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(aka "Angústia", or "Silken Skin" or " The Soft Skin")

 http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/truffaut.htm
U.S. 1964

The Soft Skin, from one of the Nouvelle Vague's most prolific directors, Francois Truffaut, is a brilliant classic replete with intrigue, emotion, and stunning imagery. This dissection of an affair between successful publisher and novelist Pierre Lachenay (Jean Desailly), and airline stewardess Nicole (Francoise Dorleac), begins on Lachenay's trip to Lisbon for a lecture, On the airplane he watches, enraptured, as Nicole changes out of her work shoes and into sexy, sling-back pumps. From there, his lust for her only grows, and he begins a deeply involved affair with her that continues back in Paris. Meanwhile Lachenay's perfect bourgeoise wife, Franca (Nelly Benedetti) is entertaining friends and playing with their cute five-year-old daughter, Sabine (Sabine Haudepin), seemingly unaware of her husband's strange behaviour. But when Franca discovers that he's been cheating and may even be in love, she reacts irrationally. The Soft Skin's surprising finale is one of the most memorable in film history.

Perhaps it's Truffaut's attention to detail that builds so much tangible emotion into his films, The camera seems to skim over surfaces, examine the unattractive angles of people's faces, read street signs. In the car, the camera is riding in the back seat, but as the car speeds up, it's pressed against the windshield. In The Soft Skin, Truffaut expresses a precise emotion with each sequence. Viewers of the film are so often nervous because of the way that Lechenay's gaze flits around, blurring up the scenery, frantically. Then, when Lechenay is with his lover, Nicole, the light is bright, the gaze is steady, the mood is triumphant. In the final scenes, as the cobblestones of Parisian boulevards whizz by chaotically, we are reminded of the suspenseful clues given in Hitchcock movies, and we know what is about to happen. At once beautiful and hilariously observant, Truffaut's expressive visuals make The Soft Skin an inarguable masterpiece..

Poster

Theatrical Release: April 20th, 1964 - France

Reviews                                                               More Reviews                                                           DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC vs. mk2 - Region 2 - PAL vs. Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

all DVD screen shots courtesy of Pavel Borodin... Thanks Pavel!

1) Fox - Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT
2) Mk2 - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

Box Covers

 

 

  

    

or in the Truffaut Blu-ray Collection:

   

Distribution

Fox / Lorber

Region 0  - NTSC

mk2 
Region 2 - PAL
Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion Collection, spine #749 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:57:28 1:52:40 (4% PAL speedup) 1:57:45.208 1:58:13.461
Video

1.54:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.45 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.63:1 Slightly cropped 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.96
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,772,543,273 bytes

Feature: 31,037,079,552 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,435,991,500 bytes

Feature: 34,331,099,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.35 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Fox

 

Bitrate:

mk2

Bitrate: Artificial Eye

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Criterion

Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
* LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (non-removable) English and none English and none English and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Fox Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.54:1

Edition Details:
• All Regions
• Black & White
• Production notes
• Vintage Truffaut Trailer Collection
• Widescreen letterbox format

 

DVD Release Date: April 23, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 6

Release Information:
Studio: mk2

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.63:1


English language available for the complete program (menu, film, extras, commentary)

Studio: mk2, France

Special Features:
• Introduction to the film by Serge Toubiana
• Screenwriter Jean-Louis Richard talks about the film (commentary)
• Françoise Dorléac
• François Truffaut discusses selected scenes from the film (1965)
• Trailer
• The François Truffaut Collection trailers

DVD Release Date: Feb 20th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 34

Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye
 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,772,543,273 bytes

Feature: 31,037,079,552 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Presentation with Serge Toubiana (4:20)
Commentary with Jean Louis Richard
Trailer (3:42)

Blu-ray Release Date: August 25th, 2014
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,435,991,500 bytes

Feature: 34,331,099,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.35 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by screenwriter Jean-Louis Richard and François Truffaut scholar Serge Toubiana
• New video essay by filmmaker and critic Kent Jones (11:43)
• Monsieur Truffaut Meets Mr. Hitchcock - documentary by film historian Robert Fischer on Truffaut and his mentor, director Alfred Hitchcock (29:41)
• Interview with Truffaut from 1965 about the film (10:51)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Molly Haskell
 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 17th, 2015
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 25

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - February 2015': The image quality on the Criterion 1080P is pretty much exactly the same as the Artificial Eye with only the slightest of grain differences. Like the UK Blu-ray disc - this is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. Looks magnificent in-motion.

 

Likewise the audio is too similar to be able to identify differences - also a linear PCM mono track, slightly less technically robust but it sounds as clear and competent. Georges Delerue (Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night) did the score and it also benefits from the uncompressed rendering. There are optional English subtitles ion the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Supplements are where Criterion identify themselves in advance of the, still excellent, Artificial Eye Blu-ray. We get the same 2000 audio commentary by screenwriter Jean-Louis Richard and François Truffaut scholar Serge Toubiana in French with English subtitles. But there is a new 12-minute video essay, entitled the Complexity of Influence, by filmmaker and critic Kent Jones who details how director Alfred Hitchcock influenced François Truffaut's filmmaking, especially in The Soft Skin. We get a 1/2 hour documentary by film historian Robert Fischer (now the Munich-based film production company Fiction Factory) on Truffaut and his mentor, director Alfred Hitchcock that tells the story behind Truffaut's famous interview book Hitchcock, from Truffaut's presentation of the idea to filmmaker Hitchcock in 1962 to the book's publication four years later. Lastly, we get an 11-minute excerpt from a December 1965 episode of the French television program Cineastest de notre temps, where director François Truffaut talks about the origin of The Soft Skin, shooting its love scenes, and choreographing its finale. The package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Molly Haskell.

 

Criterion go the extra mile with the supplements and it remains a highly memorable and impacting film experience - exemplified by the HD presentation.

 

 

***

ADDITION: Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (August 14'): This is a really nice upgrade by Artificial Eye. 1080P, dual-layered, high bitrate - the contrast shows pleasing layers and there is depth exported. The visuals are significantly improved over the SDs and it offers lossless sound via a linear PCM audio transfer. The English subtitles are optional on the region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc. Extras include the presentation with Serge Toubiana intro, the French commentary with Jean Louis Richard (with English subtitles) and a lengthy trailer - all found on the MK2 disc.

 

Another favorite Truffaut and I consider the AE Blu-ray a must-own. Great job!

***

ON THE DVDs: The mk2 version is cropped a little more than slightly, but other than that it is far better... no burned in subs, sharper, better contrast. It is definitely the way to go with a commentary and solid extras. I do find those mk2 text menus a little stale.

- Gary W. Tooze




 Menus

(Fox - Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Mk2 - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Fox - Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Mk2 - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

 

 

1) Fox - Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Mk2 - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

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



1) Fox - Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Mk2 - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

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

 

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-rays

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: Criterion Blu-ray

 


Recommended Reading on Truffaut /  French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

François Truffaut
by Annette Insdorf
HITCHCOCK (REVISED EDITION)
by Helen G. Scott, Francois Truffaut
The French New Wave: An Artistic School
by Michel Marie, Richard John Neupert, Richard Neupert
A History of the French New Wave Cinema
by Richard Neupert
French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana

Check out more in "The Library"


Box Covers

 

 

  

    

or in the Truffaut Blu-ray Collection:

   

Distribution

Fox / Lorber

Region 0  - NTSC

mk2 
Region 2 - PAL
Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion Collection, spine #749 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 




 

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Gary Tooze