S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(aka 'The Father')
Directed by István Szabó
|Set between the period of the Second World War to the Hungarian uprising of 1956, Szabó's powerful cinematic ode relates historical events through the prism of personal experience producing a film of extraordinary intimacy. After his father is killed in the war, Tako, a young Hungarian boy, concocts a fantasy ideal of the parent he never really knew. In the child s imagination, the figure of the father attains mythical qualities. Convincing himself of his father s unbridaled bravery, the boy grows into a man and hopes to emulate his dad s heroism. After falling in love with a Jewish refugee Tako ultimately decides to find out whether his father was truly the noble warrior he s imagined him to be... The film mixes poetry, nostalgia, irony and stark images of war and totalitarianism, and confronts the viewers with the reality that salvation can start only from within.|
Theatrical Release: December 8th, 1966
DVD Review: Second Run - Region 0 - PAL
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL|
|Runtime||1:25:33 (4% PAL Speedup)|
Average Bitrate: 7.98 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.
|Audio||Hungarian (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Wonderful film and evocative cinematography. Revisiting the below screen captures causes the recent film experience to rush back to me. I enjoyed Apa very much.
Typical of Second Run - the DVD is region free and progressive. We get a beautiful dual-layered image that is a 'director-approved digital transfer with restored picture and sound'. It is in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio and rendered in the PAL standard. Contrast via grayscale is impressive - as is detail. The frame shows some inconsequential rounded-corners but is relatively damage-free. There is some textured grain and a hint of depth. Considering this is the SD format - the image quality is... magnificent.
The flat 2.0 channel Hungarian-language audio sometimes appears less in-sync but it is a trivial complaint as you work through the film and it becomes barely noticeable. There are, complete, optional English subtitles.
There are no digital supplements but there is a liner notes booklet including a new essay by author and Hungarian cinema expert John Cunningham where he discusses some of the themes of the film and comparisons to the French New Wave.
Second Run never seem to disappoint exposing less-seen examples of brilliant European cinema - often being produced on digital for the first time in English-friendly versions. Apa could easily rank in the 'masterpiece' status. I think I am going to pick-up István Szabó's Mephisto from 1981, which won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Apa is an easy recommendation - a DVD that I will remember in the Year End Poll. Fabulous job Second Run!