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Letter Never Sent (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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New English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dina Iordanova
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By the way, Criterion did an exceptional job on the transfer of this film to disk. The picture quality is outstanding.
There is plenty of tension with the geological team forced to flee a raging forest fire after several weeks of mineral exploration, but it is hard to feel much empathy as it seems Kalatosov and Urusevsky were more interested in visual effects. I suppose this is partly due to the censorship at the time. The map becomes paramount in this film, not the characters. There are much better films to be had by this great Soviet filmmaker.
Known for directing the 1957 film "The Cranes are Flying" and the 1964 film "I Am Cuba", "Letter Never Sent" would reunite the filmmaker with "Cranes" actress Tatyama Samjlova who had become of the most talented and sought out actress of the time in Europe.
And while "Letter Never Sent" is not as popular or as critically favored as Kalatozov's other two films, the film is best remembered for its surreal and visually stunning cinematography by Sergei Urusevsky.
"Letter Never Sent" is presented in black and white (1080p High Definition). I have to admit while watching this film, I was floored by how gorgeous this picture looks considering it was made back in 1959. There were no blemishes, the detail was strong, no blurring, no problems whatsoever. I have to go and say that the picture quality is fantastic as close ups show skin pores and grime on the characters faces, contrast levels are wonderful as whites and greys are well-defined, black levels are deep. I was very impressed!
According to the Criterion Collection, this new high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit Datacine from a new 35 mm print. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS and Pixel Farm's PFClean, while Image Systems' DVNR was used for small dirt, grain and noise reduction.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"Letter Never Sent" is presented in LPCM Monaural Russian with English subtitles.Read more ›
This film is about four geologists searching for the 'diamond pipeline' in Siberia. They end up trapped in a raging fire (which happens in the summer in Siberia) and struggle to survive. The little piece of interesting story line revolves around Sergei's letter which, of course, isn't sent. But this is brief and occurs in the early part of the film. The second half is mainly a lot of very dramatic shots of the group trying to survive the inferno.
The one other interesting tidbit is the obvious Soviet endorsed propaganda. The group is trying to discover these diamonds, not for personal gain, but for the glory of the Soviet Union. In fact, we hear the congratulatory voice on the radio (which is only working one way) who continues to thank them for their efforts for the Soviet people and promises to send planes and helicopters and search parties. I get the message guys, the Soviets will leave no comrade behind!
So a few little interesting tidbits here and there, but a very dramatic and striking background. Worth the current $8.99 price to be sure. Luckily my local library had a copy. It's probably not a film I would re-watch.
Russian dialogue with English subtitles. Includes a pretty short booklet insert with a brief essay and a few photos from the film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While the story line was well written, the acting left a little to be desired. I thought it was slow developing, so if you're expecting some super action war movie. Read morePublished 23 months ago by J. Bethany
This Film is wonderful , I really enjoyed it. A story of Russians searching for Diamonds in Siberia and their friendship and the things that can go wrong. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Jerry G
Based on a true story this film portrays the struggle of the human spirit in the Siberian wilderness. Read morePublished on January 21, 2014 by nikita zelensky
It is s great film, excellent quality.
I recommend it for everybody who likes an adventure with much romance,
He could see the movie of the recollections seen 45 years ago, and it has been moved deeply.
Thank you for the impression.
Astounding piece of work with some of the greatest cinematography of all time.
Terrific use of mirrors and reflectors.
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