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The Moment of Truth [Blu-ray]
(Francesco Rosi, 1965)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Criterion Collection - Spine #595
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 35,852,972,623 bytes
Feature Size: 31,499,593,728 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 24th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
• Exclusive interview with director Francesco Rosi from 2004 (13:52
Description: The Moment of Truth (Il momento della veritŕ), from director Francesco Rosi, is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero—played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelín. Charting his rise and fall with a single-minded focus on the bloody business at hand, the film is at once gritty and operatic, placing the viewer right in the thick of the ring’s action, as close to death as possible. Like all of the great Italian truth seeker’s films, this is not just an electrifying drama but also a profound and moving inquiry into a violent world—and it’s perhaps the greatest bullfighting movie ever made.
Aficionados of the bullfights can save their money this year. There's no
need to make the long journey to Spain or Mexico.
The glare of the sun, the surge of flamenco, the roar of the crowd: Rosi's film about bullfighting is all this and more. On to a Blood and Sand-style story of an Andalusian boy abandoning his arid, poverty-stricken home for the supposed glamour of the urban corridas, is grafted an ambivalent, subtle analysis of the thorny byways bordering on the road to fame and fortune; exchanging hardship for the manipulative deals of entrepreneurial Dons and the contempt of bourgeois socialites, the hero's resolve to make good finally results in a blurred nightmare of disillusionment and death. Without glorifying the 'sport', the magnificent 'Scope compositions nevertheless display the matador's mesmeric grace and daring, while admitting the frenzied brutality that delights the bloodthirsty, callous crowds. It's a colourful, cruel world of senseless exploitation (of animals and humans alike) and tyrannical traditions, rendered with vivid brilliance by this uncommonly unsentimental director.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
This is a very gritty, thick image on Criterion Blu-ray of Francesco Rosi's The Moment of Truth. There is no gloss and the visuals are not sharp but rather heavily textured. Much of the film is shot in 'the ring' with outdoor lighting and in later, indoor, sequences with far less light show some noise. Colors look fine (red capes and impressive 'suit of lights') for the most part but there are a few weaker moments. So, while this is not a pristine looking film - I suspect that Criterion are representing it as accurately as possible. This Blu-ray has little depth and the appeal is mostly in the grain. Not as consistent a presentation as we have seen from Criterion - it is nonetheless a rewarding one with its 1080P film-like characteristics benefiting substantially over the SD format.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We get a liner PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. It is fairly unremarkable - the Italian occasionally seems out of sync. There is original music by Piero Piccioni who also did the score for La commare secca. In the party sequences we have what sounds like Walter Wanderley organ pieces reminiscent of the hip 60's. The finale (Church 'Fine') music sounds like it's breaking up and I don't know whether this is an effect of the track was damaged. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Extras are lean - we get a exclusive 14-minute interview with director Francesco Rosi recorded in Italy - 2004 by Criterion - perhaps at the time of Criterion Salvatore Giuliano release. There is also a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by critic Peter Matthews.
January 6th, 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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