S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1963)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica
Video: Redemption / Kino
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 41,114,736,364 bytes
Feature Size: 29,011,774,848 bytes
Video Bitrate: 33.98 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 1st, 2014
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
English (only for French dialogue), None
• Interview with Alain Robbe-Grillet by Frederic Taddei (34:00)
• 2014 Promo (2:09)
Description: With his talent for intricate, experimental
narratives, and his penchant for sado-masochism as a
recurring theme in his work, Robbe-Grillet used film to
explore his own sexual desires, resulting in a highly
personal and sometimes disturbing body of work that is
equally characteristic of European art cinema and the
exploitation cinema of the 1960s.
The first feature directed by nouveau roman writer and film-maker Robbe-Grillet (who had scripted Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad), this is a characteristically fragmented mystery-romance set in Istanbul. The arty narrative is occasionally irritating, and one could easily argue that the images of the elusive femme fatale in underwear and bondage are misogynist; but there is no denying the film's extraordinary creation of that strange, unsettling atmosphere one encounters in a foreign and labyrinthine city.
French avant-garde novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet, who previously wrote the screenplay for the ground-breaking L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad, made his directorial debut with this allegorical drama. A man known as N (Jacques Doniol-Valcroze) encounters L (Francoise Brion,) a mysterious woman who may or may not be involved with M (Guido Celano), a Turk who kidnaps women and forces them into prostitution. N finds himself falling in love with L, who suddenly disappears. When she reemerges, N persuades L to join him for a vacation; as they drive out of town, one of her dogs dashes into the road. Swerving in a desperate effort to save the dog, N loses control of the car and L is killed. N becomes obsessed with the accident, for which he cannot forgive himself. L'Immortelle was nominated for the Golden Bear award at the 1963 Berlin Film Festival.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Much to the delight of Alain Robbe-Grillet fans, Kino's Redemption label have released L'Immortelle from a recently restored print - to Blu-ray. The 1080P image is very impressive with wonderful contrast. Detail is crisp and the image is remarkably clean looking. There is frequent depth exported. There is texture and the visuals are fairly consistent throughout the presentation. The vistas of Istanbul are beautifully shot. In short - I see no flaws and was quite taken with the pristine remastered video representation. This is house on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Thumbs up!
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is in the form of a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 2304 kbps in original French (with some English). Dialogue can be sparse (long gaps). Georges Delerue (Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night) did the score - with Michel Fano + Tahsin Kavalcioglu - which sounds quite nice beside the contemplative visuals. There are some minor effects with depth via the lossless. The track handles the film's soundstage very effectively. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Redemption include a 1/2 hour interview with Alain Robbe-Grillet, who was also most successful screenwriters of the French New Wave, by Frederic Taddei (in French with English subtitles). It is revealing - the director talks about the production as well as Marienbad. He is very honest and open about the production and his career at the time. There are trailers for Trans-Europ-Express, Eden and After, and The Man Who Lies. There is also a 2-minute 2014 Promo for L'Immortelle.
March 27th, 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
ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS