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On the Bowery - The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Vol. 1 (2-disc) [Blu-ray]
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Rogosin Films
Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,255,127,209 bytes
Feature Size: 16,695,487,104 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.02 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 21st, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
The collection features:
• 8. Good Times, Wonderful Times. Directed by Lionel Rogosin. England/United States. 1964. Aspect ratio 4:3. Restoration by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna. Mastered from the 2K restoration. (69.00)
• 9. Man's Peril: The Making of "Good Times, Wonderful Times." Directed by Michael Rogosin. (24:15)
• 10. Out. Directed by Lionel Rogosin. 1957. United States. Aspect Ratio 4:3. Courtesy of United Nations Multimedia Resources Unit. (25:33)
The old days don't look terribly good in Lionel Rogosin's
narrative documentary ''ON THE BOWERY'' (1956), but
they do look astonishing. A slice of down-and-out life, this
black-and-white (and newly restored) portrait of lost New
York tracks the arrival and rapid downward spiral of a young
man (Ray Sayler), who lands on the Bowery with a suitcase
and a deceitful thirst. —MANOHLA DARGIS, NEW YORK TIMES
On The Bowery was the first of Lionel Rogosin’s award-winning
films, garnering the Grand Prize for Documentary at the 1956 Venice Film
Festival, the British Award for Best Documentary and nomination for an
Oscar® as best documentary.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
It is surprising how good 'On the Bowery' can look via the Milestone Blu-ray. There are plenty of powerful, and iconic, still photographs from this era and the 1080P transfer is living version of those unforgettable black and white images. The Cineteca del Comune di Bologna restoration is impressive. This is only single-layered but the 65-minute 1.37:1 film has a high bitrate and infrequent depth exported. The package has a second Blu-ray that contains other pieces of varying quality (16mm and 35mm) but generally the visuals are consistent within each piece. On the second disc is the Good Times, Wonderful Times which has vintage war images and clips that are quite damaged but this is no fault of the transfer. Hopefully the screen captures will give you a good idea of what the presentation is like. I thought the 2K transfer was excellent. I never imagined that it would look this good.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Keeping with an authentic representation we get a linear PCM mono track at 1536 kbps. There is still a hollowness, present in the original production, but the lossless does what it can. Films like On the Bowery speak so powerfully with visuals - the audio gladly takes a back seat. There are no subtitles (excepting the forced ones on Good Times, Wonderful Times)and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE.
We get a brief introduction by Martin Scorsese for On the Bowery and a 45-minute piece entitled The Perfect Team: The Making of "On the Bowery" directed by Michael Rogosin as well as his dozen-minute long A Walk Through the Bowery. Street of Forgotten Men is a 2-minute film from 1933 and Bowery Men's Shelter is restored. It is directed by Rhody Streeter and Tony Ganz - made in 1972. One disc one there is also a trailer for On the Bowery. Disc 2 has Lionel Rogosin's 1964 film Good Times, Wonderful Times - also restored by the Cineteca del Comune di Bologna and mastered from 2K running 1 hour 19-minutes. The rest of that disc has a Making of entitled Man's Peril for 25-minutes - directed by Michael Rogosin and lastly, Out - a 1957, 25-minute short, directed by Lionel Rogosin.
February 19th, 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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