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Cousin Jules aka Le Cousin Jules [Blu-ray]
(Dominique Benicheti, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Société des Films Orzeaux
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,700,000,328 bytes
Feature Size: 21,432,403,968 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 3rd, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1708 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1708 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• Origins of Restoration (2013, 11:30)
Description: An ode to the simple pleasures of life, Cousin Jules is a beautiful, immersive portrait of a blacksmith living with his wife on a small farm in the French countryside. Shot in CinemaScope, the film meticulously captures their daily rituals – she fires up the oven, grinds the coffee beans, fetches water from the well; he stokes the forge, hammers the iron – and transforms it into a bucolic symphony of sound and image. Lost for nearly 40 years and now exquisitely restored, Cousin Jules is a timeless masterpiece, a record of a place and a way of a life that has long ago vanished.
This unusual documentary chronicles five years in the grim, silent life of an elderly French couple (the husband was nearly eighty). In it, not one word is spoken. They live in a rural area, and the film follows their daily routine in extraordinary detail. Though the man's wife died during the filming, the filmmakers continued and show the old man doing his chores alone, awaiting his own death.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Formally ambitious on the grandest scale, Dominique Benicheti's 1973
documentary Cousin Jules earns an oft trotted-out maxim: This film is
unlike any other you will see all year.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Cousin Jules (restored) comes to Blu-ray from Cinema Guild. This documentary was not shot in a straightforward manner - with, predominantly, natural light. So the quality varies from location to location but the lack of production lighting brings another layer of vérité to the film experience - that you get the most out of by simply absorbing the mood and educational visuals. This is single-layered with a supportive bitrate. Contrast is adept and there are no prominent instances of depth. This Blu-ray image seems faithful through the 1080P transfer providing a pleasing visual presentation without issues of any kind.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The film's audio is transferred in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 track at 1708 kbps. There is little sound with only the workday procedures of a blacksmith, maintaining the land or preparing food. What audio is there - is exported faithfully but nothing impacts via the soundstage. There is no soundtrack - no music at all. It is clean with some realistic scattering. There are English subtitle but they only seem necessary for the title as there is no dialogue, per-se, in the entire film.My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Extras include a new piece on the Origins of Restoration running a dozen minutes showcasing the meticulous reassembling of the older elements to breathe new life into this timeless documentary. There is also a trailer and the package contains a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by Haden Guest.
June 16th, 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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