(aka "White Nights" )

 

directed by Luchino Visconti
Italy, France 1957

 

Lucino Visconti's "White Nights" (1957) - is an engaging, uplifting, and compelling screen adaptation of Dostoyevsky's short story. I applaud to Visconti's masterful and elegant direction - everything is exquisite in his masterpiece. The settings came from a fairy tale – he moved his heroes to the dream like city that looked very much like Venice – with its canals and bridges. Original story took place in 19th century St. Petersburg – which always has been nicknamed "The Northern Venice". The film is set in the modern time. I was curious to see how Visconti would play the title. "White Nights" is the period of time in the beginning of June when the nights in St. Petersburg are very short. Alexander Pushkin described this time in one of his poems - "The morning rushes to catch the evening only giving darkness two short hours" (Translation is mine). Visconti's film takes place in the beginning of winter and during the last meeting between the heroes, the snow began to fall, giving the title and to the two final scenes new, deep, and very moving meaning. Is the ending happy or the sad one? I still don't know but what is certain that it is unforgettable. I also want to mention three lead actors who made this story so real, tender, sad, and poetic: Maria Shell as a desperate woman awaiting the return of her fairy tale prince - Jean Cocteau's leading man Jean Marais and lonely, shy clerk Marcello Mastroianni who was happy once if only for a few short minutes.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 6th, 1957 - Venice Film Festival

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DVD Review: Cristaldi Film - Region 2 - PAL

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Cristaldi Film

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 97'
Video

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.36 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

Audio Mono, Italian and Dolby 5.1, Italian
Subtitles Italian, English
Features Release Information:
Studio: Cristaldi Film

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• Extras listed on one of the menu captures.

DVD Release Date: February 2005
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Chapters 16

 

 

 

 

Comments Very nice, sharp and crisp, beautifully restored release, nice deep rendition of black colour. I can't think of anything else Criterion might be able to surpass other than more extras. I'm looking forward to more Cristalifilm releases in the future. Should be noted that these Extras without English subtitles.

 - Rob Janik

 

 





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