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Le Quattro Volte [Blu-ray]
(Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Invisibile Film
Video: Lorber Films
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,404,574,082 bytes
Feature Size: 17,558,304,768 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 13th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio Italian 904 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 904 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Italian 577 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 577 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / Dolby Surround)
None (no dialogue)
• Trailer (2:07)
• Stills Gallery (5 images)
• Other Lorber Trailers
Description: Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times) is an ineffably beautiful meditation on the mysterious cycles of life. Set in Italy's mountainous region of Calabria, it traces the path of one goat-herder's soul, as it passes from human to animal to vegetable to mineral. Director Michelangelo Frammartino was inspired by Pythagoras' belief in ''four-fold transmigration'' of souls, but his film is far more physical than philosophical. In gorgeous long takes he captures the daily routines of the herder, a baby goat, an imperious tree and a humble charcoal kiln. Plus there is a scene-stealing cameo from a stubborn sheepdog, who hilariously interrupts an Easter Procession. Working as both a spiritual investigation and a documentary of Calabrian life, Le Quattro Volte's placid surface hides a complex understanding of humanity. Everything is connected in Frammartino's sublimely mystical universe, in which he finds both humor and pathos in the hypnotic rhythms of everyday life.
An old shepherd lives his last days in a quiet medieval village perched high on the hills of Calabria, at the southernmost... tip of Italy. He herds goats under skies that most villagers have deserted long ago. He is sick, and believes to find his medicine in the dust he collects on the church floor, which he drinks in his water every day.
In only his second feature, Frammartino has found a fresh and ravishingly poetic and beautiful way to explore the relationship between the spirit, man and nature. In the chaos and instability of today's world, the timelessness of the Caulonian way of life and its closeness to nature is deeply comforting and reassuring — until one learns that in the 20th century Calabria has been the main source of Italian emigration, with an estimated 2.3 million people leaving the region.
“Le Quattro Volte,” an idiosyncratic and amazing new film by Michelangelo Frammartino, is so full of surprises — nearly every shot contains a revelation, sneaky or overt, cosmic or mundane — that even to describe it is to risk giving something away. At the same time, the nervous reviewer’s convention of posting “spoiler alerts” has rarely seemed so irrelevant. Would I ruin tomorrow by telling you the sun is going to rise? Will your life be spoiled if I divulge that it will end in your death?Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Le Quattro Volte doesn't escalate to breathtaking visual levels on Blu-ray from Lorber although there are no definitive complaints. It's a modest, single-layered transfer that looks very good at times with a high level of detail, in both close-ups and shots of Calabria's farm-laden countryside. Colors seem true but rarely bold and the transfer exports some impressive depth. Black levels are not piercing but seem consistent and functional. Like the film, this Blu-ray has a gentle and realistic feel. It seems to be supporting the film with a competent, un-manipulated 1080P rendering that produces a thoroughly enjoyable presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Dolby TrueHD surfaces after a lengthy hiatus with a decent 5.1 and 2.0 channel tracks. The lossless tracks are less remarkable than the video but this is not a pointed flaw. The film offers very little in the way of dynamic range, depth or separation. Bombastic audio would not be suitable to the film experience and so the tracks are largely untested in their nature to export aggression. There is no dialogue worth noting and I can't even recall if I saw subtitles even once.My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements are limited to a trailer, stills gallery and some Lorber advert trailers. I expect volumes could be shared about the film but being at such a personal level perhaps nothing is more appropriate. Commentaries, analysis and examinations may appear in the decades to come for this masterpiece - after it has a chance to be digested into academia.
September 10th, 2011
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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