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.
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