We have started a Patreon page with the hopes that some of our followers would be willing to donate a small amount to keep DVDBeaver alive. We are a tiny niche, so your generosity is vital to our existence.

We are talking about a minimum of $0.10 - $0.15 a day, perhaps a quarter (or more) to those who won't miss it from their budget. It equates to buying DVDBeaver a coffee once, twice or a few times a month. You can then participate in our monthly Silent auctions, and have exclusive access to many 'bonus' High Resolution screen captures - both 4K UHD and Blu-ray (see HERE).

To those that are unfamiliar, Patreon is a secure/verified third-party service where users can agree to a monthly donation via credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution" or "Alphaville, a Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution")

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/godard.htm
France / Italy 1965

One of Godard's most sheerly enjoyable movies, a dazzling amalgam of film noir and science fiction in which tough gumshoe Lemmy Caution turns inter-galactic agent to re-enact the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice by conquering Alpha 60, the strange automated city from which such concepts as love and tenderness have been banished. As in Antonioni's The Red Desert (made the previous year), Godard's theme is alienation in a technological society, but his shotgun marriage between the poetry of legend and the irreverence of strip cartoons takes the film into entirely idiosyncratic areas. Not the least astonishing thing is the way Raoul Coutard's camera turns contemporary Paris into an icily dehumanised city of the future.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 5 1965

Reviews                                                                 More Reviews                                                                    DVD Reviews

 

Comparison: 

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

Box Cover

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 25

Region 0 - NTSC

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:39:33 1:35:15 (4% PAL speedup) 1:39:19.411
Video

1.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.75 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,005,738,006 bytes

Feature: 30,242,998,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate

 Criterion

Bitrate

 Optimum

Bitrate

Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0) (192Kbps) French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, none English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.31:1

Edition Details:
• 4 page liner notes with essay by Andrew Sarris

DVD Release Date: October 20, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.31:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Colin MacCabe (5:15)

• Featurette: Alphaville Peripheries (28:37)

• Posters

• Trailers

DVD Release Date: January 7th, 2008
White Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Kino
 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,005,738,006 bytes

Feature: 30,242,998,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas
Both Original French and English Versions of the Film
Anna Karina Interview (04:31)
Colin MacCabe Introduction (05:26)
Theatrical Trailer (01:20)
Other Kino Trailers ("Le Doulos", "Bob le Flambeur", "Touchez Pas au Grisbi", "Razzia Sur la Chnouf")

Blu-ray Release Date: July 9th, 2019
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (July 19'):

Kino Lorber bring Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 pulpy and noirish science-fiction film, "Alphaville" to Blu-ray. This new dual-layered Blu-ray features a 4K restoration. The film has a consistently maxed out-bitrate throughout its running time, showcasing Raoul Coutard's stunning black and white cinematography. The film is in the 1.33:1 AR though the back cover lists it as 1.37:1. The framing is just a smudge different than the previous DVD releases, now opening up the left and right side of the frame, just a tad. Detail is improved over the SD releases (as one would hope) especially during some close-up shots (check out that capture of the eye!) Pretty stellar release here from the folks at Kino.

 

NOTE: We have added 34 more large resolution Kino Blu-ray captures for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE.

The film is presented in either French or English language (with optional English subtitles). This audio track is a 16-bit DTS-HD Master audio 2.0 affair. This is a surprisingly effective audio track for a 16-bit DTS. Dialogue is as clear as the booming orchestrations from composer, Paul Misraki (Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Doulos, Atoll K, Bunuel's Death in the Garden, Orson Welles's Mr. Arkadin). The final nightmarish sequence really packs a punch thanks to Misraki's building of tension. This is a Region 'A' locked (as tested) Blu-ray disc from Kino Lorber.

The first notable extra on the Blu-ray is another insightful, in-depth audio commentary from novelist and critic, Tim Lucas. The author has written on actor Eddie Constantine and is very well-versed in Godard. Lucas' track here provides an hour and thirty-nine minutes of fascinating information. (when Constantine lights up his lighter, for example, Lucas mentions that this sound effect was achieved by using a clapper board). Later on, the critic mentions that "Alphaville" is "Godard's encouragement of the viewer to free his imagination from seeing only in the present-tense. He doesn't do this with outlandish special effects, but by holding focus on aspects of documentary realism, until the words underlying them in narration propel the imagination into a future or alternative-tense." Just brilliant. Lucas is one of the best commentators around, and this is another fine track. There is a 5-minute introduction from Colin MacCabe who gives some context for where the film lies within Godard's career, and how this isn't your typical science-fiction film. There is a 4.5-minute interview with Anna Karina in which she describes how Godard has a different approach from film to film. She goes on to talk about interesting methods used by Godard, it is such an intriguing window into the filmmaker (and the actor) that I wish this interview went on longer. The film's theatrical trailer is also included (as are trailers for a handful of other Kino Lorber releases). There is also a reversible cover with alternate artwork as part of the Blu-ray package.

Jean-Luc Godard's "Alphaville" is a rather unique cinematic achievement. At times so dark, the film reminds one of a horror film. This new 4K restoration from Kino is a must-own disc if I've ever seen one. Tim Lucas' commentary is just as fascinating as his previous work. Pick this
Blu-ray up!

 Colin Zavitz

***

ADDITION: Optimum - PAL - June 08': Even though I suspect the Optimum to have some boosting - I still lean to it as the superior image with both black levels and brightness dramatically more predominant on the PAL issue. The heavier brightness on the Optimum does remove some detail from the image and compared to the Criterion - it is cropped a shade - mostly on the side edges. The Criterion is not totally unappealing with the minor noise coming through as grain (see Martin's comments below) but there are enough muddy contrast scenes to elicit a recommendation to the opposing UK edition - it depends on your personal preference. If we could put contrast on an even footing I'd say detail is about the same - but with the blacks boosted the Optimum appears minutely sharper. So I'm not totally dismissing the Criterion, but on my system (and screen captures) enough differences exist to make a choice.

Although 2-channel on the Optimum I didn't discern any extravagant variances in the audio department. I like the PAL releases subtitle font (see sample below).

Extras go the way of the Optimum with a decent 5 minute intro by Godard and cinema expert Colin MacCabe (I'd like to hear more from this guy) and a 30 minute featurette, Alphaville Peripheries, with various input and interviews. There are also some static screen with a multitude of posters and some trailers.

What with the bonus supplements the Optimum is a good release that Godard fans may wish to pick up. It's one of my favorite by the director but don't suspect it will come to Blu-ray anytime soon. The Optimum is the definitive, English-friendly edition, at this stage.  

Gary Tooze

ON THE CRITERION: This early release from Criterion was very disappointing upon my first viewing. Revisiting the disc after all this time has made me rethink my earlier judgment. Visually, the disc shows some excellent film grain and detail. The print used exhibits frequent damage and is slightly wasted out, which gives the transfer some pretty flat looking black levels. Contrast isn't too bad and at least it doesn't seem to be artificially manipulated. The audio is rather hard to judge considering the film makes use of a lot of strange audio que's and silences. Overall everything sounds rather crisp and there doesn't seem to be any obvious damage to the track. With regards to extras, Criterion has seen fit to include nothing but the essay in liner notes. Not even a trailer is to be found.

Considering the age of this DVD the A/V presentation is very solid. A few extras or commentary would have been most welcome, especially given the films importance.  out of

 - Mark Balson


DVD Menus


(Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures


Subtitle sample

 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

 


1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

Box Cover

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 25

Region 0 - NTSC

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Recommended Reading in French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

French Cinema: A Student's Guide
by Philip Powrie, Keith Reader
Agnes Varda by Alison Smith Godard on Godard : Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana

 

 

Check out more in "The Library"


 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine # 25

Region 0 - NTSC

Optimum Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

 




Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!