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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Blue is the Warmest Color aka La vie d'Adèle - Chapitres 1 et 2 [Blu-ray]

 

(Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)

 

 

Seems there are different Blu-ray distributors in most other countries; Mongrel Media in Canada:

   

and there are Blu-rays in France and Germany as well:

   

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Quat'sous Films

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #695 / Artificial Eye

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' / Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 3:00:08.422 / 2:59:46.984

Disc Size: 47,113,026,841 bytes / 41,005,232,563 bytes

Feature Size: 46,512,893,952 bytes / 37,226,228,352 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.74 Mbps / 20.02 Mbps

Chapters: 23 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case (s)

Release date: February 25th, 2014 / March 17th, 2014

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 3924 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3924 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio French 3878 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3878 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

English (burned-in)

 

Extras:

• Trailer (1:37) and TV spot (:18)
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic B. Ruby Rich

• Interview with Abdellatif Kechiche (9:03)

• Interview with Adèle Exarchopoulos (7:34)

• Deleted Scenes (8:13)

• Theatrical Trailer (1:53)

 

Bitrate:

1) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Description: The colorful, electrifying romance that took the Cannes Film Festival by storm courageously dives into a young woman’s experiences of first love and sexual awakening. Blue Is the Warmest Color stars the remarkable newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos as a high schooler who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twentysomething art student, played by Léa Seydoux. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, this finely detailed, intimate epic sensitively renders the erotic abandon of youth. It has captivated international audiences and been widely embraced as a defining love story for the new century.

 

 

The Film:

A 15-year-old finds her naïve perceptions of human sexuality challenged upon meeting a blue-haired student who encourages her to assert her individuality in director Abdel Kechiche's deeply perceptive drama. Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is in the midst of a sexual awakening when a handsome male classmate strives to catch her attention. Meanwhile, Adèle's daydreams keep drifting back to Emma (Léa Seydoux), a worldly art student she ran into on the street. Later, when Adèle and Emma forge an actual connection, the uncertain younger teen discovers a side of herself that she's never known, becoming increasingly comfortable in her own skin despite the reactions of her close-minded classmates. Blue Is the Warmest Color was the recipient of the prestigious Palme d' Or at the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Adele Exarchopoulos delivers an extraordinary performance that is utterly mesmerising to watch, her every thought and emotion clearly visible on her achingly expressive face. She also has palpable chemistry with Lea Seydoux and the intensity of their passion is powerfully conveyed within the film's lengthy, visceral sex scenes (the exhausting central sequence is around six minutes long), which, though explicit, are never exploitative.

Kechiche's direction is assured throughout – despite the change of title, we are left in no doubt that this is a strikingly intimate character study, with Sofian El Fani's stunning cinematography often remaining tightly focused, Dardenne Brothers-style, on Exarchopoulos' face. Similarly, the excellent script brilliantly captures both the agony and ecstasy of first love, as well as the devastating pain of heartbreak and the film remains utterly gripping throughout its entire three hour running time.

Excerpt from Matthew Turner at ViewLondon located HERE

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

Blue is the Warmest Color was shot in HD and, predictably, looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion (Director approved!).  The 1080P image is dynamically sharp with brilliant detail, true colors and tons of depth. This is dual-layered with a, reasonably, high bitrate for the 3-hour film. We can guess that it is a solid representation of the film. We may compare to the upcoming AE Blu-ray but this image is flawless exporting some of the most pristine screen captures we have produced in a while. It is in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and contrast is impressively layered and there is no noise whatsoever. I doubt any of the other HD transfer will advance upon this - Criterion have almost no extras and the massive Blu-ray file size is dedicated to the feature.

 

The Artificial Eye transfer is a bit brighter (see by our 4 comparative captures). It is a very strong technical transfer (also dual-layered) but not at Criterion's lofty heights. I suspect that few would quibble with any differences. Still a stunningly attractive film in 1080P.

 

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

 

1) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

What a cool cornicopia of music in Blue is the Warmest Color, performed by such artists as Klaim, Sporto Kantes, HK & Les Saltimbanks, El Timba and many others I don't think I have ever heard of previously! It all sounds very clean and deep via the lossless transfer. From a Huffington Post article HERE: "The music, On lâche rien ("We will never give up!"), by the Algerian-born Kaddour Haddadi, is the official song of the French Communist Party. Yet, soon after she begins her relationship with Emma, we see Adèle protesting again, hip-to-hip with her new lover, at a gay pride parade. On lâche rien has been switched out for the club hit, I Follow Rivers, by the Swedish pop star Lykke Li. All around Adèle swim white, bourgeois, homosexual couples. What was once political is now just a party". There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.

 

My ears can't detect any difference in the 5.1 uncompressed at over 3000 Kbps in original French. Artificial Eye add a linear PCM in 2.0 channel. One of the bigger points of contention for some may be that the UK disc has burned-in English subtitles (samples below). 

 

Extras :

Criterion, unusually, don't offer much - only a 1.5 minute trailer and 18-second TV Spot but they include a linear notes booklet with an essay by critic B. Ruby Rich. Note: As Gregory tells us in email :"I think that it's important to note that Criterion announced a forthcoming special edition of this film in the future, so those wishing for a full-stacked disc are warned."

 

We know that Criterion will be coming out with another edition - with supplements but the Artificial Eye has a few of their own. Although fairly standard, these are decent extras - we get a 10-minute interview with director Abdellatif Kechiche about the production an 7.5-minutes with the star Adèle Exarchopoulos about her character and performance. There are also 8-minutes of deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
There are so many things to love about Blue is the Warmest Color, not limited to but including the whirlwind emotional pace that embraces the character of Adèle’s roller-coaster of raw experience in so many ways. Adapting is an important lesson. Yes, the too-much-talked-about sex scenes (Gay, Hetero, and masturbation) are graphic, but tasteful... beautiful. Abdellatif Kechiche keeps us off-balance never pushing into expected areas of drama or conflict. I found this a huge positive and the 3-hour film floats along with such grace and power - it makes it a truly unforgettable cinema experience. I urge everyone to see this masterpiece. To own it on Blu-ray should be mandatory for World Cinema Home Theatre aficionados. Despite a virtual, bare-bones, package - it has our strongest recommendation!

 

AE doesn't have the budget that Criterion does and this is a solid release for region 'B'-locked audiences. I enjoyed this as much in my second viewing as my first. Don't miss this one!

  

Gary Tooze

January 29th, 2014

March 10th, 2014

 

 

Seems there are different Blu-ray distributors in most other countries; Mongrel Media in Canada:

   

and there are Blu-rays in France and Germany as well:

   

 

 

 

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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