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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The Go-Between [Blu-ray]

 

(Joseph Losey, 1970)

 

UK Optimum Blu-ray Edition

German Kinowelt Blu-ray Edition:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Studio Canal Collection

 

Disc:

Region: 'B'-locked! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

 

 

Runtime: 1:56:14.041

Disc Size: 41,955,889,887 bytes

Feature Size: 32,405,372,928 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 15th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1562 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1562 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1560 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1560 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, none

 

Extras:

• Interview with Josh Losey (10:22)

• Interview with Michael Billington (8:07)

• Interview with Patricia Losey (11;45)

• Interview with Gerry Fisher (21:15)

• Interview with John Heyman (7:16)

• Horlick Advert directed by Losey (1:02)

• Audio Recording of Losey being interviewed by Dilys Powell in 1973

• Trailer (3:23)

BD-LIVE

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Writer Harold Pinter and director Joseph Losey always hoped to make an adaptation of Proust's A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Their version of L.P. Hartley's novel The Go-Between offers tantalising hints as to how the Proust film might have turned out. An old man (Michael Redgrave) thinks back to a summer many years before when, as a young boy, he stayed with the aristocratic Maudsley family in their beautiful house in the Norfolk countryside. On the threshold of adolescence, intensely curious about sex, he became the go-between for Marian Maudsley (Julie Christie) and local farmer Ted Burgess (Alan Bates) as they conducted an affair behind the backs of the Maudsley family.

 

 

The Film:

Losey's adaptation of LP Hartley's novel is one of his more impressive later works. Together with screenwriter Harold Pinter, he creates another of his depictions of the destructive side of the English class system, as a love affair between the daughter of an affluent country family and a local farmer is tragically thwarted by prejudice and convention. Seen through the eyes of a young boy who acts as the instrument for the couple's assignations, the affair becomes the nexus for all the repression and unspoken manipulations brewing under the polite facade of an apparently civilised society; battle becomes personal on the cricket field, and the chink of teacups hides vicious whispers and plotting. It occasionally becomes a bit too precious, especially with the inserts of the grown-up go-between visiting his past haunts, but it's strong on atmosphere (the Norfolk locations are beautifully shot by Gerry Fisher), performance and moral nuance.

Excerpt fromTimeOut Film Guide located HERE

The last of three superb collaborations between the Nobel-winning writer Harold Pinter and director Joseph Losey, The Go-Between explores the mysterious adult world of sex and class as seen through the eyes of a young boy at the start of the last century.

Not as dark as their 1963 film The Servant nor as self-consciously arty as 1967's Accident, The Go-Between tells the story of 12-year-old Leo Colston (Guard), a likeable, lively middle-class boy who is sent to spend the summer at the huge Norfolk estate of his aristocratic school friend Marcus (Gibson). It's a formal, austere world of wealth and privilege, quite unlike his home life, and although he is initially out of his depth in the new environment, he soon develops a crush on Marcus's beautiful older sister Marian (Christie).

Excerpt from Film4 located HERE

 


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

Firstly, the Optimum / Kinowelt Studio Canal appear to be the exact same Blu-ray disc. Packaging language will differ but this is the same video transfer, audio options and supplements.

Like other Studio Canal Collection releases this starts with a list of country options (Denmark, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). Before the main menu - both the Optimum Releasing and Studio Canal Collection logos appear.

 

The image is transferred in the correct 1.85 aspect ratio - unlike the open-matte Optimum DVD from 2007 which it subtly improves upon. Colors appear more true, detail uniformly tightens up, it shows more depth, superior contrast, less noise and frequent depth. It actually looks better than I expected the 40-year old film to look. Some of the many outdoor sequences are quite striking. Flesh-tones seem accurate and I don't suspect any manipulations. Grain didn't seem as consistent in some of the darker scenes but that would be my only complaint. Compared to many other 1080P modern film transfers, some this might find this quite average but I was satisfied.

 

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

 

Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL (REVIEWED HERE) BOTTOM

 

 

Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL (REVIEWED HERE) BOTTOM

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 2.0 audio at 1562 kbps sounds like a significant improvement over what I perceived as a limitation of the previous DVD edition. There isn't an abundance of depth or range but it is certainly cleaner without significant pops, hiss or flaws. There are foreign language DUBs and subtitle choices but no English option is available. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region B-locked disc restricted to Blu-ray machines of that region (or region free ones).

 

 

Extras :

Supplements are strong consisting of over and hour's worth of recent interviews with, son, Josh Losey, Michael Billington (Pinter's authorized biographer), widow Patricia Losey - who actually worked on many of his films, Gerry Fisher (cinematographer on 8 Losey films), and Producer John Heyman. There is a cute Horlicks commercial directed by Losey and an audio recording of Losey being interviewed by Dilys Powell in 1973. Lastly we get a trailer, liner notes and the disc is BD-LIVE enabled.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This may be my favorite Losey film - certainly of his later works - and I am so happy to have it in the correct widescreen ratio and looking so, comparatively, crisp. The audio and extras are competent although nothing stands out too notably. It's a great film to have on, dual-layered, Blu-ray and one we certainly recommend to fans of the director. 

Gary Tooze

February 17th, 2010

 

 

UK Optimum Blu-ray Edition

German Kinowelt Blu-ray Edition:

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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