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Title

1) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) BFI - Region 2- PAL - BOTTOM


(aka 'Du skal ære din hustru')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/dreyer.htm
Denmark 1925

 

In Master of the House, the failure of his small business turns Victor (Johannes Meyer) into a household tyrant, constantly complaining and criticizing his long-suffering family and eventually driving out his saintly wife Ida (Astrid Holm) to stay with relatives. His elderly Nanny Mads (Mathilde Nielsen) assumes control and, under her firm tutelage, he comes to fully appreciate the value of his wife.

This is a charming, richly detailed tragi-comedy of domestic manners. By turns funny, intensely emotional and deeply affecting it clearly still enjoys considerable contemporary relevance. Dreyer compressed and clarified the stage play by Svend Rindom on which he based his film, making it a definitively cinematic rather than theatrical work.

Master of the House was particularly successful in France where it was widely admired. It resulted in Dreyer being invited to work there and in the eventual commission of his first large budget film, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).

As well as directing feature films, Dreyer was involved in 13 state-commissioned documentaries and short films up to 1956, on subjects ranging from art and architecture to road-safety. Two of his rare short films are featured on this DVD; Good Mothers, a documentary about the Mothers' Aid Institution and They Caught the Ferry, which was financed by the Road Safety Council and contains superb action sequences.

 

   Theatrical Release: October 5th, 1925

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Comparison:

BFI - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - LEFT

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection, spine # 706 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:09  1:47:11.525 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.4 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 41,452,325,015 bytes

Feature Size: 31,310,671,872 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.89 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080i

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio Silent film - musical score in Dolby Digital 2.0 LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles Intertitles are in English - no subtitles Intertitles are in English - no subtitles
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• My Metier (Torben Skjødt Jensen, 1995, 94 mins) - a documentary on Dreyer's life and work, including rare archival footage, film clips, interviews with key actors and associates, stills, scripts, newspaper clippings, letters and Dreyer's own words
• Good Mothers (Dreyer, 1942, 12 mins)
• They Caught the Ferry (Dreyer, 1948, 11 mins)
• Fully illustrated booklet including an essay by Dreyer scholar Casper Tybjerg (University of Copenhagen); an extract from a feature on Dreyer by film historian Tom Milne from Sight & Sound; an extract from an essay by James Leahy on They Caught the Ferry and more

DVD Release Date: March 13th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Disc Size: 41,452,325,015 bytes

Feature Size: 31,310,671,872 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.89 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080i

Edition Details:

• New interview with Carl Theodor Dreyer historian Casper Tybjerg (15:27)
• New visual essay on Dreyer’s innovations by film historian David Bordwell (22:45)
• New English intertitle translation
PLUS: An essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu
 

Blu-ray Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 19

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - March 2014': Criterion's new transfer (2K digital restoration) appears to be from a very different source than the BFI - there are a couple of DVD captures I could not match on the Blu-ray (see un-match-able example below.) The running time is different (beyond simple PAL speed-up) and according to IMDb the Criterion is the correct length. There is also the issue of information in the frame where the 1080i (interlaced, due to frame rate conversion?) shows significantly more. The textured Criterion also shows far less damage although flickering contrast still exists although not as noticeable as the UK SD. While easily indicating that the Criterion has superior video, the captures should indicate that the, almost 90-year old, image still has issues. I expect this is the very best I will ever see this Dreyer film!

Criterion include a reconstructed score by composer Gillian B. Anderson, performed by pianist Sara Davis Buechner and presented in uncompressed stereo (linear PCM 2.0 channel at 2304 kbps.) It sounds excellent with apparent depth. Criterion have also retranslated the intertitles more completely and kept three original visuals of handwriting (in Danish) and given them English subtitles. The title (above) is also original Danish unlike the BFI. The Criterion Blu-ray is region 'A'-locked.

Criterion provide a new, 15-minute, interview with Carl Theodor Dreyer historian Casper Tybjerg. He discusses how Master of the House went from being a popular stage play to a film, one that was a major stepping-stone in director Carl Theodor Dreyer's career. There is also a new, 23-minute, visual essay on Dreyer’s innovations by film historian David Bordwell where he examines the cinematic techniques Dreyer was experimenting with when he made Master of the House. The dual-format package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu. This is another dual-format set with a DVD included containing all the features of the Blu-ray.

I was very surprised at how much better the image looked on Master of the House. Fans of Dreyer and Silent Era films will definitely want this Blu-ray in their library. Absolutely recommended!

***

ON THE BFI DVD: The film is in very bad shape, but thanks to BFI's DVD it is at least watchable. There is extensive damage and due to frame rate conversion (I assume) I notice many instances of combing. Dreyer fans may be aware of My Metier as it is on the extra disc of Criterion's Dreyer Boxset. The title cards and credits have been redone/restored in English and I think I would have preferred the original no matter how poor the condition - as they would have been translated, subtitle-wise, anyway. As part of the Dreyer canon it is essential viewing and I'll assume that it will probably never look any better on digital - I've heard of no extensive (and it would need extensive) restoration planned. Two other Dreyer shorts are included - Good Mothers and They Caught the Ferry. There is another excellent liner notes booklet included.

We, of course, recommend but purchasers should be aware of the deplorable condition the print is in - possibly the worst I have ever seen (this includes those many damaged Ozu films). It is regrettable but it was very expected!

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


 

Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Intertitle Sample

 

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Criterion Blu-ray Subtitle Sample


Screen Captures

 

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Could not find exact match!

 

1) BFI - Region 2- PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection, spine # 706 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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