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The Artist and the Model aka El artista y la modelo [Blu-ray]
(Fernando Trueba, 2012)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Fernando Trueba Producciones Cinematográficas
Video: Cohen Media Group
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,057,829,149 bytes
Feature Size: 20,340,387,840 bytes
Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: February 11th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1716 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1716 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
English (SDH), none
• Interview with director Fernando Trueba (4:29)
• Photo Gallery
• Original Trailer (2:02)
Description: Summer of 1943. In occupied France, not far away from the Spanish border, a famous old sculptor who is tired of life and wars finds the desire to work on his last masterpiece when a beautiful young Spanish girl comes knocking, after escaping a refugee camp in the South of France.
An exquisitely crafted miniature about the creative rebirth of an aging sculptor, Fernando Trueba's "The Artist and the Model" brings the same craft and care to its subject as its titular artist does to his own work.
Scripted with insight and sensitivity by Fernando Trueba and Jean-Claude Carrière, this mournful exploration of the toll taken by time and conflict turns to Matisse and Picasso for its story about the impact a Spanish Civil War fugitive has on a reclusive 80 year-old sculptor. However, while Aida Folch inspires Jean Rochefort, with the connivance of his anxious wife Claudia Cardinale, her commitment to the anti-fascist cause is stronger than her self-preservation. Beautifully photographed by Daniel Vilar, this is an impeccably played gem, whose ideas are as potent as its imagery.Excerpt from Empire Online located HERE
"The Artist and the Model" is a simple, straightforward film about the wonder and awe that the natural world inspires in us. It elicits such wonder and awe in the viewer mainly by holding its steady gaze upon beautiful or beautifully arrayed things under sunlight. "You can't create this light," the artist of the title says at one point while peering around his canvas at his nude model, who stands in a field where a combination of drifting pollen, shifting clouds, swaying branches and fluttering leaves gives the light a restless, flickering quality. He tries to reproduce it with dappled, mottled, uneven applications of paint.Excerpt from Roger Ebert located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Artist and the Model on Blu-ray from Cohen Media looks exquisite. Daniel Vilar's cinematography accentuates the marvelous contrast of the pristine black and white visuals. There is plenty of depth and close-ups are remarkable. This is only single-layered but has a supportive bitrate. It is pristinely clean and the 1080P provides a very pleasing 1080P presentation. I might have seen one or two slight instances of noise but it was never distracting. The shadows in the film are so rich and the use of light can make you swoon. This Blu-ray video is very impressive - enough so that I would state it was one of the most appealing black + white films I have seen in this new format.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1716 kbps. There are a scant few crisp separations - it is not really that type of film, but the infrequent music; Duke Ellington performing Caravan and Mahler's Novena Sinfonía sound delightful via the lossless. There is some pleasing bass. There is also a simple Dolby surround effort as an option. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'.
Not that much in the way of extras - only a brief interview (less than 5-minutes) with director Fernando Trueba, a click-thru Photo Gallery and the original trailer. The package also has an 8-page leaflet with photos, chapter titles, but no essay.
February 4th, 2014
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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