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Directed by Joseph Losey
USA / UK 1975

 

Fiddler on the Roof's Topol and a cast of British theatrical aristocracy (including Sir John Gielgud, Patrick Magee, and Tom Conti) recreate the troubled life and anxious times of 17th-century physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei. Under the direction of Joseph Losey, who originated the American stage version in 1947, The AFT s Galileo focuses Bertolt Brecht s characteristic mosaic of theatricality and immediacy into a keenly cinematic drama that pits public responsibility against private doubt. Neither coward nor hero, Brecht's Galileo reveals the troubling human side of the struggle between science, government and religion, a conflict that is perhaps more relevant than ever.

***

Filmed in England, Galileo is based on Charles Laughton's 1947 adaptation of the play by Bertolt Brecht, which, like this 1975 film, was directed by Joseph Losey. Israeli film-star Topol plays the 17th century Italian astronomer, whose theories run contrary to the edicts of the Catholic Church. Forced to renounce his ideas about planetary movement, Galileo nonetheless holds fast to those beliefs to the end of his days, certain that time will vindicate him. Brecht's trademarked "alienation" technique, wherein the audience is constantly reminded that it is watching a play, is muted by Losey's cerebral direction. Galileo was one of producer Ely Landau's American Film Theatre presentations.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 27th, 1975

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:25:01.526         
Video

1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,118,276,613 bytes

Feature: 38,459,121,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,118,276,613 bytes

Feature: 38,459,121,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Interview with Topol (20:49)
Interview with Edie Landau (26:16)
Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera, a promotional film for the American Film Theatre (06:30)
Gallery of trailers for the American Film Theater


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 25th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (May 2019): Kino Lorber release the American Film Theatre's presentation of Bertolt Brecht's "Galileo" on Blu-ray. The dual-layered disc features the 2.5-hour film with a high bitrate. While grain is present and somewhat thick, a nice amount of detail shows through. Skin tones can be very warm, though the colors seem to be within the expected range, without any strange tints.

The film is presented in uncompressed 16-bit 2.0 linear PCM. Dialogue is clear and intelligible, though I can imagine that a 24-bit track could be a little cleaner. Richard Hartley and Hanns Eisler are credited with the music for the film (most likely their contributions are regarding the 'greek chorus' of sorts). There are optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on this Region 'A'
Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

Kino have put a few worthwhile bonus features on their
Blu-ray of "Galileo". The first extra is a 21-minute interview with Topol, followed by a 26-minute interview with Edie Landau. "Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera" is a 6-minute promotional film for the American Film Theatre that has appeared on other Kino AFT releases.

Kudos to Kino for their continuing releasing of American Film Theatre presentations. This particular adaptation of Brecht's "Galileo" is quite memorable, if not just for the impassioned performance by Topol (or the appearances of Sir John Gielgud, Patrick Magee, and Tom Conti). A great introduction to Epic theatre for those uninitiated, and Brecht's signature 'distancing effect' comes into play eventually, fans of Brecht will surely love this
Blu-ray release from Kino.  

Colin Zavitz

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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