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The Past aka 'Le Passe' [Blu-ray]
(Asghar Farhadi, 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Memento Films Production
Video: Artificial Eye
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 46,989,351,262 bytes
Feature Size: 34,247,755,776 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 9th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio French 3008 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3008 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
•Making Of... (25:48)
• Interview with Ali Mosaffa (6:54)
• Interview with Bérénice Bejo (7:36)
• Interview with Tahar Rahim (5:32)
• Interview with Mahmoud Kalari (8:19)
• Trailer (1:56)
Description: Following a four-year separation, Ahmad returns
to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie's request,
in order to finalize their divorce procedure. During his
stay, Ahmad quickly discovers the conflicting nature of
Marie's relationship with her daughter, Lucie. But Ahmad's
attempts to build bridges between the two soon begin to
encroach on Marie's new partner, Samir (Tahar Rahim,
A Prophet), and as tensions begin to mount it soon
becomes clear that the past is only close behind.
The Past, which has no exposition or flashbacks to help us fill
in the details, proceeds to unveil a series of surprise revelations that
grow increasingly disturbing. We begin on a rain-soaked Paris afternoon.
Marie picks Ahmad up at the airport – struggling to communicate with him
through the wall of glass, a metaphor for a communication barrier that’s
used again several times in the film. Marie and Ahmad meet at the
parking zone, cordial but with an underlying tension.
The Iranian writer and director Asghar Farhadi has been down this path before, notably with his art-house favorite “A Separation.” In that 2011 melodrama, the acrimony between an unhappily married husband and wife who, like shifting tectonic plates, create boundaries, cracks and fissures in their lives and those of everyone around them, including their emotionally rent daughter and an ailing relative. There are several more bad relationships in “The Past,” which opens in a French airport with Marie (Bérénice Bejo) greeting her estranged husband, Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa), who’s arrived from Iran. She’s asked him to return so they can divorce. From both the warmth and the awkwardness of their darting embrace — their bodies no longer intuitively fit together — it’s clear they’re not done working things through.Excerpt from Manohla Dargis at the NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Past gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye. It solidly into dual-layered territory and has a supportive bitrate for the 2+hour feature. Colors look very true and contrast is impressive supporting some frequent depth. The 1080P has healthy, rich black levels and some crisp lines in the 1.78:1 frame. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks exactly like the theatrical version of the film The Past. We get a very impressive video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The AE Blu-ray offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3008 or a linear PCM stereo at 2304 kbps - both in original French. The surround hints of separation but everything is of a subtle nature - mostly dialogue-driven scenes. The score by Youli Galperine and Evgueni Galperine sounds very crisp in lossless. The film doesn't really push the track. There are burned-in English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Artificial Eye include some supplements - all with English subtitles. Firstly a 25-minute Making Of... with 'behind the scenes' footage and filmmaker interviews. It is somewhat revealing. There are also almost a 1/2's worth of one-and-one interviews (mostly responding to specific, and similar, questions) with Ali Mosaffa, Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and the cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari. There is also an HD trailer.
June 15th, 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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