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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Film Socialisme [Blu-ray]


http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/godard.htm, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Wild Bunch / Canal

Video: Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:41:42.137

Disc Size: 25,927,999,611 bytes

Feature Size: 23,631,573,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.20 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case Inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: January 10th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2133 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2133 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



Godard's 'Navajo' English, Full English, none



• Trailers


Essay about Film Socialisme by Richard Brody (author of ''Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard'')





Description: Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless) returns to the screen with Film Socialisme, a magisterial essay on the decline of European Civilization. As a garish cruise ship travels the Mediterranean (with rock legend Patti Smith among its guests), Godard embarks on a state of the EU address in a vibrant collage of philosophical quotes, historical revelations and pure cinematographic beauty.


A symphony in three movements. Things such as a Mediterranean cruise, numerous conversations, in numerous languages, between the passengers, almost all of whom are on holiday... Our Europe. At night, a sister and her younger brother have summoned their parents to appear before the court of their childhood. The children demand serious explanations of the themes of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Our humanities. Visits to six sites of true or false myths: Egypt, Palestine, Odessa, Hellas, Naples and Barcelona.



The Film:

There are more hidden references than in an afternoon of Tarantino movies. Except, unlike Tarantino, Godard is not entertaining pub quiz movie geeks; but giving clues to further meanings within his experimental and exploratory work. A young lad gives a young woman a copy of La Porte Entroite (a coming of age novel). There are nods to Husserl’s philosophical geometry which fit the film but will need hours of study to fully appreciate (we see a projection of a man lecturing on ‘geometry as origin’ – to an empty auditorium). And Balzac’s Illusions Perdues, which anticipates themes of aristocracy vs. poverty as well as journalism as intellectual prostitution. And don’t miss the homage later to Battleship Potemkin’s Odessa Staircase slaughter.

Excerpt from Chris at EyeForFilm located HERE

Gertrude Stein once wrote that Ezra Pound, one of the sacred monsters of literary modernism, was “a village explainer, excellent if you were a village, if not, not.” Jean-Luc Godard’s place in late-20th-century French cinema is not unlike Pound’s in midcentury Anglophone poetry: endlessly influential and perpetually controversial, a longtime resident of the middle ground between sage and crank. But at this point in his career Mr. Godard is better described as a village mystifier. Which is excellent if you happen to inhabit the global village of easily accessible, disposable images. We villagers tend to like our movies comfortable and familiar, and this man’s job is to make them difficult and strange.

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.

Film Socialisme looks very impressive on Blu-ray from Lorber.  There is such a variety of visuals used in the film - from modern depth to color distorted to vintage film clips - it is hard to critique. His flowing "hodge-podge" pastiche is... riveting - to say the least. The bulk of the feature is shot on crystal clear HD and exports all the impressiveness of that process. The contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels without much of the flaring occasionally seen using a hi-def process. Colors are frequently brilliant - being standard or digitally altered to suit the director's intent. There are plenty of scenes that look absolutely stunning. This single-layered Blu-ray via 1080P is highly impressive.  Visually it seems to mimic the ambitiousness of the docu-style cinema. I feel confident that this Blu-ray exports an authentic video presentation. Regardless it looks mesmerizing.
















Audio :

The cornucopia of audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2133 kbps. The opening sounds imposing and deep - to quote Michael Glover Smith : "Godard’s recent comfort zone seems to be in taking clips from old movies and juxtaposing them with images of other works of art, adding punning intertitles and then overlaying all of it with a dense soundtrack consisting of classical music, snippets of movie soundtracks and the director’s own voice. The end result of these dense, sometimes playful, always provocative texts is to makes viewers feel like they’re banging around inside the pinball machine of Godard’s mind, a place I’ve always been more than happy to visit." The lossless track is overwhelming at times and impressive - reminding me of Malick's Tree of Life. Subtitles are offered in Godard's 'Navajo' English or a more complete 'Full English' translation of intertitles and well or none at all. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No much in the way of extras - just some Trailers, a stills gallery and the package contains some liner notes with a 3-page essay about Film Socialisme by Richard Brody (author of '''Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard'').



Good grief - what can I, Gary Tooze, say about Godard's Film Socialisme? The montage aspects were appealing to me and as the film progressed I became more comfortable with the editing. It's pretty hard to turn your head away - and it can be a draining experience. I'm wondering how it will impact on me as time passes but I was frequently overwhelmed. There is so much here I'm sure I could watch it every 6-months and see different things.. for years. The Blu-ray i
s a great way to watch this - I can't compare to a theatrical viewing - but I was extremely impressed with the new format a/v. Despite the lack of supportive supplements - we can recommend this purchase. It's a keeper.

Gary Tooze

January 2nd, 2012



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