on 10 November 2013
Lots of good things going for this latest release from Second Run and one substantial problem but certainly not to be sniffed at.
It's always going to be good accessing more Vláčil and this disc presents his 1960 short feature, The White Dove. Right from the outset it's clear how the images advance the narrative, it's extremely atmospheric, almost mesmeric to which the sound and music contribute greatly. Some powerful visual compositions are a clear precursor of works like Marketa Lazarova . The cinematographer in this case was Jan Čuřik who later shot Valerie and Her Week of Wonders as well the second film in this package.
Sadly the film suffers from some intrusive video tinkering, I believe the damage is caused by edge enhancement, but whatever it is the picture can look pretty bad at times. [Edit 24 11 13. I should correct my comments since Michael Brooke rightly points out - it is not that that the source tape has been manipulated but rather that it is an old analogue transfer of poor quality]. Fortunately the quality of the film making is able to win through in spite of this. One assumes that this was not Second Run's doing and this must have been the only source material available to them.
The second short however, Josef Kilian, looks very good indeed. It is co-directed and written by Pavel Juráček who went on to creature the idea for Daisies with director Vĕra Chytilová.
The booklet essay by Peter Hames concentrates mainly on Vláčil.
So, as I said lots of good things, it's a shame the The white dove doesn't look better but better than not having it at all.
on 10 November 2013
Frantisek Vláčil is a master filmmaker indeed as stated by Second Run. I fell in love with Marketa Lazarová which is in fact his hugest masterpiece however this short film is a heartbreaker too. It reminded me of the mighty Bergman sometimes - certainly the scenes with Susanne. The young boy and artist who take care of the white dove are splendid actors as well. A breathtaking and warm story about love for an animal which is injured and the sadness it brings when freeing the dove when it is fully recovered. The White Dove is a unique movie, do not miss out on this one.
The second movie called Josef Kilián is something completely different however very odd. The funny part is when the leading role person rents a cat and when he wants to return the rented cat the cat rental shop is gone. The store is empty. Then he travels around with the cat in search of Josef Kilián.
This double feature is again a Second Run DVD must have.
After Ikarie XB-1 and The Sun In A Net another jewel in Second Run's filmography.
Needless to say this one is also of highest possible recommendation.
on 12 February 2014
It seems pointless to say any more on The White Dove other than it is a beautiful film .
The Second Run series is an outstanding collection of films. I have over 40 of their films in my collection, the quality IMO is always excellent, the accompanying booklets are interesting informative essays of the films and filmmakers.
Many of the S.R. titles have been first time DVD releases in the English speaking world.
An absolute must for the serious film enthusiast is discovering the films of Vlacil , Jansco and all the other delights of Central European film in the Second Run collection.
Eagerly awaiting future releases..