S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Jean-Luc Godard, Ugo Gregoretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini, 1963)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Arco Film
Video: Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine #38
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 29,817,238,947 bytes
Feature Size: 23,724,939,264 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.30 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 27th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 762 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 762 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 512 kbps / 16-bit)
English (SDH), none
• Original Italian theatrical trailer
Description: Conceived by the legendary Italian producer
Alfredo Bini, the multi-director portmanteau film Let's Wash
Our Brains: RoGoPaG [Laviamoci il cervello: RoGoPaG] brought
together four giants of European cinema to contribute comic
episodes reflective of the swinging post-"boom" era. The
resulting omnibus collectively examines social anxieties
around sex, nuclear war, religion, urbanisation - and the
promise of a modern cinema.
RoGoPaG is an omnibus of short films by Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ugo Gregoretti and Jean- Luc Godard. Each episode is introduced by a quotation from the Bible which the episode illustrates with a fiction of contemporary life. Rossellini's film, "Illibatezza" ("Virginity"), is the tale of Anna-Maria Rosanna Schiaffino, a beautiful, demure stewardess courted by Joe, an American businessman on a trip to Bangkok. Pasolini's film, "La Ricotta" ("Ricotta Cheese"), concerns a film crew shooting the passion of Christ. The film's director, played by Orson Welles, gives a hilarious interview to a journalist who comes on the set. The scenes from the passion are shot as recreations of renaissance paintings and the landscapes are filled with beautiful boys. Godard's "Il Nuovo Mondo" ("The New World") follows a couple, played by Jean-Marc Bory and Alexandra Stewart, whose relationship ends just after an atomic bomb is exploded high over Paris. The film uses the Paris of the early 1960s as the city of some indefinite future, a technique Godard would use again in Alphaville. Gregoretti's contribution "Il Polo Ruspante" ("The Free Range Chicken") cuts between a speech by a marketing expert (Ugo Tognazzi) and a family's Sunday outing. The expert speaks on mechanisms for promoting sales by keeping the consumer dissatisfied. The family takes a drive through traffic, negotiates an impersonal highway restaurant, and considers buying some land.
The strange title combines the abbreviations of the four directors (Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and the relatively unknown Ugo Gregoretti) responsible for the sketches in this much-better-than-average Italian feature of 1962, when the art of cinema was in an especially lively phase. I don't recall the Gregoretti segment, but the other three make this well worth the price of admission, even if Rossellini's sketch and Godard's “The New World” (a rough draft for Alphaville) are ultimately more interesting than satisfying. Pasolini's episode, about the shooting of a biblical spectacular, with Orson Welles as the Felliniesque director, is mind-bogglingly wonderful.Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Chicago Reader located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Predictably, Masters of Cinema's Blu-ray treatment is housed on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate. Ro.Go.Pa.G. looks reasonably consistent from short to short with only Rossellini's Illibatezza standing out with slightly heavier black levels and a thicker appearance. I can only surmise that this appears true to the source. Jean-Luc Godard's Il Nuovo Mondo and Pier Paolo Pasolini's La Ricotta look the best showcasing some desirable depth. There are some color sequences in Pasolini's and at the end of Gregoretti's "Il Polo Ruspante". The image quality shows a fine layer of grain, layered contrast, no noise and the brief colors look rich. It is not glossy and I would guess the 1.85:1 aspect ratio 1080P transfer is a strong replication of the theatrical appearance almost 50-years ago. This Blu-ray provided me an excellent video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Il Nuovo Mondo
Authentic to its production, Masters of Cinema provide a DTS-HD Master in 2.0 channel at a modest 762 kbps. It sounds flat but true with a modicum of depth. These film sport dialogue as the majority of the sound and it is always clear and clean with no blatant DUB-sync issues. Carlo Rustichelli's scores support the films well in lossless never overwhelming the narrative. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Digitally we only get a trailer but MoC have added one of their typically extensive liner notes booklets - 56-pages featuring new essays by Tag Gallagher, Arthur Mas, Martial Pisani, and Pasquale Iannone; a new translation by Tag Gallagher of excerpts from an oral history about the film; and rare archival imagery.
August 17th, 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 3500 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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