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(aka "The Commissar" or "Komissar" or "La comisaria" or "Die Kommissarin" or "La commissaire" )

 

directed by Aleksandr Askoldov
Soviet Union 1967

 

One of the most striking Soviet films thawed out by glasnost, this 1967 feature by Aleksandr Askoldov was apparently controversial because it expresses overt sympathy for the Jews who were persecuted during the Russian civil war and because the lead character is a pregnant woman who challenged traditional stereotypes. As a first feature, the film is in many respects remarkable, if not an unqualified success. The black-and-white 'Scope images are often clearly influenced by the silent Soviet masters, and the use of subjective camera is especially striking, but the film is only intermittently effective as a narrative. Still, anyone with an interest in the subject or in Soviet cinema shouldn't miss it.

Excerpt of review from Jonathan Rosenbaum located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 17th, 1988 (USA)

Reviews       More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Ruscico Screen Caps!

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

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Ruscico

Region 0 - NTSC

Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:43:44 1:43:52
Video

2.28:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 9.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.31 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:

 

Ruscico

 

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Audio Russian (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1), English and French Voice-over (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Russian (Dolby Digital 1.0 and 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Subtitles English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Ruscico

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.28:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Script Writer and Director A. Askoldov
• Interview with Actress R. Nedashkovskaya
• �Nonna Mordiukova, Rolan Bykov, Raissa Nedashkovskaya � Remembering about the making of the film�
• The Press, Awards, Letters, Documents about the film
• V. Grossman�s Biography
• Photo album �Recognition�
• Filmographies
• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: February 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Director & principal actress interviews
• Archive cast interviews
• Archive documents & letters
• Director biography
• Press coverage and publicity materials extracts
• International film awards
• Image gallery

 

DVD Release Date: March 26th, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 20

 

Comments

Update: When the Rusicico logo appeared on the startup screen, I figured that the 2007 Artificial Eye release would be a direct port of the Russian edition. The Ruscico logo even appears on the left hand side of the image at a little before the :59 minute mark! However, the two are only identical up to a point. They share the same menus and extras, but there are three key areas where they differ. First, the region 2 release lacks French 5.1 audio track and all of the Russian edition's subtitles except for the English language one. Second, there is a minute difference between the framing of the two with the Ruscico at 2.28:1 and the Artificial Eye at 2.35:1, the original aspect ratio. Finally, although the surviving film elements used in both editions are far from ideal, the Artificial Eye print is slightly brighter and has more detail. Unless you crave the French audio track or the subtitles from the Ruscico disc, then the Artificial Eye edition seems like the clear way to go.

 - Brian Montgomery

ON THE RusCiCo: Banned for over 20 years, this film asked for special edition treatment and Ruscico delivers their best release to date. While image is not the best, they worked with surviving materials this film has - some of the negative was burned. Ruscico finally started including optional original mono with all of their releases and even include DTS option. Like with other NTSC discs, it was transferred from PAL source, so PAL discs are preferable. Interviews with Askoldov and the cast are very insightful about the film. I'm especially happy about archival interviews with Bykov (who died in 1998).

 - Gregory Meshman

 



DVD Menus
(
Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
Subtitle Sample

 

 


(Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ruscico - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Artificial Eye

Sound:

Ruscico

Extras: Tie
Menu: Tie
 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Ruscico

Region 0 - NTSC

Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL

 

 


 




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