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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Love in the City')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/antonioni.htm,

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fellini.htm,

Alberto Lattuada, Carlo Lizzani,

Francesco Maselli, Dino Risi and Cesare Zavattini
Italy 1953

 

An early example of the Italian omnibus film, a subgenre of irresistible conceptual appeal and inevitable built-in unevenness (RoGoPaG, Le Streghe, Boccaccio '70). The brainchild of neorealism doyen Cesare Zavattini, it huddles a batch of shorts from various directors hinging on amore thematics, whether built around strands of melancholy flirting (Dino Risi's surveilling of a provincial jitterbugging hall) or forlorn lechery (Alberto Lattuada's flipbook of males double-taking over strolling lookers). Not surprisingly, Zavattini's own contribution, following a poor unwed mother through the daily grind of Roman boarding houses and crowded welfare offices, is the one most obviously cuffed to neorealist ideas (the heroism of the wretched) and tropes (an unbroken diaper-changing shot apes the real-time integrity of the maid's morning routine in Umberto D.). By contrast, the more interesting segments by Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini push the aesthetics toward bladelike abstraction (alienated women reenacting botched suicide attempts for Antonioni's cooling lenses) and fantasy-tinged satire (Fellini's account of a pure, struggling country girl rung through a matrimonial agency).

Excerpt from Fernando F. Croce's review at Cinepassion.org HERE

 

Poster

 

Theatrical Release: November 26th, 1953

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Comparison:

Minerva Classic - Region 0 - PAL vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL vs. Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Minerva Classic DVD Screen Caps!

1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

   

Distribution

Minerva Classic

Region 0 - PAL

Optimum
Region 2 - PAL

Raro Video USA

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:49:36 (4% PAL speedup) 1:44:28 (4% PAL speedup) 1:54:51.426
Video

1:1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.38 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.25:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.58 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,474,027,393 bytes

Feature: 20,389,443,648 bytes

Codec: VC-1 Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.03 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Minerva Classic

 

Bitrate:

 

Optimum

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Italian (Dolby Digital mono) 

LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentaries: LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Minerva Classic

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1:1.33

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary (No English Subs)
• Interview with Paolo Mereghetti (13:13 / English subs)
• Interview with Luca Bandirali (23:39 / English subs)
• Interview with Angelo Pasquini (15:04 / English subs)
• Trailer (3:01 / No subs)
• Difference between screenplay and final edition (5:29 / No English subs)
• DVD Rom content
• 34 Page Booklet (In English and Italian)

DVD Release Date: 10 NOV 06
Transparent keep-case

Chapters 6

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.25:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: February 18th, 200
8
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: Raro Video

 

1.33:1 - 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,474,027,393 bytes

Feature: 20,389,443,648 bytes

Codec: VC-1 Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.03 Mbps


 

Edition Details:

• Introduction to commentaries by Gabrielle Lucantonio

• Audio commentary on Love for Money by Carlo Lizzani
• Audio commentary on Story of Caterina by Francesco Maselli
• Audio commentary on Attempted Suicide by Giudo Chiesa
• Audio commentary on Marriage Agency by Silvano Agosti
• Audio commentary on Italians Turn Their Heads by Mario Brenta
• Audio commentary on Paradise for Three Hours by Mimmo Calopresti

• Interview with Paolo Mereghetti (13:13)
• Interview with Luca Bandirale (23:39)
• Interview with Angelo Pasquini (15:04)
• Trailer (3:10)
• 20-page booklet on the film

 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 8

 

Openings for two segments (Antonioni's and Fellini's)


 

Comments ADDITION: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (July 2014): Well, it looks to be from the same source as the Minerva DVD, and there isn't as much DNR as Raro's I Vinti Blu-ray, but still this has been over-digitized. I really wanted to like this as there are some great extras. But as the film progressed the artifacts (see sky in the capture under the commentary subtitle sample near bottom) and waxi-softness becomes very apparent. What a shame. This is single-layered, VC-1 (as opposed to AVC) and a low bitrate.

The segments are (from Raro website):

Love for Money (Amore che si Paga)
Italy, 1953, 35mm, 11 min., b&w
director: Carlo Lizzani screenplay: Cesare Zavattini,
Tullio Pinelli, Aldo Buzzi, Luigi Chiarini, Luigi Malerba, Vittorio Veltroni
cast: non professional actors
Attempted Suicide(Tentato Suicidio)
Italy, 1953, 35mm, 22 min., b&w
director: Michelangelo Antonioni screenplay: Michelangelo
Antonioni, Cesare Zavattini, Tullio Pinelli, Aldo Buzzi, Luigi Chiarini, Luigi Malerba, Vittorio Veltroni
cast: non professional actors
Paradise for Three Hours (Paradiso per Tre Ore)
Italy, 1953, 35mm, 12 min., b&w
director: Dino Risi screenplay: Cesare Zavattini,
Marco Ferreri, Tullio Pinelli, Aldo Buzzi, Luigi Malerba, Vittorio Veltroni
cast: non professional actors
Marriage Agency (Agenzia Matrimoniale)
Italy, 1953, 35mm, 16 min., b&w
director: Federico Fellini screenplay: Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli
cast: Antonio Cifariello, Livia Venturelli, Lia Natali, Cristina Grado
Story of Caterina (Storia di Caterina)
Italy, 1953, 35mm, 27 min., b&w
director: Francesco Maselli, Cesare Zavattini screenplay: Cesare Zavattini cast: Caterina Rigoglioso, non professional actors
Italians Turn Their Heads (Gli Italiani si Voltano)
Italy, 1953, 35mm, 14 min., b&w
director: Alberto Lattuada screenplay: Alberto Lattuada,
Cesare Zavattini, Tullio Pinelli, Aldo Buzzi, Luigi Chiarini, Luigi Malerba, Vittorio Veltroni cast: Marco Ferreri, Valeria Moriconi, Giovanna Ralli, Patrizia Ralli

The audio is linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps in original Italian - and it is not without its weaknesses as well. I assume it is the source but there are inconsistencies - a few crackles etc. . The score by Mario Nascimbene (Barabbas, A Farewell to Arms) gains some benefit from the uncompressed transfer. The English subtitles are optional on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

The supplements are quite good (same as the Minerva - but English-friendly). There are six different commentaries (one for each section) and an introduction to said commentaries by Gabrielle Lucantonio, curator. One issue about the commentaries is that they are all in Italian and while optional subtitles are offered, they often override the feature's English subtitles. And often the audio is very low, so you can't really watch the film and listen to the commentary at the same time. Saying that the commentaries are quite good discussing style, themes etc. There are also some interviews; 13-minutes with Paolo Mereghetti (film critic and scholar), 23-minutes with Luca Bandirale (University lecturer, editor etc.) and 15-minutes with writer Angelo Pasquini. These are all in Italian with English subtitles. There is also a 3-minute trailer and the package contains a 20-page booklet with photos and essays (in English).

Odd as this sounds, this may be worth it to some for the extras, alone. I got something out of the interviews and the commentaries (especially in the Antonioni segment). Unfortunately, we must 'pass' on the Blu-ray image quality - I think the Minerva SD might actually look superior on many systems.

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE DVDs: It's amazing that Optimum didn't license the rights for the Minerva Classic DVD. They are like day and night, everything in favor for the Italian release. Where the Optimum image looks hazy and soft, the Minerva Classic picture is razor sharp, with solid black levels. There's no visible print damage on the picture, beside the few minute long prolog sequence, that has some scratches. It's always hard to transfer a film this old to DVD. There's different opinions how the image should look. The people who restored L'Amore in Cittą have decided to leave solid black levels, but at the same time they have blocked the monochromatic black sequences. Compared to the Optimum version there's missing details in the night shots. It's maybe still a better solution, than to have everything grey. The Minerva version looks also very high contrasted, but that's probably intended. The Optimum version is cropped quite heavily on the right side. The Minerva DVD has some cropping on the top and bottom of the image and does have some possible contrast boosting, plus the visible digital artefacts, but overall it looks quite stunning!

The audio is like the picture, cleaned from dirt and dust, and sounds almost perfect for a film of these age.

Some of the extra material is subtitled in English (see above).

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

ON THE OPTIMUM: Single-layered, progressive DVD transfer from Optimum - coded for region 2 in the PAL standard. The ratio appears to be about 1.25:1. It is fairly rough in the beginning with a very jittery picture, flickering contrast and plenty of scratches. It does settle down significantly and the image, although still showing speckles and some weakness, is much improved although obviously brightness boosted. Audio is at the same level as the image and there are optional English subtitles. 

I found the segments very interesting and was, of course, especially keen to the inclusions by Antonioni and Fellini. I actually wish it was longer and focused on one single story. Because the DVD quality is not stellar it may appeal more to Italian cinephiles and completists of the two aforementioned directors. I, honestly enjoyed my viewing and may indulge again at some point in the future. Some form of supplements would have been greatly appreciated but there are none at all. 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



DVD Menus
(
Minerva Classic - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 
 

 

More Extras on the Minerva

 

 

Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle sample


1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Minerva - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Optimum - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Raro Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

 

Blu-ray Commentary subtitle sample

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


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Image:

Minerva

Extras: Blu-ray
 

Box Covers

 

 

   

Distribution

Minerva Classic

Region 0 - PAL

Optimum
Region 2 - PAL

Raro Video USA

Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

 

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