Having been knocked sideways by the B & W widescreen imagery and detailed narrative of Marketa Lazarova it comes as quite a surprise to find that The Valley of the Bees is so very different in approach. Being particularly bewildered and absorbed by the complex structure/editing scheme of the former, I found it difficult to comprehend that the latter was the work of the same director.
Made immediately after Marketa Lazarova one might have expected a further development of those complex spatial and temporal editing schemes. Instead, all the structural complexity has gone leaving a very straight forward linear narrative, albeit beautifully made and photographed.
The Second Run transfer is stunning.
I think that some of the action is rather clumsily realised, for example when the father throws his son against the wall, but that's a minor point in an otherwise very impressive film.
I now need to reflect upon the reasons why the director chose to express these two stories a such different ways - it's great film making in either case.