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Pierre Etaix - 5 Features / 3 shorts [Blu-ray]
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Criterion Collection Spine #655
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime Disc One: 1:38:15 (Yoyo), 1:24:40 (Suitor), 1:00:45 (Pierre Etaix, un destin anime)
Runtime Disc Two: 1:27:27 (Le Grande Amour), 1:16:31 (Land of Milk and Honey), 1:08:04 (As Long As You've Got Your Health)
Disc One Size: 48,229,485,581 bytes
Disc Two Size: 47,172,075,045 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.97 Mbps / 21.47 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: April 23rd, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (shorts), 1.66:1 (features)
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
• New digital restorations of all five features and three short films
• Shorts: Rupture (12:45), Happy Anniversary (13:55) and Feeling Good (14:56)
• New interview with director Pierre Etaix (13:55)
• New video introductions by Etaix to seven of the films; Suitor (3:59), Yoyo (4:45), As Long As You've Got Your Health (3:44), Le Grande Amour (6:03), Land of Milk and Honey (5:51)
• Introduction to shorts (5:28)
• Pierre Etaix, un destin anime (2010), a portrait of the life and work of Etaix (1:00:45)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Cairns
Description:A French comedy master whose films went unseen for decades as a result of legal tangles, director-actor Pierre Etaix is a treasure the cinematic world has rediscovered and embraced with relish. His work can be placed on the spectrum of classic physical comedy with that of Jacques Tati and Jerry Lewis, but it also stands alone in its good- natured delicacy. These films, influenced by Etaix’s experiences as a circus acrobat and clown and by the silent film comedies he adored, are elegantly deadpan, but as an on-screen presence, Etaix radiates warmth. This collection includes all of his films, five features, The Suitor, Yoyo, As Long as You’ve Got Your Health, Le grand amour, and Land of Milk and Honey—most of them collaborations with the great screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière—and three shorts, Rupture, the Oscar-winning Happy Anniversary, and Feeling Good. Not one of these is anything less than a bracing and witty delight.
Pierre Étaix (French: born 23 November 1928) is a French clown, comedian
and filmmaker. Étaix made a series of acclaimed short- and
feature-length films in the 1960s, many of them co-written by
influential screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. He has won an Academy
Award. Due to a legal dispute with a distribution company, these films
have been unavailable for a long period. They have now been restored and
are available again.
Comedian, illustrator, gagman, film director - Pierre Étaix has done it all, and yet he remains largely unknown outside his homeland. Janus Films is proud to correct that situation with 8 new prints: five features and three shorts produced between 1961 and 1971, all beautifully restored in 35mm. Praised by directors as diverse as Truffaut, Bresson, Godard, and David Lynch, Étaix's films combine exquisite physical comedy with inventive sight gags and a slightly surreal visual sensibility. This retrospective is an unprecedented opportunity to discover a neglected master of comic filmmaking.Excerpt from Janus Films located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Criterion have put together a two-disc Blu-ray package. Both discs are dual-layered and offer the films at a healthy bitrate. They are prefaced with details including this statement:
I thought they all looked fine and I while I could see a few minor inconsistencies - there was nothing that distracted me from my enjoyment of the presentations. The 1.33:1 black and white shorts exhibited very good contrast with a touch of green in one of them and the colors in those (2) feature-length films were bright with a relative dark cast. Yes, these have had some digitization in the transfer but it is nothing outrageous or untoward. I suspect Criterion's discretion has encouraged a clean, consistent 1080P image in-motion. Certain detail is impressive. This Blu-rays have no unacceptable flaws and offer, not only the ability to see the films but, in pleasing and consistent video presentations. I enjoyed my viewing very much.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Nothing special in Criterion's audio transfer - a straightforward linear PCM mono track in original French at 1152 kbps. I suspect there has been some clean-up there must I noticed no fatal flaws, drop-outs or hiss. It's flat but clear and there are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.
Criterion include three wonderful Etaix shorts in the package: Rupture (12:45), Happy Anniversary (13:55) and Feeling Good (14:56). There re is also a new, 14-minute, interview with director Pierre Etaix - as well as new, healthy, introductions by Etaix to seven of the films; Suitor (3:59), Yoyo (4:45), As Long As You've Got Your Health (3:44), Le Grande Amour (6:03), Land of Milk and Honey (5:51) and 5.5 minutes for two of the shorts. We get the 2010 documentary portrait of the life and work of Etaix entitled Pierre Etaix, un destin anime - running just over an hour. Included in the case are some liner notes featuring an essay by critic David Cairns.
April 6th, 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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