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The Cruise (1970)                                Camouflage (1976)                              Shivers (1981)

A third volume of our acclaimed POLISH CINEMA CLASSICS series. Second Run DVD presents three celebrated works of Polish Cinema, fully restored and presented from new HD digital transfers with restored picture and sound with new English subtitle translations. All three films are released for the first time ever in the UK.


Marek Piwowski THE CRUISE (Rejs, 1970) Regarded as Polish cinema s first cult film, Piwowski s absurdist comedy parodies life in the (then) People's Republic of Poland, reducing a weekend river cruise to a hilarious satire of the entire Communist system. Piwowski's gift of observation, humour and an acute awareness of national pathology have made THE CRUISE one of Poland s most popular and widely-known films of the 1970s.

Krzysztof Zanussi - CAMOUFLAGE (Barwy ochronne, 1976) A milestone in Polish cinema, CAMOUFLAGE probes deeply into the moral fabric of the society underlying Poland's regime. What Zanussi finds there - corruption, disillusionment, and a generally confused set of public and moral values - marks CAMOUFLAGE among Zanussi s greatest and most politically subversive works.

Wojciech Marczewski - SHIVERS (Dreszcze, 1981) SHIVERS is a coming-of-age story set in the 1950s at a Stalinist youth camp. 13 year old Tomek is sent to a camp where he falls under the spell of a an idealistic but manipulative young woman. His captivation with this woman parallels his growing enchantment with Stalinist ideology, and Marczewski s film daringly explores themes of erotic and political fascinations, and of institutional indoctrination and manipulation.

All three films are presented in new HD digital transfers with restored picture and sound, and will feature newly filmed, exclusive interviews with the filmmakers + Booklets featuring newly commissioned essays on each film.

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Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL


(aka "Rejs" or "A Trip Down the River")

 

directed by Marek Piwowski
Poland 1970

 

"You work hard on the land, relax on the water" with a cruise down the Vistula River on Warsaw Sailing. The passengers form a diverse cross-section of Polish society: bodybuilders show off, intellectuals bore, engineer Mamon (Zdzislaw Maklakiewicz) and his wife (Wanda Stanislawska-Lothe) and working class Sidorowski (Jan Himilsbach) and his wife civilly suffer through one another's opposing views of Polish popular culture (including a hilarious philistine critique of Polish cinema), and a stowaway conman (Stanislaw Tym) is appointed the ship's head of the entertainment and culture by the beleaguered captain (Ryszard Pietruski, later Hitler in Agnieszka Holland's EUROPA EUROPA) at a meeting for which everyone insists they forced yet seem compelled to attend. Lost for words, the conman finds the passengers are more than willing to brag about their abilities, and they decide to have a get-together. After much disagreement about how to elect a council - the only criticism of which they can offer is "acclaim and approval" - to approve performances for the captain's birthday. Over the course of a day, the council becomes a parody of a communist dictatorship as their secret meetings - which have the captain suspecting mutiny - critique not only the performancers but attempt to glean their mindset as well as searching out and punish anonymous dissenters (including possibly those within their ranks).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 19 October 1970 (Poland)

Reviews                                                           More Reviews                                                           DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Second Run DVD (Polish Cinema Classics Volume III) - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:05:42 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.42 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 Polish Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Liner Notes Booklet by Daniel Bird

DVD Release Date: May 25th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Second Run's high bitrate, single-layer, progressive, anamorphic widescreen encode of this HD-mastered transfer looks a bit tight at 1.78:1 (especially since some other Polish titles from Second Run are framed at 1.66:1) but this was presumably the decision of the Polish Film Institute and TOR. The restoration - the only monochrome title in the set - is otherwise gorgeous. The 1.0 mono track track is clean and is also available in a conservative 5.1 upmix that is front-oriented while letting some music and sound effects stray to the surrounds. There are no video extras, but Daniel Bird contributes a booklet in which couches the film in the context of in-jokes specific to Polish culture as well as the difficulty of their translation, and compares the film's conman character to the flycatcher in Walerian Borowczyk's GOTO.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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(aka "Barwy ochronne" or "Social Mimicry")

 

directed by Krzysztof Zanussi
Poland 1977

 

Like Joseph Losey's ACCIDENT, CAMOUFLAGE - from Krzysztof Zanussi, whose ILLUMINATION was part of Second Run's POLISH CINEMA CLASSICS VOLUME II - situates its tale of primal urges underlying civilized interaction on a bucolic college campus in the summer. Here, it's a summer camp in which a group of linguistics students are presenting papers for a competition. Young instructor-turned-coordinating secretary Jarek Kruszynski (Piotr Garlicki, BLACK THURSDAY) is under fire from both sides - from the students because the chancellor has struck off the invitation of a judge from a more liberal college in Toruń, and from the faculty for accepting a paper from a Toruń student (Eugeniusz Priwieziencew, SCHINDLER'S LIST) a day after the deadline. With both his future career and his self-perceived good standing among the students under threat, Jarek begins to regret seeking the council of cynical senior professor Jakub Szelestowski (Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Kieslowski's BLIND CHANCE) who takes pleasure in revealing to the idealist the petty corruption of the academic world and ridiculing him for refusing to compromise; or rather, his attempts to avoid direct conflict rather than take a stand against either side. Over the course of a summer day, as papers are delivered, the awards deliberated (with Jarek alone standing up for the Toruń student's paper while other ridicule it or find ways to abstain from voting on it), and the faculty and students await the arrival of pompous (and hopelessly corrupt if one takes everything Jakub says at face value) chancellor (Mariusz Dmochowski, Kieslowski's THE SCAR), the students' confidence in him rapidly erodes - symbolized by his complicated relationship with British exchange student Nelly (Christine Paul, DEEP END) - and Jarek tries to determine Jakub's motives for advising him and untangle the older man's web of possible lies (some of which are tantalizing if true for the would-be rebel to expose). Joanna Pacula (BODY PUZZLE) is credited among the student extras.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 January 1977 (Poland)

Reviews                                                                    More Reviews                                                         DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Second Run DVD (Polish Cinema Classics Volume III) - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:36:33 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.42 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 Polish Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
� Interview with director Krzysztof Zanussi (16:9; 20:30)
� Liner Notes Booklet by Michal Oleszczyk

DVD Release Date: May 25th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Restored in high definition by TOR Studios and the Polish Film Institute, CAMOUFLAGE gets a high bit-rate, dual-layer, anamorphic presentation that seems faithful to the natural light photography of Edward Klosinski (Kieslowski's WHITE) and a sort of dreamy seventies atmosphere. The clean mono track is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 and a Dolby Digital 5.1 upmix that gives additional depth to the sound design's sense of environment (from bird cries to the cat's jangling bell collar) and Wojciech Kilar's (THE PROMISED LAND) maddening score. The optional English subtitles manage to keep up with the rapid dialogue, although they do not translate some Italian dialogue.

The sole video extra is an interview with director Zanussi who reveals how he was inspired by a visit to a similar camp and the corruption he observed. He wrote the script on the flight back from Australia to Frankfurt, and there was little rewriting (he was nervous about the project because he believed that writing should be painful). He describes the theme of the film to be about coping with the world and maintaining ones ideals without becoming a Don Quixote (as such, he distrusts and dislikes his protagonists "limited rebellion"). He contrasts the "cinema of moral anxiety" with what came before it as the criticisms of those that grew up within the communist system and its petty corruption (as opposed to the generation before who survived the war and were concerned with the more blatant corruption and murders perpetrated by the secret police). While he likes the film, he is disappointed that it has not aged in terms of its social context, and that modern audiences can still relate to the frustrations depicted in the film. Michal Oleszczyk's essay booklet compares the film to Oliver Stone's WALL STREET as a tale of "attempted seduction disguised as mentorship", its place in the "cinema of moral anxiety", and within Zanussi's filmography.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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(aka "Dreszcze" or "Shivers")

 

directed by Wojciech Marczewski
Poland 1981

 

From director Wojciech Marczewski (whose ESCAPE FROM "LIBERTY" CINEMA was part of Second Run's POLISH CINEMA CLASSICS VOLUME II) comes this semi-autobiographical tale set during the darkest period of post-war Poland. When his father (Wladyslaw Kowalski, THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE) - a former teacher - is arrested by the secret police, Tomek (Tomasz Hudziec) reluctantly agrees to represent his village at the central camp for the Polish Youth Association to ease the burden on his mother (Teresa Sawicka) and younger brother. Quickly earning the nickname "Dwarf" from the bullying officials for his reluctance to shower or use the restroom with others and shamed for joining the mob to chase a provocateur, Tomek finds some comfort in the friendship of fellow "rebels" Jerzy and Kazimirek who listen to Radio Free Europe, read forbidden newspapers (the libary is entirely off limits), and drink whiskey as well as in his attraction to an at-once motherly and seductive girl guide (the director's wife Teresa Marczewska), trying to see past or justify her extreme fascist views on criticism of the party (her disillusionment with her more compromising boyfriend [Marian Opania, the journalist protagonist of Andrzej Wajda's MAN OF IRON goes further in unconsciously swaying Tomek's views). It is his own Catholic guilt over the suicide of a fellow scout - whose party loyalty was unfailing until Tomek, Jerzy, and Kazimirek playfully yet forcefully exposed him to the opposition - however, that leads him to expose his friends as provocateurs and win the favor of his piers (the Polish communist party having been anti-Catholic because of the church's stance against them). Shot through with surrealistic nightmarish and sensual imagery as unpredictable to the viewer as much as to its young protagonist, SHIVERS - the title derived from the protagonist's nervous condition - is a chilling depiction of the seduction of the innocent that is still quite relevant today (even if one could argue that the extremism is on the other end these days).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 23 November 1981 (Poland)

Reviews                                                                More Reviews                                                               DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Second Run DVD (Polish Cinema Classics Volume III) - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:42:09 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.42:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.7 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 Polish Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish Dolby Digital1.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.42:1

Edition Details:
� Interview with director Wojciech Marczewski (16:9; 22:31)
� Line Notes Booklet by Michael Brooke

DVD Release Date: May 25th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 12
 

 

Comments

Recently restored in high definition by TOR Studios and the Polish Film Institute, SHIVERS is presented here in a non-anamorphic, letterboxed 1.42:1 transfer that appears compositionally correct as the director and his cinematographer Jerzy Zielinski (THE JANUARY MAN) intentionally framed characters off-center. The colors are muddy because they chose to shoot on East German stock to reproduce the director's own visual impression of the period. Besides the film's original mono mix, the disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is only selectable from your remote since there is no set-up menu. The surround track is conservative with virtually everything in the center channel with atmosphere and the piercing score of Andrzej Trzaskowski (NIGHT TRAIN) reaching the other channels. The optional English subtitles are without any obvious errors and easy to follow.

The sole video extra is an English-language interview with director Marczewski on the autobiographic aspects of a film about set during the darkest period of post-war Poland made during the blissful moment of Solidarity between 1980 and 1981 before Martial Law was declared and the film censored (German critics taking a print to the Berlin Film Festival ensured that it got exposure outside of the country). The liner notes booklet by Michael Brooke discusses the film's similarities to Marczewski's first film NIGHTMARES (ZMORY), the film's censorship, and the director's subsequent career.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Second Run DVD

Region 0 - PAL

 



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