(aka 'The Red and the White')

Directed by Miklós Jancsó
Hungary / Soviet Union  1967

 

Set in 1919, during the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Miklós Jancsó’s The Red and the White is a war film unlike any other. In the brutal Civil War which took place, Hungarian volunteers supported the ‘Red’ revolutionaries in a war of attrition against the ‘White’ counter-revolutionaries who were seeking to restore the old Czarist order.

Through its stylistic virtuosity, ritualistic power and sheer beauty, Jancsó invites us to study the mechanisms of power almost abstractly and with a cold eroticism that clearly portrays the utter futility of war. Although the film was an Hungarian-Russian co-production, the Russian authorities banned it from being shown anywhere in the Soviet Union.  Miklós Jancsó is arguably the key Hungarian filmmaker of the sound era.

 

  Theatrical Release: September 20th, 1968

 

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DVD Review: Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL
Alternate DVD Version - in Region 1 Kino has released this title but the transfer is quite poor and there are no extras - see comments at Digitally Obsessed HERE.

           

The Second Run DVD is also available in: A 3-disc set comprising three haunting epics from the Hungarian cinema's most renowned filmmaker, a profound influence on filmmakers from Sergio Leone to Béla Tarr. Tarr proclaimed "People need to see Jancsó s really beautiful three or four first movies". Set includes:

My Way Home (1964) Poetic, evocative and deeply personal - My Way Home is considered Jancsó's first masterpiece. A young Hungarian is captured by Russian soldier, but forms an unlikely friendship with his captor.

The Red & The White (1967): Set in 1919, during the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, this is a war film unlike any other.

The Round-Up (1969): Set in a detention camp in Hungary 1869, Jancsó uses his formidable technique to create a remarkable and terrifying picture of war and the abuse of power that still resonates today.

Runtime 1:26:54 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.60 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 Hungarian / Russian  (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Message of Stones (Kövek üzenete) - Budapest: The first film in Miklós Jancsó’s renowned but rarely-seen documentary series Message of Stones.
• Booklet featuring an interview with Miklós Jancsó conducted by writer/critic Andrew James Horton.

DVD Release Date: March 28th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

The source print's image is quite inferior and those weaknesses have been transferred to the Second Run PAL DVD. Now I have looked high and low and can't seem to find my Region 1 Kino copy of this film (I know I have it as I've seen the film at least 3 times via it!), but if recollection serves me well - it was actually even poorer than this UK DVD. Hopefully we will throw up some comparison captures to verify this soon.

It is very likely that the haziness of much of the DVD image is inherent in the film itself although I have no way to verify that at this point. The transfer itself appears quite solid although I did see a few minor instances of 'combing' which may have resulted from the 'alchemist' system of digital replication. Again - only my best guess. Audio also had some weakness but it did not impinge upon my viewing experience.

Nice bonus with this DVD is Jancsó’s first film in his documentary series Message of Stones. This is pretty rare stuff that you are not likely to see anywhere else. A 20-page liner notes booklet is included with photos and an interview with Miklós Jancsó conducted by writer/critic Andrew James Horton.

I applaud Second Run for bringing out this astonishing film in a less-than-stellar appearance that they will no doubt be criticized for. I can't think of many political films in the last century that are at this level and we strongly recommend the film with serious doubts that it will ever look or sound better on the DVD medium.   

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

The Second Run DVD is also available in: A 3-disc set comprising three haunting epics from the Hungarian cinema's most renowned filmmaker, a profound influence on filmmakers from Sergio Leone to Béla Tarr. Tarr proclaimed "People need to see Jancsó s really beautiful three or four first movies". Set includes:

My Way Home (1964) Poetic, evocative and deeply personal - My Way Home is considered Jancsó's first masterpiece. A young Hungarian is captured by Russian soldier, but forms an unlikely friendship with his captor.

The Red & The White (1967): Set in 1919, during the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, this is a war film unlike any other.

The Round-Up (1969): Set in a detention camp in Hungary 1869, Jancsó uses his formidable technique to create a remarkable and terrifying picture of war and the abuse of power that still resonates today.




 

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Gary Tooze

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