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Riptide aka "Une si jolie petite plage" [Blu-ray]
(Yves Allégret, 1949)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Darbor Films
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,078,581,321 bytes
Feature Size: 24,013,780,992 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.95 Mbps
Case: 2-tired Digipak with slipcase
Release date: December 4th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio French 824 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 824 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
English, French, none
• Gerard Philipe: Les debuts de l'enfant prodige (19:48, French
language - no subtitles)
DVD of the film included!
Description:A late bloom for the Carné-Prévert brand of poetic realism, set in a wintry beach resort in Normandy where a young man (Philipe), returns to the scene of his childhood after involvement in a crime of passion in Paris (he has just killed the singer he was seduced by and ran away with to escape his orphanage background). Undergoing much soul-searching torment, focused by the presence of a sinister stranger (Servais) as well as by speculation and gossip about the crime centering on the nosy hotel proprietress (Marken), he finds some temporary warmth in the love of the bedraggled chambermaid (Robinson).
The French seaside never looked drearier. It’s the off-season, raining
endlessly, with only one shabby hotel open for customers. A young man
checks in, coming from Paris, apparently depressed, and averse to the
music of a popular singer who has just been murdered. It could have been
a Georges Simenon novel. It is a kind of story that is almost
classically French, or maybe it’s more in the tone and the way the
narrative plays out, the existential dolor. The hotel is pervaded by
this fatalistic ennui, a sense of inescapable doom, a melancholy without
the faintest hint of possibility for redemption. The characters keep
referring to the desolate shoreline as “such a pretty little beach,”
repeating the title time and again, emphasizing sincerity as well as
some irony, too.
During the cold and rainy off-season a man (Gérard Philipe) arrives in a seaside town and, giving his name only as Pierre, checks into the only hotel which remains open. His arrival arouses curiosity and a degree of suspicion, as people note that he appears to know the area, yet gives no explanation for his presence at that bleak time of year in the dead-end town. The elderly father of the hotel owner, now a mute invalid, shows signs of recognition but his condition prevents him from voicing what he observes. Pierre is treated with barely disguised petty-minded intolerance and hostility by the hotel owner, guests and habitués, but develops a friendship with Marthe (Madeleine Robinson), an all-purpose employee at the hotel. Pierre also notices a 15 year-old boy – employed as a dogsbody at the hotel, where he has been placed by the local state-run orphanage – who he has spotted engaging in rendezvous with Mme Curlier, a middle-aged female guest. His attempts to engage the somewhat surly and reticent youth however meet with rebuff.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
A 'French Noir', Riptide has had a restoration and looks impressive on Blu-ray from Pathé. The image quality shows an even layer of textured grain and contrast is excellent via the 1080P transfer. You can even note instances of depth on the 1949 production. This Blu-ray improves as the film runs along and I thought the HD disc provided an awesome presentation. Visually this gets high marks.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master dual-mono track at 824 kbps is pretty solid with some depth in the rain, wind and outdoor noises. The score by Maurice Thiriet (Children of Paradise) is subtly haunting and exports a sense of isolation. A 'Descriptive Audio' track is included in French. There are optional English and French subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
If you understand French - there are some good video pieces including Gerard Philipe: Les debuts de l'enfant prodige with writers Gerard Bonal, Alain Ferrari, Olivier Barrot, and others discussing the film for 20-minutes. There is also a piece from 1973 - with archival interview snippets. Trailers, Gallery etc. but nothing is English-friendly.
October 27th, 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 3500 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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