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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kieslowski.htm
Poland 1987

This is the brilliant series of ten films directed and co-written by Krzysztof Kieslowski for Polish television in 1987. Each short films is loosely but philosophically accurate in its basis on one of each of the Ten Commandments. Diagnosing moral ambiguities with simplistic and gripping realism is only scratching the surface of this probing and infinity everlasting series of short films that bind themselves together on a ultimately fascinating premise of the scriptures and the tablets of Moses. This is 'it' folks.

***

"The Decalogue" by Krzysztof Kieslowski is a series of ten separate story, each of which loosely refers to God's ten commandments, showing their versatility through the stories of people who are raised fundamental questions about life.

The action is a huge impersonal housing estate. Almost identical blocks, cramped apartment, in which competitions are human dramas. There is no here nor continuity of events, nor continuity of action. The characters are like chance. The only form of joining a whole is a mysterious stranger (Arthur Barcis). He is the witness of all the tragic events of the whole cycle.

"The Decalogue" by Krzysztof Kieslowski is a kind of guide to values, prompting the viewer to reflect on their own lives, regardless of religious beliefs.

Posters

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Comparison:

Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL vs. FACETS (Special Edition) region 1- NTSC vs. FACETS / Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Infinity Entertainment (Korean) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big Thanks to Enrique Chamorro for the SE screen caps and Spreadsheet below and Paul Whitelock for rest of the DVD screen captures!

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

CLICK HERE to see packaging

Distribution

Warner (Poland) 

Region 0 - PAL

FACETS / Image Entertainment

Region 1  - NTSC

FACETS / Image Entertainment

Region 1  - NTSC

Infinity
Region 0 - NTSC
TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray Criterion Collection - Spine #837 - Region 'A' Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 580 minutes * 560 minutes 561 minutes 613 minutes 613 minutes (see below) (see below)
Sample TVP Bitrate Blu-ray

Sample Criterion Bitrate Blu-ray

Sample Arrow Bitrate Blu-ray

Video 1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: see below
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.6mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 OAR
Average Bitrate: 5.72
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 1080i / 25 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,378,158,158 bytes

Dekalog: 11,306,348,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.44 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.33:1 

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video: 1080P / 23.976 fps

(details see below)

1.33:1 1080i / 25 fps Dual-layered Blu-rays

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

(details see below)

 
Audio Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Polish (Dolby Digital 5.0 Stereo) Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Dolby Digital Audio Polish 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps
LPCM Audio Polish 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit LPCM Audio Polish 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles Polish, English, French and None English, and none English (non-removable) English, Korean and none Polish, English, Spanish, French and None English, and none English, and none
Features
Release Information:
Studio: Warner - Poland

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

Episode - Episode Length / Extras Length

 

Dekalog 01 - 53:20 / 23:55

Dekalog 02 - 56:44 / 25:27

Dekalog 03 - 55:35 / 20:53

Dekalog 04 - 55:20 / 21:08

Dekalog 05 - 57:24 / 26:06


Dekalog 06 - 58:31 / 23:46

Dekalog 07 - 55:02 / 22:31

Dekalog 08 - 54:15 / 26:31

Dekalog 09 - 58:01 / 17:29

Dekalog 10 - 57:16 / 33:36

The 11th disc ("Archiwum") 
(total length of disc 11 was 3 hours, 21 minutes), but the only people who will appreciate it are those who speak Polish.

 

 

Bit-rates:

Dekalog 01 - 7.42 Mb/sec
Dekalog 02 - 5.97 Mb/sec
Dekalog 03 - 7.42 Mb/sec
Dekalog 04 - 5.98 Mb/sec
Dekalog 05 - 5.97 Mb/sec
Dekalog 06 - 5.97 Mb/sec
Dekalog 07 - 5.96 Mb/sec
Dekalog 08 - 6.46 Mb/sec
Dekalog 09 - 6.45 Mb/sec
Dekalog 10 - 5.98 Mb/sec

 

DVD Release Date: November 26th, 2003
Box Set

CLICK HERE to see packaging

Release Information:
Studio: Facets Video
Production Company: Facets Video

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Color
• "Roger Ebert on The Decalogue"
• "On the Set of The Decalogue"
• "Kieslowski Meets the Press"
• "Kieslowski Known and Unknown"
• Booklet
• Number of discs: 3

Specifics HERE

DVD Release Date: August 19th, 2003
Box Set

 

Release Information:
Studio: Facets / Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• All Regions
• Color

Specifics HERE

DVD Release Date: April 18, 2000
Box Set


Release Information:
Studio: Infinity Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
The entire 10-episode "Dekalog" mini series on 5 discs, each episode based on one of the Ten Commandments, along with a bonus disc with the 56-minute documentary feature, "Krzysztof Kieslowski: I'm So-So...", all packaged together in a huge collector's box. Includes the following episodes:
I Am the Lord Thy God (53 mins.)
Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of Thy Lord God in Vain (53 mins.)
Honor the Sabbath Day (56 mins.)
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother (55 mins.)
Thou Shalt Not Kill (57 mins.)
Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery (58 mins.)
Thou Shalt Not Steal (55 mins.)
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness (55 mins.)
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Wife (58 mins.)
Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Goods (57 mins.)

DVD Release Date: 2003
Box Set

Release Information:
Studio: TVP

1.78:1 1080i / 25 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc 1 Size: 33,378,158,158 bytes

Dekalog: 11,306,348,544 bytes

Sample Video Bitrate: 24.44 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• Still Alive - a film portrait of Krzysztof Kieslowski directed by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz (1:21:34 in 1080i - Polish with optional English subtitles)

Custom Blu-ray Digipak Box Set

Blu-ray Release Date: 2015

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:

1.33:1  (1.70 for Dekalog's 5 + 6 and the Short Stories)

Disc One Size: 49,738,701,548 bytes

Disc Two Size: 48,284,190,394 bytes

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Edition Details:

• Selection of archival interviews with director Krzysztof Kieślowski, taken from a 1987 television piece on the production of Dekalog: Two, excerpts from the 1995 documentary A Short Film About “Dekalog,” (20:28) and a 1990 audio recording from the National Film Theatre in London (23:10 - audio only)
• New program on the formal and thematic patterns of Dekalog by film studies professor Annette Insdorf (28:00)
• New and archival interviews with Dekalog cast and crew, including cowriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz (25:14), thirteen actors (21:09), three cinematographers, editor Ewa Smal (15:21), Zdort (15:41), Idziak (2:57) Adamek (12:25), and Kieślowski confidante Hanna Krall (15:55)
• Trailers (4:54)
• PLUS: A book featuring an essay and capsules on the films by cinema scholar Paul Coates, along with excerpts from Kieślowski on Kieślowski

On the Set (3:37)

Blu-ray Release Date: September 27th, 2016
Transparent Keep case

Chapters: 8 X 10

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow

Aspect Ratio:

1.39.5:1  (1.70 for Dekalog's 5 + 6)

Disc One Size: 49,738,701,548 bytes

Disc Two Size: 48,284,190,394 bytes

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Edition Details:

• 4K restoration of all ten episodes, presented in their original broadcast aspect ratios
• Original Polish mono soundtrack (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays), with optional English subtitles
Disc 1

• Pedestrian Subway (1973, 28:38, HD), Kieslowski s professional fiction debut, about a man trying to repair a failed marriage

• Still Alive (2007), an affectionate 82-minute portrait of the director by his former student Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, including interviews with dozens of friends and colleagues (1:21:34)

Disc 2

• First Love (1974, 52 mins, SD), a docudrama about a teenage couple coping with an unwanted pregnancy (51;59)

• KKTV (75 mins), Polish cinema expert Michael Brooke explores Kieslowski s small-screen output in the context of his work as a whole (1:15:10)

Disc3

• Personnel (1975, 67 mins, SD), Kieslowski s first feature-length fiction film, a partly autobiographical piece about a Warsaw theatre company (1:06:54)

• Dekalog: An Appreciation (78 mins), in which critic Tony Rayns, a Kie lowski champion for many decades, pays tribute to his masterpiece (1;17:57)

Disc 4

• The Guardian Interview: Krzysztof Kieslowski (93 mins), an onstage conversation with Derek Malcolm at London s National Film Theatre on 2 April 1990 to mark the British premiere of Dekalog (1:32:22)
• The Calm (1976, 82 mins, SD), one of Kie lowski s most powerful early films, about a man rebuilding his life in mid-70s Poland after a short prison sentence (1:21:57)

Disc 5
Short Working Day (1981, 73 mins, HD), Kieslowski s study of a political strike, controversially told from the viewpoint of a Communist functionary trying to keep order (1:13:28)

Re-release Trailer (1:21)

 

5 DVDs  - same content as BDs

• 128-page collector's book featuring a lengthy essay on Dekalog and Kieslowski by Father Marek Lis, plus Kie lowski s own intensely self-critical discussion of all the films in this set and Stanley Kubrick s famous eulogy to Kieslowski and co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz)

Blu-ray Release Date: October 31st, 2016
Custom case (see photo)

Chapters: 6 X 10

 

 

 

Criterion/Arrow Dekalog Blu-ray package constitute 4 Blu-ray discs:

 

  Criterion Arrow
Disc One 49,738,701,548 bytes 46,847,833,628 bytes
Disc Two 48,284,190,394 bytes 47,916,140,300 bytes
Disc Three 47,767,830,799 bytes 48,322,447,428 bytes
Disc Four 42,446,762,115 bytes 48,177,625,604 bytes
Disc Five

-

46,984,086,096 bytes

 

 

Decalogue: Running Time: File Size: Bitrate:
Criterion 9,127,182,336 bytes 18.25 Mbps
0:56:20.418
Arrow 16,338,874,368 bytes 36.56 Mbps
0:53:31.120
 Criterion 9,704,712,192 bytes 18.25 Mbps
0:59:55.383
Arrow 17,485,034,496 bytes 36.84 Mbps
0:56:52.600
Criterion 9,508,558,848 bytes 18.25 Mbps
0:58:42.560
Arrow 17,029,487,616 bytes 36.59 Mbps
0:55:44.440
Criterion 9,467,867,136 bytes 18.25 Mbps
0:58:26.544
Arrow 16,927,128,960 bytes 36.50 Mbps
0:55:31.960
  Criterion  11,454,935,040 bytes 21.71 Mbps
1:00:35.214
Arrow 16,403,174,976 bytes 33.91 Mbps
0:57:31.760
 Criterion 9,877,254,144 bytes 17.99 Mbps
1:01:44.742
Arrow 16,746,292,800 bytes 34.02 Mbps
0:58:41.280
Criterion 9,301,315,584 bytes 18.00 Mbps
0:58:06.524
Arrow 15,294,008,064 bytes 32.97 Mbps
0:55:10.040
Criterion 9,151,395,840 bytes 17.95 Mbps
0:57:17.475
Arrow 15,076,396,416 bytes 32.98 Mbps
0:54:22.440
 Criterion 9,802,426,368 bytes 18.00 Mbps
1:01:15.713
Arrow 17,061,541,440 bytes 35.04 Mbps
0:58:09.360
Criterion 9,675,921,408 bytes 18.00 Mbps
1:00:25.663
Arrow 16,819,947,072 bytes 34.98 Mbps
0:57:24.640

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray October 16': Firstly, both Criterion and Arrow are 4K restorations. The most discussed difference between the Criterion and the Arrow Blu-ray releases is that the Arrow has been transferred in 1080i / 25 fps. Why? because, as they correctly point out, that this was how the Dekalog was broadcast originally - on Polish television - in PAL at 25 fps speed, circa 1987. So that makes sense - but why didn't Criterion transfer in 1080i? Answer: because many North American players and displays are incapable of playing '50i' content. So what it means is that the Criterion is 4% slower than originally shown. It is unusual,  but we have seen it before. Both Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz (shot at 25fps on film) and Pedro Costa's Colossal Youth (which was shot on PAL DVCAM) are also 4% slower than would have been originally viewed/broadcast.

As Michael Brooke informed us in our FB group: "Unfortunately for them, they have no choice. They don't have the option of releasing discs that much of their customer base won't be able to play, and the alternative - faking 25fps within 24fps/23.976fps - would most likely look worse.

Incidentally, on the subject of 1080p and 1080i transfers, when it comes to this particular release there's no practical difference - "1080i" is merely a carrier for a fully progressive 25fps image, and it's just a way of getting round limitations of the Blu-ray specs. In practice, and even if you step through it frame by frame, they'll be the same aside from the framerate
." (Thanks Michael)

Of course these were shown at Cannes, theatrically, in May 1989 - but I am unclear what frame-rate they were displayed.

Okay... so what else? The Arrow transfers of the individual Decalogues have around twice the bitrate as the Criterion (see stats below). Where Criterion spread Dekalogs 1 thru 5 on one dual-layered Blu-ray, the second 6-10 on a second Blu-ray disc, plus A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love on a third - while the fourth Blu-ray has the supplements. Arrow have FIVE dual-layered Blu-ray discs with 2 Decalogues on each and extras sharing those discs. The Arrow transfers, hence, look notably better in-motion - maybe a shade brighter and smoother. Plus there is more information in the Arrow frame - only on the eight 1.33:1 (which actually clock in at 1.39.5:1) - on the right and left edges - its a surprising amount. The framing is the same on Dekalogs Five + Six. (approximately 1.7:1 .)

Arrow also use an uncompressed (linear PCM) mono audio transfer (in the original Polish) for all Dekalogs and shorts. Zbigniew Preisner's score remains magical - all the more so in lossless. The Arrow is region 'B'-locked and offers optional English subtitles for everything on the 5 Blu-rays.

NOTE: Leonard says in email "For players that employ PAL speed-up, what people are listening to on the Arrow Dekalog is DEAD WRONG. Let me go further: it is not only wrong, but irritating. Probably thanks to HD audio, but possibly because the sound may be tweaked a touch, the Polish consonants are so exaggerated that they produce what I call “audio sparks” - and this is not a good thing. The better your audio playback, the more unacceptable is the Arrow on North American machines.

I might add that the speed-up is evident not only with speech, where it is nightmarish, but in movement. I am not usually sensitive to this aspect of PAL speed-up. I mean, I may notice it at times, but it doesn’t usually rise (or fall) to nerve-wracking unreality. This does. Camera pans, pigeon flights, rising smoke, small movements that people make - it’s all wrong.

Color is another matter. I happen to prefer what Arrow did here, but it is no big deal, because I can fall into an alternate universe of color far more easily than sound, especially if the latter is unnatural.
"

About the supplements; On disc 1 (with Dekalogs #1 + #2) is Pedestrian Subway made in 1973 and running shy of 1/2 hour. It is Kieslowski's professional fiction debut, about a man trying to repair a failed marriage. We also get on that disc Still Alive (2007), the affectionate 82-minute portrait of the director by his former student Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, including interviews with dozens of friends and colleagues as also found on the TVP Blu-ray set. On Blu-ray 2 is First Love a 1974 short - running 52 mins (in SD), a docudrama about a teenage couple coping with an unwanted pregnancy. KKTV runs 75-minutes and has Polish cinema expert Michael Brooke exploring Kieslowski's small-screen output in the context of his work as a whole. It is excellent! On Blu-ray Disc 3 we have Personnel - Kieslowski's first feature-length fiction film, a partly autobiographical piece about a Warsaw theatre company . It runs 52-minutes and was made in 1975. Also on that disc is Dekalog: An Appreciation, has critic Tony Rayns, a Kieslowski champion for many decades, paying tribute to his masterpiece for almost 1 1/4 hours. Fabulous stuff. The Calm (1976, in SD) is one of Kielowski's most powerful early films, about a man rebuilding his life in mid-70s Poland after a short prison sentence. Brilliant! Short Working Day is from 1981. Kieslowski's study of a political strike, controversially told from the viewpoint of a Communist functionary trying to keep order. It runs 1 1/4 hours and is in HD. We also get The Guardian Interview: Krzysztof Kieslowski which runs over 1.5 hours. It's an onstage conversation with Derek Malcolm at London's National Film Theatre on April 2nd 1990 to mark the British premiere of Dekalog.  The package also contains a 128-page collector's book featuring a lengthy essay on Dekalog and Kieslowski by Father Marek Lis, plus Kielowski's own intensely self-critical discussion of all the films in this set and Stanley Kubrick's famous eulogy to Kieslowski and co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz.) There is also a cool re-release trailer (done by my buddy Nick Wrigley!). The set is 'Dual-Format' and has 5 DVDs with the same content as the Blu-rays.

It's not often another production company bests Criterion in both transfer and extras but Arrow have done it here even if they did not include the extended theatrical versions of Dekalog 5 + 6 - A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love (Artificial Eye owns the rights to those in the UK.) This is still, without a doubt, the #1 Blu-ray package of the entire year, IMO. It can't be denied. Congratulations Arrow!

***

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray August 16': There is so much to say here. The Criterion is cited as having "4K digital transfers of all twelve films". The twelve films would be the 10 Dekalogs and the A Short Film About Killing - the 85-minute extended theatrical version of Dekalog: Five and A Short Film About Love - the 87-minute extended theatrical version of Dekalog: Six.

Criterion's package is divided into 4 Blu-ray discs. The first has Dekalogs 1 thru 5, the second 6-10, the third Blu-ray has A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love - while the fourth Blu-ray has the supplements. 

Okay, so we have been given information that the Arrow's Blu-ray release of Kieslowski's Dekalog (Dekalog and Other TV Works) will be - as it was broadcast - in the PAL standard and 1080i. This Criterion is 1080P and what, presumably, would be viewed in a theatrical venue. It's good to have the choice although it was definitely shot at 25 FPS knowing it would be broadcast in European PAL on TV, meaning the Criterion may be 4% slower than originally shown (we'll see when we review the Arrow.) It's not an argument I'd like to instigate but it is both important, for many, to have it in the originally broadcast standard available and it benefits some consumers to have different options, especially since many North American players and displays are incapable of playing '50i' content.

Criterion have opted for the, original, 1.33:1 aspect ratio for 8 of the 10 Dekalogs (Dekalogs Five + Six are about 1.70:1 - as on the TVP and the DVD releases). We've already commented in  TVP making the Dekalog 1.78:1 and you can see from our matched screen captures how big of an error it was with chopped information etc. It was a bad choice by TVP. By the way, the Criterion Dekalogs start with a TVP logo and the Short films with an MK2 (France) logo. The Criterion looks solid in-motion, no waxiness of the TVP and is also tighter and sharper than the Polish Blu-ray appearance.

We have already compared Criterion's Blu-ray versions has A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love found in this package to the previous DVDs. We'll eventually make some comments about those transfers especially the very green look of Killing.

Another area that the Criterion advances over the TVP is using a lossless (linear PCM) audio transfer (in the original Polish). It makes a big difference in listening to Zbigniew Preisner's addictive score. The Criterion is region 'A'-locked and offers optional English subtitles for everything on the 4 discs.

Criterion offer and entire fourth Blu-ray of extras. It starts with an archival interview with director Krzysztof Kieślowsk entitled On the Set - a 1987 television piece on the production of Dekalog: Two - running 3.5 minutes as well as excerpts from the 1995 documentary A Short Film About “Dekalog,” running over 20-minutes and a 1990 audio recording from the National Film Theatre in London last 23-minutes. There is a new, and excellent, 28-minute program on the formal and thematic patterns of Dekalog by film studies professor Annette Insdorf providing wonderful insight into the series. There are also new and archival interviews with Dekalog cast and crew, including co-writer Krzysztof Piesiewicz (25:14), thirteen actors (21:09), three cinematographers; Zdort (15:41), Idziak (2:57) Adamek (12:25), editor Ewa Smal (15:21) and Kieślowski confidante Hanna Krall (15:55). Fascinating information for fans of the director. These offer so much value. There are also trailers for the 2 'Short Films' and the package has a liner notes book featuring an essay and capsules on the films by cinema scholar Paul Coates, along with excerpts from Kieślowski on Kieślowski.

Immense Blu-ray Package - absolutely loaded with value and something to own and watch for your entire life. Our highest recommendation!

 

***

ADDITION: TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray November 15': Let's keep it short and sweet -  the much-anticipated TVP Blu-ray is a letdown. Dekalog was shown on television, as a series, in the late 80's. There is no reason for it to be widescreen (1.78:1) - we may gain a smidgeon of information on the sides but we lose a massive amount on the top and/or bottom. It also looks digitized and, often, soft. Very bad Blu-ray production choice. There are 4 dual-layered BDs - 3 Dekalogs on the first two (1 thru 6) with the third have the 1.5 hour supplement and two more (7 + 8) - plus two (9 + 10) on the last BD.  Let's also mention it is in 1080i and 25 fps - as originally broadcast on TV... ohhh... and it has lossy Dolby audio (this is a huge opportunity lost!). The supplemental feature, Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz's, 2006, Krzysztof Kieslowski - Still Alive, is wonderful but we should pass on the set - notably because Criterion are rumored to be bringing it to Blu-ray (no date). I think our patience will be amply rewarded! Stay tuned.

***

NOTE: The Dekalog: I tried ordering the box set from Astabe several months ago only to find it was out of stock. I waited patiently for it to reappear, and when it did I ordered a copy, feeling pleased that the price had dropped. When it arrived I found out why: The box set seems no longer to be in print (you might want to confirm this), despite the photo on the website. What was sent were the individual episodes on 10 single DVDs (no extra special features disc.) As it happens, this is much to be preferred since I am not crazy about odd sized box sets, especially where I have to open box after box to get to the disc I want.

BTW, price as delivered: about US$130. And you may have understated how much better these discs are than the Facets. My impression is that it represents the greatest discrepancy I've encountered thus far. (Thanks Leonard !)

***

ADDITION (January 2004 ) of the Warner (Polish) version.

The Polish edition of the Dekalog is an eleven DVD set with an individual episode and extras on each of the first ten discs, and an "Archive" collection on the eleventh disc.

 

The set's features include beautiful motion menus with transitions, chapter selection (with motion thumbnails for each chapter), English and French subtitles for each of the ten episodes, the option of the original mono audio or a Dolby Digital 5.0 mix, and a total of over seven hours of extras (none of which are subtitled).

 

The PAL Region 0 DVDs are packaged in two fold-out sections contained within a cardboard slipcase. The graphic design for the DVDs (each of which has a unique silkscreen) and for the fold-outs is excellent, but the cardboard slipcase is a bit thin.

 

Regarding the transfer of the episodes, the color appears to be more natural than any of the other editions. The Facets releases seem to be de-saturated and washed out, while the Korean Infinity release seems to be oversaturated. Detail for the Polish edition is very good, and is in general much better than any other release. The film elements are in fairly good shape, but there is some dust and some scratches that are visible.

 

It appears that there is some cropping on the Polish edition and that it is different from the cropping on other editions. For example, the stills from Dekalog 8 show more information at the top of the frame for the Polish edition, and more information at the bottom of the frame for the other editions. Some Polish edition episodes have more horizontal information than any of the other versions. Even though there might be a degree of cropping in some cases, the Polish edition's framing is preferable to any of the other available versions.

 

In summary, if you love the Dekalog and must have the best available version, then this is it. The biggest disappointment is that there are no subtitles for any of the extensive extras included with the set. The set is published by Warner Home Video, so perhaps there is a possibility that it could eventually be released in the U.S. (all that would need to be done is to add subtitles for the extras and to create English menus). If it was not for the lack of subtitles for the extras, and perhaps the high price point (approximately $187 US), this would be a front-runner for "DVD of the Year."

 

RE: SUBTITLES (Warner Poland) Examples from the first three episodes can be found HERE NOTE: The text sounds choppy without the images, but it seems to be at least as good as the Facets (based on the episodes that I've watched so far). It might even be more accurate than the Facets in some places but I can't say for sure since I don't know more than a few words of Polish.

 Paul Whitelock

The Infinity release is in general (but not always) softer than the Facets release, but I think that it has it has better color fidelity to the original film elements than the Facets does (again, in general). For example, regarding Dekalog 5 I remember reading that Kieslowski said to his cinematographer something like "If you want to shoot the film in s**t green, that's your business." Until the Infinity release I've never seen 5 in green (the Korean "A Short Film About Killing" DVD is more yellow than green).

The Facets release seems to be cropped a bit and is missing some content at the top and bottom (as compared with the Infinity). The Infinity has a bit of black on the left and/or right edges of the image (in order to get the full vertical content in frame). You can see the cropping clearly in the Dekalog 10 screen captures.

The most surprising difference is that each episode of the Facets is SHORTER than the Infinity. The time difference builds up gradually, which leads me to believe that the Facets might have been mastered from a PAL video source.

The only significant shortcoming of the Infinity release is the quality of the English subtitles. The subtitle text has some spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors, and in some instances is displayed on the screen for too short a period of time. The amount of dialog contained in the Decalogue is less than a typical film, so the problem is mitigated a bit, but nevertheless you might find the subtitle errors distracting. Examples from the first three episodes can be found HERE

The Infinity set contains the documentary "I'm so-so..." on a separate DVD and a booklet (written in Korean). The DVDs also contain a "What is Dekalog..." on each disc, which appears to be a description (in Korean text) of each episode.

 Paul Whitelock

Arrow packaging


 

 

Menus

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


 

TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray Extra (Still Alive)

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Disc 4 Extras

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 Extras


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

 Decalogue 9 (Blu-ray Subtitle Samples)

 

1) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 1 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0127.47F.jpg D0127.47I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 2 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0220.08F.jpg D0220.08I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 2 (CLICK to Enlarge)
  D0254.45F.jpg D0254.45I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 3 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0345.55F.jpg D0345.55I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 4 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0405.32F.jpg D0405.32I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 5 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0507.01F.jpg D0507.01I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 6 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0605.21F.jpg D0605.21I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 7 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0705.47F.jpg D0705.47I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 8 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0805.43F.jpg D0805.43I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 8 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D0847.13F.jpg D0847.13I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 10 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D1002.13F.jpg D1002.13I.jpg

 

1) Warner (Poland) Region 0 - PAL TOP LEFT
2) Facets (SE) region 1- NTSC TOP SECOND

3) Facets / Image Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP THIRD

4) Infinity Entertainment - R0 - NTSC TOP FOURTH

5) TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

6) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

7) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 Decalogue 10 (CLICK to Enlarge)
D1055.13F.jpg D1055.13I.jpg


Recommended Film reading on Kieslowski (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Hit Counter

FACETS DVD Data:

 

Old US R1 NTSC version       New US R1 NTSC version    
  VOB File Dates 9/28/2000         VOB File Dates 2/6/2036  Stated on all 3 discs ?
Note:           Note:        
All ep. start with a 10 sec +/- intro displaying BAP   All ep. start with a 13 sec +/- intro displaying Facets Video
Disc/Side Episode Time Bit Rate Chapters   Disc/Side Episode Time Bit Rate Chapters
01/A 1 53:10:00 5.60 8   01/A 1 53:12:00 5.21 9
01/A 2 56:36:00 5.60 8   01/A 2 56:38:00 5.13 9
01/A 3 55:26:00 5.60 8   01/A 3 55:30:00 5.11 7
02/A 4 55:12:00 5.60 8   02/A 4 55:16:00 4.80 7
02/A 5 57:16:00 5.50 8   02/A 5 57:20:00 4.44 7
02/A 6 58:22:00 5.60 8   02/A 6 58:26:00 4.26 8
03/A 7 54:52:00 5.80 8   03/A 7 55:00:00 4.80 8
03/A 8 54:06:00 5.60 8   03/A 8 54:10:00 4.32 7
03/B 9 57:54:00 5.60 8   03/A 9 57:58:00 4.60 8
03/B 10 57:04:00 5.60 8   03/A 10 57:08:00 4.80 8
                     
            01/A Roger Ebert on The Decalogue - 2001
          15:51:00 4.54 1
      03/A On the set of The Decalogue - 1988
          3:26:00 5.40 1
      03/A Kieslowski Meets the Press - 1988
          41:36:00 4.70 1
      03/A Kieslowski Known and Unknown - 1988
                13:21:00 5.50 1

 

*  The only difference in times is the BAP intro on the old and Facets Intro on the new.

Box Covers

 

CLICK HERE to see packaging

Distribution

Warner (Poland) 

Region 0 - PAL

FACETS / Image Entertainment

Region 1  - NTSC

FACETS / Image Entertainment

Region 1  - NTSC

Infinity
Region 0 - NTSC
TVP - Region FREE - Blu-ray Criterion Collection - Spine #837 - Region 'A' Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze