Saturday, April 26, 2008


Anyone who gets the Facets newsletter knows it can be a bit of a slog to make your way through the titles. As a result, many times I can't even face taking the time to scan the e-mail despite the gems they usually list. Today was no different, but I decided to take a look and I'm glad I did. Right at the top, under "Facets DVDs Coming in July" is Bela Tarr's Satantango, and that is something to celebrate.

The short history on this saga is that Facets announced almost two years ago they would release Satantango on DVD. Release dates came and went and were periodically changed and still no DVD. Facets is somewhat notorious for average standards on their DVDs, and although I was frustrated by the indefinite postponement on the DVD, I wasn't surprised. Fortunately, those in the Twin Cities who wanted to see Satantango got three opportunities last year, and my need to see the film was satiated. I had given up on the DVD until a couple months ago when I read in Jonathan Rosenbaum Cinema Scope column that Facets was still hard at work on the DVD but repeatedly unable to get Bela Tarr's needed seal of approval. All of the sudden the mysterious disappearing of the Satantango DVD was becoming crystal clear.

Facets' announcement is good news. Although I am not holding my breath, I highly doubt that Facets would list the DVD without some certainty. There is further encouragement on the page listing the four DVD set and the special features:
Fully Restored, Director-Approved Edition. Letterboxed. Includes Macbeth (1982, 64 mins.), Tarr's rarely seen interpretation of Shakespeare's tragedy famously captured in two shots; Journey on the Plain (1995, 34 mins.), in which actor-composer Mihaly Vig revisits the Satantango locations; Prologue (2004, 5 mins.), the director's stunning contribution to the omnibus Visions of Europe; About the Restoration (5 mins.); and a Facets Cine-Notes booklet with essays by prominent film critics.

Release date is 7/22/08 and the price is $79.95.

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