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directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
France / Italy / West Germany 1969

 

A mythical tale of love, betrayal and revenge, Medea is a fascinating collision of Freudian and Marxist themes from Italy's most controversial director, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Adapted from the Euripides drama, Pasolini's disturbing vision of personal and national conflicts stars operatic legend Maria Callas in the title role, offering an extraordinary performance as the high priestess Medea whose love is threatened by corrupt political ambition. A vivid and aesthetically challenging vision, Medea is a complex blend of classical mythology and contemporary social criticism.

***

Among my favorite Pier Paolo Pasolini features is his 1970 film Medea, featuring the opera diva Maria Callas in the title role. Capturing the primitive mythic qualities of the Greek tragedy, Pasolini addresses the sensuality, passion and narrative complexity of the pre-Christian epic of infanticide. Showing the Mediterranean people as a shifting conglomeration of racially and culturally diverse warring tribes, Pasolini situates the story in a believable anthropological historic context -- something previously unattempted and still rarely done in popular films.

Excerpt from Randy Turoff comments at Planet Out located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: Italy 28 December 1969

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Comparison:

Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL vs. BFI (Dual Format) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Raro Review!

Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Cover

 

Distribution

Raro Video

Region 0 - PAL

BFI

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:45:56 (4% PAL speedup) 1:51:00.654
Video

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.69 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,377,232,462 bytes

Feature: 30,008,650,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.15 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio DD 2.0 Italian, DD 2.0 English LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, French, Spanish and None English, and None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Raro Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

Edition Details:
• Short film: Le Mura Di Sana by Pasolini (1964) 12:49 Letterbox 1:1.85
• On the set of
• Interview to Carlo Lizzani 8:51
• Director's bio
• Director's Filmographia
• Digital restauration 2:53
• 12 page booklet
• All extras have ENGLISH SUBTITLES

DVD Release Date:
Digi Pack

Chapters 11

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,377,232,462 bytes

Feature: 30,008,650,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.15 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Italian Trailer
• Teaser Spot

DVD

Blu-ray Release Date: December 5th, 2011
Standard case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (November 11'): BFI have come out with a Dual-format (DVD and Blu-ray) of Pasolini's Medea. The 1080P image is represented via a dual-layered transfer with a high bitrate. It adds an earthy brown hue to the image and I have no information to suggest that this not more accurate. It looks great in-motion and the detail has risen to a higher level. The slightly boosted DVD had some edge enhancement and noise artifacts and there is minor noise on the Blu-ray - but it didn't disturb my viewing at all. The Blu-ray shows more information in the 1.85:1 frame. I, not only got the sense that this was very film-like but also Pasolini-film-like. It had important signature-style textures. This is coming out in North American via E1 HERE - released on the same week.

 

BFI offer, duplicate technical, linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo sound at 1536 kbps for the 'Restored Callas Audio', as well as Italian and alternate English language track. It sounds rough at times but still strong with some perceived depth and wonderful high end supporting the inherent quality. Of course the HD version doesn't have the PAL speedup. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

The Blu-ray supplements are lean with only an original Italian trailer, and similar English teaser spot but the DVD includes some International release elements. Included is an illustrated booklet featuring essays, reviews and a biography.

Fabulous release from BFI - and highly desirable for Pasolini and Callas fans. Medea has subtleties in its themes that are more obviously revealed upon re-visitation. Wonderful addition to the digital library.

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: Here's very little to say: The picture is Criterion standard, made from a restored print. The colors are very beautiful, so is everything else. If you want to find some errors, there are some softness in the large pictures, but it might be in the original film elements. Some edge enhancement can also be found., but otherwise this is a very fine DVD.

The original Italian mono soundtrack is very clear and dynamic, and it's restored with the same skill as the picture. Bravo!

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

 


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Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 


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Screen Captures

 

Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


  Raro Video - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

Box Cover

 

Distribution

Raro Video

Region 0 - PAL

BFI

Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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