34 Andrei Rublev

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Lachino
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#376 Post by Lachino » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:47 am

Anyone know if this is a new scan or the same one Mosfilm used for their blu ray? I saw it in Berlin a couple of years ago and it was very good overall but (from my untechnical pov) could do with greater contrast and a bit more detail.
MichaelB wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:41 am
Yes, for open and shut animal cruelty. The 1937 Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act doesn’t make an exception for serious Russian auteurs.
Which is as it should be, it really is a distasteful sequence that accomplishes nothing (and I don't think I've even seen in its full goriness).

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furbicide
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#377 Post by furbicide » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:20 am

All I have to say is, thank god for stubborn American libertarianism. It may have some terrible consequences (rampant gun violence, bad tax policies, a baffling resistance to socialised healthcare), but at least they generally don’t mutilate great works of art (and thus give us an opportunity to see the work as intended).

You don’t have to agree with the ethics of the horse sequence and you may find it distasteful, but there’s a big difference between that and actually wanting a work of art to be forcibly bowdlerised. It’s not the fault of UK distributors, of course, but why would anyone buy their edition of this film when an uncensored version is available?

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MichaelB
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#378 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:33 am

furbicide wrote:It’s not the fault of UK distributors, of course, but why would anyone buy their edition of this film when an uncensored version is available?
Because they don’t want to watch a horse being mutilated for real? I assume every copy I’ve ever watched or owned bar the old Criterion DVD is missing this shot (and I’ve seen the film many, many times), but I can’t say it’s ever bothered me.

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Roscoe
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#379 Post by Roscoe » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:02 am

furbicide wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:20 am
at least they generally don’t mutilate great works of art (and thus give us an opportunity to see the work as intended).
Eric von Stroheim might disagree.

dda1996a
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#380 Post by dda1996a » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:07 am

MichaelB wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:33 am
furbicide wrote:It’s not the fault of UK distributors, of course, but why would anyone buy their edition of this film when an uncensored version is available?
Because they don’t want to watch a horse being mutilated for real? I assume every copy I’ve ever watched or owned bar the old Criterion DVD is missing this shot (and I’ve seen the film many, many times), but I can’t say it’s ever bothered me.
But that's like the Buffalo gutting scene in Apocalypse Now. Do I believe in current laws prohibiting new movies from harming animals? Yes. But these are old films, and those scenes are integral to them. You may say it accomplishes nothing, but I'd rather have all the scenes and choose to skip them than have them cut. I respect and understand those that take issue with this, but I'd rather have this uncut

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solaris72
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#381 Post by solaris72 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:50 am

Just over the moon about this one. So glad it's got both versions. When Stalker was released with fairly scant features, I worried that maybe acquiring the Tarkovsky restorations from Mosfilm just cost so much that they couldn't put much more into a release, and thought that that might mean we'd only get the 185 minute version and the same features from the original DVD. Several documentaries have been made about Stalker, including at least one that was shot on set. Very happy to see 2 docs that are contemporary to the film's production.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#382 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:57 am

dda1996a wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:33 am
furbicide wrote:It’s not the fault of UK distributors, of course, but why would anyone buy their edition of this film when an uncensored version is available?
Because they don’t want to watch a horse being mutilated for real? I assume every copy I’ve ever watched or owned bar the old Criterion DVD is missing this shot (and I’ve seen the film many, many times), but I can’t say it’s ever bothered me.
But that's like the Buffalo gutting scene in Apocalypse Now. Do I believe in current laws prohibiting new movies from harming animals? Yes. But these are old films, and those scenes are integral to them. You may say it accomplishes nothing, but I'd rather have all the scenes and choose to skip them than have them cut. I respect and understand those that take issue with this, but I'd rather have this uncut
Those two scenes are quite different, not least because the buffalo wasn’t killed (let alone tormented like the horse in Tarkovsky’s film) by the production for the movie. They filmed a native ritual sacrifice.

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Cremildo
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#383 Post by Cremildo » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:06 am

Rather appalled to see such vehement stances in favor of censorship and the mutilation of works of art here. At least, the "sensitive" and "well-meaning" types have the option to go for the censored, likely inferior Artificial Eye release instead of trying to ruin the film for everybody else.

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Ovader
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#384 Post by Ovader » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:17 am

ando wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:04 pm
SPECIAL FEATURES
• New interviews with actor Nikolai Burlyaev and cinematographer Vadim Yusov by filmmakers Seán Martin and Louise Milne
Received an update from Sean Martin stating this is actually a short film about the feature length film with appearances of Burlyaev and Yusov.

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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#385 Post by cdnchris » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:46 am

Cremildo wrote:Rather appalled to see such vehement stances in favor of censorship and the mutilation of works of art here. At least, the "sensitive" and "well-meaning" types have the option to go for the censored, likely inferior Artificial Eye release instead of trying to ruin the film for everybody else.
Yeah, how awful that one person is vehemently opposed to watching animal cruelty and all for censorship. There goes freedom!

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Mr Sausage
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#386 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:08 pm

Cremildo wrote:Rather appalled to see such vehement stances in favor of censorship and the mutilation of works of art here. At least, the "sensitive" and "well-meaning" types have the option to go for the censored, likely inferior Artificial Eye release instead of trying to ruin the film for everybody else.
Who exactly had come out in favour of censorship?

I’m going to assume that on a more sober reflection you’ll have to agree none of the stances on censorship here count as “vehement”.

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Gregory
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#387 Post by Gregory » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:47 pm

I'm a peaceful, law-abiding citizen, but if any jackbooted government thugs come to my door to confiscate my copy of Andrei Rublev, they can expect the last half hour of Straw Dogs as a reception.

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Big Ben
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#388 Post by Big Ben » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:16 pm

Here's some clarification regarding the animals. Not as bad I thought (I thought they had lit an animal on fire and killed it.) but still not good (They still threw a horse down stairs.).
Several scenes within the film depict violence, torture and cruelty toward animals, leading to controversy and censorship attempts upon completion of the film. Most of these scenes took place during the raid of Vladimir, showing for example the blinding and the torture of a monk. Most of the scenes involving cruelty toward animals were simulated. For example, during the Tatar raid of Vladimir a cow is set on fire. In reality the cow had an asbestos-covered coat and was not physically harmed; however, one scene depicts the real death of a horse. The horse falls from a flight of stairs and is then stabbed by a spear. To produce this image, Tarkovsky injured the horse by shooting it in the neck and then pushed it from the stairs, causing the animal to falter and fall down the flight of stairs. From there, the camera pans off the horse onto some soldiers to the left and then pans back right onto the horse, and we see the horse struggling to get its footing having fallen over on its back before being stabbed by the spear. The animal was then shot in the head afterward off camera. This was done to avoid the possibility of harming what was considered a lesser expendable, highly prized stunt horse. The horse was brought in from a slaughterhouse, killed on set, and then returned to the abattoir for commercial consumption. In a 1967 interview for Literaturnoe obozrenie, interviewer Aleksandr Lipkov suggested to Tarkovsky that "the cruelty in the film is shown precisely to shock and stun the viewers. And this may even repel them." In an attempt to downplay the cruelty Tarkovsky responded: "No, I don't agree. This does not hinder viewer perception. Moreover we did all this quite sensitively. I can name films that show much more cruel things, compared to which ours looks quite modest.

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MichaelB
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#389 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:30 pm

Gregory wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:47 pm
I'm a peaceful, law-abiding citizen, but if any jackbooted government thugs come to my door to confiscate my copy of Andrei Rublev, they can expect the last half hour of Straw Dogs as a reception.
Possession is absolutely fine - the 1937 Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act only applies to commercial distribution. Which is why this is all a massive storm in a teacup.

And there was nothing remotely "vehement" about my earlier post - the question was "why would anyone buy their edition of this film when an uncensored version is available?", and my entirely reasonable answer was "Because they don’t want to watch a horse being mutilated for real?". Rest assured that when I posted it I was mentally so laid-back as to be practically horizontal - it seemed to me to be no more than a statement of the obvious.

(Other potential answers to the same question could conceivably be "because the Criterion edition costs vastly more than the Artificial Eye one", "because they don't have a region-free player", and so on.)

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DeprongMori
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#390 Post by DeprongMori » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:34 pm

I suspect that Criterion could use the same solution for the "horse" scene in Rublev that Arrow used in their UK/US release of "Seijun Suzuki's Early Years, Vol. 1". The BBC ordered a scene of cock-fighting cut for the UK release of "Born Under Crossed Stars" in that set. Since the set is being sold in both the US and UK, the scene is shown when played on a Region A player, and a blank screen is displayed during the sequence when played on a Region B player. The film has commentary so likely couldn't easily be branched to skip the scene entirely.

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Donald Brown
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#391 Post by Donald Brown » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:19 am

Artificial Eye holds the UK rights for the film; it won't be coming from Criterion UK.

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olmo
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#392 Post by olmo » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:46 am

Cremildo wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:06 am
Rather appalled to see such vehement stances in favor of censorship and the mutilation of works of art here. At least, the "sensitive" and "well-meaning" types have the option to go for the censored, likely inferior Artificial Eye release instead of trying to ruin the film for everybody else.
I have the AE blu ray, and in a patchy at best set of (Tarkovsky) releases it is the best of the bunch alongside Ivan's Childhood. That aside, to say the omission of the horse mutilation scene ruins the spectacle shows a basic misunderstanding of the film ie. It is superfluous and completely unnecessary not to mention a rather callous attitude in general toward animal welfare.

eerik
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#393 Post by eerik » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:25 am

Donald Brown wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:19 am
Artificial Eye holds the UK rights for the film; it won't be coming from Criterion UK.
That did not stop Ivan's Childhood, Solaris, and Stalker from getting a UK release.

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Minkin
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#394 Post by Minkin » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:25 am

People keep thinking that Criterion's UK output is legally tenuous - without realizing that AE lost the rights to their Tarkovsky films (at least the ones licensed from MOS), thus AE came out with that large Tarkovsky box right before the cut-off date of their rights expiring. Criterion licensed US + UK rights from MOS for quite a lot of Russian films, thus I'd expect an announcement in the US to follow in the UK. A counter example is with BFI rushing out their Tati films in the final weeks/months before losing those rights to Studio Canal.

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MichaelB
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#395 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:46 am

Minkin wrote:People keep thinking that Criterion's UK output is legally tenuous - without realizing that AE lost the rights to their Tarkovsky films (at least the ones licensed from MOS), thus AE came out with that large Tarkovsky box right before the cut-off date of their rights expiring.
What’s your source for this claim?

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Minkin
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#396 Post by Minkin » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:48 am

MichaelB wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:46 am
Minkin wrote:People keep thinking that Criterion's UK output is legally tenuous - without realizing that AE lost the rights to their Tarkovsky films (at least the ones licensed from MOS), thus AE came out with that large Tarkovsky box right before the cut-off date of their rights expiring.
What’s your source for this claim?
Search function on the site isn't working, but I know I've read it multiple times on here prior (I believe there was a direct email from MOS about Criterion having the UK rights).

EDIT
Its in the AE Tarkovsky box thread
If AE still has their discs in print, then I'm unsure from what claim they lay to the rights to the films - but certainly they don't have a license from MOS anymore (who theoretically should be the rightsholder). AE at they very least wouldn't have access to MOS' restorations. I understand that different territories can have different hold-ups with the rights to films, but the above question of "will Andrei Rublev see a UK release?" shouldn't be an issue due to rights for Criterion (especially given the precedent).

I suppose I'll say that its likely a complicated issue with these films, and it would be interesting to hear AE's side of the story (what logo is on AE's case / precedes the film?). Its just annoying seeing the dumb things said by the Blu-ray.com folks who often don't understand the concept of a film going OOP or rights trading hands "Criterion stole Grey Gardens!"

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MichaelB
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#397 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:47 am

Minkin wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:48 am
If AE still has their discs in print, then I'm unsure from what claim they lay to the rights to the films - but certainly they don't have a license from MOS anymore (who theoretically should be the rightsholder). AE at they very least wouldn't have access to MOS' restorations.
I actually addressed this point in some detail in the very thread to which you linked!

And the reason why I'm keen to see hard evidence that Artificial Eye no longer has any legal right to distribute these films is that I haven't yet come across such a thing - and still haven't. As I said in my much longer post back then, Soviet titles do indeed seem to occupy something of a grey area - for example, see the near-simultaneous Eureka/BFI editions of Man with the Movie Camera and supporting Dziga Vertov titles (and I know from lengthy first-hand experience that the BFI is inordinately careful about making sure that all rights issues have their Ts and Is meticulously crossed and dotted).

Obviously, under most normal circumstances it would be a reasonable assumption that Distributor A's licence expires and so Distributor B takes over - but there are enough unusual elements at play here to make me wonder whether this really is the case. (I am not for even the merest imaginable millisecond accusing Criterion of not having the legal right to release the Mosfilm restorations, of course - not least because they tend to err firmly in the BFI's direction when it comes to ensuring that everything's above board, as demonstrated by their dropping of a video essay on All That Jazz because their interpretation of "fair use" didn't chime with the essayist's.)

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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#398 Post by ianthemovie » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:30 pm

What scenes from the longer cut are missing from the shorter one?

eerik
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#399 Post by eerik » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:35 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:47 am
And the reason why I'm keen to see hard evidence that Artificial Eye no longer has any legal right to distribute these films is that I haven't yet come across such a thing - and still haven't. As I said in my much longer post back then, Soviet titles do indeed seem to occupy something of a grey area - for example, see the near-simultaneous Eureka/BFI editions of Man with the Movie Camera and supporting Dziga Vertov titles (and I know from lengthy first-hand experience that the BFI is inordinately careful about making sure that all rights issues have their Ts and Is meticulously crossed and dotted).
In Soviet Union, art belonged to the people, so ideally everything from that era should be in public domain.

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zedz
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Re: 34 Andrei Rublev

#400 Post by zedz » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:11 pm

eerik wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:35 pm
MichaelB wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:47 am
And the reason why I'm keen to see hard evidence that Artificial Eye no longer has any legal right to distribute these films is that I haven't yet come across such a thing - and still haven't. As I said in my much longer post back then, Soviet titles do indeed seem to occupy something of a grey area - for example, see the near-simultaneous Eureka/BFI editions of Man with the Movie Camera and supporting Dziga Vertov titles (and I know from lengthy first-hand experience that the BFI is inordinately careful about making sure that all rights issues have their Ts and Is meticulously crossed and dotted).
In Soviet Union, art belonged to the people, so ideally everything from that era should be in public domain.
I know you were being flippant, but as I understand it, that kind of is the root of the messy rights situation for so many Soviet films. The Soviet Union was the ultimate owner of all those films, and when it ceased to exist, there was an ownership vacuum where all sorts of people internationally were claiming ownership of various Soviet films and selling prints and rights, often based on very tenuous provenance. In the early nineties, an organization I was involved in purchased lovely new 35mm prints of all the Russian Tarkovskys, as well as a bunch of Muratovas and Paradzhanovs, with life-of-print screening rights, from Mosfilm (who we felt had a better claim of ownership than others). But they weren't the only group offering these films for sale, and at one point our licences were challenged by another organization. I can't recall who it was, but it was somebody we'd never heard of who had no apparent connection to the former Soviet Union but was nevertheless claiming world-wide ownership of all their films. After a couple of letters of optimistic legal bluster from them, they vanished without a trace.

I don't believe there's any reason that ownership of the films should have been genuinely thrown into such doubt: it was probably more a case of international shysters taking advantage of the chaos in Russia at that time.

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