readable, of course, but the Artificial Eye version at the bottom is clearly rendered more blurry than the Kino version immediately above.  The Nostalghia.com article referenced above goes into more detail on this issue.

Trond Trondsen of Masters of Cinema.org.


 Subtitle Samples

.

1) Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP

2) Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL MIDDLE

3) Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 



DVD Menus

(Enter One - Region 3- NTSC
LEFT vs. Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL MIDDLE vs. Imagica - region 2- NTSC- RIGHT )  


   

 

(Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

 

Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Included Single-layered DVD in Blu-ray package

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP

2) Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Imagica - region 2- NTSC- THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


 

 

TV transmission sample from NHK BS broadcast of the date:10PM, August  20, 1993.

It was aired as a part of "Kurosawa Selection: 100 movies I love."
It came in 8th.

Note cropping on either side.

 


1) Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP

2) Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Imagica - region 2- NTSC- THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

TV transmission sample

 


 

1) Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP

2) Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Imagica - region 2- NTSC- THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

TV transmission sample

 

 


1) Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP

2) Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Imagica - region 2- NTSC- THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

TV transmission sample

 


 

1) Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP

2) Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Imagica - region 2- NTSC- THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

TV transmission sample

 

 


1) Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP

2) Swedish Film Institute - Region 2- PAL SECOND

3) Imagica - region 2- NTSC- THIRD

4) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kino Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

SFI / Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution

Enter One (Korea)

Region 3 - NTSC

Swedish Film Institute
Region 2 - PAL

Imagica (Japan)

Region 2 - NTSC

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Kino Home Video

Region 0  - NTSC

Artificial Eye Film Company
Region 2 - PAL

Kino Home Video

Region FREE  - Blu-ray




 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!