Banned Czech allegorical movie -PARTY AND THE GUESTS – issued on dvd and Blu Ray

Party and the GuestsTHE PARTY AND THE GUESTS (U) 1966 CZECHOSLOVAKIA NEMEC, JAN DVD – £12.99 BLU RAY £17.99
A group of friends on an afternoon picnic are accosted by mysterious authority figures and compelled to join a lavish banquet in the woods. Jan Nemec’s surreal and sinister fable is a barbed satire of authoritarianism and conformity, as each of the ‘guests’ find their place among the revellers, succumbing to the will of their menacing hosts.

Distinguished by being ‘banned forever’ by Czech authorities, Nemec’s disquieting film was considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of Czechoslovak cinema in the 1960’s.

The Blu Ray also contains Jirí Trnka’s renowned animated short film The Hand (1965), another surreal and savage indictment of totalitarianism (again banned by Czech authorities).

In Czech with English subtitles

Bonus Features:

The Party and the Guests (O slavnosti a hostech, 1966) presented from an HD transfer of the new 4K restoration by the Czech National Film Archive.

The Hand (Ruka, 1965): Jirí Trnka’s renowned animated film presented from a new HD restoration and for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

Audio commentary by author Jonathan Owen.

Projection Booth audio commentary with film historians Mike White, Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger.

A filmed appreciation by Peter Hames

24-page booklet featuring Michael Brooke’s substantial essay on the film.

New and improved English subtitle translation.

World premiere on Blu-ray.

HUNGARIAN MASTERS – THREE FILMS BY ZOLTÁN FÁBRI, ISTVÁN GAÁL AND MIKLÓS JANCSÓ – issued on Blu Ray

Hungarian MastersHUNGARIAN MASTERS – THREE FILMS BY ZOLTÁN FÁBRI, ISTVÁN GAÁL AND MIKLÓS JANCSÓ (15) HUNGARY 1955-1970 BLU RAY £40.99
Presented from stunning new 4K restorations with a raft of extra features, the set features – Zoltán Fábri’s Merry-Go-Round (Körhinta, 1955); István Gaál’s Current (Sodrásban, 1963) and Miklós Jancsó’s Agnus Dei (Égi bárány, 1970)

MERRY-GO-ROUND (KÖRHINTA, 1955) –

A love story set against the rural backdrop of communist farming collectives, a young girl falls for farm worker Máté, but is betrothed by her domineering father to another man.
This pastoral take on Romeo and Juliet is a rich and achingly beautiful work, framed by the turbulent changes in society taking place at that time.

Voted by international critics as one of the ‘10 Best Hungarian Films of All Time’

CURRENT (SODRÁSBAN 1963) –

A group of young friends on the cusp of adulthood decide to spend one last idyllic day together by the river before they depart for jobs and university. When one of them goes missing, a frantic search begins – and recriminations ensue.

Often cited as the first film of the Hungarian New Wave, István Gaál’s haunting existential drama contemplates the transience of youth and the impermanence of memory. Echoing Antonioni’s L’Avventura and Kurosawa’s Rashomon, Current is a powerful and lyrical work that serves as a lament for a generation.

AGNUS DEI (ÉGI BÁRÁNY, 1970) –

The film explores political upheaval, oppression and the complicity of the Church, in this refined, complex allegory of the rise of fascism in Hungary. The dazzling Agnus Dei marks a transition from Jancsó’s more traditional narrative films of the 1960s, to the more experimental and provocative works of the 1970s.

In Hungarian with English subtitles

EXTRAS
Merry-Go-Round (Körhinta), Current (Sodrásban), and Agnus Dei (Égi bárány) presented from new 4K restorations by the National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive.

An archival interview with Miklós Jancsó (1987).

Award-winning Hungarian filmmaker István Szabó on the influence and cinematic legacy of Zoltán Fábri.

Tisza – Autumn Sketches (Tisza – Oszi vázlatok, 1962): István Gaál’s acclaimedshort film observing autumn descend along the river Tisza.

A new filmed appreciation of Current.

Merry-Go-Round 1955 screen tests.

A film on the restoration of Merry-Go-Round.

Trailers

Individual booklets with new writing on each film by writers and curators John Cunningham, Peter Hames and Tony Rayns.New and improved English subtitle translations.

World premieres on Blu-ray.

Region-free Blu-rays (A/B/C).

Hungarian movie – ADOPTION – issued on Blu Ray

ADOPTIONADOPTION (15) 1975 HUNGARY MÉSZÁROS, MÁRTA BLU RAY £19.99
43-year-old Kata longs to have a child of her own. Rejected by her married lover, Kata looks into adoption, and befriends orphaned teenager Anna, herself determined to start a new life for herself.

In Hungarian with English subtitles

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

Adoption (Örökbefogadás, 1975) presented from a new director-approved 4K restoration created by the National Film Institute Film Archive, Hungary, and supervised by the film’s cinematographer Lajos Koltai

A new filmed introduction to the film by Márta Mészáros (2021)

A Conversation with Márta Mészáros (2009): an archival filmed interview with the director

Trailer

Booklet with new writing on the film by Carmen Gray

New and improved English subtitle translation

World premiere on Blu-ray

Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C)

Russian movie – LIGHTHOUSE – issued on Blu Ray

LighthouseTHE LIGHTHOUSE (12) 2006 RUSSIA SAAKYAN, MARIYA BLU RAY £19.99
This elegiac, semi-autobiographical drama unfolds against the backdrop and legacy of the Caucasus wars of the early 1990s. Told with a dream-like intensity, a young woman returns to her home in a remote, war-ravaged Armenian village to persuade her grandparents to leave with her for safety in Moscow.

In Russian with English subtitles

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

The Lighthouse (Mayak, 2006) presented from a new 2K restoration by the Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project, approved by the film’s cinematographer Maksim Drozdov
Maria Saakyan’s acclaimed short film Farewell (Proshchanie, 2003)
Surviving Memories: a visual essay by Alessandro Luchetti and Manuela Lazic

Trailers

Booklet featuring an interview with the director, and essays by writer/curator So Mayer and film historian Vigen Galstyan

Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C)

World premiere on Blu-ray




Czech movie – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – issued on Blu Ray

Beauty and the BeastBEAUTY AND THE BEAST (15) 1978 CZECHOSLOVAKIA HERZ, JURAJ DVD – £12.99 BLU RAY £19.99
Herz’s Beauty and the Beast (also known more provocatively as The Virgin and the Monster) follows the familiar story – innocent girl presents herself as sacrifice to a cursed man-beast hiding in exile, and learns to live with, and eventually love her captor – but is transformed into something entirely more twisted and terrifying in Herz’s macabre re-imagining.

Aided by wonderful set and costume design, superb cinematography and evocative score, this is a fairy-tale-turned-horror story from Czechoslovak cinema’s most wryly subversive artist.

In Czech with English subtitles

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

• Beauty and the Beast (Panna a netvor, 1978) presented complete and uncut from a new HD transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive

• A newly-recorded Projection Booth audio commentary with Mike White, Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger

• František Hrubín (1964): a short film on the Czech writer and poet, and co-screenwriter of Beauty and the Beast

• 20-page booklet with new writing on the film by author Jonathan Owen

• New and improved English subtitle translation

• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C)

Slovakian film – BEFORE TONIGHT IS OVER – released on dvd and Blu Ray

Before Tonight Is OverBEFORE TONIGHT IS OVER (15) 1978 SLOVAKIA SLOAN, PETER DVD – £12.99 BLU RAY £19.99
Set entirely in a nightclub in a mountain ski resort over one eventful evening, Peter Solan’s Before Tonight is Over brings together an exceptional cast as they drink, dance, flirt, and fight in a delightful, kaleidoscopic character study.

Highly improvised and experimental in its approach, the film achieves a remarkable, intimate naturalism, offering a sharp critique of then-contemporary life as the characters gradually reveal their dreams, desires and disappointments. Once condemned for its depiction of societies’ vices, the radical Before Tonight is Over remains a potent work of wit and wisdom and is now regarded as one of the great gems of Slovak cinema.

In Slovak with English subtitles


BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

Before Tonight is Over (Kým sa skoncí táto noc, 1965) presented from an HD transfer of the new 2K restoration supervised by the Slovak Film Institute.

A Conversation About Peter Solan and His Film ‘Before Tonight Is Over’ (2020): a new filmed appreciation of the film with Martin Kanuch and Rastislav Steranka

Two short films reflecting the locale and milieu of the film: Operation BL (Akcia BL, 1959) and High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry, 1966)

Booklet with new writing on the film by Peter Hames

World premiere on Blu-ray.

Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C)

 

Estonian spy thriller – DAWN OF WAR – issued on dvd

Dawn of WarDAWN OF WAR (12) 2020 ESTONIA PAJU, MARGUS £15.99
Set in August 1939, Estonian spy Feliks is tasked with discovering the identity of a Soviet double agent in his department after the head of counter-Soviet intelligence is murdered. However, Feliks soon discovers that his country faces losing its independence as the Soviet Union launches its clandestine plan to annex Estonia following Germany’s invasion of Poland.

In Estonian with English subtitles

DVD available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Ukrainian drama – Homeward – out on dvd

HomewardHOMEWARD (12) 2019 UKRAINE ALIEV, .NARIMAN £15.99
Father and sons bond on a journey to collect the body of a family member who died fighting in the country’s war with Russia.

In Crimean Tatar, Ukrainian, Russian with English subtitles

DVD available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Czech movie – CHARLATAN – out on dvd

CharlatanCHARLATAN (15) 2020 CZECH. HOLLAND, AGNIESZKA £15.99
Biographical film of the life of Czech healer Jan Mikolásek, across both world wars as he spends three decades treating people with plant-based remedies, with his work acquiring great acclaim. However, it is his treatment of the Czechoslovakian president in 1957 that brings about his downfall.

In Czech and German with English subtitles

DVD available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Agnieszka Holland’s World War Two drama – IN DARKNESS – issued on dvd

In DarknessIN DARKNESS (15) 2011 POLAND HOLLAND, AGNIESZKA £15.99
Drama based on the true story of a sewage worker who saved the lives of a group of Jewish refugees in the city of Lvov during the Second World War.

In German with English subtitles

DVD available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Ukrainian film – CHERNOBYL: END OF DAYS – released on dvd

Chernobyl End of DaysCHERNOBYL: END OF DAYS (15) 2016 UKRAINE £12.99
Ukrainian miniseries that follows the life of newly graduated student Lera . Following the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl Lera’s future plans are put on hold, including her potential marriage to engineer Vitas .

In Ukrainian with English subtitles

DVD available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Jindrich Polák’s -TOMORROW I’LL WAKE UP AND SCALD MYSELF WITH TEA – released on dvd and Blu Ray

TOMORROW I'LL WAKE UP AND SCALD MYSELF WITH TEA9TOMORROW I’LL WAKE UP AND SCALD MYSELF WITH TEA (12) 1977 CZECH POLÁK, JINDRICH DVD – £12.99 BLU RAY – £17.99
Deliciously demented time-travel romp that manages to be both hilariously silly and impressively ingenious at the same time.

In the near-future, time travel has become a possibility, and a group of neo-Nazi’s hijack a time-ship in order to go back to 1944 to deliver a hydrogen bomb to Hitler and thus secure victory in WWII…

In Czech with English subtitles.

DVD available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Larisa Sheptiko’s award winning movie – THE ASCENT – THE CRITERION COLLECTION – released on Blu Ray

AscentTHE ASCENT – THE CRITERION COLLECTION (12) 1977 RUSSIA SHEPTIKO, LARISA BLU RAY £24.99
Award winning film set in World War II. Two partisans are captured by German forces and faced with death, each must choose between martyrdom and betrayal.

In Russian with English subtitles

SPECIAL FEATURES
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

New selected-scene commentary featuring film scholar Daniel Bird

New video introduction by Anton Klimov, son of director Larisa Shepitko and filmmaker Elem Klimov

New interview with actor Lyudmila Polyakova

The Homeland of Electricity, a 1967 short film by Shepitko

Larisa, a 1980 short film tribute to Shepitko made after her death by her husband, Elem Klimov

Two documentaries from 2012 about Shepitko

Program from 1999 featuring an interview with Shepitko

New English subtitle translation

PLUS: An essay by poet Fanny Howe

DVDs available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Classic Russian Gothic horror film – VIY – THE MASTERS OF CINEMA SERIES – released on Blu Ray

ViyVIY – THE MASTERS OF CINEMA SERIES (12) 1967 RUSSIA KROPACHYOV, GEORGI/YERSHOV, KONSTANTIN BLU RAY – £23.99
Based on Nikolai Gogol story, the acclaimed gothic horror tale has startling imagery and stunning stop-motion effects.

Young theology student, Khoma Brutus is tasked to spend three nights alone with the dead body of a young woman. Alone Khoma is forced to use his faith to defend himself after it is revealed that the young woman is really an emissary of the Devil.

In Russian with English subtitles

SPECIAL FEATURES
Limited Edition Exclusive O-Card slipcase

LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE BONUS DISC: A HOLY PLACE [Sveto mesto] (1990, dir. Djordje Kadijevic) A adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s short story and a stunning example of Serbian Gothic cinema from director Djordje Kadijevic. Described by critic Dejan Ognjanovic as “an unparalleled excess of perversity and terror”

New Interview with A HOLY PLACE director Djordje Kadijevic (Limited Edition Exclusive Only)

1080p presentation on Blu-ray

Original Russian mono audio

Optional English mono audio

Optional English subtitles and English SDH

Brand new audio commentary with film historian and eastern European cinema expert Michael Brooke

Brand new video essay on Russian novelist and VIY author Nikolai Gogol

Archival documentary on VIY

Three Russian silent film fragments, The Portrait [1915, 8 mins], The Queen of Spades [1916, 16 mins], and Satan Exultant [1917, 20 mins]

Newly commissioned sleeve artwork by Peter Savieri

A collector’s booklet featuring a new essay on Aleksandr Ptushko by Tim Lucas, and a new essay by Serbian writer and film critic Dejan Ognjanovic

DVDs available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd

Ukrainian adventure movie – KINGDOM OF SWORDS – out on dvd

Kingdom of SwordsKINGDOM OF SWORDS (15) 2018 UKRAINE KHYMYCH, TARAS £12.99
Adventure film set in the Middle Ages where the murder of a prince triggers a bloody war for the conquest of the throne.
In Ukrainian with English subtitles

DVD available to buy at –

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/russian-and-eastern-european-films-on-dvd