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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Comment ça va? [Blu-ray]


(, 1978)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Bela Productions

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:18:01.677

Disc Size: 17,241,024,853 bytes

Feature Size: 17,169,444,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 25th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio French 902 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 902 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)



• English (burned-in)



• None





Description: Directed by the legendary Jean-Luc Godard (Contempt, Weekend) - combining video and film, Comment Ca Va? is a fascinating dialectic on the dissemination and processing of information, both literary and visual. Two workers of a communist newspaper strike out to make a film and video about the newspaper and the printing plant. One of the workers, Odette (Anne-Marie Mieville), has strange ideas about content and form and how the film should be made. Comment ca va? is a formally brilliant work about the transmission of ideas by the major media. Jean-Luc Godard co-wrote the screenplay with Anne-Marie Mieville (Ici Et Ailleurs).


Comment ça va?


The Film:

Comment ça va? is one of the most dense and abstracted of the several essayistic videos Jean-Luc Godard made in collaboration with his partner Anne-Marie Miéville during the latter half of the 1970s. As with much of Godard and Miéville's work from around this time, this video concerns itself primarily with meta questions: questions about how to produce a video or a film, how to show certain things that they're interested in showing, how to communicate their ideas. They explore these subjects through the loosely structured story of an editor at a Communist newspaper (Michel Marot), who collaborates with the radical Odette (played by Miéville herself, though her face never appears) in order to make an educational video about the production of a newspaper.

Excerpt from Only the Cinema located HERE

Despite the blatant reflexivity of the film's premise, Comment ça va might have been a remarkably straightforward film about a newspaperman making an instructional video about the paper business with his partner. But as much as Godard has always been fascinated with process, the single question out of the journalistic "Five Ws" that is truly addressed here is "Why?" The complexity that will eventually push the film into some of the director's most challenging work to this point (no mean feat) is prompted by an almost childlike simplicity on behalf of the radical woman, Odette (Miéville), who oversees this project with the Communist newspaper editor (Michel Marot). Though her questions are complex, political, philosophical and aesthetic, they ultimately boil down to that simplest yet most agonizing of queries.

Excerpt from Not Just Movies located HERE

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

Comment ça va? arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and, predictably, doesn't looks especially impressive. The original 1.33:1 visuals can be soft and even waxy at times. Colors seems to be the high point and this is the area that seems to excel most over SD. The black and white stills (or monochrome monitor) video footage exports the least remarkable image but there is no chroma and I don't doubt it is accurate to the way it looked originally. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over DVD but by no stretch of the imagination would it be considered a 'pleasing' image. It is what it is and the 1080P does the best it can.
















Audio :

Audio is in the form of a DTS-HD Master mono track in original French. It is unremarkable with scattered moments. The original score is by Jean Schwarz but isn't a large part of the film experience. I wouldn't say anything sounds crisp - but that would be more a function of the production than the transfer.  There burned-in English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.



I've seen Comment ça va? before - and I recall liking it. Unfortunately, this time I, guess, I wasn't in the mood for Godard and didn't get much out of it. I struggled through it. But I can still appreciate the points made and the manner, sometimes subtle - sometimes ham-fisted, in which they are exposed to us. The Olive Blu-ray does its usual - improving over SD with no supportive extras. This would probably suit the director's niche following, but not too many others. 

Gary Tooze

June 25th, 2013

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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