(aka 'The Hopeless Ones" or "The Poor Outlaws" or "The Round-Up')

Directed by Miklós Jancsó
Hungary 19
66

 

A vast, burned-out plain; dwarfed in the middle of it two buildings, whitewashed walls blazing in the sun, against which black-cloaked figures flit to and fro; silence, except for occasional curt words of command, as a man running for the horizon is coolly shot down, others are taken away never to return. As one watches, fascinated but mystified, a pattern begins to emerge, and one realises that a terrifying cat-and-mouse game is being played. The setting is the years following the collapse of the 1848 revolution against Hapsburg rule; the authorities, to crush the last traces of rebellion, must eliminate the legendary Sándor Rózsa's guerilla bandits; and the plan deploys a Kafkaesque mix of fear and uncertainty to winnow, slowly but inexorably, the guerrillas from the peasant populace which has been rounded up. Jancsó's formally choreographed camera movements later developed into a mannerism; but here the stylisation works perfectly in making an almost abstract statement of the relationship between oppressor and oppressed. There are effectively no characters, no heroes one can admire or villains to hate; simply the men who always win, those who always lose.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

A profound influence on filmmakers from Sergio Leone to Béla Tarr, The Round-Up is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of world cinema.

Set in a detention camp in Hungary 1869, at a time of guerrilla campaigns against the ruling Austrians, Jancsó deliberately avoids conventional heroics to focus on the persecution and dehumanization manifest in a time of conflict. Filmed in Hungary’s desolate and burning landscape, Jancsó uses his formidable technique to create a remarkable and terrifying picture of war and the abuse of power that still speaks to audiences today.

From the Second Run website located HERE.

Poster

Theatrical Release: January 6th, 1966

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DVD Review: Second Run - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution Second Run - 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.

Runtime 1:26:45 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.95 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 (Dolby Digital mono) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Interview with Miklós Jancsó (19:02)
• 16 page liner notes booklet 


DVD Release Date: March 17th, 200
8
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

Albeit partly due to the source print - the image quality on this Jancsó masterpiece falls somewhere between My Way Home and The Red and the White - two other DVDs from Second Run by the Hungarian master. Black levels are fragile - exhibiting some artifacts as well as some noticeable manipulated boosting creating edge-enhancement halos (see sample at bottom of this page). This may have been done tighten the image to some degree. It is slightly picture-boxed with a border circumventing the outside edge. On the positive the transfer is progressive, anamorphic (in and around 2.35:1 ratio), dual-layered and appears to be from the correct standard. As it is advertised as 'digital transfer with restored image and sound, approved by the Director' this leads me to believe that this may very well be the best this image, in its present from, will look for us on digital. The Round-Up's textures are nicely reproduced. Certainly the film, and its multi-layered contexts, are appropriately expressed in this DVD presentation - it is very watchable if you can forgive the deficiencies. Sound is fairly clear and audible (minor hiss) and there are optional subtitles in a large white font (see sample below). 

Extras sport an informative new interview with director Miklós Jancsó - running almost 20 minutes. Supplements also include a 16-page booklet featuring a comprehensive new essay by author John Cunningham and some photos. More than nit-pick the image quality - we should rejoice that this masterpiece is now available to us for home theatre viewing. The film is highly thought of - ex. “People need to see Jancsó’s really beautiful three or four first movies. The highest mountain is The Round-Up...” Béla Tarr and “No one has tried quite the same thing in the same way, and that is Jancsó’s most formidable legacy” Derek Malcolm - 100 Greatest Movies. It was also selected as one of Sight & Sound’s ‘Best 365 Films of all Time’. It's content is more than enough to forgive the transfer inconsistencies and the film has one of our highest recommendations.  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus


 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Edge-enhancement halos...
 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution Second Run - 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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