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directed by Evgenii Bauer
Russia 1913

 

It was only in the dying days of the Soviet regime that the work of the Russian film pioneer Evgenii Bauer was rediscovered and celebrated. Before a premature death in 1917 he made over 80 films, of which more than 20 survive. This selection highlights his preoccupation with doomed love and death as well as his creative use of light and mastery of camera movement.

Excerpt of review from BFI located HERE

(aka "Sumerki zhenskoi dushi" )

 

directed by Evgenii Bauer
Russia 1913

 

Despite living in luxury, Vera is lonely and discontented. When she accompanies her mother, the Countess, on a charity visit to the poor, she is troubled by what she sees, and she resolves to do whatever she can to help them. But one man takes advantage of her innocence, and he lures her into a trap so that he can assault her. The dreadful results of this attack will affect Vera's life long afterward.

Excerpt of review from Snow Leopard located HERE

Theatrical Release: November 26th, 1913

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DVD Review: BFI (Mad Love: The Films of Evgenii Bauer) - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

BFI

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 48:24
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.52 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 Silent (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Biography of Evgenii Bauer
• Video Essay by Yuri Tsivian (36:49)

DVD Release Date: June 24th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 3

 

Comments

Evgenii (or Yevgeni depending on how you want to transliterate his name) Bauer stands out as one of the great figures of pre-Soviet Russian cinema. Although few of his more than 80 films now survive, thanks to the BFI we can now see a trio of his works all based on obsessive love (Note that a North American version is also available from Image Entertainment HERE). The films included in this collection are quite good, with "After Death" and "The Dying Swan" standing out as particularly rich and atmospheric love stories. Be warned though if you're looking for light romantic fare, then this is not for you. The romances in this trio of Bauer's films owe much to the 19th century Russian novel and more closely resemble the doomed lover of a Tolstoy novel than they do anything coming out of Hollywood these days.

Since the films in this set are nearly a hundred years old, there is a fair amount of damage to them. "Twilight of a Woman's Soul" looks like its fared the worst, but all of the films are still watchable, and at times even look good. That being said, there are numerous instances of dirt, dust, scratches, and other damage on the films on this disc. As with any film of this age, you shouldn't expect a miracle when encountering it, but if you go in knowing that you have a usable, but heavily damaged print (likely the best available), then I doubt that you'd be disappointed by it.

All three films are silent, but come with scores newly commissioned for this release. I honestly have nothing bad to say about the scores, as I thought that they were a perfect accompaniment to the images on the screen. The soundtrack to "Twilight of a Woman's Soul" and "The Dying Swan" are presented in a competent Dolby Digital 2.0 track that nicely convey the individual soundtracks, but the real treat here is the music for "After Death" which is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and simply sounds marvelous. The credits and titles at the beginning of the films have forced subtitles, but since these are silent films, the subtitles only reappear for the intertitles.

Aside from the notes on the individual films on the inside of the cover, the set also comes with a few extras. The first are some fairly standard biography for the director, but there's also an extensive and enjoyable visual essay by Yuri Tsivian in which he analyzes Bauer's films and cinematography.

Despite the fact that the films look about what you'd expect for their age, this a great set and really a wonderful bargain since you get three gorgeous silent films for the price of one. Highly recommended.

 - Brian Montgomery

 



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(aka "Posle smerti" )

 

directed by Evgenii Bauer
Russia 1915

 

Andrei lives a secluded life with his aunt, studying and thinking about his now-deceased mother. His friend Tsenin is concerned, and tries to get Andrei to accompany him to social events. After watching the actress Zoya Kadmina perform, Andrei is fascinated with her, and is then astounded to receive a note from her. He has only one brief meeting with her, and then three months later he is shocked to learn of her death. He now becomes obsessed with her memory, and he decides that he must find out all that he can about her.

Excerpt of review from Snow Leopard located HERE

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DVD Review: BFI (Mad Love: Three Films by Evgenii Bauer) - Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 46:06
Video

1.33 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.21 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 Silent (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles English (Forced), None

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

(aka "Umirayushchii lebed" )

 

directed by Evgenii Bauer
Russia 1917

 

When Viktor meets Gizella one day beside the lake, he takes an interest in her and begins to call on her regularly. The one passion in the life of Gizella, who is unable to speak, is dancing. When Viktor deceives her and she finds him with another woman, she moves away and begins a career as a ballerina. Later, as she is on tour performing "The Dying Swan", the artist Glinskiy attends her performance. Glinskiy, whose own obsession is to depict death in his art, becomes fascinated by Gizella, and he is determined to use her as a model for a special project.

Excerpt of review from Snow Leopard located HERE

Theatrical Release: January 17th, 1917

Reviews       More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: BFI (Mad Love: Three Films by Evgenii Bauer) - Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 49:00
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.71 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 Silent (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English (Forced), None

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 



DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

BFI

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




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