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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/polanski.htm
France | UK | USA 1992

 

Legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski (Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Repulsion) explores the sexy side of obsession and the wild side of romance in this outrageous look at the dark side of love. Starring Peter Coyote (Heart of Midnight), Emmanuelle Seigner (Frantic), Hugh Grant (Notting Hill) and Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient). A mild-mannered man (Grant) attempts to rekindle the sexual fire in his marriage while on a cruise, but he develops an irresistible infatuation with an eccentric paraplegic’s wife (Seigner). Offbeat and original, this voyage of wild obsession puts a whole new twist on the concept of marital bliss. Featuring dazzling performances and nasty comic moments, Bitter Moon is a hilarious walk on the wild side. Stunningly shot by Tonino Delli Colli (Once Upon a Time in America) with a beautiful score by Vangelis (Blade Runner). Co-starring Victor Banerjee (A Passage to India).

***

Comparable to David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Polanski's adult fairy tale is a parable about loss of innocence. The key to the film is Hugh Grant's Nigel and his relationship with the audience. Grant does a fine job of having the audience win his trust in the early scenes of the film. As Nigel becomes increasingly attracted to the dark tale of marital hell that Peter Coyote's Oscar spins, the audience accepts him as their pathway into this story. His shock and dismay (as well as his growing interest) are supposed to guide the viewer through this very dark comedy. Since Polanski knows viewers have someone to attach to, someone who has morally grounded the picture, he knows he can get away with the erotic, comedic roller-coaster ride that makes up the first half of the film. He shocks, but does not alienate, the viewer. The association the audience feels with Nigel allows Polanski to confront his audience in the film's second half. When the reserved Englishman Nigel, the moral center of the film, decides to take an active role in the erotic games of the nasty American and his sultry French wife, he receives a comeuppance that reveals how unprepared he is for the decision he has made. Assuming the audience still feels sympathetic toward the character, the climax of the film forces the audience to look at their own darkest places. At the end of the film, Nigel and his wife (as well as the audience) must face the new knowledge they have of themselves. The question is, now that they have seen a glimpse of their darkest selves, will they become like the dangerous role models they have just encountered? A dénouement with an Indian child may provide the answer.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 12th, 1992

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

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:19:45.126        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,996,214,318 bytes

Feature: 39,501,189,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.95 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

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 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
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,996,214,318 bytes

Feature: 39,501,189,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Interview with star Peter Coyote (25:21)
• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Troy Howarth
• Theatrical Trailer (1:55)


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 21st, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (May 2019): Kino have transferred Roman Polanski's Bitter Moon to 1080P Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate. i wouldn't say the image quality is particularly dynamic but it appears to be a consistent HD presentation with rich colors, some grain textures and occasional depth.

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master (16-bit) in the original English language. The audio is without issues sounding clean and clear with minor depth. The score is by Vangelis (Missing, Francesco, Alexander, Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire) and there is plenty of pop music including Peggy Lee signing the iconic Fever, The Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), George Michael's Faith, Bryan Ferry's Slave to Love, Lionel Richie Hello etc. really sounding wonderful in the lossless. The Kino offers optional English subtitles (see sample below) on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

Thank you Kino for the new commentary on the Blu-ray by one of our DVDBeaver favorites Troy Howarth who, again covers impressive ground while not taking himself too seriously. He's a big fan of the film focusing on the great casting and many overlooked attributes of Polanski's methodical emotional expose. The commentary significantly raised my appreciation. There is also a new 25-minute interview with star Peter Coyote and his revealing recollections on the production. Lastly, is a theatrical trailer.

I suppose if I could figure out, specifically, why there are so many Polanski films that I enjoy (The Ghost Writer (2010), The Pianist (2002), The Ninth Gate (1999), Death and the Maiden (1994), Frantic (1988), Tess (1979), The Tenant (1976), Chinatown (1974), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), Cul-de-sac (1966), Repulsion (1965), Knife in the Water) - it might expose and weaken the reasons for my fascination. Bitter Moon is deeply layered.. A probing, shocking, subversive thriller and the Blu-ray offers a great commentary and interview. I consider this a must-own.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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