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The Bronte Sisters aka Les soeurs Brontë [Blu-ray]
(André Téchiné, 1979)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Cohen Media Group
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 47,448,247,824 bytes
Feature Size: 31,147,852,992 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.28 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: July 30th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
• Documentary The Ghosts of Haworth with Director André Téchiné, Screenwriter Pascal Bonitzer(59:37)
• Feature Length Audio Commentary with Wade Major and Bronte Scholar Sue Lonoff de Cuevas
• Original French Trailer (3:23). Re-Release 2013 Trailer (1:42)
Description: The rediscovered Classic now fully re-mastered and available for the first time EVER. Three of France's most enduring actresses star in this moody and atmospheric look at the reclusive lives of the Brontë sisters. In a dreary presbytery in Yorkshire, living under the watchful eyes of their aunt and father, a strict Anglican pastor, the sisters write their first works that quickly become literary sensations. Their brother, Branwell, a gifted painter, becomes entangled in a complicated May-December romance that tragically effects everyone in the family.
Four young siblings: Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne, live a stoic
existence in a small village in the English country side. Their old
father, an Anglican minister, a rigid spinster aunt and Tabby, the maid,
complete their household. The siblings have artistic ambitions and rely
upon each other for companionship. Branwell is a painter and a
self-portrait with his sisters is worthy of the general admiration of
the family. He wants to pursue a professional career, but only goes as
far as to establish a friendship with Leyland, another artist. Emily's
favorite pastime is to walk across the bleak moors that surround the
village dressed as a man. Anne, the youngest of the siblings, is her
companion. Charlotte, more ambitious than the others, convinces their
reluctant aunt to give her money to go to Belgium in order to study
French. Her idea is to eventually comeback and open a school. With their
aunt's money and permission, Charlotte and Emily go to Brussels. Once
there, Charlotte falls secretly in love with her teacher Monsieur Hager,
who is already married. Emily plays the piano at school, but has a hard
time there and is teased by her classmates for being English and
Protestant in a Catholic country. Meanwhile, in England, Anne finds
employment as a governess, taking over the education of the daughter of
a wealthy family.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Bronte Sisters looks quite good on Blu-ray from the Cohen Media Group. It seems to support the original appearance of the film with passive, dark colors. Detail is acceptable with a touch of texture and the outdoor scenes are quite impressive. The 1.66:1 aspect ratio is preserved and the disc is dual-layered with a higher-end video bitrate. It is 1080P and seems to adhere to the film's original 'period' look. Hopefully the captures will give you a good idea of the presentation appearance. There was no noise or artefacts and I was pleased with how it looked in-motion.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Cohen add a linear PCM audio stereo track at 2304 kbps. There are no aggressive effects but the score is by the versatile Philippe Sarde (Quest for Fire, Tess, The Tenant) and benefits from the lossless transfer sounding very much in line with the period atmosphere. It is supportive and warm. The are optional subtitles (remote button - not on menu) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' although there is a French Blu-ray available HERE.
We get quite a good feature length audio commentary with Wade Major and Bronte Scholar Sue Lonoff de Cuevas (Approaches to Teaching Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights) who is able to describe all the truisms in the film as well as those plot points with with more 'poetic license'. The Ghosts of Haworth is an hour-long documentary by Dominique Maillet about the film including interviews with director André Téchiné, screenwriter Pascal Bonitzer, actor Pascal Greggory and others. A lot is covered - it is in French with English subtitles showing plenty of the film while participants talk. We also get two trailers (original and re-release). There is an 8-page liner notes leaflet with photos and chapter listings.
July 26th, 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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