It is no exaggeration to say that Sergei Bondarchuk’s 1960s adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel “War and Peace” is a singular feat of filmmaking that can never be repeated.
If it were, a director would have to match the resources at Bondarchuk’s disposal — a virtually unlimited budget, props from Russia’s great museums, thousands of extras from the Soviet army — and engineer sprawling battle sequences using no computer-generated effects.
The extraordinary support behind “War and Peace” is apparent in every lavish frame of its seven-plus hours, and it is staggering to witness — even more so in the new, meticulously assembled digital restoration opening Friday at Film Society of Lincoln Center, where it is screening in four parts.
A home release by Criterion is in the works, but there’s a reason Lincoln Center is showing it only in Walter Reade Theater, its largest.
“If any film deserves to be seen on a big screen, it’s this,” said Curtis Tsui, a producer with Criterion. “There is no substitute for that.”
Bondarchuk’s “War and Peace” owes some of its splendor to the Cold War. As part of a cultural exchange program, King Vidor’s 1956 Hollywood adaptation, starring Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda, was brought to the Soviet Union, where millions of people saw it. The Soviet state bristled at the success of Vidor’s film — Tolstoy’s novel, after all, is a national treasure — so it commissioned what it hoped would be a bigger, better adaptation from Mosfilms, one of the country’s oldest and most respected studios.
“This was going to be a very prestigious project,” said Denise Youngblood, an emeritus professor from the University of Vermont and the author of the book “Bondarchuk’s War and Peace: Literary Classic to Soviet Cinematic Epic.”
Bondarchuk, a seasoned actor who had only one directing credit to his name, was chosen to direct, which confused many in the Soviet film community and led to resentment that would dog him for the rest of his life. (It didn’t help that he was known to be mercurial and difficult to work with.) He spent a year casting the film, and was obsessed with historical accuracy in the production.
But, Youngblood said: “There were no barriers in his path. Whatever Bondarchuk wanted, he got.”
So he used military planes and helicopters for aerial shots, along with about 15,000 soldiers. All museums were ordered to open their collections; sets in “War and Peace” are assembled with genuine, priceless antiques. All of this came at no cost to the producers, which is why the film’s budget is unknowable. Estimates put it at roughly 0 million in today’s dollars.
“The enormous cost is not commercially viable,” Youngblood said. “It wouldn’t have been then, but in the Soviet system, they really didn’t care. No government would ever put its weight behind a film of this scope.”
But the film is not entirely epic spectacle. Tolstoy was a master of juxtaposition, and his novel oscillates between the ugliness of battle and the blissful ignorance of aristocracy. Bondarchuk operates in much the same way: Gunfire can segue abruptly to domestic drama.
“Every shot seemed expansive and titanic almost, but then it would balance that with intimacy,” Tsui said.
In these moments, Bondarchuk’s cinematic curiosity shines. Natasha’s romantic delirium is rendered in jarring cuts and tinkling sounds. Filters and fishbowl lenses show hunting from the perspective of a wolf. Andrei’s spiritual awakening unfolds with a visual poetry that prefigures Terrence Malick.
“It’s almost a playbook of every type of cinematic device that could be possible,” Tsui said. “And they’re all deployed in a way to put you, the viewer, into the same psychological and emotional space as these characters.”
Yet “War and Peace,” while an enormously popular film at first, didn’t enter the canon easily. It won the Academy Award for best foreign film, but Bondarchuk’s envious peers in the Soviet Union spurned him and, in turn, his magnum opus. The audience dropped off quickly, and it languished in relative obscurity for decades.
But the movie gained mythic status among cinephiles, who most often had to settle for seeing it in a less-than-ideal form. A complete negative didn’t exist; Tsui recalled watching a version with awkward disruptions in quality from one frame to the next.
Attitudes in Russia changed in the early 2000s. The leadership of Mosfilms felt that “War and Peace” deserved to be rescued, Youngblood said, while President Vladimir V. Putin wanted, as she put it, “to restore a proper patriotic culture.” Mosfilms received state support for its restoration — a yearslong process conducted scrupulously, frame by frame, by assembling parts of negatives from different archives.
“The film has undergone a real renaissance,” Youngblood said.
Now, she added, it is widely regarded as one of the most important movies of the Soviet era. At the very least, it is an artifact of what happens when the ambition of a director is matched by that of his country.B:
东方心经马报资料2018 年93期【顾】【家】【阖】【府】【都】【已】【经】【熄】【了】【灯】，【温】【沅】【的】【院】【子】【里】【仍】【然】【亮】【着】【灯】。 【顾】【清】【寅】【今】【日】【被】【抱】【着】【过】【来】【与】【温】【沅】【睡】，【温】【沅】【斜】【靠】【在】【床】【榻】【上】，【一】【下】【没】【一】【下】【地】【给】【他】【扇】【着】【扇】【子】。 “【叩】【叩】【叩】。”【有】【人】【敲】【了】【窗】【户】。 【温】【沅】【裹】【了】【件】【衣】【服】，【未】【开】【窗】，“【怎】【么】【样】？” “【已】【经】【安】【排】【马】【车】【送】【回】【江】【南】【了】。”【窗】【外】【的】【人】【声】【音】【略】【显】【嘶】【哑】，【气】【息】【也】【是】【不】【大】【稳】。 “【辛】【苦】
【这】【是】【当】【初】【我】【上】【山】【后】【想】【着】【给】【娘】【亲】【报】【仇】【才】【偷】【学】【的】【秘】【术】，【这】【种】【秘】【术】【也】【不】【难】，【只】【不】【过】【是】【学】【会】【将】【真】【气】【引】【导】【到】【奇】【经】【八】【脉】【中】，【等】【到】【真】【气】【和】【精】【血】【混】【合】【时】，【就】【会】【产】【生】【巨】【大】【的】【能】【量】。 【到】【时】【候】【将】【这】【能】【量】【融】【汇】【到】【双】【手】【之】【上】，【顷】【刻】【间】【便】【可】【提】【升】【战】【斗】【力】！ 【真】【当】【我】【准】【备】【引】【导】【真】【气】【进】【入】【奇】【经】【八】【脉】【时】，【凌】【战】【突】【然】【用】【一】【种】【异】【样】【的】【眼】【光】【看】【了】【我】【一】【眼】，【随】【即】【停】
【虽】【然】【丽】【塔】【表】【示】【自】【己】【真】【的】【不】【需】【要】【枪】【支】，【但】【是】【莫】【念】【的】【那】【番】【话】【还】【是】【改】【变】【了】【她】【的】【想】【法】。 “【这】【个】【世】【界】【并】【不】【是】【那】【么】【安】【全】，【自】【我】【保】【护】【有】【的】【时】【候】【需】【要】【强】【有】【力】【的】【武】【器】【来】【一】【击】【制】【胜】。” “【好】【吧】，【我】【收】【下】【了】。” 【但】【是】【话】【说】【回】【来】，【莫】【念】【哥】【到】【底】【是】【怎】【么】【搞】【到】【这】【种】【武】【器】【的】【啊】，【为】【什】【么】【要】【给】【我】【呢】。 【等】【等】，【他】【能】【把】【这】【种】【枪】【随】【随】【便】【便】【送】【人】，【那】
【莱】【茵】【笑】【着】【看】【向】【艾】【瑞】【莉】【娅】【和】【有】【着】【询】【问】【目】【光】【的】【凯】【恩】，“【如】【果】【我】【说】【概】【率】【是】【在】【百】【分】【之】【五】【十】，【殿】【下】【会】【怎】【样】【决】【择】？” 【撤】【退】【或】【者】【其】【它】？ “【莱】【茵】【阁】【下】，【我】【不】【得】【不】【提】【醒】【你】，【现】【在】【是】【战】【时】【情】【况】，【你】【作】【为】【殿】【下】【的】【臣】【民】【有】【责】【任】【将】【你】【了】【解】【到】【的】【情】【况】【如】【实】【准】【确】【回】【答】【给】【殿】【下】。”【艾】【瑞】【莉】【娅】【身】【边】【一】【位】【约】【莫】【二】【十】【几】【岁】【的】【青】【年】【语】【气】【严】【肃】【认】【真】【的】【说】【道】，“【而】东方心经马报资料2018 年93期【铁】【群】【岛】【的】【未】【来】？ 【凭】【良】【心】【讲】，【这】【个】【问】【题】【确】【实】【有】【点】【探】【讨】【价】【值】。【群】【岛】【抱】【团】【悬】【于】【海】【外】，【附】【近】【水】【域】【不】【仅】【风】【暴】【频】【繁】，【而】【且】【暗】【礁】【遍】【布】，【有】【着】【远】【强】【于】【龙】【石】【和】【狭】【海】【列】【岛】【的】【地】【理】【天】【险】，【再】【算】【上】【攸】【伦】·【葛】【雷】【乔】【伊】【穷】【尽】【铁】【岛】【之】【力】【打】【造】【出】【了】【一】【支】【从】【数】【据】【上】【来】【看】【在】【全】【维】【斯】【特】【洛】【甚】【至】【整】【个】【已】【知】【世】【界】【都】【排】【得】【上】【号】【的】【庞】【大】【舰】【队】…… 【可】【以】【想】【象】，【铁】【群】【岛】【必】
“【那】【可】【就】【麻】【烦】【杨】【君】【你】【了】。”【克】【劳】【蒂】【雅】【淡】【淡】【一】【笑】，【坐】【到】【了】【杨】【文】【昊】【身】【旁】，【将】【手】【放】【在】【了】【杨】【文】【昊】【的】【手】【上】。 【看】【到】【这】【一】【幕】，【杨】【文】【昊】【扭】【头】【看】【向】【了】【克】【劳】【蒂】【雅】，【道】：“【克】【劳】【蒂】【雅】，【你】【知】【不】【知】【道】【如】【果】【激】【起】【了】【一】【个】【男】【人】【的】【欲】【望】，【那】【是】【一】【件】【十】【分】【恐】【怖】【的】【事】【情】。” 【克】【劳】【蒂】【雅】【一】【听】【倒】【是】【微】【微】【一】【愣】，【随】【后】【笑】【道】：“【怎】【么】，【刚】【才】【还】【看】【你】【对】【我】【没】【什】【么】【兴】
【这】【本】【书】，【我】【自】【认】【写】【的】【不】【是】【很】【好】。 【因】【为】【中】【间】【很】【多】【的】【剧】【情】【都】【像】【是】【自】【圆】【其】【说】，【不】【够】【精】【彩】，【因】【为】【我】【的】【心】【思】【不】【够】【专】【注】，【和】【文】【笔】【也】【不】【太】【好】。 【但】【是】【我】【也】【算】【是】【成】【功】【将】【剧】【情】【都】【写】【出】【来】【了】，【虽】【然】【不】【算】【太】【好】【吧】。 【写】【到】【现】【在】，【我】【其】【实】【还】【可】【以】【继】【续】【编】【日】【常】【继】【续】【混】【下】【去】，【但】【是】【我】【感】【觉】【也】【没】【必】【要】【了】。【因】【为】【我】【也】【想】【不】【到】【太】【多】【可】【以】【写】【的】【了】。 【那】