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(aka "Conte d'hiver" or "A Winter's Tale" or "A Tale of Winter")

 

directed by Eric Rohmer
France 1992

 

Preceded in 1990 by A Tale Of Springtime, A Winter's Tale continues Rohmer's interest in young love as hairdresser Felice reluctantly parts with Charles after a holiday romance and foolishly manages to supply him with an incorrect home address.

This is extremely unfortunate for both parties; four years later it's Christmas and Felice still hopes that he will contact her, not only because she is still desperately in love with him, but also because he is the father of her beloved daughter. However, Felice finds herself the target of two would-be husbands; her boss Maxence and a librarian Loic, but she is not really interested in either man.

As with The Green Ray, the female centre of attention is often frustratingly indecisive as she pursues a relatively unreasonable ideal. Nevertheless, Rohmer's fantastic ability to sensitively and insightfully chart the progress of an individual through the delicate world of human relationships is once again in full effect. Felice's character is constructed through a means of story-telling which subtly communicates a psychological depth in her behaviour without seeking to fully explain it. Like Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, Eric Rohmer seems to favour female protagonists as instruments of twentieth century experience.

Somehow resembling a contemporary fairy-tale, A Winter's Tale characterizes all that is great about Rohmers best work. It has an enormously affecting ending as well.

Excerpt of review from Iain Harral's review from the Edinburgh Film Society located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 29 January 1992 (France)

Reviews                                                                              More Reviews                                                                   DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Potemkine Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow and Eric Cotenas for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Potemkine Films Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

The Blu-ray is also available in either the 25 Film (52 disc!) Eric Rohmer Blu-ray Boxset: or Four Seasons Blu-ray Boxset - also from Potemkine Films:

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL

Big World Pictures
Region 0 - NTSC
Potemkine Films
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:49:16 (4% PAL speedup) 1:54:04 1:53:57.166
Video

1.62:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.18 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.83 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,450,472,011 bytes

Feature: 27,306,147,840 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.71 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons)

 

Bitrate:

 

Big World Pictures

 

Bitrate:

 

Potemkine Films
 Blu-ray

 

Audio French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1564 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1564 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, none English (burnt-in) English and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.62:1

Edition Details:
•  Interview with Eric Rohmer (4:3; 9:26)
•  Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:50)
•  Rohmer biography

DVD Release Date: 26 September 2005
Amaray

Chapters 15
 

Release Information:
Studio: Big World Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
•  Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:58)
•  Trailers for 'Curling' and 'Rebels of the Neon God'

 

DVD Release Date: 14 April 2015
Amaray

Chapters

Release Information:
Studio:
Potemkine

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,450,472,011 bytes

Feature: 27,306,147,840 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.71 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Jean Douchet meets Eric Rohmer (22:41)

• Interview with Mary Stephen + Pascal Ribier (18:11)

• Audio only from 1992 (9:46)

2 DVDs

Blu-ray Release Date: November 19th, 2013
Bookstyle cardboard Blu-ray Case inside a large box

Chapters 13

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Potemkine Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (April 2015): I have already stated- I now own the Coffret Rohmer intégral combo blu ray + livret + pochette photos [Blu-ray] - it is 25 Rohmer films and 52 discs, book and more! There are DVD discs included and supplements (although extras don't seem to be English-friendly) although the features themselves that I have checked so far have optional English subtitles. A Winter's Tale is progressive - 1080P - (while some in the set are interlaced) runs in theatrical running time, and it supports the color scheme of the most recent 'Big World Pictures' DVD - both probably from the same source. Where it separates itself from the SD transfers is the support of the grain - which looks great - most notable in the outdoor sequences. It offers original mono French audio, in a lossless DTS-HD transfer and sounds predictably flat but very clean. The English subtitles are fully optional. The supplements are only in French (no subs)  a 22-minute piece with Jean Douchet meets Eric Rohmer, an 18-minute interview with Mary Stephen + Pascal Ribier and an audio only piece from 1992 - plus the included PAL DVD. Rohmer fans should indulge - We have already reviewed the Blu-ray of A Summer's Tale - also in both sets.

***

ON THE Big World Pictures: Superficially, Big World Pictures' single-layer, anamorphic 1.66:1 DVD - a follow-up to their DVD of Rohmer's A SUMMER'S TALE - looks softer than the UK disc, but the latter - based on Henrik's comments below - was heavily manipulated and poor overall (as well as cropped compared to the US caps) with more detail evident on the newer transfer. The US DVD had as its source the brand new high definition restorations that premiered on Blu-ray in France last year. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio is crisp and clear and the burnt-in English subtitles are smaller than the optional UK ones but always readable.

Henrik on the Artificial Eye release: Approved by Rohmer himself, the masters for all of the Tales of the Four Seasons were obtained from Rohmers' production company, Les Films du Losange, and were the best available for Artificial Eye.

Directorial approved or not, the transfer is very poor. Presented in non-anamorphic 768px, it most of all looks like a transfer from video carried over to DVD5, then blown up to take up 6.9GB of storage. Considering this is a film of 110 minutes on a DVD9, the quality of the image and the bitrate simply doesn't make sense.

The image is very, very compressed. Edge enhancements, color banding, chroma and other artifacts are very visible. You can basically count the pixels when zooming in to 300%. They stand out as clearly as mosaic. Again, holding such a compressed image up against its size and a bitrate of 8.18 doesn't make sense. This is a DVD5 image at best.

Additional material consists of Michel Ciment talking with Rohmer about the film. A bit short, but it is nice to hear the master reflect, even if it is briefly.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 

Potemkine Films Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Potemkine Films Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle sample


(Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Artificial Eye (Tales of the Four Seasons) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP vs. Big World Pictures - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray (but French only)

 
Box Covers

 

 

The Blu-ray is also available in either the 25 Film (52 disc!) Eric Rohmer Blu-ray Boxset: or Four Seasons Blu-ray Boxset - also from Potemkine Films:

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 0 - PAL

Big World Pictures
Region 0 - NTSC
Potemkine Films
Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 




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