Stalker

( aka 'Сталкер' )

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

USSR 1979

"The first screenplay of Stalker was closer to the novel and the film had a curious history. Half of it was already shot in fact when the exposed film was destroyed in the "Mosfilm" lab. Nobody would have allowed me to shot the film again had it not been the fault of a "Mosfilm" technician. One cannot repeat the same thing for the second time, that would have been beyond my stamina. Thus together with the authors we returned to our work on the screenplay...

In this case some kind of law of equilibrium must have been at work, perhaps the "Mosfilm" disaster was not accidental. It was as if fate intervened in the sense the accident occurred precisely at the instant the film could have become insufficiently deep."

Andrei Tarkovsky on Stalker (taken from Nostalghia.com)

Posters (Click to enlarge)

Theatrical Release: August 1979 - Moscow Film Festival

Reviews    More Reviews     DVD Reviews     Nostalghia.com

DVD Comparison:

MK2 - Region 0 - PAL vs. Spectrum - Region 3- NTSC vs. Image Entertainment/RusCiCo  Region 1 DVD vs. Artificial Eye/RusCiCo - Region 2 - PAL

Thanks to Pavel Borodin for the AE and Spectrum screen Captures!

(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL LEFT VS. Spectrum - Region 3- NTSC -2nd vs. Image Entertainment/RusCiCo  Region 0 DVD 3rd vs. Artificial Eye/RusCiCo - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution MK2 (France)
Region 0 - PAL

Spectrum Entertainment

Region 3 - NTSC ( Korea )

Image Entertainment/ RuCiCo

Region 0 - NTSC ( North America )

Artificial Eye
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:32:09 + 1:02:42 = 2:34:51 (4% PAL speedup) 1:32:03 + 1:02:38 = 2:34:41 (not transferred to NTSC first) 1:32:09 + 1:02:31 = 2:34:40 (not transferred to NTSC first) 1:32:09 + 1:02:42 = 2:34:51 (4% PAL speedup)
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.83+7.8 mb/s = avg 7.32 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
4:3  Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.85 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
4:3  Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.83+7.8 mb/s = avg 7.32 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

MK2 d1

 

Bitrate:

MK2 d1

 

Bitrate:

Spectrum d1

 

Bitrate:

Spectrum d2

 

Bitrate:

Image d1

 

Bitrate:

Image d2

 

Bitrate:

 

AE d1

 

Bitrate:

 

AE d2

 

Audio Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 1.0 - Mono)   Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1) Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 1.0 - Mono)  

Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Russian (Dolby Digital 1.0 - Mono)  

Subtitles Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, and none Korean, Russian, English and none Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, and none Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MK2

DVD Animated Menu's available in Russian, French and English

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer
• Interviews with Cinematographer Aleksandr Knyazhinsky ( 5:42 ) and Production Designer R. Safiullin (14:12 )
• Excerpts from "The Steamroller and the Violin," Tarkovsky's Diploma Film ( 4:58 )
• "Memory," a Documentary about Tarkovsky's Home ( 5:34 )
• Stills Gallery ( 14 images )
• Filmography ( static screen )
• Number of discs: 2

 

DVD Release Date:  May 25th, 2005
Slim digipak with no sleeve
Chapters: Six in Part 1, Seven in Part 2 - total = 13 Chapters

Release Information:
Studio: Spectrum Entertainment

Edition Details:
• Disk One: Andrei Tarkovsky Introduction, Director's Biography,; Short Film: "The Streamroller and Violon",; Invitation to Tarkovsky's House, Photo Gallery;

• Disk 2: Cast & Crews, Interviews with Crews; Camera Man; Production Designer

 

DVD Release Date:  October 15, 2002
Keep Case
Chapters: Six in Part 1, Seven in Part 2 - total = 13 Chapters

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

DVD Animated Menu's available in Russian, French and English

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer
• Interviews with Cinematographer Aleksandr Knyazhinsky ( 5:42 ) and Production Designer R. Safiullin (14:12)
• Excerpts from "The Steamroller and the Violin," Tarkovsky's Diploma Film (4:58)
• "Memory," a Documentary about Tarkovsky's Home ( 5:34 )
• Stills Gallery ( 14 images )
• Filmography ( static screen )
• Number of discs: 2

 

DVD Release Date:  October 15, 2002
Keep Case
Chapters: Six in Part 1, Seven in Part 2 - total = 13 Chapters

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

DVD Animated Menu's available in Russian, French and English

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer
• Interviews with Cinematographer Aleksandr Knyazhinsky ( 5:42 ) and Production Designer R. Safiullin (14:12 )
• Excerpts from "The Steamroller and the Violin," Tarkovsky's Diploma Film ( 4:58 )
• "Memory," a Documentary about Tarkovsky's Home ( 5:34 )
• Stills Gallery ( 14 images )
• Filmography ( static screen )
• Number of discs: 2

 

DVD Release Date:  April 22nd, 2002
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: Six in Part 1, Seven in Part 2 - total = 13 Chapters

 

 

ADDITION: MK2 (May 2005) - The MK2 is an exact duplicate of the AE/RusCiCo. It comes in a slim digipak without sleeve. At present this is the definitive edition - so buy the AE or the MK2 - whichever you find least expensive.

****

ADDITION: Spectrum (October 2004) - Not much to say, the Spectrum is NTSC and has the same problems as the Image Entertainment. It also has the same extras, but its big failing is only having the 5.1 audio and no option for the original mono. The Spectrum may have slightly better contrast than the Image Entertainment. It differs in that it offers Korean subtitles and some pretty cool appearing menus. In actuality they are not as nice as the animated RusCiCo ones.  Stick with the PAL edition. 

 

 

Comments:

I suppose it is appropriate and justified to get overly sensitive about the slight details of the work of such a great artist as Andrei Tarkovsky. It somehow relates to his own cinematic attention to minute detail - the painstaking way he created his visions.

The original 'Stalker' DVD released by RusCiCo (The Russian Cinema Council) had a remix of the original mono bumping it to a 5.1 surround  soundtrack. RusCiCo did not include the mono track in their original release. For many obvious reasons this was totally unacceptable to his fans and those concerned with the integrity of art.

This AE, Image and MK2 discs however, includes both tracks so that the listener can choose. I can state for myself that this difference makes it almost like two entirely different films. In piecing together the puzzle of a film of this nature, every minute detail is intricate to the expression. Tarkovsky and his legion of fans were certainly aware of this, but obviously RusCiCo were not.

Once familiar with the grandeur of this film, it becomes infinitely fascinating to flip back and forth on the fly between soundtracks. I am actually happy that the alternate remix soundtrack is included for my curiosity sake. It adds to the depth of this DVD.

The image quality of these DVDs is by no means perfect, but in my opinion it is very good and blows away my VHS copy. I love journeying through the extras. I was especially fond of the manner in which the short film, "Memory" on Disc 1 was developed. It is EXTREMELY "Stalker"- like in its camera and sound, moving between black + white and color images.

All three (MK2, AE and Image) issues are identical to the second Ruscico (with optional mono) release in every way apart from the DVD labels and box artwork (and two are PAL and the other unconverted NTSC). As mentioned the first Ruscico release should be avoided as it lacks the original mono soundtrack.

Looking at the times, once again the NTSC version has not been properly converted from its PAL source. The PAL editions are slightly sharper and less cropped and is the choice for best image. All other aspects of the discs are the same. 

 - Gary W. Tooze


(Spectrum -Region 3- NTSC LEFT vs. Image/AE/MK2 - RIGHT)



DVD Menus
are the exact same in the Image Entertainment, Artificial Eye and MK2 editions

 

Disc 1

Disc 1

Disc 2 Disc 2


From the 5:34 short film entitled "Memory" about Tarkovsky childhood home. An extra on Disc 1 of all four editions.

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Spectrum - Region 3- NTSC - 2nd vs. Image Entertainment/RusCiCo  Region 0 DVD 3rd vs. Artificial Eye/RusCiCo - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)


 


 

(Spectrum - Region 3- NTSC - TOP vs. Image Entertainment/RusCiCo  Region 0 DVD MIDDLE vs. Artificial Eye/RusCiCo - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Spectrum - Region 3- NTSC - 2nd vs. Image Entertainment/RusCiCo  Region 0 DVD 3rd vs. Artificial Eye/RusCiCo - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Spectrum - Region 3- NTSC - 2nd vs. Image Entertainment/RusCiCo  Region 0 DVD 3rd vs. Artificial Eye/RusCiCo - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(MK2 - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. Spectrum - Region 3- NTSC - 2nd vs. Image Entertainment/RusCiCo  Region 0 DVD 3rd vs. Artificial Eye/RusCiCo - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

Image:

Artificial Eye / MK2

Sound:

Artificial Eye / Image Entertainment / MK2

Extras: tie
Menu: Spectrum

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution MK2 (France)
Region 0 - PAL

Spectrum Entertainment

Region 3 - NTSC ( Korea )

Image Entertainment/ RuCiCo

Region 0 - NTSC ( North America )

Artificial Eye
Region 0 - PAL




 

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