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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Potop Redivivus aka "The Deluge" [Blu-ray]

 

(Jerzy Hoffman, 1974)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: A.P. Dovzenko Filmstudio

Video: Zebra (DMMS Media Distribution)

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 3:04:47.875

Disc Size: 46,885,263,147 bytes

Feature Size: 34,085,500,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.70 Mbps

Chapters: 19

Case: Book-Style Blu-ray case

Release date: March, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Polish 2281 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2281 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Descriptive Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio Polish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, Polish (HoH), none

 

Extras:

• Potop: A Great Cinematic Adventure (1:02:56 in 1080i)

Polish Newsreel (1971) (2:04)

Polish Newsreel (1972) (1:29)

Making of (22:37)

• Restoration Demo (:49)

• Archival Trailer (4:45)

• Official Trailer (2:33)

• Teaser Love (:30)

Teaser Fight (:30)

Teaser Humor (:30)

• Educational material

• Book Presentation (2:35)

The cover of the book-style case and its text and extras are in all Polish (all with optional English subtitles) but there is an English menu option - this is a very English-friendly release.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The Deluge (Polish: Potop) is a 1974 Polish-Soviet historical drama film directed by Jerzy Hoffman. The film is based on the 1886 novel of the same name by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 47th Academy Awards, but lost to Amarcord. The film is the third most popular in the history of Polish cinema, with more than 27.6 million tickets sold in its native country by 1987. Further 30.5 million were sold in the Soviet Union.

The film is set in the 17th century during the Swedish invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the years 1655 to 1658, known as The Deluge, which was eventually thwarted by the Polish-Lithuanian forces. However, a quarter of the Polish-Lithuanian population died through war and plague, and the country's economy was devastated.

The original film was digitally restored and shown on Polish TV in December, 2013. For the film's 40th anniversary, a new cut named Potop Redivivus will be released in the Fall of 2014. It is two hours shorter than the original, to make it more accessible to present day moviegoers.

 

 

The Film:

Academy Award-nominated, Potop is one of the most popular movies in the Polish cinema. To mark the 40th anniversary of the movie release , the festival brings the new cut of the film, Potop Redivivus. Set during the Swedish invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Potop – based on the 1886 novel of the same name – follows the adventures of the unruly yet patriotic soldier Andrzej Kmicic.

XXX

In 1974, The Deluge, as the first film in the history of this festival, won the Grand Award “Lwy Gdańskie” (now the Golden Lion). Daniel Olbrychski was awarded as the best actor in a leading role for his unforgettable performance as Andrzej Kmicic. The film also won the Audience Award. The Deluge got very enthusiastic reviews and was given credit by a multi-million audience. As one of few Polish films, it was nominated to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Deluge is not only the biggest production in the history of Polish cinematography, a film produced on a grand scale and in cooperation with distinguished artists, but it is also a picture on which generations of Poles have been weaned. For the last forty years, it has been ceaselessly enrapturing the viewers and eliciting very emotional responses. With its record-breaking ratings its popularity has not declined. The story of love between Kmicic and Oleńka, protagonist’s dramatic fate, impressive battle scenes, perfect set design and costumes, unforgettable performances and masterful camerawork make The Deluge remain “the everlasting bestseller” – just as its literary prototype, the most widely read book series in the history of Polish literature, Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Trilogy.

Hence, there is a plethora of reasons to show Jerzy Hoffman’s restored film after so many years at the most important film festival in Poland.

Excerpt from fn.org.pl located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Potop Redivivus appears quite respectable on Blu-ray out of Poland- especially considering the film's over 3-hour running time and part of the disc space is taken up by an over 1 hour supplement - also in HD.  The restoration looks very adept and, as noted in the 'demo restoration' examples in the extras - a massive improvement. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows some very pleasing textures which are consistent in the 1080P resolution. This Blu-ray has hardly any marks - a few short scratches - and this BD provides a great presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2281 kbps. This would be an attempt to replicate the 70 mm print's 6-Track audio. It does sound good with some notable separations. the film has plenty of effects and aggressive action sequences from battles, fire, guns and more. The score is by Kazimierz Serocki and appears to benefit from the lossless rendering. There is a descriptive audio track option in Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 channel and there are optional English and Polish (SDH) subtitles. In fact the first menu screen you get gives you the choice of English or Polish and sends you to friendly menus screens. My Oppo has identified it as being region FREE playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

This is a stacked package and very English-friendly. We get an hour-long documentary Potop: A Great Cinematic Adventure in HD covering a lot of ground including and interview with the director Jerzy Hoffman and the film's significance and popularity. Also included are 2 Polish Newsreels from 1971 and n72 respectively, a 22-minute Making of, a Restoration Demo, trailers, teasers and more. The case of the book-style package and its text are in all Polish but, as we stated, there is an English menu option for the digital extras which are all English-friendly.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Potop Redivivus is an impressive epic - and this 'Redivivus' restoration has a full 2+ hours left off from the original! It's a beautiful, war-adventure of the genre of history we don't see often - especially with its Polish roots. With its history and revival it was a prime candidate for Blu-ray. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the film and the extensive extras buoyed my appreciation for subsequent viewings. Yes, we can easily recommend this as  apart of your digital library. 

Gary Tooze

June 28th, 2015

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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