War and Peace – Sergei Bondarchuk (1967)

1960s: Days of Rage

“The movies now give us an ‘epic’ nearly every week of the year. Digital technology, corporate budgets and the public’s own current thirst for shallow escapism have paved the way for visions both ludicrous and wondrous. … But what do these films have to say? As we wallow in popcorn excess, Janus Films restores and re-releases the grandest, deepest epic of all, Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace. Made in 1967, it shames everything, and I mean absolutely everything, playing at the ArcLight today. Slated for a June release on DVD and Blu-Ray by the Criterion Collection, it is touring various arthouse spots and must be seen on a proper, wide canvas. … If the average Marvel movie runs about 2 hours and 22 minutes, Bondarchuk’s sweeping rendition of Leo Tolstoy’s immortal novel clocks in at about 7 hours. It was a product of the Cold War, when political rivalry made…

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