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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "A Day in the Country")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/renoir.htm
France 1936

 

Based on Guy de Maupassant's story of the same name "Une partie de campagne" is an unfinished film by Jean Renoir that has beautiful, romantic imagery of a contemplative nature and is based on the human conditions of love, emotion and frailty. The film was initially to be included as a two-part feature film, but the funding was never obtained for the second half. What we have left is a beautiful film unmarred by the economics of cinema and often stated as Renoir's best-loved of his films. On a country picnic a young girl leaves her family and fiancé for a while and succumbs to a brief romance. Renoir's sensuous tribute to the countryside - and to the river - has seldom been surpassed.

Of NOTE: The costumes were designed by Luchino Visconti (this being his first collaboration in film)

***

This bittersweet film from Jean Renoir, based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, is a tenderly comic idyll about a city family’s picnic in the French countryside and the romancing of the mother and grown daughter by two local men. Conceived as a short feature, the project had nearly finished production in 1936 when Renoir was called away for The Lower Depths. Shooting was abandoned then, but the film was completed with the existing footage by Renoir’s team and released in its current form in 1946, after the director had already moved on to Hollywood. The result is a warmly humanist vignette that ranks among Renoir’s most lyrical works, with a love for nature imbuing its every beautiful frame.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 8th, 1946 - France

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Comparison:

BFI Video -  Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

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

 

Box Covers

   

  

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection, spine #746 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 38:36 0:41:05.087
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.52 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,681,850,049 bytes

Feature: 11,863,197,696 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.41 Mbps

 

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio French  (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)  LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English (non-removable) English, none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: British Film Institute Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

 

• Commentary by Philip Kemp

• Biography of Jean Renoir - 5 text screens

• Discarded Takes - (32:21)

• Screen test (8:41)

• Acknowledgements

DVD Release Date: August 25th, 2003

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 7

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,681,850,049 bytes

Feature: 11,863,197,696 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.41 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Introduction by director Jean Renoir from 1962 (5:49)
• New interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner about the film’s production (24:39)

• New video essay by Faulkner on Renoir’s methods(16:20)
• Un tournage à la champagne, an 89-minute 1994 compilation of outtakes from the film (1:29:16)
• Interview with producer Pierre Braunberger from 1979 (5:32)
• Screen tests (9:33)
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar Gilberto Perez
 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - January 2015': The Renoir short looks the best it ever will in digital - restored, and a max'ed out bitrate. It is cleaner (far fewer marks, damage and speckles), tighter and has rounded corners. For the most part is shows more information in the frame and grain texture is very evident.

Audio gets a linear PCM and is still imperfect - as decreed by the original 1936 production. Criterion's subtitles are fully optional and the Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

Criterion don't have the Philip Kemp commentary but do add many supplements in their Blu-ray package. There is a six minute introduction by director Jean Renoir from 1962 television. We get a new, 25-minute, interview with Renoir scholar Christopher Faulkner about the film’s production. Originally shot in 1936, A Day in the Country was not released until ten years late, in a forty-minute, unfinished version. In this interview, conducted by Criterion in October 2014, Faulkner discusses the film's complicated production history and where it fits in the director's oeuvre. Christopher Faulkner also conducts a 17-minute new video essay on Renoir’s methods who was thought to have used improvisation in the production. This was illuminated in 1994 when the Cinematheque francaise released Un tournage a la campagne composed of 89-minutes of outtakes from the production A Day in the Country. This video essay examines those outtakes. And this complete 1994 film compilation of outtakes from Renoir's film (taken from 4.5 hours of footage) entitled Un tournage à la champagne is included here in 1080P. We also get a 5.5 minute interview with producer Pierre Braunberger from 1979 where he talks about his relationship with Renoir and the film's procudtion difficulties. This interview originally appeared in the documentary Portait d'un producteur: Pierre Braunberger, directed by Robert Rea. Lastly we have the screen tests found on the BFI DVD and Criterion include one of their liner notes booklets with an essay by film scholar Gilberto Perez.

Not only do we get the film in 1080P, but some brilliant analysis is inslcued in the valuable supplements. We highly recommend this Blu-ray.  

***

ON THE DVD: BFI have gone to some lengths with this DVD. It is a forgotten unfinished film by a master director and many film buffs have never had the opportunity to see it. The image quality is very good - only minute traces of dirt and scratches. The sub-titles are, unfortunately, non-removable although they are well done and clear. There is a host of interesting Extras including a commentary and discarded scenes. I would suspect that any true fans of Jean Renoir MUST obtain this DVD. The sound is wonderful and clear and a big part of this presentation. Big thanks to BFI for bringing this to DVD in such fine quality.

       Gary W. Tooze





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Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


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Subtitle Sample

 

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

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

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

   

  

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection, spine #746 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze