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The Red And The White - Csillagosok, Katonak [1967] [DVD]

Price: £10.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Red And The White - Csillagosok, Katonak [1967] [DVD] + The Round Up [1966] [DVD] + My Way Home [1965] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: József Madaras, Tibor Molnár, András Kozák, Jácint Juhász, Anatoli Yabbarov
  • Directors: Miklós Jancsó
  • Writers: Miklós Jancsó, Giorgi Mdivani, Gyula Hernádi, Luca Karall, Valeri Karen
  • Producers: András Németh, Jenoe Goetz
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Hungarian, Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Second Run
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Mar 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EHSCK4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,901 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By HJ on 15 Sep 2006
Format: DVD
1919 - Hungarian communist volunteers cross over into neighboring territories to help Red Army guerrillas fight against counter-revolutionary White Army brigades.

The whole film takes place on an indistinct strip of terrain, which is constantly changing hands. The viewer doesn't really have a grip of the geography or which army is which or what exactly is going on. Although certain people reappear in different episodes there is no characterization as such. And no plot. Just elaborately choreographed movements of troops, producing an almost abstract quality - war abstracted from all contexts. There are also surreal scenes (including some eroticism) which might seem a bit dated, a bit 1960s, but for the most part the film succeeds in delivering its timeless representation of war.

Both armies are driven by ideals as well as mercenary motivations. Betrayal, deception and heroism are everywhere, side by side. Both armies commit atrocities, yet both armies try to uphold some semblance of what is or isn't a war crime. This is of course the point of the film: to show the complicated reality of war itself, rather than ideological interpretations of which army or war is "justified". At certain moments, especially towards the end, the film may sympathise with the Reds, the film was after all made in the Soviet era (though banned in USSR!), but the viewer takes away a strong sense of the cruel absurdity of all war. It is utterly unlike the usual war movie, though Tarkovsky's "Ivan's Childhood" or Rossellini's "Piasa" might be vague points of reference.

Back in the 1960s Jancso was seen as one of the great auteurs of European cinema, but his work unfathomably fell into almost complete neglect.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 8 Mar 2006
Format: DVD
Readers of Mark Cousins' excellent book 'The Story of Film' (BCA, 2004) will note part of the section entitled 'Eastern European and Soviet New Waves' a paragragh or two (it's a very concise book...) on Miklos Jancso. This name might be familiar to older generations, art-house admirers of yore and those cinephiles who appear to have seen everything, but was new to me. The name was familiar from Scott Walker's Meltdown festival - which saw him screen the rarely seen 'The Round Up' (1965) - which probably also warrants DVD issue? (alongside many Fassbinder films, 'Ashes & Diamonds',Bertolucci's 'The Conformist', Wenders' 'Alice in the Cities', 'The Burmese Harp' & Pasolini's 'Accattone').
'The Red and the White' is described as a war film unlike any other - which is fair enough, though I'd say there are elements shared with such films as 'The Birth of a Nation', Gance's 'Napoleon', 'No Man's Land', 'Come and See' & 'Fires on the Plain.' Jancso was affected by World War II and chose with this film to explore the civil war aspect of the Russian Revolution - meaning that it was one of many great artistic works banned by the Soviet Union. The plot as such is relatively simple - set in 1918 the revolutionary soldiers the Reds fight the counter-revolutionary White Guard. The film can be watched in historical light, or seen perhaps as a wider allegory of war. Like Pasolini's 'Salo' (another relative)it has a very mathematical/theoretical approach towards events - having the icy coldness of Pasolini's final work or the shortly to be reissued 'Come and See.' It certainly puts gung-ho nonsense like 'Saving Private Ryan' in its place.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 27 Jun 2005
Format: DVD
Think of any war film and it's likely it was shot from the perspective of one side or the other, and its characters will be seen to have a purpose - capturing that hill, saving that private. Miklos Jancso's "The Red and the White" stands in sharp contrast as a film which not refuses to adopt the perspective of one side or the other, but one in which it's fairly difficult to decide what side the soldiers are on. And they have no purpose ... they hardly even seem concerned to stay alive.
Set in the Russian Civil War in 1918, the White Czarist forces are locked in battle with the Red Bolsheviks. The film's action follows the remnants of a Hungarian company and the confused fighting which flows around a defrocked monastery and invades the fragile peace of a military hospital. Soldiers shoot, flee, are captured, are shot. From time to time they pose. A military band incongruously emerges from the forest to play a waltz.
Jancso's view of war is of utter confusion, futility, and the sheer impossibility of retaining a moral perspective. Both sides, particularly in a civil war, strive to claim the moral high ground of legitimacy and purpose. Both sides in this film are corrupted by war. The individual, once he loses his shirt, ceases to be a person with an identity - a naked man could be a soldier in either side, or merely a civilian caught up in the fighting. Jancso strips his actors until they become mere pawns - you, as audience, never get a chance to really identify with any of the men, they come and go so quickly.
Only a couple of the nursing staff demonstrate moral insight or question the morality of killing. Even they are compromised by the brutality of the action. In the end, you are left overwhelmed by the pointlessness of it all.
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