|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(aka 'Dillinger is Dead')
In this magnificently inscrutable late-sixties masterpiece, Marco Ferreri, one of European cinema’s most idiosyncratic auteurs, takes us through the looking glass to one seemingly routine night in the life of an Italian gas mask designer, played, in a tour de force performance, by New Wave icon Michel Piccoli. In his claustrophobic mod home, he pampers his pill-popping wife, seduces his maid, and uncovers a gun that may have once been owned by John Dillinger—and then things get even stranger. A surreal political missive about social malaise, Dillinger Is Dead (Dillinger Ŕ morto) finds absurdity in the mundane. It is a singular experience, both illogical and grandly existential.
Theatrical Release: January 23rd, 1969
DVD Review: Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Criterion Collection - Spine # 506 - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.77 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.
|Audio||Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0)|
video interviews with actor Michel Piccoli (12:50) and Italian film historian
Adriano AprÓ (20:52)
I believe there was a French DVD of the film, Dillinger is Dead, that came out, in 2008, HERE - but I don't own to compare. NOTE: We've been told there is also a Raro/Minerva edition HERE (thanks Phil!). The Criterion looks like a competent SD-DVD transfer - maintaining the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio - anamorphically enhanced and progressively transferred on a dual-layered disc. Reds, yellows and oranges can be quite bright, detail surprisingly strong in close-ups and there is even some grain visible. It gave me a good presentation and I have no evidence to suggest it is not the strongest digital version available at present.
The mono audio is unremarkable but consistent with clear dialogue (what little there is of it). There are optional English subtitles.
Extras consist of (all in Italian/French with English subtitles) a 2009 video interview with prolific actor Michel Piccoli for almost 13-minutes. He made six films with Marco Ferreri - Dillinger is Dead being their first collaboration. He talks with admiration for the director and touches on his uniqueness. We also get a new interview with Italian film historian Adriano AprÓ for over 20-minutes. Ferreri career is discussed with more focus on Dillinger is Dead. There are 13-minutes worth of excerpts from a 1997 roundtable discussion about director Marco Ferreri, with filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci and Francesco Rosi and film historian Aldo Tassone, including clips of interviews with Ferreri. It is hosted by Laure Adler from the French broadcast television show Le cercle de minuit and runs almost 15-minutes including some interview clips with Ferreri from January 1997 - shortly before his death. There is an interesting theatrical trailer that the Criterion menus mimic to some degree and included in the box is a 34-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Joshua Rowin and a selection of reprinted interviews with Ferreri.
The film is pretty bizarre but I loved the comfortable pace. Comparisons to Godard are appropriate (the red polka-dot gun is very reminiscent). I definitely felt some Antonioni here, as well, with a subtle, poignant, look at alienation and our modern materialism (guns, TV, food indulgence etc.). The enigmatic narrative is telling us things but those expecting something akin to the Depp flick (Public Enemies) should certainly avoid - this is 60's heavy art/social commentary through and through. I'll look forward to another visit one day - it has some power under its surface that requires, at least, another viewing to fully digest.