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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'A Judgement in Stone' or 'Biester')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/chabrol.htm
France 1995

 

I found Claude Chabrol's La Cérémonie an extremely disturbing film. But in the first 10 minutes I saw one of the best pre-cursor's to a plot in recent memory - Jacqueline Bisset (Day for Night) is a married mother bringing home the new maid Sophie, an odd girl played by Sondrine Bonnaire (Vagabond) while also giving a lift to the local and mysterious village postal clerk Jeanne, Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher). Eerie suspense music can be heard in the background as they drive by the Ocean to the familys remote palatial home. Perfect.

 

It doesn't get any better for me except that Bisset's character's daughter is played by the stunning Virginie Ledoyen (A Single Girl). The cast is set with some of the strongest and most beautiful of French speaking actresses in recent memory. Questions arise and answers quickly pop-up that can be eventually discarded - Sophie's strange behavior is not only because of her hidden illiteracy but also her past, Jeanne also keeps a horrid past buried within. The two bond with tragic dehumanizing results.

 

A winner of numerous international awards, La Cérémonie is another strong Chabrol suspense tale of a tale of murder, violence and betrayal. A hard to forget film. out of     

Gary W. Tooze

 

  Theatrical Release: August 30th, 1995

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Comparison:

Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Cover

Distribution Home Vision Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:51:16  1:51:45.156 
Video 1.72:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.66:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,037,842,300 bytes

Feature: 22,263,054,336 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.72:1

Edition Details:

• The Making of La Cérémonie; a 20-minute documentary featuring Claude Chabrol, Isabelle Huppert, and Sandrine Bonnaire  (optional English subtitles)
• Original theatrical trailer
• Essay by film historian and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader 

DVD Release Date: July 27th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

1.66:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,037,842,300 bytes

Feature: 22,263,054,336 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1:00) 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 23rd, 2012
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - July 12':  8-years on since the Home Vision release and the new 1080P transfer shows significant upgrade - notably via information in the 1.66:1 frame that shows the US DVD to be cropped on all 4 sides and possibly vertically stretched. Colors tighten on the Blu-ray while contrast and detail rise. The SD looks video-like beside the hi-def which, while less-flat, doesn't showcase a lot of depth. The Artificial Eye edition offers lossless 2.0 channel sound, optional subtitles but only a trailer as an extra. This remains a very strong film - with an unpleasantness in the story that makes it unforgettable.

***

On the DVD: Seems like a decent representation of the film with a progressive transfer at 1.72 (listed at 1.66:1), bright, good colors, excellent subtitles. The 10 minute short featurette is fabulous with interviews with all the principals including Chabrol. Include in this Rosenbaum liner notes and we have a DVD package that must have almost made it to the Criterion label. So far all the Home Vision Chabrol titles are great purchases and this may be the top of the heap.

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

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Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

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 Claude Chabrol (French Film Directors)
by Guy Austin
Robert Bresson (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 2)
by James Quandt
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

Check out more in "The Library"


Box Cover

Distribution Home Vision Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 





 

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