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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/dardenne.htm 
Belgium 1999

'Rosetta' proves a very appropriate title for the movie as the camera never strays from her throughout the entire film. Her face, in constant close-ups, is a series of telling expressions worthy of comparisons to Falconetti or Masina. 

For a paltry two million dollars Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne shot and continuously edited 60 hours of film footage to parse down and create a 95 minute cinema verité masterpiece. The true artistic crime-of-the-century is that its exposure to the mass audiences has been very limited. It is this audience that might benefit the most from its viewing. The political and moral message it sends is one inherent to all sentient beings who are concerned with their fellow humankind. It is heartfelt on a raw, exposed gut-level.

The character Rosetta, at times, exhibits herself as a savage, tortured soul, ready to defend her non-existent rights with ferocious determination. She is also a closed-off, obsessed survivor, fighting to find her place in society. This, while also shouldering the weight of ulcer-pained responsibilities for the maternal-like care required to oversee to her own flawed mother. Her struggles are even more pitiful and real to us since they are primarily for the most basic elements of living. Things perhaps we quite often take for granted and, in HER own mind can be satisfied by obtaining employment. Has society manifested the impression that this will make her a "normal person?" Perhaps her mother will cease her alcoholism and sexual promiscuity. She might establish friendships... even get a boyfriend if she could only get a steady job.out of

Excerpt from Gary Tooze's Review found HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May - 1999 - Cannes Film Festival, France

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Comparison:

TF1 Vidéo (France) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Artificial Eye (UK) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Fred Patton for the TF1 DVD screen captures!

1) TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

TF1 Vidéo

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #621 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:18 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:29:54 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:34:22.698
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.12 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.64
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,260,256,646 bytes

Feature: 27,613,065,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

TF1 Vidéo

 

Bitrate:

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio French (Dolby Digital 5.1)

French or Italian DUB (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)

DTS-HD Master Audio French 2073 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2073 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles None (NO ENGLISH) English, Italian, Dutch, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: TF1 Vidéo 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:


• Back to back trailers for Rosetta and La Promesse
• Filmography
• Production Notes

DVD Release Date: January 17th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 15

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye Film Company

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:

  • Interview With Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne
  • Cannes Award Ceremony Footage
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Stills Galleries
  • Director Biographies and Filmographies
  • Cast Biographies : On Other Disc, the feature film "La Promesse"

DVD Release Date: April 16th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion 

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,260,256,646 bytes

Feature: 27,613,065,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Vide


Edition Details:


• Conversation between film critic Scott Foundas and filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (1:01:52)

• New interview piece featuring actors Émilie Dequenne and Olivier Gourmet (18:18)
• Trailer (1:04)
• 32-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Kent Jones

Blu-ray Release Date: August 14th, 2012
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 23

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (August 2012): While I haven't seen Rosetta for a while it continues to eat at me emotionally and remains one of my favorite (if not the outright top-spot) films of all time. It was so gratifying to see Rosetta make it to North America after winning Cannes more than a decade ago. I was trying to think if there was another Palm D'or winner that had not crossed the ocean for digital home viewing after such a long wait. It seems Universal had the rights as their logo follows Criterion's as the film starts. I don't consider the NTSC Taiwan version legitimate with the distorted aspect ratio. Criterion's Blu-ray doesn't deviate too drastically - visually from the PAL SD transfers. Skin tones appear to warmer, texture and grain are far more apparent. There may be a slight amount of additional information in the 1080 frame. This dual-layered rendering has a max'ed bitrate and is given the endorsement nod by the filmmakers. We can only assume that 'this is it' as the best, most definitive, digital representation... ever for Rosetta. It is a thick film not prone to glossy or crisp visuals - this style follows the verité story of hardship, desperation and survival at all costs. It was an even more harrowing film experience in proper NTSC running time and HD a/v. Draining.

The audio remains faithfully modest 2.0 channel in a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio at 2073 kbps. Sound is natural from Rosetta's opening hand-cam tantrum to the pesky motorbike following her guilty conscience. There are optional English subtitles on the region "A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

We get a conversation between film critic Scott Foundas and filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne running slightly over an hour filmed in Belgium for Criterion in 2012. They discuss intricate details of Rosetta's production in French with English subtitles. There is a new 18-minute interview piece featuring actors Émilie Dequenne and Olivier Gourmet - the performers talk of working with the Dardennes. There is also a trailer - in HD as are all video supplements and the package includes a 32-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Kent Jones.

I enjoyed this Blu-ray as much as any disc I own. I will watch it repeatedly and am very satisfied with the Criterion package. Our highest recommendation.

***

ON THE DVDs: I did some rather extensive comparison between these two DVDs simply because it remains my favorite film of all time. The Artificial Eye DVD (actually a set including the Dardenne's "La Promesse" as well) is minutely sharper and brighter than the TF1 Vidéo DVD from France. It is barely visible to the naked eye in these screen captures but blown up on a 100" projection system you might be more aware of it. Both editions appear to be free of cropping. The Artificial Eye is more internationally friendly offering an Italian DUB along with the original French audio as well as English, Italian and Dutch (all removable) sub-titles. They are both decent anamorphic editions for the film with nice menus (but the AE's live action ones are superior) - the trouble with the TF1 Vidéo is it does not offer English (or any other) subtitles. I can easy recommend the Artificial Eye package as La Promesse is also the definitive edition of that marvelous film as well. There is a good reason the AE DVD is on the "Essential DVDs" listing.

 - Gary W. Tooze


Menus

(TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



Screen Captures

1) TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) TF1 Vidéo  - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


NOTE There is also a Taiwanese DVD (Spring) available for the NTSC-locked crowd. It is truly horrible though as it is vertically squeezed to knock the image out of ratio. It is a 1.66 ratio that fills a 4:3 screen. Even its menu options are incorrect (reversed). Steer clear and buy the video from Amazon in NTSC-ville.

(True aspect ratio LEFT, Spring (Taiwan) RIGHT)

 


(True aspect ratio LEFT, Spring (Taiwan) RIGHT)

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

TF1 Vidéo

Region 2 - PAL

Artificial Eye
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion Collection - Spine #621 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




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Gary Tooze