The title of The Chess Player refers to an automaton piece which features prominently,and also to the dashing young Polish Army Officer who's the hero.The film was restored,like Napoleon,by Kevin Brownlow.It features stirring battle scenes,lovely snowscapes,fireworks,a masked ball at the Winter Palace,a range of unusual utomata,and a hefty dose of romanticism.The initial stages arethe least striking.
You may be able to obtain it from MovieMail, a world cinema video company,based in Britain,for whom i do short (50 word)reviews,articles(including on our mutual friend Tarkovsky,which i hope did him some justice)and selections of recommendations in different categories,for their Newsletters and Catalogues.As an enthusiast,not an employee.They rent as well as sell videos,which is very useful,particularly as tbe BBC and other channels here in Britain show ever fewer "foreign language"films.I'm not positive whether they send abroad,but i got my copy from them..Their email;email@example.com. Website;www.moviem.co.uk
I'd also recommend People on Sunday, a 1929 mixture of fiction and documentary,covering 4 young peple on a Berlin lakeside outing.Co-directed by Ulmer and Siodamk,scripted by Billy Wilder(!),photographed by Schufftan(famous for work n Metropolis),and with Fred Zinnemann as asistant director(if i remember rightly).Our film society at Brecon,Wales screened it last month,it was very popular.We have a resident silent film composer,who's superb and gets to know the films bettter than anyone(in the world probably).We've screened several classic silents.