Andre Tarkovsky's poetic and visually striking screen adaptation of Vladimir Bogomolov's short novel about a young boy's journey through a land devastated by war receives a definitive DVD release in this edition from the Criterion Collection. Ivanovo Detstvo (aka Ivan's Childhood has been given a beautifully detailed transfer to disc in its original Academy aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the rich scale of grey tones in Vadim Yusov's cinematography has been rendered with stunning clarity. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and sounds particularly clean for a film of this vintage, with Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov's score especially well served. The dialogue is in the original Russian, with optional English subtitles. As a bonus, the disc includes an appraisal of Tartovsky's films from biographer Vida T. Johnson, as well as new interviews with actor Nikolai Burlyaev (who plays Ivan) and cameraman Yusov. The handsome booklet included with the disc includes an essay and a short poem by Tartovsky, as well as a piece about the film from Dina Iordanova and a number of photos from the film. Ivanovo Detstvo is a crucial early work from one of Russia's most unique cinematic talents, and it's doubtful the film will ever be given a better home video presentation than this.
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Video appreciation of director Andrei Tarkovsky and Ivan's Childhood, featuring Vida T. Johnson, coauthor of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue
New video interviews with actor Nikolai Burlyaev and cinematographer Vadim Yusov
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dina Iordanova and new translations, by Robert Bird, of "Between Two Films," Tarkovsky's essay about Ivan's Childhood, and "Ivan Willow," a poem by the director's father, Arseny Tarkovsky