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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'La Douceur de vivre' France)

 

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

Italy 1960

The biggest hit from the most popular Italian filmmaker of all time, La dolce vita rocketed Federico Fellini to international mainstream success—ironically, by offering a damning critique of the culture of stardom. A look at the darkness beneath the seductive lifestyles of Rome’s rich and glamorous, the film follows a notorious celebrity journalist (a sublimely cool Marcello Mastroianni) during a hectic week spent on the peripheries of the spotlight. This mordant picture was an incisive commentary on the deepening decadence of contemporary Europe, and it provided a prescient glimpse of just how gossip- and fame-obsessed our society would become.

 

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 Comparison

Koch Lorber (2 disc Collector's Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Medusa (Italy) Region 2 - PAL vs. Universum Film (German) Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman, Ole of DVDBasen  and Markus Mathis for the DVD screen caps!

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universum Film - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Koch Lorber

Region 0 - NTSC

Medusa

Region 2 - PAL

Universum 
Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 733

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 2:53:42 2:47:01 (4% PAL Speedup) 2:46:40 (4% PAL Speedup) 2:55:46.118 
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.93 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate:6.40 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.30:1 Slightly cropped 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.75
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,151,908,994 bytes

Feature: 33,653,415,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Koch Lorber

 

Bitrate:

Medusa

 

Bitrate:

Universum

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio Italian - Dolby Digital 2.0 (Mono), 2.0 (Stereo), 5.1 Italian (DD 1.0 mono)

Italian (DD 1.0 mono), DUB: German (DD 1.0 mono)

LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, Spanish, None Italian, English, None Italian, German, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Koch Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Alexander Payne
• Audio Commentary by Richard Schickel
• Fellini TV - Collection of rare Fellini shorts
• Remembering the Sweet Life - Interviews with Marcello Mastroanni & Anita Ekberg
• Cinecitta - The House of Fellini - Musical montage
• Fellini, Roma and Cinecitta - Interview with Fellini
• Restoration Demo
• Photo Gallery
• Biographies and Filmographies
• 8-page booklet with liner notes by Dennis Bartok
• Trailers to 8 other films released by Koch Lorber

DVD Release Date: September 21, 2004
Double Keep Case

Chapters 33

Release Information:
Studio: Medusa (Italy) - Region 2
Theatrical Release Date: February 3rd, 1960 - Italy

Aspect Ratio:

Anamorphic 2.35:1 (Totalscope).

  

Subtitles: Italian and English (NOTE: English language in the movie is not subtitled).
 

Extras (Disc 2):
Cinema Forever (1980) (7:36) (English subtitles)

Caleidoscopio (1:08) (No Eng subtitles).
Presentazione di Maurizio Porre (5:42) (No Eng subtitles):

I ritratti di Enzo Biagi: Federico Felini (1982) (43:09) (No Eng subtitles):

24 pages booklet (In Italian).

Two Discs

DVD Release Date: February 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Universum Film ( Germany )
Theatrical Release Date: February 3rd, 1960 - Italy

Aspect Ratio:
Anamorphic 2.30:1

  

Photo gallery from the set.
Promotional pictures of the movie.
Several sides of text including Biography and Filmography of the main actors and the director.
Trailer for Fellini's "la citta delle donne".

DVD Release Date: November 18th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,151,908,994 bytes

Feature: 33,653,415,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• New interview with filmmaker Lina Wertmüller, an assistant director on the film (7:25)
• New interview with scholar David Forgacs about the period in Italian history when the film was made (14:29)
• New interview with Italian journalist Antonello Sarno (15:51)
• Interview with director Federico Fellini from 1965 (30:07)
• Audio interview with actor Marcello Mastroianni from the early 1960s (47:19)
• Felliniana, a presentation of La dolce vita ephemera from the collection of Don Young
• New visual essay by filmmaker : : kogonada (9:32)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Gary Giddins

Blu-ray Release Date: October 21st, 2014

Transparent Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 25

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (September 2014) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray: For those questioning the extent exercised in restoring the film - we get an initial screen detailing the following: "This new 4K digital restoration is by Cineteca Di Bologna - Laboratorio L'Immagine Ritrovata in collaboration with The Film Foundation. It was carried out starting with the original camera negative - which was shot in Totalscope (2.35:1) on Dupont film stock and scanned at 4K resolution. Some sections of the film showed clear signs of decay. Some frames, particularly at the beginning of each reel, were seriously damaged and irreparably affected by mold; therefore, a lavender print was scanned for those sections. Following scanning, the images were digitally stabilized and cleaned to eliminate signs of age such as spotting, scratches, and visible splices. In order to bring back the original splendor of the film, the digital grading was executed with particular care, using a vintage copy as a reference, as well as a copy restored in the mid-90s for Mediaset - Medusa under the supervision of Vincenzo Verzini. The contribution of Ennio Guarnieri, DP Otello Martelli's camera assistant, was invaluable at this stage." Contrast is impressive with some very rich black levels. It moves toward moiring but never achieves it although the blacks are piercing at times. There is a thickness and heaviness that smacks of real film texture and this can vary a bit throughout - mostly due to the varied elements used in restoration. On my system it looked amazing - almost hypnotic at times. This is a huge step beyond the SDs.

The audio is transferred via an uncompressed monaural soundtrack (linear PCM). Another screen tells us "The original sound was digitally restored using a 35mm optical soundtrack, from which a positive was printed. Following the acquisition of this element, digital cleaning and background reduction were applied. The restoration generated a duplicate negative and a new soundtrack for preservation. A complete backup of all the files produced by the digital restoration was also made, using several data storage media. The restoration was carried out at L'immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in 2010." It sounds excellent to my ears - very consistent. Nino Rota's (8 1/2, I Clowns, Purple Noon, The Leopard etc.) score seems to benefit from the lossless rendering with some prevalent depth unnoticeable on the DVDs. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

Criterion include many extras - we get a new, 7-minute interview with Oscar-nominated director Lina Wertmuller, an assistant director on the film. She worked twice with Fellini, on La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2. In this interview, conducted by Criterion in June 2014, she describes Fellini as she knew him and discusses the ending of La Dolce Vita. There is also a new interview with scholar David Forgacs running about 15-minutes. He discusses the way La Dolce Vita reflects the many cultural changes that were taking place in Italy at the time of production. Another new interview has Italian journalist Antonello Sarno discussing the many facets of Federico Fellini's masterpiece La Dolce Vita with a particular focus on outlandish fashions on display in the film - it runs 15-minutes. There is a very interesting 1/2 hour interview with director Federico Fellini from 1965 conducted by Irving R. Levine for NBC News. In it Fellini discusses a wide range of topics, including his dislike of discussing or analyzing his own films; the work of other directors; the ideal circumstances for making a film; and his approach to collaboration. Criterion add a 45-minute audio interview with actor Marcello Mastroianni from 1963 by film historian Gideon Bachmann, the actor talks about how he met Federico Fellini, how he was cast in La Dolce Vita and how his relationship with the director deepened over the years. Pretty informative is a new, 10-minute, visual essay by filmmaker : : kogonada who explores La Dolce Vita's mobile camera, it's subtly shifting points of view, and its haunting final shot. It is entitled The Eye & The Beholder. Last on the digital list is Felliniana, a presentation of La dolce vita ephemera from the collection of Don Young. The package also contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Gary Giddins.

This is another amazing Criterion Blu-ray release of the year. With almost 2 hours of valuable supplements - this is an essential. Buy with confidence!

***

 

ADDITION: (Koch Lorber - Sept 2004) - The Koch Lorber looks quite good aside from the noted artifacts. I think it is as sharp as the Medusa if maybe a little softer, and also a shade weaker in contrast. The problem is the very bad banding.  I dislike the default gaudy yellow subtitles but you have an option to change them to white, and the Extras are quite stacked with an audio commentary and a whole second disc of featurettes and interviews etc. The Koch has a bumped 5.1 audio track as well as the original mono. If you can get by the artifacts then this is an okay buy folks... and for lovers of the film - a reason to replace your alternate DVD copy, but only for the extras.

***

The Italian Medusa DVD is far superior. It has almost perfect contrast where as the Universum (German) release has noticeable edge enhancement (hair in the first and third captures are obvious signs). The Universum release also has contrast boosting (see capture #2). The Medusa disc is sharper and has a whole second disc of Extras. The BIG plus for me is that the Italian release has English subtitles where as the German Universum does not. Ohhh yeah, the German release is slightly cropped. Case closed. Medusa all the way. 

- Gary W. Tooze

NOTE: (From Eric Cotenas): When I watched the opening credits (an English version of the Italian sequence over black rather than the AIP cloudscape titles -- with the annoying addition of an "INTERNATIONAL MEDIA FILMS presents A FEDERICO FELLINI FILM" in place of the Cineriz logo), I noticed credits for an English version of the film.  I was not aware that this film had been dubbed in English.  Since the AIP version was subtitled, do you know if the UK version any other English-speaking country releases were dubbed?  Despite these credits the disc only has Italian audio options.  If it was dubbed and Koch did not opt to include it, it was an oversight to use the English title sequence.

NOTE (From Chris) - There's a lot of color banding on the Koch disc and a fair number of compression artifacts. Check the scene where the wife attempts suicide. The walls fairly scintillate with banding where there should be an even color gradation.

 





Menus

(Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Universum Film - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

Capture #1

 

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universum Film - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

NOTE" Subtitle sample" for Koch and Criterion BD



Capture #2

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universum Film - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Capture #3

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universum Film - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Capture #4

 

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universum Film - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Capture #5

 

1) Koch Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Medusa - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universum Film - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Recommended Books on Federico Fellini (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Federico Fellini
by Christopher Wiegand
Fellini on Fellini
by Federico Fellini, Isabel Quigley
The Cinema of Federico Fellini
by Peter Bondanella
The Films of Federico Fellini (Cambridge Film Classics)
by Peter Bondanella, Ray Carney
I'm a Born Liar: A Fellini Lexicon
by Damian Pettigrew
Fellini
by Lietta Tornabuoni
Fellini: A Life
by Hollis Alpert
I, Fellini
by Charlotte Chandler, Billy Wilder


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Koch Lorber / Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Koch Lorber

Region 0 - NTSC

Medusa

Region 2 - PAL

Universum 
Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 733

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

 



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Gary Tooze

 

 

Many Thanks...