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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
H D - S E N S E I
A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze
The Story of O aka Histoire d'O [Blu-ray]
(Just Jaeckin, 1975)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Somerville House
Feature Runtime: 1:40:43 + opening credits 2:43
Feature film disc size: 14.8 Gig
One single-layered Blu-ray
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 11th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Video codec: VC1
• Director Commentary in French or French with English translation
• Text Biographies of three cast
Product Description: Cinema’s original sin returns with its shocking portrait of sexual submission from master of erotica Just Jaeckin ("Emmanuelle," "Lady Chatterly’s Lover"). A stunning young woman (Corinne Clery) surrenders herself at a remote chateau at her lover’s (Udo Kier) request and is immediately forced into a round the clock regimen of every sexual appetite imaginable. Her submission is total to the orgasmic odyssey that explores the shadowy boundaries between pleasure and pain...
Jaekin's episodic, softcore adaptation of Pauline Reage's acclaimed erotic novel stays just the right side of kitsch, hinting at the darker pleasures experienced by the enigmatic O at the hands of her experimental lover Rene.
O is a beautiful young photographer taken to a gothic
chateau by her lover Rene (Udo Kier). He subjects her to
a series of humiliations and erotic experiments to which
she submits without question – wishing only to please.
On their return to Paris, Rene passes her on to an older
man, Sir Stephen (Anthony Steel) who in turn uses her as
a psychological and sexual plaything.
Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
After reviewing Somerville House's Black Christmas onBlu-ray - we can pretty much say the same things. The file size is damn puny at less than 15 Gig. The 1080P transfer is progressive and it doesn't look that bad but certainly no where near the heights that this format can offer. Sure the film is over 30 years old and probably not much production bucks to begin with - well, not in the technical areas anyway. Does it even look like high-definition? I'd have to say yes - it's better than most SD treatment and probably significantly better than this film has ever seen digitally. But... you can see yourself that it is pretty weak. There is some damage marks - almost like speckles but a bit more prominent - however they are usually frame specific. Noise and macro-blocking artifacts certainly exists but colors have some surprising life especially past the middle of the film. The lack of detail may well be inherent in the film itself being shot with a softer lens (typical of porn in the 70's) giving it that cloudy dream-like appearance.
NOTE: The trailers are in 1.66:1 (sample below) but the film fills the widescreen at 1.78 despite the cover stating it's 1.85. I suspect the film was originally shown at 1.66 but I don't really care that much either way - we're not talking Kurosawa here. In fact, I care more about that bearded guy's hair - which sure looks like a grandiose rug.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
To match the rest of this ineffectual Blu-ray - the commentary track (via director Just Jaeckin?) is in French with a 2nd option for hearing with an English translation (you can still hear the French murmuring in the background). Anyway, he sounds fairly passionate about the film describing it as a 'touching love story' and some may get something out of it. We also have a 3 minute trailer in HD, and a running Photo Gallery (about 3 minutes too ) in HD and finally text biographies of three cast. Here is something else kinda weird - the menus are in English with French in a smaller font underneath - like this has been ported from a French transfer - OR is set to be sold to a French audience. Probably the latter - Somerville House are in Canada I believe - with an office in Quebec. While I'm at it - one more thing - through my computer I can access an English opening credit sequence (2:43) OR a French one (also 2:43) but neither seem listed as an option in the menus (it shows the English version when you hit 'play').
November 6th, 2008