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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Amour [Blu-ray]

 

(Michael Haneke, 2012)

 

Sony, in the US, are coming out with their Blu-ray version in August 2013 here:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Les Films du Losange

Video: Artificial Eye

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:07:08.370

Disc Size: 45,555,125,770 bytes

Feature Size: 34,565,474,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.84 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 18th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1581 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1581 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (forced)

 

Extras:

• Introduction by Philippe Rouyer (8:51 - forced English subs)

• The Making of Amour (25:46)

• Jean-Louis Trintignant talks about Amour (7:29)

Trailer (1:56)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Focusing on the lives of an elderly couple and the strain their relationship undergoes after one of them suffers a mild stroke, AMOUR is one of the most powerfully moving, emotionally devastating pieces of cinema ever made. From one of, if not the greatest director working today MICHAEL HANEKE. Winner of the 2012 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

***

An octogenarian couple find their love put to the ultimate test when one of them suffers a stroke, and the other must assume the role of the caretaker in this compassionate yet unsentimental drama from director Michael Haneke. Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are retired classical-music teachers savoring their golden years in a comfortable apartment when Anne experiences a stroke that leaves her partially paralyzed. As devoted Georges struggles with the formidable task of becoming Anne's full-time caretaker, a visit from their adult daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert) reaffirms just how secluded from society the highly educated couple have become since retiring

 

 

The Film:

Cinema feeds on stories of love and death, but how often do filmmakers really offer new or challenging perspectives on either? Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ is devastatingly original and unflinching in the way it examines the effect of love on death, and vice versa. It’s a staggering, intensely moving look at old age and life’s end, which at its heart offers two performances of incredible skill and wisdom from French veteran actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva.

The Austrian director of ‘Hidden’ and ‘The White Ribbon’ offers an intimate, brave and devastating portrait of an elderly Parisian couple, Anne (Riva) and Georges (Trintignant), facing up to a sudden turn in their lives. Haneke erects four walls to keep out the rest of the world, containing his drama almost entirely within one apartment over some weeks and months. The only place we see this couple outside their flat, right at the start, is at the theatre, framed from the stage. Haneke reverses the perspective for the rest of the film. The couple’s flat becomes a theatre for their stories: past, present and future.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

A masterpiece about life, death and everything in between, Michael Haneke’s “Amour” takes a long, hard, tender look at an elderly French couple, Georges and Anne — played by two titans of French cinema, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva — in their final days. Set in contemporary Paris, it begins with the couple’s front door being breached by a group of firemen. One moves through the rooms, delicately raising a hand to his nose before throwing open several large windows. He may be trying to erase the smell that probably brought the firemen there in the first place and which has transformed this light, graceful, enviable apartment into a crypt.

Excerpt from Manohla Dargis at the NY Times located HERE

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

Amour gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye.  The 2-hour film is put to a dual-layered transfer and has a strong bitrate. Colors are pastel/passive looking very true and there is no noise in the darker sequences. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, black levels supporting some keen detail in close-ups. There is some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film Amour. The disc offers an impressively authentic visual presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Amour has a most passive audio. It is transferred to the Blu-ray via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1581 kbps. The film exports no depth and is almost exclusively dialogue driven with little requirement for separations - of which there are a scant couple of instances. The only music is some Schubert, Beethoven and Bach sounding subtle and magnificent via the lossless rendering. There are forced English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Supplements include an enthusiastic 9-minute introduction by Philippe Rouyer talking about Haneke's other work in relation to Amour. We get a more-or-less standard Making of... with pre-production, behind the scenes and snippet interviews with the director and others running about 25-minutes. There is also Jean-Louis Trintignant talks about Amour which runs 7.5 minutes and details how he got involved in the project after a lengthy hiatus from cinema. There is also a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Great film. Wow. Haneke continues to overwhelm with his powerful cinema. Quite brilliant.  The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides and excellent a/v presentation with very appreciated supplements. This is easy to put in the 'must-own' and 'don't hesitate' category for world cinema fans. We strongly recommend! 

Gary Tooze

March 4th, 2013

Sony, in the US, are coming out with their Blu-ray version in August 2013 here:


 

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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