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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Clockmaker" or "The Watchmaker of St. Paul" or "The Clockmaker of St. Paul")

 

directed by Bertrand Tavernier
France 1974

 

The Clockmaker of St. Paul is the debut feature of legendary director Bertrand Tavernier (A Sunday in the Country, Journeys Through French Cinema). Adapted from Georges Simenon’s novel The Watchmaker of Everton (1954), it stars Philippe Noiret (Cinema Paradiso) as the unassuming title character, a man who begins to reexamine his life when his son is wanted for murder. Asked for help by the police inspector (Jean Rochefort, Man on the Train), he realizes how little he knew about his son, and begins to seek out the truth hidden behind his family’s walls. It’s “a work of assurance and ease” (New York Times) that was cowritten by the famed duo of Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost (Forbidden Games).

***

Bertrand Tavernier is among the best French directors, and the film that I like most, is The Clockmaker based on a novel by Georges Simenon. Here's many similarities to the resent Turkish film Uzak by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, even tough the style of the film is different. Both film focus on a middle-aged man, who after several years of isolation have to confront himself. In The Clockmaker, true his son and in Uzak true his cousin. Both films view a very strong picture of the town the films is made, Clockmaker in Lyon, Uzak in Istanbul. They are like a puzzle, where every scene unmask the main character (clockmaker / photographer). When we have enough pieces, the film ends leaving the audience to build the rest. Both films are deeply human, with a feeling of solitude, and both films are the best cinema can give us. Pierre-William Glenn has beautifully captured the city of Lyon, and I have always liked the music of Philippe Sarde. Never has Philippe Noiret and Jean Rochefort been so compelling in their performances.

Per-Olof Strandberg

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 16th, 1974

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

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

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the DVD Screen Caps!

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:45:15.350        
Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,828,397,304 bytes

Feature: 24,089,616,384 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 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 French 1226 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1226 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 654 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 654 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,828,397,304 bytes

Feature: 24,089,616,384 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

New introduction by filmmaker Walter Hill (2:17)
Audio commentary by director Bertrand Tavernier
Interview with Tavernier and Philippe Noiret (2001) (42:21)
Interview with Tavernier (2008) (48:09)
Trailer (3:17)

Booklet with excerpts from Tavernier's memoir


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 24th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (August 2021): Kino have transferred Bertrand Tavernier's The Clockmaker of St. Paul to Blu-ray. Firstly, Kino released this on a bare-bones DVD back in 2002... and it was a very poor PAL-NTSC transfer with all the associated artifacts of that practice (see coming in last compared capture.) It was also soft and green-leaning, had forced subtitles with a puny bitrate. In 2008 Optimum in the UK produced a significantly superior DVD. It supports the color palette of Kino's 1080P Blu-ray transfer. The HD presentation is much tighter approaching 5X the bitrate of the UK DVD. We lose a sliver of information on the left edge of the HD. Overall, it is a notable improvement showing textures, some depth but still looking a shade pale. See our captures below.   

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original French language. The Clockmaker of St. Paul has a few aggressive moments but is fairly passive with quiet pauses and dialogue. The score is by Philippe Sarde (The Widow Courderc, Madame Rosa, The Tenant, Max and the Junkman, Tess, La Grande Bouffe, Quest For Fire)  sounding clean while adding to the dark mood via the lossless transfer. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a the same Tavernier commentary (in English) and the 3/4 hour interview with the director from the Optimum DVD. We sadly lost the director earlier this year (2021.) Kino also include on their Blu-ray a new introduction by filmmaker Walter Hill, a 3/4 hour 2001 interview with Tavernier and Philippe Noiret that is excellent, a trailer plus the package has a booklet with excerpts from Tavernier's memoir.  

Bertrand Tavernier's The Clockmaker of St. Paul is very impacting. It is very easy to sympathize with the helpless father, his guilt, desire to help his son and acceptance of the reality of the situation. Kino have more than made up for their disastrous DVD of almost 20-years ago with this vastly improved, dual-layered, Blu-ray justly exporting this powerful, impressive feature debut of a highly important director. The subtle effort, The Clockmaker of St. Paul, is close to a masterpiece and we give it our highest recommendation! World cinephiles shouldn't hesitate.

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVDs:

ADDITION - Optimum - April 08': Here's very little to compare. The Kino DVD edition is an environment problem compared to the new Optimum (UK) disc. The screen captures tells everything! The KINO edition is cropped on every side, the detail is poor and the image is muddy and soft. It has occupied only 3.03 GB of size of a single -layered disc, where the Optimum has 7.46 GB on a dual-layered disc. The Optimum reports a very clean, razor sharp image, that, I don't imagine, couldn't look much better on SD. The colors could be a shade faded over time. The Optimum DVD has a new, very informative commentary track in English language.

An excellent film in a worthy package. Don't miss it!

***

About the KINO edition (01-30-2005):
PICTURE
I think Kino released this DVD for the first time in 1998. The standard of the DVD is much like other DVD's from that time. The DVD is taken from a PAL source. Obvious there is some combing. The picture is a little soft and the colors are faded, but in motion it actually looks better than on the screen caps. The black color is never blocked. I've viewed it with a projector with no problems. The DVD is non anamorphic, but the English subtitles are inside the 1:1.66 framing, so it can be zoomed on wide-screen equipment.

SOUND
The sound is a solid mono track. It's clear and dynamic. There's some minor faults (like as the wind was blowing in to the microphone), but it can be in the original mixing.

OVERALL
I don't think we get an other DVD of this title, and even tough it's not of recent standards, this can be viewed without distraction.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

 


Menus / Extras

 


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

 

1) Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Kino Video - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Kino Video - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Kino Video - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Kino Video - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Combing on Kino DVD

 

  


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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