War and Peace (film series) - Wikipedia
News & Interviews for Voyna i Mir (War and Peace) Bondarchuk's film, which won a Best Foreign Film Oscar and was also serialized for. magnitolka.info: War and Peace: Lyudmila Saveleva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Sergey Bondarchuk, Boris Zakhava, Anatoli Ktorov, Anastasiya Vertinskaya, Antonina. Read the Empire review of War and Peace. making it the most expensive film made anywhere to date, and it proved one of the few domestic.
A year seems like forever to the still-immature Natasha. Falling in love, and not realizing what will happen, Natasha agrees to elope with the scoundrel, a fate barely avoided by the intervention of her sister and Pierre. When Andrei breaks off their engagement, Natasha believes her life to be over at age seventeen. Napoleon invades Russia once more, obliging Andrei to again take up his sword. His father remains in denial as the French advance steadily across Western Russia.
Pierre takes leave of Natasha to go observe the big battle at Borodino. He speaks to Andrei the night before.
War and Peace () - IMDb
The battle is an enormous clash of thousands of troops, and at the end the French prevail. Andrei is seriously wounded. Pierre Bezukhov 92 minutes The main Russian general realizes he can't stop the French, and so elects to abandon Moscow without a fight, burning all useful resources on the way.
Millions become refugees, and caravans of rich Muscovites flee Eastward. Pierre disguises himself as a common citizen with the vain idea of taking personal revenge on the invaders, but instead makes friends with a French officer who moves into his apartment.
War and Peace Review | Movie - Empire
The Russians refuse to parlay with Napoleon, and leave him in a dead city with the poor. His soldiers loot tons of booty they can't possibly carry home. Pierre is arrested as an arsonist but is spared the death penalty. He witnesses a mass execution and is sent on a march by the French.
On the refugee trail to the East, the Rostovs take in the mortally wounded Andrei, and he and Natasha spend time together declaring their love. When Napoleon quits the city, the Russian winter closes in to decimate his army as they withdraw.
Pierre and Natasha are reunited.
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Savant was excited to see this pricey-but-exceptional DVD release. Ruscico has a reputation for quality editions of hard-to-see Soviet pictures, and War and Peace is certainly the prize title, at least for Western audiences unfamiliar with the majority of Mosfilm's output.
I saw the American release when sixteen years old, serialized over two weeks in a fancy theater in San Bernardino. I can't say I followed the story well, and mostly remember the grainy, washed out picture and the distracting English dubbing -- Natasha's voice squeaked like Minnie Mouse. But the eye-popping visuals stayed burned into my memory, especially a God's eye view, receding into the heavens, of the Austerlitz battlefield spread out below. It looked as if it took in miles of smoke and fighting.
The Russian voices are beautiful, and it's easy to catch cultural things we had only read about, such as the St. Petersburg elite opting to speak French for many conversational details. It's not 70mm, but on a big widescreen television, the scope of the visuals is overwhelming. Pierre's adoration of Natasha is matched only by his belief that he's unworthy of her.
War and Peace Review
He makes an excellent foil for the dashing, closed-minded Prince Andrei, a traditionalist who chides Pierre about his scandalous associations, But Andrei boorishly persecutes his own loving wife because he feels tied down by family obligations. Both men evolve very interestingly through the story, experiencing the tumultuous events and their mutual love of Natasha from different perspectives. Lyudmila Savelyeva is radiant as Natasha, starting as a pixie dreaming girlish dreams and bursting with childish enthusiasm.
Her miniature features and expressive eyes are a feminine ideal. Besides the big ball, she performs a show-stopping folk dance at her Uncle's place in the country.
Clearly meant to be the soul of everything precious in Russia, the character is the film's biggest success. Given resources to dwarf American epics, the disciplined Bondarchuk restricts War and Peace to a cinematic vision, even the large battle scenes. If there's any doubt this is a classic Russian movie, it goes away with the entrance of Natasha, bursting through some doors in three Potemkin-ish cascading short cuts that end on her beaming face.
The camera stays put when it's proper to do so, but when the director has something to express, it trucks and pans and cranes and tilts, and seemingly flies through the air. The big ballroom dance dissolves into West Side Story- like blurs and soft colors, and then the camera whips around in dizzying waltz circles, or flies down the hallway, watching the dancers from on high.
Bondarchuk introduces little choreographed cuts by flashing a fan in front of the camera, a device that is unusually successful. The only 'showoff' trick that didn't work for Savant was a later tense scene where the director inserts subliminal flash frames at every cut point When the story is taken over by author Tolstoy's abstract thoughts, the characters often look for answers in the sky.
Bondarchuk will often accompany disembodied speeches with aerial shots of clouds and vast landscapes, such as seen in the main titles. These provide a break from the melodrama on the ground. The high aerial shots are always at a conceptual remove from the narrative, so that we don't get the feeling that the era is being hyped with visuals alien to the historical experience."War and Peace" Wins Foreign Language Film: 1969 Oscars
Bondarchuk was criticized by some reviewers in for his eclecticism; in one scene he'll use split screens that seem to come from Pillow Talkand another gives us multi-imaged superimpositions that evoke Metropolis. There is an 'Abel Gance' tendency toward camera gymnastics, but most of the film is visually straightforward. Bondarchuk is a classicist who makes the camera do some of the acting, and the result is by and large a big success. I mentioned the four or five emotional high-points of the picture, most of which are heavy-duty dramatic scenes -- Natasha's hysteria at having her elopement foiled, Pierre's witnessing of the firing squads, the death of Andrei's young wife.
In a Western film, we might expect the music to play a larger role in dictating the tone of the drama; most Hollywood epics lean heavily on their scores for their emotional telegraphy.
War and Peace builds its emotional climaxes mostly through unadorned theatrics, and giant close-ups. But its battle scenes, the extended battle of Borodino, especially, have an impact that I don't think I've seen in any other epic. Savant loves giant battle scenes and always admires the huge organizational patterns of masses of people moving in concert for the camera.
Knowing how difficult it is to get just one actor to open one door and not look false, the moving panoramas of soldiers and organized mayhem in shows like Zulu Dawn are impressive displays of movies as a giant engine of movement. War and Peace outdoes them all for sheer vastness of scale and precision of effect. There's no substitute for the suspension of disbelief provided by real armies clashing on a real battlefield. What we get is a poetic representation of the chaos of warfare, not a layout of strategies we can read or follow as a story.
The overall image is of total insanity, the sum life energy of tens of thousands of men destroyed in armed conflict. A master shot might have a crane or a dolly or start with a wide shot and end up on a detail. In many masters it looks as though tens of thousands of soldiers and horses are rushing every which way, marching in set patterns. After deliberations, Smoktunovsky accepted Bondarchuk's offer, but Kozintsev used his influence in the Ministry and received his actor back.
As a last resort, Vyacheslav Tikhonov was given the role. He first arrived on the set in mid-Decemberthree months after filming began. Therefore, he had offered the role to Olympic weightlifter Yury Vlasovand even rehearsed with him. Vlasov soon gave it up, telling the director that he had no acting skills. During the making of the third and fourth part in the series, a journalist named Yury Devochkin, who resembled the director, substituted him in many of the scenes.
Bondarchuk earned R21, for directing and 20, for depicting Pierre. Most other actors received less than R3, Before the beginning of principal photography, the producers resolved to shoot the picture with 70 mm.
While they considered purchasing it from Kodak or from ORWO in the German Democratic Republicthey eventually decided to use Soviet-made film stock manufactured in the Shostka Chemical Plantboth because of financial shortcomings and considerations of national pride. Director of photography Anatoli Petritsky recalled that the Shostka film was "of horrible quality" and he would often photograph a sequence only to discover the film was defective.
This — as well as the need to cover large crowds from many angles — forced the director to repeat many of the scenes; some of the more elaborate battle sequences were retaken more than forty times. On 20 Mayhalf a year after commencing photography, they sent a letter to Surin, requesting to dismiss them from the work on the picture and stating that Bondarchuk "dictated without consulting with the crew. When filming Natasha's first ball, an operator with a hand-held camera circled between the dancing extras on roller skates.
The crowd scenes were shot using cranes and helicopters. Another new feature was the use of a six-channel audio recording system by the sound technicians. On 7 Septemberthe th anniversary of the Battle of Borodinoprincipal photography began. The first scene to be filmed depicted the execution of suspected arsonists by the French Army, and shot in the Novodevichy Convent. After few days, the crew moved into the Moscow Kremlin for further work.
Later that month, the hunt in the Rostov's estate was filmed in the village of Bogoslavskoye, in the Yasnogorsky District. The director had only planned to photograph two episodes there: But due to the harsh winter, none of those could be shot. Bondarchuk revised his plans and decided to film in Zakarpattia scenes that were supposed to be made elsewhere, while waiting for the weather to improve.
The Battle of Austerlitz was filmed in the vicinity of Svaliava. As the budget was exceeded due to the weather and film stock problems, Bondarchuk had to refrain from filming several battle sequences.
On 17 May, the crew returned to the capital. Photography could not be carried out in Borodino itself, mainly because of the many memorials located there. On 1 August, work was commenced. The shooting of the battle itself began on 25 August — its st anniversary by the Julian Calendar.
Most notably, Natasha's first ball was photographed there, with five hundred extras. During the same month, he suffered a major cardiac arrest and was clinically dead for a short while.
The two had their world premiere on 19 Julyin the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. During the next months, the crew filmed in MozhayskKalinin and Zvenigorod. The final plot line to be shot was the Fire of Moscow ; filming began on 17 October For four months prior to that, a plywood set was built in the village of Teryayevo, next to the Joseph-Volokolamsk Monastery.
Principal photography ended on 28 October