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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut' "A Man Escaped" or "Le Vent souffle où il veut" or "The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/bresson.htm
France 19
56

Based on the true story of Resistance fighter André Devigny, who was imprisoned and sentenced to death by the Nazis during the Second World War, the film reconstructs his actual cell at Montluc, the fortress in Lyons which would later house the war criminal Klaus Barbie, and follows his meticulous plans for escape.

Bresson totally involves the viewer in this compelling and thrilling tale of courage and faith, which is all the more authentic for its use of non-professional actors and the director's sparse style.  The film's stunning denouement, to the accompaniment of Mozart's sublime Mass in C Minor, is spiritually moving and succeeds in taking the story onto a different plane. (From the AE website HERE)

***

There’s a strong sense of emotional duality that I feel when viewing Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped. There’s an intense and suspenseful tautness floating in the air, yet at the same time there’s a calming and comforting peacefulness. This is exactly how the film concludes—with the inner struggle of one sensation verging on eclipsing the other. During the entire story’s meticulous development we’re slowly ensnared in a resolute depiction of one man. We become integrated with his intelligent and persistent manner, with his struggles and his hopes, and eventually, his escape attempt. The conclusion of A Man Escaped leaves me... breathless. I feel that I have physically become Andre Devigny and this moment is a consciously defining one in my existence. As the credits roll I can finally exhale.

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 26th, 1956

Reviews                               More Reviews                             DVD Reviews                  Robert-Bresson.com

Comparison:

New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

Box Cover

 

Distribution New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray Criterion Collection - Spine # 650  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:36:09 1:36:36 (4% PAL speedup)  1:40:29.666 1:40:58.677
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original  Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.7 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 30,672,358,416 bytes

Feature Size: 22,082,267,136 bytes

Average Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Disc Size: 47,741,390,394 bytes

Feature Size: 22,430,717,952 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.93 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P 

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

Bitrate:

NY'er

Bitrate:

AE

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Criterion

Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital Mono) French (Dolby Digital  Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio French 865 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 865 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps /
16-bit)
LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None English, French (SDH), None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: New Yorker Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Unrestored, unsubtitled trailer (3:07)

• 'Easter Egg' trailers of Lancelot of the Lake, The Son, Taking Sides and Stone Reader

DVD Release Date: May 25th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Featurette: The Road to Bresson (54:02)

• Bresson Filmography (text screen)

DVD Release Date: April 28th, 2008

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio:
Gaumont

 

Disc Size: 30,672,358,416 bytes

Feature Size: 22,082,267,136 bytes

Average Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Featurette: L'essence Des Formes (45:48) documentary by Pierre-Henri Gibert - French no subtitles

• Bande-Annonce

Blu-ray Release Date: November 2nd, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray Case inside cardboard slipcase
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Disc Size: 47,741,390,394 bytes

Feature Size: 22,430,717,952 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.93 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Edition Details:

• “Bresson: Without a Trace,” a 1965 episode of the television program Cinéastes de notre temps in which the director gives his first on-camera interview (1:07:31)
• The Road to Bresson, a 1984 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Louis Malle, Paul Schrader, and Andrei Tarkovsky (56:22)
• The Essence of Forms, a documentary from 2010 in which collaborators and admirers of Bresson’s, including actor François Leterrier and director Bruno Dumont, share their thoughts about the director and his work (45:56)
• Functions of Film Sound, a new visual essay on the use of sound in A Man Escaped, with text by film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson (19:48)
• Trailer (3:10)
• New English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Tony Pipolo. 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 26th, 2013

Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 17

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' Blu-ray - (March 2013) - I find this an interesting comparison but it seems to boil, almost exclusively, down to contrast. I don't discount that Criterion may have performed some of their 'magic' and the slightly darker image looks much better to my eye. The superior black levels may bring up detail a notch. Surprisingly the Gaumont has the slightly better technicals. What I do note about the Criterion is s light amount of digital noise - not intrusive enough to complain about. Both transfers show the nice grain.

Criterion's audio is a lossless linear PCM mono track and may have a slightly superior high-end to the Gaumont's DTS-HD Master. The subtitle rendering is also marginally different - nothing appears lost in the translation.

Criterion stack their disc with some impressive extras. The “Bresson: Without a Trace” is a 1965 episode of the television program Cinéastes de notre temps in which the director gives his first on-camera interview. It runs over and hour and is conducted by Francois Weyergans, a young writer for Cahiers du cinema. The Road to Bresson is a 1984 documentary by Leo de Boer and Jurrien Rood featuring interviews with filmmakers Louis Malle, Paul Schrader, and Andrei Tarkovsky. It runs just shy of an hour and is both a primer on director Bresson's style and technique and an account of the Dutch filmmakers attempt to secure an interview with Bresson during the press tour for his film, L'Argent. Bresson fans will find this particularly appealing. The Essence of Forms is a documentary from 2010 in which collaborators and admirers of Bresson’s, including actor François Leterrier and director Bruno Dumont, cinematographers Pierre Lhomme and Emmanuel Machuel and script writer Genevieve Cortier share their thoughts about the director and his work. It runs 3/4 of an hour. Functions of Film Sound is a new visual essay on the use of sound in A Man Escaped, with text by film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson. It runs 20-minutes and is set to clips from A Man Escaped. There is a theatrical trailer and the package contains a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Tony Pipolo.

The supplements have such tremendous value, and along with the improved contrast of the 1080P image - make this one of the most attractive releases of the year, IMO. Probably my favorite Bresson film soaked in post-presentation discussion. Absolutely our highest recommendation!

***

ADDITION: Gaumont Region FREE Blu-ray - (November 2010) - Quite the dream come true to utter the words 'Bresson' and 'Blu-ray' consecutively. The incredible news is that this Gaumont Blu-ray is both region FREE and has optional English subtitles!

Let's look at the image - While some scenes appear softer than I would appreciate - others are rich, detailed and even exhibit some depth. About the first 1/3 of the film's visuals are less compelling via 1080P resolution (yes, this is progressive - NOT interlaced - and at 24fps)  but this improves as Bresson's masterpiece continues. Contrast has hints of green and is not as prominent as I would have hoped but there is some nice textures and it has less artifacts. Weaknesses may be more a production limitation coming through accurately via the Blu-ray format. There doesn't appear to have been any pre-restoration. The transfer is on a dual-layered disc with a decent bitrate. I expect that many will approve of the superior image quality - although others may see it as subtle. But the improvement is none-the-less there. Hopefully the screen captures will give you a good idea. Another benefit is that this no longer has PAL speed-up (as on both DVDs) and is in its proper theatrical running time.

Audio is DTS-HD Master in original mono at a modest 865 Kbps. The music and lengthy segments with no sound are key to this film's expression. It sounds clean consistent and very good although not especially dynamic. Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor is delivered impressively through the lossless transfer. As stated there are optional English and French (SDH) subtitles. They seem accurately translated but I'll have to devote more time to give a further impression. My Momitsu has verified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Extras include a 45-minute documentary by Pierre-Henri Gibert entitled L'essence Des Formes - it is in French with no subtitles but seems a good piece with input from many expert sources. However, I still think the AE DVD's The Road to Bresson is more in-depth and also a better overview. There are also some previews ('Bande-Annonce') and that is all. This remains one of my top 10 favorite films of all time and I am thrilled to have it on Blu-ray. It's existence seemed like a rumor at times but I have it in my hands and, for Bresson fans, can give a recommendation. I feel I will watch this film at least twice a year for the rest of my life and now I have it in the most authentic theatrical form for digital home theater presentations.

****

ADDITION - Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - April 08': Pretty much the same as the Lancelot du Lac comparison in that the new PAL disc towers above the region 1 NY'er in terms of image because of the vast number of deficiencies in the NTSC transfer. These include being sourced from an unconverted PAL source (as the times indicate) - it hence has 'ghosting' and 'combing' (interlaced) - is hazier, artefcats - has more damage (speckles and dirt) and is cropped on the left and top edges. Strangely damage marks are quite different with the NY'er exhibiting them more frequently and noticeably. The AE is dual-layered and it really is no contest for which is superior. 

Both offer original audio and optional English subtitles with the AE having, what appears to be, a slightly more detailed translation.

Extras go the way of the UK disc as well. The NY'er offers only a trailer and the AE has a wonderful documentary entitled 'The Road to Bresson'. For many this will be well worth the price of the DVD alone. Almost an hour long this Dutch production from 1984 and it is one of the better I have seen on the director.

From IMdb HERE: "....is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen about film or film-making. This should be seen in film schools and on public television, because it is such an insightful and informative learning tool of one of cinema's most uncompromising, yet elusive figures. [...]

This is two films at once- it is a record of the filmmakers trying to land Bresson for an interview, all while explaining to us what is so unique about his movies. If you've never seen a foot of film directed by the man, you leave this documentary knowing his work intimately... it is that good.
"

I am thrilled with this AE DVD - one of my favorite films looking fabulous and having an enjoyable educational supplement feature. STRONGLY recommended!

***  

ON THE NY'er: There is some dirt and speckles visible. It seems as though this is a typical NY'er unconverted PAL transfer with ghosting and combing. Overall the image is quite weak but we have nothing to compare it to yet. There are no Extras (aside from an un-subtitled trailer) on this single layered disc. Bottom line: Imperfect visually - I look forward to comparing to the Artificial Eye release when it comes out later this year. This was my personal most anticipated release of the year, and I am disappointed.

Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"


Menus

(New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT)

 
 

 

Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Criterion - Region 'A'- Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

 


1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

 


1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 


1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 


1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

 


1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 


1) New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

More Blu-ray captures

1) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 

 

1) Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Artificial Eye

 

 

Box Cover

 

Distribution New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL Gaumont - Region FREE - Blu-ray Criterion Collection - Spine # 650  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Recommended Reading for Robert Bresson fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"


 




 

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Gary Tooze

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