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La Cage Aux Folles [Blu-ray]
(Edouard Molinaro, 1978)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Da Ma Produzione
Video: Criterion Collection Spine #671
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 47,763,818,425 bytes
Feature Size: 28,428,595,200 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 10th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
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 interview with director Edouard Molinaro (18:33)
Description: Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) and Albin (Michel Serrault)—a middle-aged gay couple who are the manager and star performer at a glitzy drag club in Saint-Tropez—agree to hide their sexual identities, along with their flamboyant personalities and home decor, when the ultraconservative parents of Renato’s son’s fiancée come for a visit. This elegant comic scenario kicks off a wild and warmhearted French farce about the importance of nonconformity and being true to oneself. A breakout art-house smash in America, Edouard Molinaro’s La Cage aux Folles inspired a major Broadway musical and the blockbuster remake The Birdcage. But with its hilarious performances and ahead-of-its-time social message, there’s nothing like the audacious, dazzling original movie.
"La Cage Aux Folles" is "Guess
Who's Coming to Dinner?" French style.
"La Cage aux Folles" are "birds of a feather," which are
precisely and hilariously what do not flock together in this wonderful
comedy from France. It's about the gay owner of a scandalous nightclub
in St. Tropez, his transvestite lover, and how the owner reacts after
his son returns home one day and announces he's going to marry . . . a
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
La Cages aux Follles looks like a very true replication of its original appearance via Criterion's Blu-ray transfer. It's thick with a lot of grain texture visible. Colors show vibrancy and this dual-layered rendering with a max'ed-out bitrate looks as rich and warm as the film itself. It is in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and there is s sense of occasional, refreshing, depth. This restoration has removed any minor imperfections of damage or speckles. This Blu-ray has no discernable flaws and supplies an pleasing, film-like, 1080P presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is via an authentic linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps in the original French language. It is fairly unremarkable. The light score by Ennio Morricone takes centre stage where appropriate and dialogue and music is clear and consistent. The lossless uncompressed monaural soundtrack sounds true to the source. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.
Firstly we get a new, 18-minute interview with director Edouard Molinaro whose career as a film and television director has spanned more than sixty years. In this interview, conducted by Criterion in April 2013, he reminisces about La Cage aux Folles, which was both his biggest hit and biggest struggle. There is archival footage (about 1/2 hour's worth in total) featuring actor Michel Serrault and Jean Poiret, writer and star of the original stage production of La Cage aux Folles. La Cage aux Folles began as a sketch comedy in the late fifties on French TV. This archival footage has two television programmes and one excerpt from a broadcast of a performance of the play. There is also a new 23-minute interview with professor Laurence Senelick, author of The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre, who discusses the century old tradition of drag performance, and talks about the impact the film had on the contemporary understanding of sexuality and gender politics. We get both French and U.S. trailers and the package contains a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein.
August 31st, 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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