Nostalghia (1983)

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Released 25-Sep-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Teaser Trailer-Umbrella Trailers
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1983
Running Time 120:29
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Andrei Tarkovsky

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Oleg Yankovskiy
Erland Josephson
Domiziana Giordano
Patrizia Terreno
Laura De Marchi
Delia Boccardo
Milena Vukotic
Raffaele Di Mario
Rate Furlan
Livio Galassi
Elena Magoia
Piero Vida
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Ludwig von Beethoven
Giuseppe Verdi

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, credits roll over the opening scene

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Every film produced by the late Russian master, Andrei Tarkovsky is visually magnificent and his 1983 masterpiece, Nostalghia is certainly no exception. Tarkovsky's sublime compositions and slow lingering camera delivers an immensely beautiful film, with images that will stay with you forever.

    Andrei Gortchakov (Oleg Yankovsky) is a Russian writer who has travelled to Italy for the purpose of researching the life of the renowned 18th century Russian composer, Pavel Sosnovsky. Together with his translator, Eugenia (Domiziana Giordano ), Andrei's mission becomes increasingly difficult, as he begins to question all aspects of his existence. His emotional and cultural alienation brings with it, social conflict and the emergence of long buried memories.

    While visiting the hot springs in Bagno Vignoni, Andrei meets an eccentric old man named Domenico (Erland Josephson). Domenico is considered a madman by the locals, but Andrei sees him as something of a revelation. After gaining his trust and respect, Domenico presents Andrei with a small candle and asks him to perform a supreme task of faith at the pool of St Catherine.

    Nostalghia was the first of Tarkovsky's films to be produced outside of his home country - while living in exile. The second such film, The Sacrifice (Offret) 1986, was made in Sweden and was also sadly his last - Andrei Tarkovsky died of lung cancer in late December of the same year.

    While his films may not appeal to a mainstream audience, there is no doubt; the films of Andrei Tarkovsky are spiritual experiences. The philosophical themes are always highly symbolic and ambiguous, but ultimately gratifying for the patient viewer.

    Nostalghia was an intensely personal film for Tarkovsky - he based the film on experiences of isolation and nostalgic emotion during his time in exile. The very nature of the film also brought him to dedicate Nostalghia to the memory of his mother. Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    Nostalghia is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.76:1, which is 16x9 enhanced. The films correct aspect ratio is 1.66:1.

    Although there is some inherent softness, the overall quality of the transfer was surprisingly good. The image was much sharper than I expected - a vast improvement on those ghastly old VHS copies. Blacks were clean and shadow detail was generally fine.

    Tarkovsky again used a sombre colour palette and sepia for Nostalghia. All colours appeared to be nicely balanced on the disc.

    There were no MPEG artefacts evident. Some very minor aliasing was noticed in one scene, but otherwise, film-to-video artefacts were not an issue. Film artefacts were also minor and infrequent.

    The only available subtitles are English. They are removable, in bold white and easily legible.

    This is a DVD 5, single layer disc, so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only one audio track available on the disc, Italian / Russian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). This audio track is faithful to the original source soundtrack.

    Dialogue quality seemed to be fine and there were no apparent issues with audio sync. An occasional audio pop was evident, but these were very minor and infrequent.

    There was no original score used in Nostalghia. Instead, Tarkovsky used the music of Giuseppe Verdi (Requiem) and Ludwig von Beethoven (9th Symphony).

    The surround channels and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The main menu is static, silent and 16x9 enhanced. The film is divided into 11 chapters, but there is no scene selection menu.


Umbrella Trailers

  • Au Hasard Balthazar (1:55)
  • The 400 Blows (3:46)
  • Aguirre The Wrath of God (3:21)
  • Orlando (1:14)

    R4 vs R1

    NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

        I'll compare this local Umbrella release of Nostalghia against the all region US release from Fox Lorber - January 2004 and the region 2 release by Artificial Eye, which is a 2-disc edition - February 2003.

        The Fox Lorber release contains the minor addition of the theatrical trailer and text based production credits. The US edition is presented with a NTSC transfer in a letterboxed aspect ratio of 1.63:1.

        The R2, Artificial Eye edition features some excellent special features. The second disc includes, Tempo di Viaggio - 62:19 and  Andrei Tarkovsky in Nostalghia - 94:48. Apart from these two lengthy documentaries, there is also text interviews, biographies and filmographies.

        It's highly likely that the Umbrella edition has the same transfer as the R2 Artifical Eye release. Having said that, it has been reported that Nostalghia Cinematographer, Giuseppe Lanci, says the transfer of the Fox Lorber edition is far more faithful to Tarkovsky's vision of the film.


        Andrei Tarkovsky's 1983 masterpiece, Nostalghia embodies all the characteristics of this master filmmaker. It is a solemn, but immensely beautiful film with images that will stay with you forever.

        The video transfer is very good.

        The audio transfer is consistent with the source.

        Apart from some Umbrella teaser trailers, there are no extras. Unfortunately, this is consistent with most DVD editions of the film worldwide.



  • Ratings (out of 5)


    © Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
    Tuesday, November 17, 2009
    Review Equipment
    DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
    DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
    Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
    AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
    SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

    Other Reviews NONE
    Comments (Add)
    Nostalghia AKA Nostalgia (1983) - RichardP