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(aka 'La Religieuse Portugaise' or 'The Portuguese Nun')

Directed by Eugène Green
Portugal | France  200
9

 

One of the most critically acclaimed films of 2011 tells the story of a Julie, a young French actress shooting a film in Lisbon about a 17th Century nun who is seduced by a soldier. Among the city s enigmatic and transient inhabitants, she encounters a young Nun and the exchange between the two women changes Julie s destiny forever.

***

A young French actress in Lisbon to shoot a movie is intrigued by a nun she sees kneeling in the in the chapel where she is filming.

***

... Green's film, like Verde's, will no doubt seem boring to some, overly intellectual to others, while still others will find it deeply affecting. It certainly has its own fair share of provocative longueurs and stylistic tics. Green indulges in lengthy, meandering tracks and pans and keeps scenes rolling beyond the point where his players have left the frame. Two full fado performances are allowed to run uninterrupted to their natural end (in one case even after the principal character has departed the scene). Acts are punctuated by mannered chapter headings. Characters break the fourth wall with direct-to-camera stares, engage in surreally mannered dialogue and move staidly like somnambulists through all the artfully composed locations.

Yet all these alienation effects, fictive tricks and metacinematic games, right down to the reflexivity of the film-within-a-film, in the end serve less to distance The Portuguese Nun than to ally it to a sort of metaphysical quest – or, as Julie herself puts it: "I'm an actress, I try to show the truth through unreal things."

Excerpt from Anton Bitel at Eye For Film located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: August 2009 (Montréal Film Festival)

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DVD Comparison:

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT

DVD Box Covers

   

 

Distribution Bodega Films Films - Region 2 - PAL Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 2:01:32  2:01:36 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.29 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s   
1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.79 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate:

Audio Portuguese | French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Portuguese | French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, French, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Bodega Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• La cinema comme revelation du cache (22:48 French only)
• "Correspondances" (38:36 - optional English subtitles)

DVD Release Date: September 22nd, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 7

Release Information:
Studio: Bodega Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer

DVD Release Date: April 12th, 2012

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL - March 2012: Not much to choose between the two transfers but the dual-layered UK Artificial Eye has a marginal technical edge (higher bitrate) that may show up in the colors which are a bit purer and less-green. Without being too picky - they both look great. Audio is also a wash and the AE also offers English subtitles (slightly different font). No extras except a trailer but the film remains an appealing stylistic mystery that many will appreciate. Recommended!

***

The Portuguese Nun is an unusual film with an odd mise en scène - somewhat reminiscent of the manner Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu would minimize camera movement while centering his characters, motionless, within the frame. Dialogue is delivered metronomic-ly ala the films of David Mamet... or Robert Bresson. But saying all that potential en hommage à - it was surprisingly effective on this reviewer.

The image transfer is immaculate - one of the best I've seen from the SD-DVD medium. In certain scenes detail looks like Blu-ray (see last 2 large captures). It is anamorphic, progressive and dual-layered. There is a very modest amount of noise that actually looks more like grain in its consistency. Audio is only 2.0 channel but does its job on the totally dialogue driven film - no need for surround here and the good news is that optional English subtitles are offered.

Supplements consist of 22-minutes of 'La cinema comme revelation du cache' in French with no subtitles and the 40-minute mini-film "Correspondances" by director Eugène Green with François Rivière and Delphine Hecquet. It is worth the indulgence for those keen on the feature.

You have to give over somewhat or risk being jaded by the intentional style and pace of The Portuguese Nun. When you do - you get a rewarding film experience reminding me of Manoel de Oliveira. 'Curious' and 'unique' would be too descriptive words I'd be most inclined to use. For those who think they may be keen - I'd certainly recommend.   

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT


 

 


Subtitle Sample

 

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 

Bodega Films - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM
 


DVD Box Cover

   

 

Distribution Bodega Films Films - Region 2 - PAL Artificial Eye - Region 0 - PAL



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