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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [Blu-ray]


(Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Cinema Guild

Video: Cinema Guild



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

Runtime: 2:37:16.427

Disc Size: 47,044,726,097 bytes

Feature Size: 32,010,971,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.71 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 26th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Turkish 3596 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3596 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Turkish 2093 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2093 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



• The Making of Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (2011, 1:36:39)
Interview with the Director (24:44)
Anatolia in Cannes (49:28): Photocall, TVCannes Videos, Press Conference, Red Carpet Gala, Award Ceremony
Lost in Thought (2012, HD, 23:34), a visual essay by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive
Theatrical Trailer (1:35)
Booklet featuring introduction to Nuri Bilge Ceylan





Description: Winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia is the new film from the celebrated director of Distant and Climates. In the dead of night, a group of men among them, a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect drive through the Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can't remember where he buried the body. As night wears on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators own hidden secrets come to light. In the Anatolian steppes, nothing is what it seems; and when the body is found, the real questions begin.



The Film:

A night spent gathering evidence of a killing reveals a great deal about both the criminals and the men bringing them to justice in this drama from Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Kenan (Firat Tanis) and Ramazan (Burhan Yildiz) are two men who have confessed to murder, and Naci (Yilmaz Erdogan) is the police detective who has been assigned to wrap up the details of the case. With several of his colleagues in tow, Naci heads out to the woods with the killers in order to find and recover the body. However, Kenan and Ramazan's memories about the night of the killing are foggy, and it takes far longer than anyone expected to arrive at the scene of the crime. Over the course of a long night, the men talk about many different aspects of life, and their conversation explores their attitudes about life in Turkey and the human condition in general. Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (aka Once Upon a Time In Anatolia) was an official selection at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

An epic and rigorous tale of a night and day in a murder investigation, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a beautifully photographed crime drama about police and prosecutors locating a buried body through one long night in the Anatolian steppes. In the short prologue three men are drinking and talking. Then a convoy of cars is travelling around the countryside at night as one of the men seen earlier is trying to remember where a body was buried. After several false leads and a rest in a remote village, the body is finally discovered early the next morning. In the course of the long investigation the characters and hidden thoughts of the main protagonists are gradually themselves exhumed.

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

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia appears very strong on Blu-ray from Cinema Guild.  The 2.5 hour film has a dual-layered transfer and handles the film's frequent darkness without any intrusive noise issues. There is a golden/yellow hue to the low-lit scenes and contrast and black levels are impressive rendered. There is no gloss to the visuals, detail is strong and more-lit sequences have a sense of depth. This is a beautifully shot film and the 1080P transfer has done it justice offering a very strong representation of its theatrical appearance. There are no flaws that I could ascertain. What we have here is a magnificent film - frequently looking stunning in HD. Full marks.
















Audio :

We get the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a strong 3596 kbps or a simpler stereo 2.0 channel track also in lossless. The Turkish dialogue film is predictably passive and the robust surround track can handle any separations with crisp clarity. There is some depth apparent almost seething beneath the surface if called-upon. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is coming out in region 'B' in July of this year.


Extras :

Cinema Guild include some important extras - the 1 1/2 hour Making of Once Upon A Time in Anatolia from 2011 covers many production topics, has brief interview clips and shows behind the scenes preparation and takes. There is a 25-minute interview with the Nuri Bilge Ceylan and a 50-minute Anatolia in Cannes featurette covering Photocall, TVCannes Videos, Press Conference, Red Carpet Gala, and the Award Ceremony. Lost in Thought is an excellent 24-minute visual essay by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive and there is a theatrical trailer. The package contains a booklet featuring introduction to Ceylan.



Magnificent, evocative film - beautifully transferred - signifying an 'essential' in my opinion. The visuals of Once Upon A Time in Anatolia are subtle yet also contain a richness that becomes a large part of the film experience. The Blu-ray i
s so proficient it would seem more like a cinema-experience via the darkness of your home theater. We can strongly recommend this package.

Gary Tooze

June 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 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.

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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