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Baba Yaga [Blu-ray]
(Corrado Farina, 1973)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: 14 Luglio Cinematografica
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,492,735,787 bytes
Feature Size: 17,576,515,584 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.97 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 28th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1798 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1798 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1781 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1781 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), English (for Italian Version), French, Spanish, none
• Farina and Valentina - Interview with Director Corrado Farina (21:39)
• Freud in Color - Guido Crepax Documentary (12:06)
• Deleted and Censored Scenes (10:01)
• Theatrical Trailer (3:33)
• Poster & Still Gallery
• Comic Book-to-Film Comparison
Description: The Psychedelic Shocker Based On The Erotic Comics Of Guido Crepax...
The groundbreaking adult-themed comic strips of pioneer artist Guido Crepax are brought to life in this mod, hallucinatory melange of fashion, fetish and the supernatural. It doesn't have much of a plot — and what plot there is isn't really explained — but avant garde editing and a surfeit of style make it worth a view for anyone with tastes off the beaten path.
French actress Isabelle De Funès plays Valentina, heroine of Crepax's late '60s strip named for the character. A celebrated fashion photographer living the jet-setter lifestyle in Milan, she hangs out with models, directors, artists, and leftist intellectuals. One night, while walking home to her studio flat after a party, Valentina is almost run down by an antique Rolls. The driver is a mysterious older woman (Carroll Baker) dressed in the black garb of a Victorian widow.Excerpt from Eccentric-Cinema located HERE
Mixture of sex and horror based on the comic strips of Guido Crepax, whose main character Valentina (played by Louis de Funès' niece Isabelle), famous fashion photographer and clothes-fetishist, gets involved in those weird adventures which all hot-blooded males are supposed to dream about. Here she meets up with lesbian witch Baba Yaga (Baker), who lures her into a murky old house with snakes, rusty sewing machines, and a bottomless pit concealed under the carpet. Followers of Crepax will find only a few moments which recall the master's style. The rest (though Farina claimed that scenes of political relevance were removed by the producers) can be safely left to connoisseurs of handsomely photographed, high class trash.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Blue Underground do nice transfers and Baba Yaga is no exception. The Blu-ray holds nice grain and surprising detail in close-ups for a single-layered rendering. The image quality shows excellent contrast and the colors are bright. There are some frame-specific speckles - but not much to hinder the presentation. I didn't recall any strong noise. This Blu-ray has a consistent feel and even the old footage with more damage blends in well. I see no evidence of manipulation and I think this look pretty solid for a 40-year old 'heavily dated' film. For those sensitive - yes, of course there is plenty of nudity but nothing I would consider 'graphic' - mostly hinted at.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Blue Underground offer technically similar English and Italian tracks - both via DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo at 1800 kbps. There is some perceived depth and it sounds reasonably clear with, predictable, weak dubbing. The original music is by Piero Umiliani - who had a lot of work in the late 60's and 70's. The track is dated but matches the mood with some funky electric vibes. You'd have to say this has real kitsch value. There are English (SDH) subtitles or English for the Italian DUB (as well as French and Spanish).My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
As per usual, Blue Underground supply some excellent extras - 'Farina and Valentina' features a 22-minute interview with director Corrado Farina in Italian with English subtitles. Also, of interest, is 'Freud in Color' a Guido Crepax Documentary running for about a dozen minutes infused with some of the artists style. The 10-minutes of Deleted and Censored Scenes don't really showcase too much and are in mediocre shape. There is a, reasonably lengthy, theatrical trailer, some fanciful Poster & Still Gallery images and a Comic Book-to-Film Comparison.
February 26th, 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 5000 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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