S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Schalcken the Painter [Blu-ray]
(Leslie Megahey, 1979)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 41,138,228,949 bytes
Feature Size: 20,173,682,688 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.93 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 18th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
•The Pit (1962, Edward Abraham, 25 mins): experimental film based on the classic Poe tale The Pit and the Pendulum
• The Pledge (Digby Rumsey, 1981, 22 mins): a dark tale of death and friendship, featuring a score by Michael Nyman
• Interview with Leslie Magahey (2013, 40 mins): the director of Schalcken the Painter discusses his career and influences
• Fully illustrated booklet with original essays and complete film credits
Description: World premiere of this highly sought-after
ghost story from the BBC, released in the BFI's acclaimed
If you feel moved by the paintings of Vermeer, Gerrit Dou, De Hooch, Frans Hals etc, you cannot fail to be moved by this story of the artist Schalken, a contemporary of the painters above. Directed with artistic delicacy and care, the film is shot almost entirely in what appears to be candle light, and the effect therefore, is both romantic and chilling at the same time. The story revolves around a series of actual paintings by Schalken - the originals of which are approximately 10 inches square - and we are taken through a story of love and ambition and downfall, with several scenes culminating in tableaux reminiscent of the paintings themselves.Excerpt from IMDb located HERE
Ah! the golden age of cultural television programming! The time when you
could turn on a programme about the arts and be treated to luminous
camerawork, a script that helped you to your own conclusions and repaid
consideration, strong performances, a good dose of fear and, of course,
a hefty sampling of female nudity!
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Schalcken the Painter, a 1979 TV production, comes to BFI's 'Flip-side' label on Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc and I see no boosting manipulation in the image quality. I have no idea what this looked like on TV almost 35-years ago but I suspect these visuals are not far off this rough, thick, softish look. Whether an intentional appearance, or not, - with the 1080P it further brings out the Gothic style in the 1.33:1 frame. Perhaps natural lighting was also a factor in the style - but regardless it worked. This Blu-ray does what it can to bring out the grain and textures. The image is consistent in this regard. I see no damage and only a few minor speckles. It doesn't exhibit noise - and there is plenty o darkness. Everything seemed to suit the film extremely well as I don't believe a glossy, pristine appearance would garner the same reaction.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Authentic audio from the TV production - via a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps. Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer in regards to an authentic flat sound with some nice deep effects. There are English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
BFI add quite a lot of value with their supplements, We get the an Edward Abraham short - The Pit - an experimental film based on the classic Poe tale The Pit and the Pendulum. It has some great atmosphere. Also included is Digby Rumsey's 1981 short The Pledge - a dark tale of death and friendship, featuring a score by the great Michael Nyman. I found both interesting actually preferring them to run longer. We get a new 40-minute interview with Leslie Magahey, the director of Schalcken the Painter and he discusses his career and influences. In the package is a liner notes, fully illustrated booklet with original essays and complete film credits.
October 23rd, 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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