The main part of Klostret is told in a flashback by a monk to two visiting noblemen on their way to Warsaw in the 17th century. He tells them how a mighty count named Starschensky once ruled Sendomir (Sandomierz), but after an intrigue, in which his wife was unfaithful with her own cousin, he had to use all his resources to build the monastery where they are now staying. At the end it is revealed that the monk is, in fact, Starschensky himself.
Frankly, the medieval, religious music, which accompanies the film is worth listening to in the background, even if you don't watch the film!
The Night Before Christmas is a 1913 silent film made in the Russian Empire by Ladislas Starevich, based on the tale of the same name by Nikolai Gogol. The plot is, on the whole, close to Gogol's classic tale. It is set in a Cossack stanitsa. On Christmas Eve, a minor demon visits the local witch, Solokha. They both ride on the witch's broom, after which the demon steals the Moon and hides in an old sack. In the ensuing darkness, some inebriated Cossacks can't find their way to a shinok (tavern) and decide to go home. One by one, they each come to visit Solokha, who hides each one (starting with the demon) in bags so that none of them see each other. Solokha's son Vakula, the blacksmith, tries to woo Oksana, but she laughs at him and demands that he get her a pair of slippers like the one the Tsaritsa wears. Vakula goes to Solokha in sadness, but upon coming there sees the bags and decides to take them to the forge. Getting tired along the way, he leaves the heaviest bags on the street, which are picked up by a caroling company. Vakula, who is left only with the bag containing the demon, goes to Patsyuk, a sorcerer, to ask him how to find a demon - only with the help of a demon can he hope to find out what the Tsaritsa’s slippers are made of.
THE FIRST PART OF THE DVD-R HAS SWEDISH INTERTITLES WITH HARD-ENCODED ENGLISH AND SWITCHABLE SPANISH SUBTITLES;
THE SECOND PART OF THE DVD-R HAS RUSSIAN INTERTITLES WITH SWITCHABLE ENGLISH SUBTITLES
QUALITY (of feature film only):
· Sharpness of picture? - first part of the film has very good quality and reasonably sharp details with pixellization; the second part is also very good with some pixellization
· Other notable issues? - the English subtitling on the first film is in "white" and not as easy to read as the yellow, switchable Spanish subtitles
LENGTH OF FEATURE FILM: 53 minutes (part I) + 36 minutes (part II) = 89 minutes total