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3-disc set includes

Strike (1925)         Battleship Potempkin (1925)          October (1928)


 

(aka "Bronenosets Potyomkin" or "Броненосец Потё&" or "The Armored Cruiser Potemkin" or "Bronomzidi Potiomkini" )

 

directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein
Soviet Union 1925

 

Probably one of the most surprisingly unwatched of the classic genre films, Sergei Eisenstein’s Bronenosets Potyomkin ( Battleship Potemkin ) made in 1925 has not maintained a distinctive impact on modern audiences. It was voted the greatest film of all time at the Brussels, Belgium, World's Fair in 1958 and the following year ``Citizen Kane'' had its giant re-release and went to the top of the list for the next 40+ years.

Battleship Potemkin was restored in Moscow in the mid 70’s. and there is no mistaking the age of the source material on the Image Entertainment DVD, but the print is in acceptable condition and its scratches and flaws do not inhibit the films viewers experience, in fact that can tend to supplement it. We are not only watching a storyline, but also history. Political and Cinematic. The monophonic orchestral musical score, by Dimitri Shostakovich, is quite nice as well with occasional unusual pauses and stoppages.

The level of appreciation for the film depends on one’s tolerance of endeavoring to accept the numerous symbols and parallels administered through typical over exaggerated silent film acting. Eisenstein himself represents The Church as he plays the wild looking Russian Orthodox chaplain. It is hard to pinpoint actual flaws in the acting due to the style in which the film is made, often at a blisteringly edited pace with no focus on any individual characters. . D.W. Griffith and such films of his as “Intolerance”, 1916, ( which I believe is out of print on DVD ) heavily influenced the film Battleship Potemkin. Not unlike the propaganda message it delivers, BP fittingly never focuses on an individual behavior for long, but rather the whole persona and often harried and violent activities that are being shown before our eyes. There are no three dimensional individuals in the story who may cause it to become personalized. The only real star of the film is stated in the title.

Eisenstein became quite focused on the actual Potemkin mutiny that his film is based. The crews of the battleship, sailing through the Black Sea after returning from the war with Japan, become outraged because of tainted rations and uncaring bourgeois officers. After a cloth, their death shroud, is thrown over a small group of defiant sailors and orders are shouted for them to be shot. The tension mounts for the viewer and the films potential protagonist Vakulinchuk cries out, ``Brothers! Who are you shooting at?''

Gary Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: 24 December 1925 (Soviet Union)

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DVD Comparison:

Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Palisades Tartan (Nikolai Kryukov Score) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

(Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Palisades Tartan (Nikolai Kryukov Score) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

Runtime 1:13:48 (4% PAL speedup) 1:02:58 (4% PAL speedup) 1:05:56
Video

1.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.14 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.45:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.6 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.38:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.54 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:

Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score)

 

Bitrate:

Palisades Tartan (Nikolai Kryukov Score)

 

Bitrate:

Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score)

 

Audio Score Only DTS 5.1; Dolby Digital 5.1; Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Russian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles Englihs, none English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.30:1

Edition Details:
• Version with Nikolai Kryukov score (4:3; 1:02:58 - see comparison)
• Behind the Scenes of the Recording Sessions (4:3; 7:56)

DVD Release Date: 12 July 2010
Slim Amaray in 3-disc slipcase

Chapters 6

Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.45:1

Edition Details:
• Extra on BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN disc

 

DVD Release Date: 12 July 2010
Slim Amaray in 3-disc slipcase

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.38:1

Edition Details:
• Extra on OCTOBER disc

 

DVD Release Date: 12 July 2010
Slim Amaray in 3-disc slipcase

Chapters 10

 

Comments

While Kino provided two encodings with Russian and English intertitles, Palisades Tartan has used a mix of the Russian and English intertitles. The first, third, fourth, and fifth chapter headings are in English, while the second is in Russian. The credits are in English, and the intertitles are in Russian with optional English subtitles. Like the new transfer of STRIKE, edge enhancement halos are apparent (more so in close ups). Rather than trying to sync up the Nikolai Kryukov and Edmund Meisel scores to the feature, Palisades Tartan has included both versions as separate encodes from different prints. Although their quality is nowhere near that of the feature version, it is interesting to see these alternate versions. The Nikolai Kryukov score version is a battered Contemporary Films release print of the Mosfilm's sound version with Russian narration, some sound effects, and English subtitles on the print (for the narration and the Russian intertitles, the opening credits are in English). The Kryukov version also lacks chapter title cards and one possibly contentious dialogue intertitle. Although interlacing artifacts are visible, that has more to do with the older master than any conversion (the 63 minute running time is consistent with PAL speedup for the running time of the 66 minute Gala Film release running time, despite the Contemporary Films logo). To optimize the bitrate of the Hughes version, the Edmund Meisel-scored version has been moved to the disc of OCTOBER as an extra. That version is in similarly battered form and runs just under 66 minutes.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Palisades Tartan (Nikolai Kryukov Score) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs.  Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Palisades Tartan (Nikolai Kryukov Score) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Palisades Tartan (Nikolai Kryukov Score) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Palisades Tartan (Ed Hughes Score) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Palisades Tartan (Nikolai Kryukov Score) - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Palisades Tartan (Edmund Meisel Score) - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

 


(aka "Stachka" or "Gapitsva")

 

directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein
Soviet Union 1925

 

Based on the reportedly true story of brutally suppressed strikes in 1912, STRIKE begins when a micrometer is stolen from a factory and the man who reported it missing is accused by the management. When he kills himself, the workers begin go on strike. The workers demand an eight hour day, civil administration, a thirty-percent increase in wages, and a six hour workday for minors. The strike takes its toll on the families of the workers who starve and lose their homes, but the greedy capitalist stockholders (whose caricatures seem less and less exaggerated in recent years) want the resistance crushed (illustrated by one of the cigar-chomping fat cats squeezing the juice out of a lemon). The tsarist police make a deal with rabble-rouser King and his cronies to set some fires and loot a storefront as an excuse to bring the law down upon the striking workers. The governor sends for the military to intervene as well and a riot commences after a woman is killed trying to rescue her son from being trampled by the soldiers' horses. The ensuing action is even more brutal and shocking than the Odessa steps sequence of POTEMKIN. The feature debut of Sergei Eisenstein, STRIKE's perspective already depicts Eisenstein's mastering of film technique fully in evidence. Of course, the perspective is skewed towards propaganda by the communist government of the time, but it makes dramatic sense to make the workers the underdogs and to make the actions of the opposition sufficiently shocking to incite the audience. History is written by the victors, so while the film may be charged with bias, it is difficult to determine the level of accuracy (or inaccuracy); there is, however, no denying the sophistication of Eisenstein's technique and its employment.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 April 1925 (Soviet Union)

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DVD Review: Palisades Tartan - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:27:27 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.72 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 Score Only DTS 5.1; Dolby Digital 5.1; Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none (new intertitles in English)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.30:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: 12 July 2010
Slim Amaray in 3-disc slipcase

Chapters 10

 

Comments

Palisades Tartan's transfer of STRIKE is from a different master than that of the previous UK release from Eureka, which was an NTSC-PAL conversion (ghosting is present in the new transfer, but this may be the result of the conversion of the silent film framerate to 25 fps). The Palisades Tartan transfer is a different print with new intertitles and a new score by Ed Hughes (recorded in 2005 for the Brighton Festival in DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo. The Eurkea transfer was windowboxed on all four sides, while the Palisades Tartan transfer is not. The Palisades Tartan transfer is slightly zoomed in, compared to the Eureka version. The latter transfer is slightly sharper-looking, but there is also evidence of edge enhancement.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
 

 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


(aka "Oktyabr" or "October (Ten Days that Shook the World)" or "Октябрь")

 

directed by Grigori Aleksandrov and Sergei M. Eisenstein
Soviet Union 1928

 

Eisenstein's OCTOBER covers the Bolshevik overthrow of the Tsar, starting with the destruction of the Tsar's statue and ending with the storming of the Winter Palace on October 25, 1917. From tracking shots to feverish editing (including cuts juxtaposing the tsar with a peacock), all of Eisenstein's techniques are not only on display here, they are downright showy. A knowledge of the historical sequence of events would be handy for viewing the film since the narrative is more of a visual assault of a highlights reel than a history lesson (despite some thrilling sequences, it was not that well received by the public at the time of release). Heavily censored by Stalin (co-director Grigori Aleksandrov claims a loss of nearly 3000 feet of film - mainly sequences involving Trotsky) and not restored until the 1967 sound version represented here - and in seemingly all other copies - this apparently complete version is more of a showcase of Eisenstein's technique than the marriages of technique and complex narrative seen in Eisenstein's non-commissioned works.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 20 January 1928 (Soviet Union)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Palisades Tartan - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:39:18 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.47:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.27 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 Score Only Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.47:1

Edition Details:
• BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN [Edmund Meisel Score] (4:3; )

DVD Release Date: 12 July 2010
Slim Amaray in 3-disc slipcase

Chapters 10

 

Comments

OCTOBER is the roughest looking title in the set (excluding the Meisel and Kryukov prints of POTEMKIN since they are extras). The windowboxed presentation features burnt-in optical subtitles in white. These are readable, except when they overlap with the intertitles. The spoken introduction features optional subtitles with a black background over the print subtitles (you can turn this off with the remote to see the original subtitles). OCTOBER is also the only title in the set that has not been rescored (it retains the Dimitri Shostakovich score, composed in 1966 for Mosfilm's reissue), so the provided score is in mono only. The sole extra is the Meisel-scored version of POTEMKIN (see comparison for comments).

  - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
 

 

 


Screen Captures


Intertitle subtitles

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 0 - PAL

 

 



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