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La Signora Senza Camelie [Blu-ray]
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Ente Nazionale Industrie Cinematografiche (ENIC)
Video: Masters of Cinema - Spine # 17
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,527,898,969 bytes
Feature Size: 20,558,413,824 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: March 21st, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1 matted to 1.78
Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 629 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 629 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 512 kbps / 16-bit)
• A new and exclusive video introduction to the film with
critic and teacher Gabe Klinger (9:44 in 1080P)
Description: The third feature film by cinema master Michelangelo Antonioni, La signora senza camelie [The Lady Without Camelias], expanded the expressive palette of contemporary Italian movies, demonstrating that a personal vision could take an explicitly poetic tack; that “seriousness = neo-realism” was perhaps already turning into something of a truism; and that Antonioni would answer to no-one but himself.
Perhaps the most unjustly neglected of Michelangelo Antonioni's early features, La Signora Senza Camelie (1953) is a caustic Cinderella story about a Milanese shop clerk (Lucia Bose) who briefly becomes a glamorous movie star. One of the cruelest and most accurate portraits of studio filmmaking and the Italian movie world that we have, it's informed by a visually and emotionally complex mise en scene that juggles background with foreground elements in a choreographic style recalling Welles at times. Though it's only Antonioni's third feature, and its episodic structure necessitates a somewhat awkward expositional method, this is mature filmmaking that leaves an indelible aftertaste.Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Chicago Reader located HERE
An early Antonioni drama that looks at the sad fate of a manipulated woman, as well as taking a satirical swipe at the commercial end of the Italian film industry. BosŤ plays a shopgirl, recently elevated to movie stardom, whose idolising producer husband (Cecchi) puts her into a disastrous production of Joan of Arc and sends her career into a downward spiral. Characteristically, Antonioni is less concerned with plot than with creating fluid set pieces and eloquent framings of his beautiful actress and the surrounding decor. The resulting cocktail is slight on psychology, but invariably stunning to behold.Excerpt from TimeOut London located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I was doublely excited as this was an Antonioni film I had only seen once - many years ago - and I did not own it on DVD! Now The Masters of Cinema were releasing it on Blu-ray! After the screener disc arrived it was less than an hour before I was nestled into my home theater in the pitch darkness watching La Signora Senza Camelie - and loving every minutes of it. The 1080P image quality is stupendous - perfectly detailed and very strong contrast and black levels. Considering the age of the film - you only need peruse the below screen captures to be impressed with the visual appearance. I was blown-away with the image - far exceeding my expectations.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Similar to MoC's Blu-ray of Le Amiche - we get a modest DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel in original Italian at 629 kbps. There is no depth or range but dialogue is readily audible and there are, excellent, optional English subtitles (see sample).My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
As with Le Amiche - we get a new and exclusive 10-minute video introduction to the film with critic and teacher Gabe Klinger (who has written excellent liner notes for Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Sťance Home Vision DVD and Pialat's Sous le Soliel De Satan by MoC). I quite like him on camera - although he looks far too young to be so well-informed. The information he imparts is interesting - actually, I'd love to hear a commentary from him one day. He also gives an 8-minute piece discussing Antonioni in the context of the Italian production system of the 1950s. Both of these are in 1080P - as is the included 53 second trailer. it wouldn't be a Masters of Cinema release of any magnitude without one of their fabulous booklets - he is a 44-page liner notes extra containing newly translated vintage criticism about the film, an excerpt from an interview with Antonioni, and a lengthy 1953 back-and-forth about the film between Antonioni and critic Luigi Chiarini. There is also a second disc DVD of the film included.
February 28th, 2011
Michelangelo Antonioni films on DVD (NTSC) - CLICK COVERS or REVIEW BUTTON for more information
Recommended Books for Michelangelo Antonioni reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)
Bowling Alley on the Tiber: Tales of a
by Michelangelo Antonioni
Antonioni, Or, the Surface of the World
by Seymour Chatman
My Time With
Antonioni: The Diary of an Extraordinary
by Wim Wenders, Michael Hofmann
Poet of Images
by William Arrowsmith, Ted Perry
by Sam Rohdie
of Michelangelo Antonioni (Cambridge
by Peter Brunette, Ray Carney
by Seymour Chatman, Paul Duncan
L'Avventura (B.F.I. Film Classics)
by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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