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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Accattone [Blu-ray]

 

(Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1961)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Cino del Duca

Video: Masters of Cinema Spine #31

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:56:37.041

Disc Size: 49,509,787,731 bytes

Feature Size: 36,331,849,728 bytes

Nishi-Ginza Station Size: 8,925,911,040 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Transparent Dual-Format Blu-ray case

Release date: March 26th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Commentary: LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
 

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Pasolini’s 1965 feature-length documentary Comizi d’amore [Love Meetings], on the complementary theme of Italian attitudes towards sex, presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (1:31:56 in 1080P)
• Original Italian theatrical trailers for both films (4:40 + 2:03 - both in 1080P)
• Feature-length audio commentary on Accattone by critic Tony Rayns
• 36-page booklet featuring a translation of Pasolini’s 1958 poem “To a Pope”; excerpts from a 1969 interview with Pasolini on Accattone and Comizi d’amore by Oswald Stack; a 1975 essay on the film by Pasolini; Pasolini’s original 1964 treatment for Comizi d’amore; and rare archival imagery

DVD of the Feature

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The debut feature of Italian filmmaker-novelist-poet-provocateur Pier Paolo Pasolini (SalÚ, or: The 120 Days of Sodom; The Gospel According to Matthew; The Decameron), Accattone rocked the cinema world with its depictions, at once raw and elegant, of the underside of Roman street life – and, in the process, seemed to announce a new direction for Italian films: a neo-neorealism.


On the mean streets of Rome, Accattone’s eponymous pimp (played by Franco Citti, one of a remarkable cast of local non-professionals) leads a hand-to-mouth existence on the very margins of society: prostituting, scrounging, exploiting. When his prize prostitute Maddalena is arrested and jailed, the pimp’s fortunes dwindle, and he is forced to confront his own existence.


The work of one of Italy’s foremost auteurs, Accattone combines a fascination with poverty, sexual mores, and the entrapments of society, with a sense of humanity and sanctity rarely seen in cinema. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Pasolini’s debut alongside his feature-length 1965 documentary Comizi d’amore [Love Meetings] in a special Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD edition.

 

 

The Film:

Ironically, it was this unwillingness to editorialise by condemning his characters’ shortcomings that often led to Pasolini’s films being criticised, particularly for their sexual politics. However, it’s a mistake to assume that this lack of explicit judgement amounts to endorsement. Rather, it is reflective of a humanism that lends his lowlifes’ stories a dimension of tragic complexity and prevents his films from becoming trite moral lectures or didactic Marxist tracts. Instead, the overall tone created is one of quiet despair at the ways in which the cynicism that informs the choices people make railroads them into a life where they are forced to fight like rats for dominance and survival.

Excerpt from Themeroc at Eye For Film located HERE

The seamy side of the sub-proletariat of Rome, a world of prostitutes, layabouts and petty thieves in which Franco Citti's Accattone, not quite making the grade as a pimp, finds himself trapped between the alternatives of working for starvation wages, or trying - with the police already on his tail - for easy pickings as a thief. Treating a social milieu Pasolini knew at first hand, his first film as a director was misunderstood by many critics when it was first released as a return to the canons of Italian neo-realism of the '40s and '50s. In fact, its editing style, use of close-ups, dialogue in the Romanesco vernacular - not to mention the Bach score - all betray an originality much more of a piece with Pasolini's later work than with neo-realism. And the character of Accattone himself, self-destructive and conscious of his situation within a class from which he cannot escape, embodies many of the contradictions in Pasolini's lifetime of coming to terms with Marxism and Catholicism.

Excerpt from TimeOut London located HERE

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

The Masters of Cinema transfer of Accattone is immaculate on Blu-ray. Contrast supports impressive detail. There is no distracting noise and the visuals have a pleasing film-like thickness. I can't imagine this film looking much better on digital - it is clean, tight and also shows some desirable depth. It's hard not to comment on Franco Citti - embodying Pacino's Michael Corleone with every close-up.  The transfer of Comizi d’amore [Love Meetings] shows some healthy grain - both are 1080P and have maximized bitrate filling the entire dual-layered Blu-ray disc (49.5 of the 50 Gig) sharing it with only an audio commentary and a trailer. Full marks indeed!  

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Meetings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The linear PCM stereo track at 2304 kbps is in original Italian and sounds clean with some sync issues with Franco Citti's DUB'ed voice. But this seems commonplace for Italian films and wasn't an issue in my viewing. There is a bit of depth with all the Bach but nothing of a notable nature. Still sounds incredible. There are optional English subtitles for both films and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region B-locked.

 

Extras :

The Masters of Cinema package has quite a lot going for it with a feature-length audio commentary on Accattone by critic Tony Rayns - dishing out more of his professionally researched information highlighting important details. MoC have included Pasolini’s 1965 1.5-hour documentary Comizi d’amore [Love Meetings], on the complementary theme of Italian attitudes towards sex in HD adhering to the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This is charming and makes for wonderful viewing. There are also original Italian theatrical trailers for both films in 1080P and the package includes a 36-page booklet featuring a translation of Pasolini’s 1958 poem “To a Pope”; excerpts from a 1969 interview with Pasolini on Accattone and Comizi d’amore by Oswald Stack; a 1975 essay on the film by Pasolini; Pasolini’s original 1964 treatment for Comizi d’amore; and rare archival imagery. Being a dual-format package it also contains a DVD of the feature.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Masters of Cinema continue to make their mark releasing a
nother master-director's work to the 1080P digital light. The Blu-ray is a magnificent package. I don't know whatever happened to Tartan's SD Boxset from 2007 HERE that included both films in SD. But this is surely a giant leap beyond the lesser format. Once you see Accattone you will see why it had the controversial angle regarding sex - and Comizi d’amore [Love Meetings] is a wonderful addition - as is the Rayns commentary. Very strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

March 20th, 2012


 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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