Friday, 18 June 2010

Andrei Rublev - the 1st Tarkovsky on Blu-Ray

I'm constantly surprised and excited by the sheer amount of cult and foreign language films hitting Blu-Ray. This is a great time to be a Film collector. One disc that has me really buzzing is the recently released English-friendly Russian Blu-Ray edition of Andrei Tarkovsky's monumental 1966 epic Andrei Rublev. The arrival of this disc almost harks back to the Communist era - the Blu is technically not for sale outside Russia for copyright reasons, but a few copies have defected to the West, and the word is good. This week, a member of the Criterionforums posted his comments:

I also received my copy of the Russian Blu-ray of ANDREI RUBLEV. I also think the transfer looks beautiful, though in some places I wonder whether the black levels couldn't have been stronger. Regardless, it's marvelous to see such fine detail in the image and a respectable amount of photographic grain...

Rather notoriously (at least among Tarkovsky scholars) Andrei Rublev can be seen in two versions - a 175-min version and a longer 205-minute version. While it would seem the longer cut would be the one to go for (and indeed it was this version that Criterion issued on DVD), the shorter cut contains some alternative shots, and edits and so remains essential. Its this shorter version that is now available on the Russian Blu-Ray. There's the hope that Criterion will add Andrei Rublev to their growing Blu-Ray series, but apparently they have not secured good quality materials to do so. So until Andrei Rublev gets a wider Blu-Ray release, the Russian disc is hugely tempting. Its up on eBay, and if you read Russian, try here

Postscript I've since picked up the Russian Blu-Ray and is reviewed here.

1 comment:

  1. Another film I haven't seen - but I'm up for it if anyone has that Criterion disc to bring over to the house...

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