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Venus in Fur aka "La Vénus à la fourrure" [Blu-ray]
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: R.P. Productions
Video: Artificial Eye
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,461,625,175 bytes
Feature Size: 28,905,209,856 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.81 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 28th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
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)
LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
•Interview with Polanski (12:22)
• Trailer (1:41)
Description: Alone in a Parisian theatre after a day of
auditions, director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) is complaining
over the phone to his fiancée about the poor quality of the
actresses. As he prepares to leave Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner)
suddenly appears: an unbridled and brazen whirlwind of
energy who embodies everything Thomas hates. But when Thomas
finds himself backed into a corner and lets her try her
luck, he is amazed to see Vanda transformed. Not only has
she found the right props and costumes, but she understands
the character (whose name she shares) intimately, and knows
all her lines by heart. The "audition" lengthens and
intensifies, and Thomas's attraction starts to develop into
Roman Polanski adapts David Ives Tony Award-winning Broadway play about a frustrated theater director whose growing obsession with a volatile actress signals the start of an unexpected power shift. Exhausted after a day of unsuccessful auditions for the female lead in his play exploring the volatile relationship between a domineering mistress and her willing male subject, writer/director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) broods over his lack of success when tempestuous actress Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner) blows into the theater like a sweltering summer storm. Though at first reluctant to give the overly-assertive and questionably-talented actress an audition, Thomas eventually relents. Subsequently captivated by her intense erotic energy, he gradually begins to realize she was more prepared than initial appearances suggested, and that she's perfect for the role. Yet in his spellbound state, Michael fails to notice that Vanda - who even shares the same name as her fictional counterpart - has slyly managed to turn the tables on him and before long their relationship begins to strike an eerie parallel with those of his impassioned characters.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
“Venus in Fur,” Roman Polanski’s nimble film adaptation of the
play by David Ives, might provoke a lively post-viewing argument. Is it
about sex or power? Art or life? The nature of theater or the logic of
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Venus in Fur gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye. It is dual-layered with a very high bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. The film is very dark and the 1080P handles it easily without noise of artifacts. Contrast exhibits solid black levels and colors are relatively muted in the 2.39:1 frame. It's, predictably, pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail in close-ups and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray provides a flawless replication of this simple production - probably looking very similar to the theatrical appearance. All good.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The AE Blu-ray of Venus in Fur offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1716 kbps or the option of a 2.0 channel LPCM stereo at 1536 kbps. It has hints of separation but everything is of a subtle nature with only a couple of more aggressive instances. Aside from minor effects we get a sparsely utilized score is by Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, The Ghost Writer, The King's Speech) There are, unfortunately, burned-in English subtitles (?) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Supplements include a moderately interesting interview with Polanski, about the film, for about a dozen minutes and a trailer.
July 23rd, 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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