National Film Archive / Blu-ray (frame 1704)

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Wednesday 28th December 2011, 10:28:00 PM

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Label:  National Film Archive (Czech Republic)

Region:  A, B & C (?) | 2
RCE protection:  n/a | No
Copyright protection system:  AACS | CSS / CPPM

Disc type:  BD50 | DVD5 (the data occupy 33.04 | 2.89 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  2:45:18.23

Video:  MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p24/1.001
Aspect ratio:  2.35:1


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  0.00 / 26.03 / 49.96 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 / 818 kbps

Subtitles: Czech for the deaf and hard of hearing
English

Menus available in: Czech


Special features:
 

Disc 1
  • None

Disc 2
  • Interviews (in Czech*)
    • Zdena Škapová, film reviewer (14:27)
    • Jan Royt, art historian (12:12)
    • Ivo Marák, technical manager of the UPP (9:18)
  • "In the Net of Time," a portrait of František Vláčil (20:31, in Czech*)
  • Biographies & filmographies (1 page each, in Czech & English)
    • František Vláčil
    • Vladislav Vančura
    • František Pavlíček
    • Bedřich Baťka
    • Zdeněk Liška
    • Magda Vášáryová
    • František Velecký
  • Photogallery
    • "Straba" ("Straba, the Wolf-man," 2:26, 29 stills)
    • "Beránek Boží" ("The Lamb of God," 3:16, 39 stills)
    • "Z natáčení" ("Production Stills," 0:51, 10 stills)

  • 20-page booklet (in Czech & English)

Notes: 
The source for this Blu-ray [there's also a DVD edition available] was the "controversial" restoration done earlier this year [2011]; controversial because NFA's "last minute" public tender gave the eventual winner [UPP] like 6 weeks to complete all the work [to make it in time for the Karlovy Vary IFF] + the contract required in particular that a. the restoration would be based on an archival interpositive print [i.e. the OCN would not be provided] and b. the result would be limited to what had been technically possible in 1967 [i.e. even if it would've been possible to "improve" some things using today's technology, it was specifically forbidden]. Well, as it turned out, the positive print was not in a "positive" ;-) condition, thus NFA was forced to provide the OCN, but the second part of the contract remained unchanged = the resulting, cleaned-up 4K scan of the negative was then carefully [supposedly under the watchful eyes of - among others - František Uldrich, Vláčil's cinematographer on "Údolí včel," who also took part in finishing Marketa in the laboratories back in 1967] graded to match the "greyscale timing" [no colour here ;-)] of the positive.
     I personally have no problem with that - I think the new "resto" looks excellent [on this Blu-ray / a humble 63" telly at least - I didn't catch the theatrical re-run, but the DCP in its full 4K glory on the big screen is bound to look even better; for the record, the BD was my first "exposure" to Marketa, and I'm glad I never found the time to watch any of the below - now obsolete - DVDs].
     Anyway, where was I...? Oh yes - me not having a problem with the decision to make the film look as people could see it back in 1967; however, not everybody is happy with that decision - quite a few "voices" on the Internet complain that the film or particular scenes are too dark, e.g. the opening sequence [especially compared to the so-called "Hudec transfer" - a trial scan of the first reel of the OCN made several years ago, but not scanned in HD nor fully graded; more info (in Czech) incl. screenshot comparison over @ Nostalghia.cz]. Then again, others point out scenes that are too bright, e.g. "Lazar's vision" approx. 12 minutes into the film... Also, some people took offence to the fact that Vláčil, who appears for a couple of frames waving a stick at a stag in a scene near the end of the film, was not "digitally erased" therefrom:

National Film Archive / Blu-ray (frame 219637)

Sidestepping the restoration "issues" people have [no chance to get a definite answer there, unless someone finds a reliable way to contact the other side], the actual PQ of this here presentation is best described by my friend's exclamation [I hope he won't mind me quoting him]: "Dynamic erection!!" (c: [And he only saw the screenshots yet! ;-)] On the other hand, a user @ the Zóna discussion board complained about some kind of "motion blur" visible in certain scenes - I can't say I noticed anything like that; indeed, another user suggested it might have been caused by excessive filtering on the TV's part, and the OP later confirmed he'd never changed his telly's factory settings...
     If there's anything I find this new release short on it's the extras - three interviews and a short docu clocking at less than 1 hour in total for "the most important Czech film in the country's history" (sic); if Filmexport was able to come up with something like this, why not NFA here...?

Note: About half of the images in our gallery were chosen to match the UPP restoration screenshots in the aforementioned Nostalghia.cz comparison. Before you ask - Yes, the Blu-ray captures are darker, BUT, until I hear differently from UPP, I'm going to assume [supported by certain comments @ Zóna] the screenshots provided by them come directly from the DCI master [Gamma 2.6], while the Blu-ray should be mastered at Gamma 2.2. Moreover, the UPP captures @ Nostalghia.cz were further "optimized for viewing on a computer" (?), making them even brighter. [I've seen the "unoptimized" files - they're still brighter than the Blu-ray, but not as bright as the optimized ones.]

To see the screenshots in glorious Full HD 1080, click here.

*subtitled in English


NFA (frame 1704)

Reviewed by standa.e

Last modified on Monday 16th June 2014, 11:49:37 PM

Česká verze / Return to index

  
Label:  National Film Archive (Czech Republic)

Region:  2
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  CSS / CPPM

Disc type:  DVD9 & DVD5 (the data occupy 7.60 & 2.89 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  2:38:42.15

Video:  PAL
Aspect ratio:  2.35:1 anamorphic


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  0.16 / 6.36 / 9.49 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech Dolby Digital 1.0 / 192 kbps

Subtitles: Czech for the deaf and hard of hearing
English

Menus available in: Czech


Special features:
 

There are no extras on the main feature disc; the second - bonus - disc is identical to the bonus DVD from the Blu-ray edition of the film*. The booklet is the same too, only its format is different.

* The length of the bonus documentary "In the Net of Time" by František Uldrich is incorrectly listed as 18 minutes on the cover of both editions. The photogalleries are video clips consisting of static images.


Malavida Films (frame 1751)

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Tuesday 27th December 2011, 12:16:14 AM

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Label:  Malavida Films (France)

Region:  2
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  None

Disc type:  DVD9 (the data occupy 7.07 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  2:38:42.10

Video:  PAL
Aspect ratio:  2.34:1 anamorphic


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  1.96 / 5.99 / 8.47 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono* / 192 kbps

Subtitles: French

Menus available in: French


Special features:
 

36-page booklet (in French)

*difference between channels is -64.11 dB (0.06 %)


Second Run (frame 1736)

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Tuesday 27th December 2011, 12:16:14 AM

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Label:  Second Run Ltd. (UK)

Region:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  CSS / CPPM

Disc type:  DVD9 (the data occupy 6.84 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  2:38:42.15

Video:  PAL
Aspect ratio:  2.33:1 anamorphic


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  3.61 / 5.65 / 8.35 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono* / 256 kbps

Subtitles: English

Menus available in: English


Special features:
 

16-page booklet (in English)

*difference between channels is -79.43 dB (0.01 %)

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National Film Archive / Blu-ray | NFA | Malavida Films | Second Run

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