Home Page  
 
 

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Russian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Video appreciation of filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and Ivan's Childhood, featuring Vida T. Johnson, coauthor of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue New video interviews with cinematographer Vadim Yusov and actor Nikolai Burlyaev

Ivan's Childhood


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Andrei Tarkovsky
Starring: Nikolai Burlyaev, Valentin Zubkov, Nikolai Grinko
1962 | 95 Minutes | Licensor: Mosfilm

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #397
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: July 24, 2007
Review Date: March 10, 2013

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

The debut feature from the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan's Childhood is an evocative, poetic journey through the shadows and shards of one boy's war-torn youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of WWII and the serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky's film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of violence on children in wartime.

Forum members rate this film 8.6/10

 

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

The Criterion Collection presents Andrei Tarkovsky’s first feature film Ivan’s Childhood. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of about 1.33:1 on a dual-layer disc. Because of the aspect ratio the image has not been enhanced for widescreen televisions. Typical of most of Criterion’s 1.33:1 releases the image has been window boxed, displaying a black border around the entire image.

It is a pleasantly surprising looking transfer, much better than I had originally anticipated. Firstly it has been stunningly restored, with very little damage remaining. The transfer presents a sharp image that delivers a striking amount of detail in both long shots and close-ups, and you can even make out film grain.

Unfortunately it does look like contrast has been boosted, making things look too dark in places, and there are a few artifacts, like halos and ringing in a few places. Other than these issues it’s still a strong standard definition transfer.

7/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

The film’s Russian soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 mono. Music is a bit flat and tinny at times but I was stunned by how good the rest of the track sounds overall. Dialogue and sound effects have some noticeable power behind them and the track manages to rise slightly above its mono limitations.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

A lower tier release the DVD only comes with a few supplements, starting with Life As a Dream, a 31-minute interview with Vida T. Johnson. Johnson begins by talking about Russian cinema after Stalin’s death and the brief period where films contained less propaganda and focused more on individual characters, a significant change especially for war films which were certainly more “patriotic” so to speak. She then covers Tarkovsky’s time in school, how he came to work on Ivan’s Childhood (which was a studio film in works for a while,) and how the project changed once it got into his hands. From here she examines some of the traits that would become familiar in Tarkovsky’s later work while also looking at some of the more conventional things that can be found in the film, She then interestingly gets into how Tarkovsky got around the “approval process” Soviet films had to go through. The piece can be a little dry in places but overall offers a strong analysis of Tarkovsky’s early film.

The remaining supplements are interviews with actor Nikolai Burlyaev (who played Ivan) and cinematographer Vadim Yusov. I appreciate the inclusion of these two interviews though they’re presented in an odd, rather obnoxious manner. Each one is chopped up into multiple segments that you have to select from a listing, without the option to “play all.” Burlyaev’s is broken up into the following pieces: “Lead Role,” “Screen Tests,” “Finding Tears,” “The Shoot,” and “True Patriot.” They’re all pretty self-explanatory, but Burlyaev really focuses on his working relationship with Tarkovsky, who he says really helped him bring out the performance he delivered, despite the director being accused by others of never working with his actors. Yuslov’s interview is broken down into the following segments: “Visual Language,” “Preparation,” “Dreams,” and “Texture.” Again the titles are self-explanatory, with Yuslov just covering how he and Tarkovsky captured the visuals in the film. Again, both interviews are fine, with Burlyaev’s especially touching in places, but I wasn’t a fan of the fragmented set-up. In total each piece runs 11-minutes and 12-minutes respectively.

Criterion then includes a booklet featuring an essay by Dina Iordanova and a translated reprint of a piece about the film written by Tarkovsky in 1962. The booklet then concludes with a translation of a poem by Tarkovsky’s father, Arseny Tarkovsky, which was probably an influence over the film.

A slim selection for sure but for a lower priced edition (with an MSRP of 29.95) the supplements are engaging and informative.

6/10

CLOSING

A strong release with a stable, strong looking transfer, and some worthwhile supplementary material, this DVD comes with a high recommendation.


View packaging for this DVD

Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca  




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection