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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Maurice Pialat
France 1991

The final 67 days of Van Gogh's life is examined.
In late spring, 1890, Vincent moves to Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, under the care of Dr. Gachet, living in a humble inn. Fewer than 70 days later, Vincent dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. We see Vincent at work, painting landscapes and portraits. His brother Theo, wife Johanna, and their baby visit Auvers. Vincent is playful and charming, engaging the attentions of Gachet's daughter Marguerite (who's half Vincent's age), a young maid at the inn, Cathy a Parisian prostitute, and Johanna. Shortly before his death, Vincent visits Paris, quarrels with Theo, disparages his own art and accomplishments, dances at a brothel, and is warm then cold toward Marguerite.

***

Unlike other, more famous, Van Gogh movies, Pialat spends remarkably little time watching the artist at work. Instead, he charts his antagonistic relationships with those around him, including his art dealer brother Theo (Bernard Lecoq), kindly patron Dr Gachet (Gérard Séty) and Gachet's daughter, Marguerite (Alexandra London), who falls for the painter's unbalanced charms.

On the few occasions that Pialat contrives to let us watch the artist at his easel, Jacques Dutronc's phenomenal intensity comes to the fore. He wrestles with each stroke of the brush, beating the paint into submission with bestial ferocity, before dismissively abandoning each canvas as "smudges that will never be worth a cent".

The actor discovers a tragic irony underlying Van Gogh's sense of overwhelming failure as, surrounded by cowards and weaklings too afraid or stupid to admit to his greatness, he hounds himself towards the inevitable end, destroying everything in his wake and little realizing the importance of his work.

What makes "Van Gogh" so remarkable, though, is Pialat and Dutronc's refusal to fit this suicidal descent into the usual rhythms of the biopic. Conjuring a performance that's constantly full of surprises, Dutronc flirts with his character's despair, swinging from depression to elation with bewildering speed.

It's a performance that makes "Van Gogh" worthy of being called a masterpiece in its own right.

Excerpt from Jamie Russell's piece located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: France 30 October 1991

Reviews                              More Reviews                                  DVD Reviews

Comparison:

 Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Sony - Region 1- NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the AE DVD Review!

1) Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) Sony - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Sony Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema - Spine #67 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:22:20 (4% PAL speedup) 2:38:30 2:38:51.813
Video

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio

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

1.66:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,998,056,857 bytes

Feature: 37,826,922,048 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 27.97 Mbps

Bitrate: NTSC

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0) French (Dolby Digital 2.0) LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, French, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• Disc one:
• The Film
• Disc two:
• Introduction to deleted scenes (16:9 / 15:22)
• Deleted scenes (16:9 / approx. 33:00)
• Interview with Jacques Dutronc (16:9 / 22:35)
• Gallery of Maurice Pialat Paintings
• Biographies and Filmographies

DVD Release Date: September 26, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• Deleted scenes (16:9 / approx. 32:39)
• Trailer

DVD Release Date: January 9th, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,998,056,857 bytes

Feature: 37,826,922,048 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 27.97 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Van Gogh (1965) - a short, early documentary about the painter, by Maurice Pialat (6:40)
A 10-minute video interview with Pialat from 1991 (9:47)
A 50-minute video interview with Pialat from 1992 (48:31)
Video interviews with actors Jacques Dutronc (20:40) and Bernard Le Coq (31:40); director of photography Emmanuel Machuel (24:22); and editor Yann Dedet (16:01)
Deleted scenes (33:27)
Original theatrical trailer (1:42)
56-PAGE BOOKLET containing a new and exclusive essay by critic Sabrina Marques; Jean-Luc Godard's letter to Pialat after seeing the film, followed by Godard's tribute to Pialat upon the director's passing in 2003; copious newly translated interviews with Maurice Pialat; images of Pialat's canvasses

Blu-ray Release Date: September 23rd, 201
3
Transparent Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 15

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - September 13': A significant shift in colors, contrast and detail with Masters of Cinema's new 1080P transfer of Pialat's Van Gogh. This new Blu-ray looks quite strong showing great examples of depth in many outdoor sequences. Skin tones cool - reds, maroons, blacks and greens become bolder - it's quite an upgrade. There is depth and texture - I like the way this looks. Masters of Cinema maintain the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and there is a miniscule more information in the frame. The DVDs looks green now by comparison. I think the Blu-ray is a far better representation.

Audio goes lossless with a linear PCM in original  mono. It sounded very clean and, obviously, flat. There are optional English subtitles on the region B-locked disc.

Extras are extensive with somewhere around 3-hours worth. Included with the many interviews (Pialat, Jacques Dutronc, Bernard Le Coq, Emmanuel Machuel, editor Yann Dedet) is the 1965 Van Gogh short - an early documentary about the painter, by Maurice Pialat. There are 1/2 hour's worth of deleted scenes (duplicating the Sony), an original theatrical trailer and the package contains a 56-page booklet containing a new and exclusive essay by critic Sabrina Marques; Jean-Luc Godard's letter to Pialat after seeing the film, followed by Godard's tribute to Pialat upon the director's passing in 2003; copious newly translated interviews with Maurice Pialat and images of Pialat's canvasses.

Fabulous film and such a pleasure to see it looking like this with so many appreciated supplements. Very strongly recommended! 

***

ADDITION: Sony - Region 1- January 07' -  I wouldn't say there is any immense difference between the two images. The newer Sony is brighter (which is not necessarily a good thing) and the AE appears to have a slight haze next to it. The Sony may be slightly cropped. Neither issue will be enough of a reason to opt for the opposing standard based on visual. Bottom line is they both look very good. The Sony has some intrusive and larger-than-usual yellow subtitles and the double-disc AE has substantially more extras and the higher price indicates that.

If you are very keen on this penetrating film - I would get the AE, otherwise which ever you can get the least expensively is the optimum route. The film really is impacting and it is nice to have it exposed in region 1 as well now.  

***

Several times delayed, we finally get this masterpiece with English subtitles on a two disc set. It seems that this is a direct port from the French DVD. Some of the extra material is missing from the French edition, but there's still a lot of them left.

Watching it with a projector, the DVD looked almost flawless. There's a lot of low light indoor scenes, but in all of them the details and the black level was solid. There's occasionally a slight softness in the picture, but I wonder if it's in the original film elements.

In the extras there's an introduction by the editor to the del
eted scenes. The delayed scenes is far the best of it's kind so-far, it's almost a pity that they didn't fit to the structure of the completed film.

And the film! I haven't been so enthused for any film this year so much than for this one. It's one of the most beautiful and magic films I've ever seen! And for this DVD, even tough the French release has more extras, it's one of the best DVD's this year! 
out of

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

 


Menus
 

 (Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Sony - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)
 

 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artificial Eye (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region 1- NTSC MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Sony Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema - Spine #67 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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