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Second Run Releasing Witchhammer On Blu-ray

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  • Second Run Releasing Witchhammer On Blu-ray


    British label Second Run will add to its Blu-ray catalog Otakar Ví¡vra's film Witchhammer (1970), starring Vladimí­r Smeral, Elo Romancik, Josef Kemr, Sona Valentoví¡, and Blanka Waleskí¡. The release will be available for purchase on October 30.

    Synopsis: Otakar Ví¡vra's Witchhammer, co-written by Ester Krumbachoví¡ (Daisies, Fruit of Paradise) from Ví¡clav Kaplickí½ s 1963 novel, chronicles the series of notorious 17th Century Czech witch trials, undertaken using the infamous Malleus Maleficarum (the Witchhammer of the title), the Catholic treatise on witchcraft which endorses the extermination of witches and developed a detailed legal and theological theory for this purpose. Using genuine court transcripts from the forced confessions of those accused of sorcery and collusion with the Devil, it is a powerful and often shocking allegory of life under totalitarian rule.

    With echoes of Bergman and Franti ek Vlí¡ il, and with literary antecedents in Arthur s Miller s The Crucible and Aldous Huxley s The Devils of Loudon, it is a disturbing political fable; and like Ken Russell's controversial, expressionistic adaptation of Huxley s text, The Devils (1971) and other films of the period such as Michael Reeves' Witchfinder General (1968) and Michael Armstrong's Mark of the Devil (1970), it serves as both grim genre film and compelling historical drama.

    Special Features and Technical Specs:
    NEW transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive
    New and exclusive filmed appreciation by writer and film historian Kat Ellinger
    Otakar Ví¡vra's short film The Light Penetrates the Dark (Svetlo pronikí¡ tmou, 1931)
    Booklet featuring a new essay by writer and film critic Samm Deighan
    New and improved English subtitle translation
    Original soundtrack in Dual Mono 24-bit LPCM audio

    Click image for larger version

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