(aka 'The Taking of Power by Louis XIV')

Directed by Roberto Rossellini

France 1966

 

Filmmaking legend Roberto Rossellini brings his passion for realism and unerring eye for the everyday to this portrait of the early years of the reign of France’s “Sun King,” and in the process reinvents the costume drama. The death of chief minister Cardinal Mazarin, the construction of the palace at Versailles, the extravagant meals of the royal court: all are recounted with the same meticulous quotidian detail that Rossellini brought to his contemporary portraits of postwar Italy. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV dares to place a larger-than-life figure at the level of mere mortal.

French DVD Cover

Theatrical Release: August 8th, 1970

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 456 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:34:18 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.33 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Taking Power, a multimedia essay by Tag Gallagher, author of The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini
• Video interview with artistic advisor Jean Dominique de la Rochefoucauld and script supervisor Michelle Podroznik
• Video interview with Renzo Rossellini
• Liner Notes with essay by critic Colin MacCabe

DVD Release Date: January 13th, 2009

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:

Image quality appears akin to Rossellini’s History Films Trilogy —Renaissance and Enlightenment from Eclipse. Clean with no picture-boxing - original 1.33:1 (televised broadcast). This Criterion may have some black-boosting but colors and contrast don't seem overly affected. Certain indoor scenes can tend to saturation but it seems quite suitable for the narrative intent. There are minor SD artifacts but nothing that impinges on the enjoyment of the film.

Criterion offers original French mono and has optional English subtitles.

Extras don't include a commentary but there is Taking Power, a multimedia essay by Tag Gallagher, author of The Adventures of Roberto Rossellini, a video interview with artistic advisor Jean Dominique de la Rochefoucauld and script supervisor Michelle Podroznik and another video interview with Renzo Rossellini. The liner notes contain an essay by critic Colin MacCabe.

Another fascinating film release by Criterion. Rossellini fans will not want to miss out. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 456 - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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