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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Obrazy starého sveta" )


directed by Dusan Hanák
Czechoslovakia 1972


Filmmaker Dusan Hanák's (322) PICTURES OF THE OLD WORLD is a series of affecting profiles of rural dwellers, building upon a cycle of photographs by "Soviet Poet of Light" Martin Martincek, restoring to motion the photographs and the subjects so "rooted in the soil they came from, they cannot be replanted, they would perish." The stories of the film's subjects - told through sequential arrangement of the photographs, motion photography of the subjects or substitutes (representing their own experiences) - shaped by their own reflections or their interests (one such earthy character preoccupied entirely by the stars and space travel) form a sort of "found poetry" moving through their environments and underscored by folk music, classical music, and manipulative and sometimes jarring sound design. Almost apolitical, PICTURES OF THE OLD WORLD portraits are more of existence than endurance of the marginalized and/or the virtues of country life. Once censored and then banned by the communist Czech government for a seeming pessimism for socialist life (including images that alluded to anticipation of a happier afterlife), the film was finally released in 1988 to international acclaim and recognition as one of the best Slovak films of all time.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 1972 (Czechoslovakia)

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DVD Review: Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:04:16 (4% PAL speedup)

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.27 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.


Audio Czech/Slovak Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Short Films:
� - 'Mass (Omsa)' (1967; 11:11)
� - 'Old Shatterhand Came to Us (Prisiel k nám Old Shatterhand)' (1966; 12:03)
� Booklet by Jonathan Owen

DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 2015

Chapters 12





Transferred from a new high definition master, Second Run's high bitrate, dual-layer fullscreen (OAR) presentation features moving images as crisp and expressive as photographer Martin Martincek's still photographs. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track effectively delivers the film's sometimes piercing sound design while the optional English subtitles are without errors.

The extras consist of two earlier short films by director Dusan Hanák that illustrate some of the technique employed in the feature, as well as a fantastic booklet with an essay by academic Jonathan Owen on Hanák's short work, his few features - particularly this one and its censorship (including specific examples of objectionable images that vaguely alluded to unhappiness in the communist climate) and banning until 1988 - and his post-retirement interests.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL


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