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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Claire's Knee aka Le Genou De Claire [Blu-ray]

 

(http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/rohmer.htm, 1970)

 

 

Presently only available in either the 25 Film (52 disc!) Eric Rohmer Blu-ray Boxset: or The Six Moral Tales Blu-ray Boxset - also from Potemkine Films:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Les Films du Losange

Video: Potemkine Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:45:49.125

Disc Size: 36,274,476,519 bytes

Feature Size: 24,454,170,624 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.45 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Custom Blu-ray case (see images above)

Release date: November 27th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio French 813 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 813 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

Carl Dryer (1:00:54 in 1080i)
• Enretien Avec Aurora Cornu et Pierre Cotrelle (9:44)

DVD of the feature included in this cardboard box.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Why would I tie myself to one woman if I were interested in others?” says Jerôme, even as he plans on marrying a diplomat’s daughter by summer’s end. Before then, Jerôme spends his July at a lakeside boardinghouse nursing crushes on the sixteen-year-old Laura and, more tantalizingly, Laura’s long-legged, blonde stepsister, Claire. Baring her knee on a ladder under a blooming cherry tree, Claire unwittingly instigates Jerôme’s moral crisis and creates both one of French cinema’s most enduring moments and what has become the iconic image of Rohmer’s Moral Tales.

 

 

The Film:

The fifth of Eric Rohmer's "Six Moral Tales," Claire's Knee is a deliciously Rohmeresque story of sexual obsession. French diplomat Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy), on a resort vacation, meets Claire (Laurence De Monaghan), the teen-aged daughter of a friend. Though engaged to be married, Jerome falls hopelessly in love -- not with Claire, but with Claire's knee. Realizing that to be revealed as a fetishist would be ruinous for him, Jerome does not act upon his obsession. Eventually he gets to fulfill his yearnings by placing his hand upon Claire's knee, a gesture which she assumes is out of sympathy for a personal crisis she is going through. Originally released as Le Genou de Claire, this film was the recipient of the Prix Louis Delluc and the Prix Melies.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

The fifth and most accessible of Rohmer's six 'moral tales', Claire's Knee is the story of the temptation of an affianced diplomat (Brialy) while on holiday, and its successful suppression. The film was rapturously received as a cinematic equivalent to Jane Austen at the time of its original release. The comparison is apt, though a better one would be with Joseph L Mankiewicz, a director of similarly literate, talky, classically structured movies, but none the less misses the point. For Brialy is no throwback to the 19th century but rather a Martian, a visitor to this planet discovering the values of his own culture through surveying those of the people he finds himself among, and finally retreating back home. If this makes Rohmer sound like a poet of bourgeois repression (just as Chabrol can be seen as a poet of bourgeois excess), one must also add that the film's self-reflexive structure makes it both more exciting and more ambiguous than such a description allows for.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

Firstly, yes - I now own the Coffret Rohmer intégral combo blu ray + livret + pochette photos [Blu-ray] - it is 25 Rohmer films and 52 discs, book and more! So it will take a while to go through. My take so far is very positive. I will continue and, hopefully, at one point do a page on the entire set including the bonus discs (although extras don't seem to be English-friendly the features I have checked so far have optional English subtitles).

 

Claire's Knee gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Potemkine Film in France.  It's dual-layered with a supportive bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. It looks crisper than the pictureboxed Criterion while duplicating its color scheme while it offers the, significantly higher, 1080P resolution. There is a shade of gloss and contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the original 1.33:1 frame. There is more information in the frame.  It's very clean (a very few light scratches) showcasing some pleasing detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering that I could determine. This Blu-ray gave me a great presentation.

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

 

1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Fox/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Potemkine Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Fox/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Potemkine Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) Fox/Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Potemkine Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

No score and the film's sound is transferred via a DTS-HD Master in the original mono. The French dialogue is clean and clear but, obviously, there is nothing dynamic and the film is passive without a score. There are optional English subtitles - a decent translation - and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Firstly, none of the extras I have seen in the Rohmer Boxset have had English subtitles (and they have all been in French) So I didn't watch the entire hour of 'Carl Dryer' which appeared to have segments of the 1965 Cinéastes de notre temps TV show with Rohmer interviewing him. There is also 10-minutes of Aurora Cornu and Pierre Cotrelle - interviewed separately. By their age it appears to be fairly modern. There is also a PAL DVD of the film included in this particular cardboard case (see above image)

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Highly impressive. The Blu-ray gives the best presentation I have ever seen of this film. I loved seeing Claire's Knee again after all these years and I am very excited about indulging in the entire Rohmer boxset. If this level of quality continues and they all have English subtitles (seems probable) then this would seem to be the Blu-ray set of the year... by a wide margin. 

Gary Tooze

December 13th, 2013

 

Presently only available in either the 25 Film (52 disc!) Eric Rohmer Blu-ray Boxset: or The Six Moral Tales Blu-ray Boxset - also from Potemkine Films:


 

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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