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Comment ça va? [Blu-ray]
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Bela Productions
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 17,241,024,853 bytes
Feature Size: 17,169,444,864 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps
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)
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? 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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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