1063 The Ascent

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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DarkImbecile
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1063 The Ascent

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:52 pm

The Ascent

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The crowning triumph of a career cut tragically short, Larisa Shepitko’s final film won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival and went on to be hailed as one of the finest works of late-Soviet cinema. In the darkest days of World War II, two partisans set out for supplies to sustain their beleaguered outfit, braving the blizzard-swept landscape of Nazi-occupied Belarus. When they fall into the hands of German forces and come face-to-face with death, each must choose between martyrdom and betrayal, in a spiritual ordeal that lifts the film’s earthy drama to the plane of religious allegory. With stark, visceral cinematography that pits blinding white snow against pitch-black despair, The Ascent finds poetry and transcendence in the harrowing trials of war.

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 his late wife by Klimov
  • Two documentaries from 2012 about Shepitko’s life, work, and relationship with Klimov
  • Program from 1999 featuring an interview with Shepitko
  • New English subtitle translation
    PLUS: An essay by poet Fanny Howe

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domino harvey
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#2 Post by domino harvey » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:02 pm

Not counting the Bergmans and the silent bonus Ozu film, is this the first Eclipse title to be upgraded to the mainline as a solo release?

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L.A.
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#3 Post by L.A. » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:13 pm

Looks nice. Definitely getting this.

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knives
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#4 Post by knives » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:17 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:02 pm
Not counting the Bergmans and the silent bonus Ozu film, is this the first Eclipse title to be upgraded to the mainline as a solo release?
Yes, though I am still surprised they didn’t just make it a complete filmography set.

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Malickite
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#5 Post by Malickite » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:19 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:02 pm
Not counting the Bergmans and the silent bonus Ozu film, is this the first Eclipse title to be upgraded to the mainline as a solo release?
Also the Vardas.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#6 Post by domino harvey » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:25 pm

Right, good catch. Surely Daisies remains the most likely to receive the treatment next

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Malickite
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#7 Post by Malickite » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:27 pm

That's where I'd put my money. Though I really hope they upgrade the Leningrad Cowboys set.

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Ovader
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#8 Post by Ovader » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:39 pm

Program from 1999 featuring an interview with Shepitko... she died in 1979 unless the program was produced in 1999 featuring an archival interview with Shepitko.

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TheKieslowskiHaze
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#9 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:04 pm

Caught this movie on the channel a few months ago just randomly hopping around. It's fantastic. Shepitko was was a real discovery for me. Might buy it, but it's not the kind of movie I'd want to watch a lot.

As for upgraded eclipse stuff, I'd love to see some Robert Downey Sr. But I'm not sure about the rights situation. Vinegar Syndrome put out Putney Swope recently, I know.

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Saturnome
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#10 Post by Saturnome » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:42 pm

Love this film and will gladly upgrade, but how strange that the first Eclipse title to get a spine number is from a two film set, I wonder if Wings will get the same treatment at some point. Though this film never ever had the popularity of The Ascent (I'm still surprised at how popular it is, when the Eclipse was announced I was sure these were very obscure titles, since I had never heard of them before, yet it's very popular and highly rated on places like LetterBoxd).

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DeprongMori
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#11 Post by DeprongMori » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:33 am

It would have been a perfect opportunity to add Wings as a supplemental film, and just leave the Eclipse set as the DVD version of the release. Glad to see the short film added though.

black&huge
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#12 Post by black&huge » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:52 am

not to derail so much but it always bothered me that End of Summer got relegated to an eclipse set. That being said The Ascent along with quite a number of films that were put into eclipse sets were much deserving of mainline releases from the start so this is a nice start to what will hopefully be a semi-regular upgrade pattern.

nitin
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#13 Post by nitin » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:05 am

It's a terrific film but I actually prefer Wings which to me is a masterpiece. Would have loved to see both get upgraded.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#14 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:46 pm


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Roscoe
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#15 Post by Roscoe » Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:14 pm

black&huge wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:52 am
not to derail so much but it always bothered me that End of Summer got relegated to an eclipse set. That being said The Ascent along with quite a number of films that were put into eclipse sets were much deserving of mainline releases from the start so this is a nice start to what will hopefully be a semi-regular upgrade pattern.
There was a lovely 4k restoration of Ozu's TOKYO TWILIGHT within the last year or so, hopefully it'll continue the Eclipse Upgrade tradition.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#16 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:32 pm

Not to steer this in a different direction, but I could really see Criterion releasing an Ozu box as more and more of his films get restored.

As for The Ascent no reason keeping this in Eclipse land with Mosfilm performing a 4K restoration. I'm sure that will happen with Wings. What will be curious is will Criterion put an Eclipse set OOP if all the films have been upgraded

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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#17 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:47 am


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Re: 1063 The Ascent

#18 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:48 pm

I liked this much more than Come and See, which I didn't like at all. The Ascent has a spiritual and biblical feel weaving it's way through the narrative which hooked me. I'm a sucker for religious symbolism in film. The imagery of the film also had that quality, like Sotnikov representing a Jesus Christ figure and Shepitko's representation of slow march to the gallows mimics the Roman procession to the crucifixion. I'm sure there are other connections that I will discover on re-watches. Perhaps this can be a candidate for Mr. Sausages' Criterion Film Club. Would love to read what folks think of this one. Step up to the plate Therewillbeblus :)

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